Learning how to cook ribeye in a pan is as easy as following four simple steps that deliver on texture and flavor. Whether you love bone-in or boneless ribeye, you can get a delicious ribeye steak seared to perfection in just a few minutes. Use our guide to learn exactly how to do it.
To prepare ribeye to cook in a pan, you’ll first need to remove the steaks from the refrigerator. Transfer them to a clean plate, salt them on both sides, and let them rest for 45 minutes. Right before cooking, sprinkle pepper on both sides.
Meanwhile, preheat a cast-iron skillet with oil to medium-high. This takes about five minutes, so do it toward the end of the resting period.
In total, ribeye steak takes 10-15 minutes to pan-sear to medium rare. You’ll need another 5-10 minutes of resting time before serving. If you’d like a more done steak, you can finish it off in the oven for another 5-10 minutes.
Ribeye Pan Searing Tips
Use the following tips to learn how to cook ribeye in a pan like a professional steakhouse chef.
Rest Before and After Cooking
The resting period before pan-searing ribeye helps the steaks rise in temperature, resulting in more thorough cooks from the inside out. It also allows the salt to brine the steak, giving it a crispier texture when you sear it.
Resting steaks after cooking happens for a different reason. During these 5-10 minutes, your steak continues to cook after removing it from the heat, bringing it to your ideal temperature. This is why you remove ribeye steak from heat when it reaches a lower temperature than what you’d like the final temperature to be. Juices also reabsorb into the steak to enhance flavor and texture.
Use Butter When Searing
We typically preheat a skillet in oil and use this oil to keep steaks from sticking to the pan. However, you’ll also want some butter on hand to add to the pan during the searing process. While searing, spoon the butter over the ribeye to keep the top of the steak hot and moist, preventing overdrying and letting the heat distribute more evenly. It also adds a light buttery flavor to ribeye.
Use a Thermometer for Accuracy
Don’t rely on your fingers or eyes to tell whether a ribeye is done cooking. A thermometer is the only reliable tool to do so. Insert the thermometer probe into the thickest part of the ribeye to check the temperature before removing the steak from the pan. Your thermometer should read 2-5 degrees below the final temperature range for the doneness level you want. For reference, here are the final temperature ranges your steak should reach after resting:
- Medium-rare: 130°F-135°F
- Medium: 140°F-145°F
- Medium-well: 150°F-155°F
- Well-done: 160°F-165°F
Choosing the Right Cut of Ribeye
When it comes to ribeye, there are several kinds to choose from. One of the first choices you’ll need to make is whether to get bone-in or boneless ribeye. Bone-in takes longer to cook and usually requires you to finish it off in the oven after searing. Otherwise, many experts explain that bone-in and boneless steaks are relatively indistinguishable. So, choose the one that appeals to you most.
You’ll also need to decide on a steak quality. We highly recommend USDA Prime or Wagyu ribeye for pan-searing. Because you’re not using a long period of time to cook the steak, you don’t have much wiggle room for tenderizing the steak. A wet-aged or dry-aged steak marked as USDA Prime or Wagyu is already top quality, so you can expect deliciously tender results.
Ribeye Pan Searing Instructions
The following steps teach you how to cook ribeye in a pan from start to finish.
Step 1: Preparation
Remove the steaks from the refrigerator and place them on a clean plate or cutting board. Add salt to both sides, pressing it in with your fingers. Tent the steaks with foil and allow them to rest for 45 minutes.
Step 2: Searing
Preheat an skillet over medium-high heat with a drizzle of oil. Sprinkle steaks with black pepper. Once the pan is fully heated, add the steaks. Sear them on each side for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Turn the heat to low, and cook for another 5-10 minutes, using a digital thermometer to check the thickest part of the steak.
Step 3: Oven-Cooking (Optional)
If your steak needs more time to cook, transfer the steaks into a preheated 400-degree oven. You can move them straight into the oven if using an oven-safe pan; if not, transfer them to a baking sheet first. Cook for 5-8 minutes, depending on your desired doneness level. Use your thermometer again to check the temperature before resting.
Step 4: Finishing Up
Rest the steaks on a clean plate or cutting board at room temperature, tenting a piece of foil over them as they rest. Resting time takes 5-10 minutes.
Ribeye Pan Searing FAQ’s
How long should I sear ribeye?
Ribeye takes 2-3 minutes to sear on high, and then another 5-8 minutes cooked over low heat to get to the proper temperature.
Should I finish pan-seared ribeye in the oven?
Extra thick ribeye steaks or those you’d like to cook to medium or higher may need extra time in the oven. If so, preheat the oven to 400 degrees to finish cooking for another 5-10 minutes.
Can I make pan-seared ribeye without a cast iron skillet?
Yes, any skillet will work for pan-seared ribeye, but be sure to use oil or butter to prevent it from sticking. If you need to finish your ribeye in the oven, we recommend a cast-iron skillet or another oven-safe pan for convenient transferring from stovetop to oven.
Can I pan sear ribeye with butter instead of oil?
Yes, you can use butter or oil to sear ribeye. However, if your pan is known to stick, oil may be the better option for searing. You can always add a pat of butter to the pan to drizzle over the steak as it cooks for buttery flavor.
Summing Up: How to Cook Ribeye in a Pan
Hopefully, this guide helps you feel prepared to cook ribeye in a pan at home in just a few minutes. Make sure you start with high-quality steaks that yield the best results, like those from Chicago Steak Company. Try our best-selling ribeye steaks that are ready to order online and ship quickly and safely to your door.