There are few steaks as well-known as a ribeye. This flavorful cut is one of the most common to find at your favorite steakhouse. It stands out on its own with a complementing side dish, like baked tomato or grilled asparagus, thanks to its unmatched texture and unforgettable taste.
Cooking ribeye is actually a relatively straightforward process, too. This cut arguable works best on the grill, as the smokey flavor lends well to the robust steak taste of ribeye. However, you can also sear it in a pan, toss it in the oven, or sous vide it to your desired doneness.
In this guide, learn what a ribeye is and how to cook and season it like a pro.
What is Ribeye Steak
Ribeye steak, also known as a rib steak, ribeye, beauty steak, or Delmonico steak, is a tender and flavorful cut that’s prized as the epitome of what a steak should look and taste like. It’s juicy, has an excellent texture, and is pretty versatile in the kitchen.
Ribeye is famous for its marbling, or the fat that runs through it. When the fat renders, or cooks out, from heat, it disperses its flavor through the meat and keeps the steak tender. You’ll see marbling when you pick up a piece of ribeye and find the detailed white lines running throughout.
What Cut of Beef is Ribeye?
The ribeye comes from the rib primal section of a cow between the shoulder and loin. This section is where you’ll find the most tender sections of ribs because the area isn’t overly exercised. Butchers typically cut the section from the animal from the 6th to 12th ribs before cutting each rib into individual ribeye steaks.
6 Ways to Cook Ribeye Steak
Ribeye steak is a popular beef option for the grill, but there are plenty of ways to cook and enjoy it. Try any of the following methods:
Grilling Ribeye Steak
- Pull ribeye from the refrigerator and salt generously on all sides. Allow to sit for 45 minutes before cooking.
- Brush oil on the grill grates and preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
- Season ribeye with some more salt, if desired, and freshly ground black pepper.
- Place the steak directly over the heat to sear for 2-3 minutes.
- Using tongs, flip the steak over and sear for another 2-3 minutes.
- Move the steak to indirect heat and cook for another 4-5 minutes, or until a digital steak thermometer reads 120-125 degrees for medium-rare. Leave on the grill for another minute or two for more doneness.
- Remove from the grill and let rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Grilling Ribeye Steak on Skewers
If you’d rather make ribeye kebabs than full steaks, you can cut the ribeye into cubes before seasoning it and letting it rest for 45 minutes. Preheat the grill to medium-high. Then, slide the steaks and your choice of veggies to the skewers, brush with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.
Add the skewers to the grill, cooking for 1-2 minutes. Turn and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Continue this process until all sides of the steak and vegetables are browned and cooked through. Then, move the kebabs to a plate and tent with foil, resting for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Pan-Seared Ribeye Steak
- Salt steaks generously on all sides and bring to room temperature for 45 minutes.
- Heat a cast-iron skillet with one tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat.
- Season ribeye with a little more salt and freshly ground black pepper.
- Place steak on the skillet, searing for 2-3 minutes until golden brown. Add another tablespoon of butter to the pan.
- Use tongs to flip the steak to the other side to sear for another 2-3 minutes. Spoon butter over the steak to keep moist.
- Check the temperature with a digital thermometer. If the steak needs a little more time to cook, turn the heat to low and cook for another 1-2 minutes until the desired doneness is reached.
Cooking Ribeye Steak in the Oven
- Salt steak on all sides. Then, leave at room temperature for 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat with one tablespoon of olive oil.
- Season steak with more salt, if desired, and black pepper.
- Sear the steak for 1-2 minutes on one side; flip with tongs and sear for 1-2 minutes on the other side.
- Place the skillet in the oven and cook for another 5-8 minutes until a digital meat thermometer reaches the right temperature for your desired doneness (120-125 for medium-rare).
- Rest steaks on a plate tented with foil at room temperature for 5-10 minutes.
Reverse Sear Method for Ribeye
- Season steak with salt on all sides and rest on a plate at room temperature for 45 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 225 degrees.
- Season steak as desired and place on a baking tray. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes to one hour or until a digital meat thermometer reads your desired doneness temperature (pull at 110-115 degrees for medium-rare, as you’ll still be cooking it more during the searing process).
- Heat one tablespoon of butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the steak on one side for 1-2 minutes. Flip with tongs and sear the other side for 1-2 minutes.
- Move the steak to a plate tented with foil to rest for 5-10 minutes. Enjoy!
Ribeye Sous Vide
- Season steaks generously with salt. Let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes prior to cooking to create a brine.
- Set your precision cooker to 120-125 degrees for medium-rare (or adjust accordingly to get your desired level of doneness).
- Add herbs, like thyme and rosemary, to the sous vide bag with the steak, if desired. Vacuum seal the bag. Add the bag to the water. A medium-rare ribeye steak will cook for about four hours.
- Preheat a skillet with one tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat.
- Remove steak from the bag and place on the skillet. Sear for 1-2 minutes on one side; flip and do the same to the other side.
- Rest on a foil-tented plate for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Seasoning Ribeye Steak
Like most steaks, ribeye works best with a generous sprinkle of salt on all sides. The best way to create a brine to get a good sear on your steak is to salt before resting at room temperature for about 45 minutes. The salt naturally pulls juices from the steak to make a brine that crisps up and keeps the steak juicy during the searing process.
Aside from salt, many ribeye eaters add black pepper to their steaks. Other spices that work well with ribeye include steak seasoning, thyme, rosemary, and paprika. Add any spices before cooking to enhance the crispiness of the steak.
Marinating Ribeye Steak
Steaks don’t always need a marinade, and ribeye is one that stands out perfectly on its own. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t use one if you want to add a different flavor to your steak dish. Ribeyes take to garlic-focused and Asian-inspired marinades well but feel free to explore your taste preferences. Find several marinade recipes in our Steak University database for inspiration.
Grilled Ribeye Steak
- 2 ribeye steaks
- kosher salt, to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- Remove steak from the refrigerator. Season generously with salt on each side. Let rest at room temperature for 45 minutes.
- Brush 1 tbsp olive oil on grill grates. Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
- Brush 1 tbsp olive oil on the steaks and season with salt and pepper, if desired.
- Place the steaks in the grill and sear for 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Flip the steaks to the other side and sear for another 2-3 minutes.
- Check the temperature of each steak with a digital meat thermometer. If they need more time to cook, move them to an area of the grill with indirect heat for another 2-5 minutes, depending on your desired level of doneness.
- Remove steaks from the grill and rest at room temperature on a plate tented with foil for 5-10 minutes before serving.
The following additional information includes a few more pointers for cooking ribeye to perfection, no matter what cooking method you choose.
Ribeye is a thicker steak than others, so its cooking time might be a little longer than, say, a flat iron steak. Ribeye cooking times can vary with different cooking methods, too. Here’s what to expect from each of the methods we used above:
- On the grill: Cooking ribeye on the grill can take up to about 20 minutes, depending on your desired level of doneness and the type of grill. Charcoal grills usually take a bit longer.
- In the oven: Ribeye takes about 5-8 minutes in the oven after searing it in a pan. If it’s going straight into the oven, it may need up to 20 minutes.
- In a pan: This is the quickest way to cook ribeye steak; it’s usually seared and cooked to your level of doneness in less than 10 minutes.
- Sous vide: A medium-rare ribeye takes about four hours to cook sous-vide style. For more doneness, you might need another hour.
Use a digital meat thermometer to check ribeye for the most accurate temperature. One poke through the thickest part of the meat should tell you if your ribeye is ready to take off the heat. For medium-rare, pull your steaks from the heat when they reach 120-125 degrees (they’ll cook more as they rest). Adjust that temperature by +/- 5 degrees for each level of doneness. For example, remove a steak when it reaches 135-140 degrees for medium.
Braised Ribeye Steak
Braising is a method involving a quick sear and then a slow cook to bring the meat to temperature. Usually, this method is for cuts of meat that aren’t so tender to start with, like chuck steak. While you can technically braise ribeye, we suggest saving this method for other cuts that could use the slow cook to tenderize them.
Your Guide to Cooking Ribeye Steak
Ribeye is one of the world’s most favorite steak cuts because of its taste and texture. And, it’s relatively simple to cook with your chosen method, like grilling or pan-searing. If you’d like to try some of the best ribeye cuts that your money can buy, check out the ribeye selection at Chicago Steak Company.