How To Cook A Rib Eye Steak
The Juiciest Rib Eye Steak Every Time!
The rib eye steak is arguably the juiciest, best tasting cut of beef. And it also one of the most expensive. Make the most of your investment with this straightforward method to preparing a perfectly cooked rib eye steak -- indoors.
Grilling is great, but there are times when firing up the outdoor grill just isn't feasible or convenient. But just because you can't grill outdoors doesn't mean that you can't cook a great tasting steak. With the right technique, a rib eye steak cooked in a pan will have a nicely seared crust with a pink and juicy center. So pick up a quality cut of meat and head into the kitchen.
There are lots cookbook instructions and online articles outlining the basic technique for cooking a great tasting rib eye steak indoors: heat up a skillet, drop the steak into the pan to sear in the juices before finishing in the oven. What separates this recipe from all of the others is the finishing step.
How To Cook A Rib Eye Steak
- Prep time: 5 min
- Cook time: 10 min
- Ready in: 15 min
- Yields: 1
- 1 1/2 inch thick Rib Eye Steak
- Sea Salt
- Freshly Cracked Pepper
- Canola Oil
About an hour before beginning to cook, remove the rib eye steak from the frig and let it warm up to room temperature. Keep the streak wrapped in the butcher's paper, and place it on a tray. A steak warmed up to room temperature will cook more evenly than trying to cook a cold steak directly from the refrigerator.
Rub on a little vegetable oil on both sides of the steak, and then season the rib eye with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. Use canola oil rather than olive oil; the high heat can cause the olive oil to smoke.
On the stovetop, preheat a well seasoned cast iron skillet or heavy copper / stainless steel, ovenproof pan. To get that nice sear on the outside of the steak, make sure the pan is hot. Also, pre-heat your oven to 450 degrees.
- Oven-proof Pan or Cast Iron Skillet
- Oven Mitt
- Aluminum Foil
The Right Pan for the Job
Every cook needs at least one heavy-duty pan that works double-duty from the sear on the stove top into the heat of the oven. This copper pan features a thick copper exterior to heat up quickly and evenly, with a non-reactive stainless steel lining. The oven-proof handle is reinforced with rivets, making this the perfect workhorse for the kitchen -- and for cooking the perfect Rib Eye steak.
Cast-Iron Grill Pan
If you like grill marks on your steak, consider an oven-proof grill pan. This pan goes from the cooktop to the oven.
Drop the steak right into the middle of the hot skillet. If your rib eye is thick (about 1 ") let it sear for two minutes. If your steak is a thinner cut (less than 1"), let the steak sear for only about 90 seconds.
You might need to adjust the sear time based upon your cook top and the pan that you use. The goal is to get a nice golden brown sear on the surface of the steak, but do not let the rib eye burn. On my glass top electric range turned up to medium-high heat and using a heavy professional grade copper pan, it takes just about two minutes to reach the sear point on a thick cut Rib Eye steak.
After dropping the rib eye into the pan, not move the steak around. Just let it sit there and sear in the skillet, sealing in the juices. After two minutes, use a set of tongs to flip the steak over to sear the other side. A tasty crust will form after searing nicely on each side for a couple of minutes, but a thick rib eye steak will not be cooked all of the through yet.
Using an oven mitt to protect your hand from the hot handle, remove the skillet from the stovetop and place it into the center of the heated oven. Let the steak cook for one to two minutes, and then flip the steak over and cook on the other side for another one to two minutes. (Again, the exact time depends on your oven and the thickness of the cut of your rib eye. With my oven, just about 90 seconds on each side delivers a perfectly cooked, medium-rare rib eye steak).
Use Tongs to Turn the Steak
Never use a fork to turn a steak. The tines of the fork will pierce the meat, allowing all of those tasty juices to run out of the steak and into the pan.
The Big Finish
Let the Rib Eye Rest
Retrieve the skillet from the oven (don't forget to use the oven mitt), and transfer the steak to a plate. While the pan is still piping hot, add a tablespoon or two of butter to the pan. Stir the butter around in the hot pan, loosening any of the little brown bits from the bottom of the pan. The butter may foam up and will start to brown quickly, so work fast and keep the butter moving.
Pour the buttery sauce over the top of the steak, and cover it with a tent of aluminum foil.
Let the Rib Eye rest for at least five minutes before serving. The resting step is critical: cut into the steak too quickly, and the tasty juices will run out of the steak and on to the plate, leaving a dry hunk of meat. Resting the Rib Eye before serving allows the steak to re-absorb all of those flavorful juices. Enjoy!
How Do You Like Your Steak Cooked?
Your Rib Eye Steak Is Cooked Perfectly When:
Rare: Very red, cool center
Medium Rare: Red, warm center
Medium: Pink, hot centerMed
Medium Well: Hint of pink, hot center
Well Done: No pink, hot center