I sear ribeye steak on the stove top, then finish in the oven for perfect juicy results every time, all year long, no grill required!
what is ribeye steak?
A ribeye steak is a premium cut of beef that comes from the rib section of the cow. It’s known for its rich marbling, tenderness, and intense beefy flavor. The fat in the meat melts and bastes the steak as it cooks, making it one of the juiciest steaks. Ribeye steaks can come bone-in (with the rib bone attached) or boneless. The bone adds extra flavor and can help with even cooking, but boneless ribeye steaks are also common. Ribeyes can range from 1-3 pounds. Today I’m cooking two bone-in big guys ~ 3 pounds each!
what you’ll need
- ribeye steak
- my steaks are bone-in, about 3 lbs each. You can use boneless steaks as well. For bone-in ribeye you should allow up to a pound per person (the bone adds a lot of weight.) For a boneless ribeye you can allow 8-12 ounces per person.
- olive oil
- kosher or sea salt
- salted butter
should you buy bone-in or boneless ribeye?
The bone adds extra flavor and can provide some insulation while cooking, contributing to a more even cooking process resulting in a juicier steak. The bone also makes quite a dramatic presentation, for sure. Be sure to consider your pan sizes when purchasing bone-in ribeye steak ~ they can be large!
Boneless ribeye steaks are a little more convenient, and easier to carve ~ no shame in that!
ribeye vs tomahawk steak
They’re basically the same cut of meat. A tomahawk steak is a bone-in ribeye with an extended rib bone, resembling a tomahawk axe handle. The tomahawk is better suited to outdoor grilling while the ribeye works just as well on the stove top or in the oven like we’re doing today.
the simple method for cooking perfect ribeye steak in your kitchen
Great steak is not a mystery ~ it’s utterly simple to cook any steak with these five steps.
- Take the chill off your steak
- Take it out of the fridge about an hour before you plan to cook it. This brings up the interior temperature a bit and allows the steak to cook more evenly.
- Season the steak liberally with salt
- Don’t hold back on salt, especially if your steak is thick ~ it’s one of the secrets of the best steakhouses! I like to season my steak about 30 minutes before cooking.
- Sear it in a hot pan
- Make sure your pan is heavy duty; cast iron is perfect. Let the steaks sit for several minutes to get that great flavorful sear.
- Butter and garlic baste
- The other secret to a great steak? Butter! Add it along with some smashed garlic cloves and herbs to the pan and baste the steak with all that melty goodness (tilt the pan to scoop up the buttery sauce with a large spoon.) Note: if your steak is 1″ or thinner, you can finish it right in the pan. If your steak is 1 1/2″ or thicker, move on to step 5.
- Moderate heat until done to desired level
- Pop in a moderate (350F) oven until the interior reaches your preferred doneness. You’ll want an instant read thermometer for this.
Temperature guide for the perfect steak
- Rare: 120-125°F (49-52°C) – The center of the steak will be bright red and cool to the touch.
- Medium Rare: 130-135°F (54-57°C) – The center will be warm and pink with a slightly red center.
- Medium: 140-145°F (60-63°C) – The center will be warm and pink with a slightly smaller pink area in the middle.
- Medium Well: 150-155°F (65-68°C) – The center will have a small hint of pink surrounded by a mostly gray-brown color.
- Well Done: 160°F (71°C) and above – The steak will be cooked throughout and have no pink, with a consistent brown or gray color. Not recommended 😉
Best way to season ribeye steak
I’m a believer in salt and fresh cracked black pepper. I prefer to let the flavor of the meat take center stage, and add flavor through a pan sauce or flavored butter. You can also use other seasonings like garlic powder, herbs, or a steak rub if you want to, but one of the pleasures and perks of cooking a good steak is that you don’t need to do much more than provide the heat source.
how to carve a ribeye steak
Make sure your steak has rested for 5-10 minutes, this allows the juices in the meat to redistribute so they won’t come flooding out when you slice into it.
You can begin by separating the bone from the meat. Just follow the bone as you make short cuts with your knife to separate it out. A flexible boning knife makes this easy, but it’s not essential.
Then slice your steak across the grain. You can slice it thin or a little thicker, depending on your preference.
slicing steak against the grain can be difficult with ribeye
The ribeye steak is known for its marbling and tenderness, and the grain is often less noticeable compared to cuts like flank steak or skirt steak. While you can still observe some muscle fibers in a ribeye steak, they might not be as distinct as they are in other cuts.
However, the principle of cutting against the grain to improve tenderness still applies to ribeye steak. When you look at the steak, you might notice subtle lines or striations, and cutting against these lines can help make the steak more tender and easier to eat.
making tarragon butter
One thing I love to do with steak is plop a big old pat of herb butter on it, hot out of the oven. The butter melts and adds extra richness to the steak, along with the fresh herb flavors. I had lots of late summer tarragon in my garden so that’s what I used, but you could use rosemary, thyme, basil, sage…
- Start with room temperature salted butter and finely minced fresh herbs. Use anywhere from 2 teaspoons to 2 tablespoons per stick of butter.
- Blend/mash the butter and herbs together with a spoon.
- Form into a log and then wrap in plastic, smoothing out the log as you wrap and twist the ends to secure it.
- Chill until firm enough to slice.
Your compound butter can be frozen for later use, just wrap well and place in a heavy duty zip lock freezer bag.
Steak is an amazing meal, but, let’s face it, it needs a few sides to make it complete…
- Roasted Potatoes with Rosemary
- Authentic Irish Colcannon Recipe (Mashed Potatoes with Kale)
- Carolina Gold Barbecue Potato Salad
- Hasselback Potatoes with Lemon Garlic Butter
- French Potato and Onion Gratin
- Skinny Fries
- Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Honey and Sage
- Whipped Sweet Potatoes with Browned Butter
- Green Beans Almondine
- Sweet Corn Polenta
- Sweet Corn Spoonbread Casserole
- Ina Garten’s Cauliflower Gratin ~ Updated!
- Favorite Green Bean Casserole from scratch!
- Maple Candied Brussels Sprouts with Bacon
- Creamed Brussels Sprouts
- Rainbow Carrots with Browned Butter and Sage
- Broccoli Cheese Casserole (the ultimate make ahead recipe)
- Asparagus Gratin
ribeye steak faqs
I have 2 ribeye steaks but my pan isn’t big enough!
- Sear each steak separately, then place each on a baking sheet for the oven.
My steaks are boneless, and not nearly as large as yours, how do I adjust?
- For smaller steaks sear them for 3-4 minutes per side, and use your thermometer to cook them the rest of the way until your desired doneness. If your steak is 1″ or thinner, you can cook it right in your skillet, no need to transfer to the oven to finish.
How much ribeye should I allow per person?
- For a bone-in steak allow up to a pound per person. For boneless, allow 8-12 ounces.
What’s the best way to thaw a frozen ribeye steak?
- The safest way is to thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. If you’re in a hurry, you can use the cold water method by placing the steak in a sealed plastic bag and submerging it in cold water for a few hours.
Can I marinate a ribeye steak?
- While ribeye steaks are flavorful on their own, you can marinate them for added flavor. Use a marinade with acid (like citrus or vinegar) and your choice of herbs and spices:
- Olive oil or vegetable oil
- Acid (e.g., vinegar, citrus juice, wine)
- Fresh herbs (e.g., rosemary, thyme, parsley)
- Garlic cloves (minced or crushed)
- Salt and pepper
- Marinate for at least 30 minutes to a few hours in the refrigerator.
How to Cook Ribeye Steak
- large oven ready skillet mine is a 17" cast iron skillet from Lodge
- baking sheet if your pan doesn't fit 2 steaks
tarragon butter, optional
- 1/2 cup salted butter
- 2 Tbsp fresh tarragon leaves, very finely minced
- 1 clove garlic, very finely minced
- Remove your steak from the fridge an hour before you plan to cook. This allows the interior temperature to come up a bit for more even cooking.
- Preheat your oven to 350F. Rub your steaks with oil and season liberally on all sides with salt. I like to do this 30 minutes before cooking.
- Heat your skillet over medium high heat until quite hot. Sear the steaks on the first side for about 5 minutes. (You should hear a good sizzle when the steaks hit the pan, otherwise it's not hot enough.) Don't move them during this time.
- Flip the steaks over and add the butter, garlic, and rosemary to the pan. As the butter melts, baste the steaks repeatedly. Remember, don't move the steaks as they sear on that second side for another 4 minutes or so.
- Slide the pan into the preheated oven and cook until your desired doneness. I find it very useful to insert a programmable temperature probe into the thickest part of one steak which will alert me with a beep when the meat reaches the exact temperature. The exact time will depend on how large and thick your steaks are. Mine took a full 25 minutes to reach medium rare.
- Remove the steaks from the oven and set them aside on a platter to rest for 5-10 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat. Top the steaks with a pat of tarragon butter, if you like.
- Slice the meat against the grain and serve, with more butter if you like.
to make tarragon butter
- Mash the soft butter, herbs, and garlic together with the back of a spoon until well blended.
- Spoon the mixture onto a piece of plastic wrap and form into a small log. Roll up in the wrap and twist the ends tightly to secure. Chill until firm and sliceable. Alternatively you can spoon the butter into a small pot.
- For gas grills: Turn all burners to high and preheat with the lid closed for 10-15 minutes.
- For charcoal grills: Light the charcoal and let it burn until the coals are covered with white ash. Bank the coals to one side for indirect grilling or spread them out evenly for direct grilling.
- Take the ribeye steak(s) out of the refrigerator and let them sit at room temperature for about 1 hour.
- If desired, rub the steaks with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. You can also add minced garlic and fresh herbs for extra flavor. Pat the seasonings onto the steak to ensure they adhere.
- Place the steak(s) directly over the high heat on the grill grates.
- Sear the steak on one side for 4-5 minutes until it develops a nice crust. Avoid constantly flipping the steak, as this can prevent a good sear from forming.
- Flip the steak and sear the other side for another 4 minutes.
- If you’re using a gas grill, reduce the heat to medium or move the steak to a cooler part of the grill. For a charcoal grill, move the steak to the indirect heat side.
- Grill the steak for an additional time, adjusting the time based on your desired doneness. Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature:
- Rare: 120-125°F (49-52°C)
- Medium-rare: 130-135°F (54-57°C)
- Medium: 140-145°F (60-63°C)
- Medium-well: 150-155°F (66-68°C)
- Well-done: 160°F (71°C) and above
- Remove the steak from the grill and let it rest for about 5-10 minutes on a cutting board. This allows the juices to redistribute and results in a juicier steak.