How to Perfectly Cook a Ribeye Steak {Cowboy Steak}

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Posted: 07/09/2021·
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Making the perfect Ribeye Steak is simpler than you’d think! Salt and pepper, plus a hot skillet or grill will take your steaks to the next level! With a few simple tips you’ll be a pro at making steaks! All your friends and family will be impressed with how delicious your Ribeyes are!

Read below for step-by-step instructions for cooking a Ribeye Steak on the BBQ, stovetop, or oven! Learn about the difference between bone-in and bone-out, and how to tell when your steak is ready!

Ribeye steak on wood cutting board with seasoning and rosemary.

Ribeye Steak: The Cowboy Steak

The Ribeye Steak is hands down the cowboy steak, at least in our neck of the woods. If you’re going out to dinner with cowboys, you’re having a “Rib Steak” as they call it around here. If you’re going to dinner or lunch at a neighboring ranch, chances are – you’re gettin’ a Rib Steak. So yep, it’s the cowboy steak. At least for all the cowboys I know!

Now if you’ve landed on this page wondering what the best way is to prepare a Ribeye Steak, you’ve come to the right place. Being surrounded by cowboys and cooking for a crew, I’ve learned a lesson or two about cooking the perfect Ribeye. Ready? Let’s go!

This post is a collaboration with Beef. It’s What’s For Dinner. on behalf of the Beef Checkoff. I received compensation, but all opinions are my own.

Platter of 2 grilled ribeye steaks with browned butter, garlic, and rosemary!

What is a Ribeye Steak?

A Ribeye Steak comes from the rib part of the Beef carcass – the same place Prime Rib Roast comes from! It has lovely natural marbling and flavor. This delicious steak is a crowd pleaser and aims to impress dinner guests!

Ribeyes contain a bone, which can be removed by the butcher if desired. A 3 oz. portion (fat trimmed) contains about 190 calories and 23 grams of protein!

Should I buy bone-in or bone-out steaks?

This is a heated debate amongst steak lovers, but really depends on your personal preferences. Whether you select bone-in or bone-out steaks, they can be cooked the exact same way.

When we are serving a crowd, we typically buy bone-out steaks, just because they weigh less and end up being a little less expensive.

The argument for buying bone-in Ribeyes is that the steaks will hold their shape a little better, and the marrow from the bone has some potential to add flavor to the meat (although research has debunked that theory), some still argue it.

Bone-out steaks tend to cook a little more evenly, as the bone causes the surrounding meat to cook slightly less than the rest of the steak.

There’s no right or wrong answer here, whichever you decide, it will be delicious!

How to Season a Steak

This is also a debate amongst steak lovers! The truth is, all you really need is salt and pepper, just like when making a homemade burger.

The salt is key for getting a great sear on the outside of the Beef! A steak is flavorful in its own right without additional seasoning. However, you can add many different flavors to Beef with steak rubs and herbs!

Since we’re already heading down this road, I should tell you: you can also make a sauce by browning a few tablespoons of butter, minced garlic, and fresh herbs in a skillet. Drizzle over a steak for an unforgettable over-the-top steak dinner! I have included more detailed instructions in the full printable recipe at the end of this post.

How to cook a Ribeye Steak?

The key to a great steak is heat! A steak is best when seared on high heat for a few minutes on each side. Whether you’re cooking your Ribeyes in the oven, on the stove, or on the BBQ, be sure to sear the meat on a hot surface first!

Tip: I recommend salting generously to get the perfect sear on your steaks! Salt right before you place the steaks on the hot surface, so the salt doesn’t have a chance to dissolve.

Ribeye cooking time: This will vary depending on the thickness of your steaks, whether or not you selected a cut with bone or without bone, and how hot your grill is (if grilling). In general, cook Ribeye Steaks for 9-15 minutes, but always use an instant-read thermometer to determine doneness.

  • Medium-Rare =145°F
  • Medium = 160°F
  • Well Done = 170°F

Skillet to Oven Method

  1. Preheat the Oven: Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Preheat the Skillet: Place a cast iron skillet on the stove and turn a burner to medium-high allowing the skillet to heat as you prepare the steak. About 5 minutes.
  3. Prep the Steak: While the skillet and oven heat, season the steak with salt and pepper. If you’d like to add any additional seasoning, do so now.
  4. Sear: Place the meat on the HOT skillet, searing in all that yummy flavor! Leave for two minutes, then flip and sear the other side for an additional two minutes.
  5. Finish Cooking: Flip the steak back to the originally seared side and place the skillet in the oven. Cook in the oven at 350 F until the internal temperature reaches your desired doneness level as measured by a meat thermometer. Remove promptly because the meat will continue to cook for a few minutes once removed.
  6. Rest the Meat: Transfer the meat to a plate and rest for 5-7 minutes. Then serve and enjoy!

BBQ Method

  1. Prep and Heat the Grill: Give your grill a good scraping and turn the burners on high to preheat the grill.
  2. Prep the Steak: While the BBQ heats up, season the steak with salt and pepper. If you’d like to add any additional seasoning, do so now.
  3. Grill Time: While the burners are on high, place the steak directly on the grill and sear for two minutes. Flip and sear the other side for an additional two minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the internal temperature reaches your desired doneness level as measured by a meat thermometer. Remove promptly because the steak will continue to cook for a few minutes once removed.
  4. Rest the Steak: Transfer the meat to a plate and rest for 5-7 minutes. Then serve and enjoy!

Stovetop Method

  1. Preheat the Skillet: Place a cast iron skillet on the stove and turn a burner to medium-high allowing the skillet to heat as you prepare the steak. About 5 minutes.
  2. Prep the Steak: While the skillet heats, season the steak with salt and pepper. If you’d like to add any additional seasoning, do so now.
  3. Sear: Place the steak on the HOT skillet, searing in all that yummy flavor! Leave for two minutes, then flip and sear the other side for an additional two minutes.
  4. Finish Cooking: Flip the steak back to the originally seared side, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the internal temperature reaches your desired doneness level – flipping only once more. Remove promptly because the steak will continue to cook for a few minutes once removed.
  5. Rest the Meat: Transfer the steak to a plate and rest for 5-7 minutes. Then serve and enjoy!

Ribeye FAQ

How much Ribeye Steak per person?

While serving size of steaks depends on how hungry a person is, 3-4 ounces of Beef per person is recommended. However, I have seen cowboys eat a 16 oz. Ribeye in one sitting…so take into account who you’ll be serving. Generally speaking the average person will consume .5 – 1 normal sized Ribeye Steak.

What to do with leftovers?

Leftover steak is one of my favorite things! Make a steak sandwich, fajitas, steak salad, steak & eggs, or tacos!
Get my tips for reheating steaks and even more leftover steak recipes!

Can I make steak ahead of time?

Making steak ahead of time isn’t recommended. Steaks are best enjoyed hot and freshly prepared!

Ribeye Doneness: Rare, Medium, Well Done

Insert an instant-read thermometer horizontally from the side of the steak, so that it penetrates the thickest part or the center of the steak. Avoid touching bone or fat.

For medium-rare the temperature should read 145°F, the temperature for medium steaks should read 160°F, and well done is 170°F.

After cooking, let steaks rest before serving.

What if I don’t have a cast iron skillet?

I definitely recommend a cast iron skillet, but you can absolutely use your favorite frying pan. Treat it the same way you would a cast iron skillet. There should be enough fat in the steak to prevent sticking without adding any oil or butter.

If your pan is prone to sticking, add a little vegetable oil and reduce heat slightly, and keep an eye out for smoking. Butter is not recommended because it can burn easily.

What to serve with Ribeye Steaks?

Beef is the perfect protein for any yummy meal! Serve it with a variety of vegetables, fruit, and if you’d like a starch! Some of my favorites are: baby potatoes with chimichurri, asparagus, grilled artichokes, grilled corn, or a fresh side salad. You really can’t go wrong!


Ribeye steak on cast iron skillet with seasoning and rosemary.

Love Beef? Check out my recipe for steak kabobs, homemade burgers, and two of my favorite ground beef recipe ideas!

Ribeye steak on wood cutting board with seasoning and rosemary.

How to Cook a Ribeye Steak {Cowboy Steak}

Yield: 1 steak
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Additional Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes

Learn how to perfectly cook a Ribeye Steak on the grill, stovetop, or in the oven!

Ingredients

  • 1 Ribeye Steak, about 1 1/2" thick (12 oz.)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Steak Rub (optional)

Instructions

  1. Skillet to Oven Method

    • Preheat the Oven: Preheat the oven to 350 F.
    • Preheat the Skillet: Place a cast iron skillet on the stove, and turn a burner to medium-high allowing the skillet to heat as you prepare the meat. About 5 minutes.
    • Prep the Meat: While the skillet and oven heat, season the meat with salt and pepper. If you’d like to add any additional seasoning, do so now.
    • Sear: Place the meat on the HOT skillet, searing in all that yummy flavor! Leave for two minutes, then flip and sear the other side for an additional two minutes.
    • Finish Cooking: Flip the steak back to the originally seared side, and place the skillet in the oven. Cook in the oven at 350 F until the internal temperature reaches your desired doneness level. Remove promptly because the meat will continue to cook for a few minutes once removed.
    • Rest the Meat: Transfer the meat to a plate and rest for 5-7 minutes. Then serve and enjoy!
  1. BBQ Method

    • Prep and Heat the Grill: Give your grill a good scraping and turn the burners on high to preheat the grill.
    • Prep the Meat: While the BBQ heats up, season the meat with salt and pepper. If you’d like to add any additional seasoning, do so now.
    • Grill Time: While the burners are on high, place the steak directly on the grill and sear for two minutes. Flip and sear the other side for an additional two minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the internal temperature reaches your desired doneness level. Remove promptly because the meat will continue to cook for a few minutes once removed.
    • Rest the Meat: Transfer the meat to a plate and rest for 5-7 minutes. Then serve and enjoy!
  2. Stovetop Method

    • Preheat the Skillet: Place a cast iron skillet on the stove, and turn a burner to medium-high allowing the skillet to heat as you prepare the meat. About 5 minutes.
    • Prep the Meat: While the skillet heats, season the meat with salt and pepper. If you’d like to add any additional seasoning, do so now.
    • Sear: Place the steak on the HOT skillet, searing in all that yummy flavor! Leave for two minutes, then flip and sear the other side for an additional two minutes.
    Finish Cooking: Flip the steak back to the originally seared side, reduce the heat to medium, and cook until the internal temperature reaches your desired doneness level – flipping only once more. Remove promptly because the meat will continue to cook for a few minutes once removed.
    • Rest the Meat: Transfer the meat to a plate and rest for 5-7 minutes. Then serve and enjoy!

Notes

1 12 oz. steak will serve 2-4 people depending on hunger level and steak side dishes.

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