Cut from the center of a prime rib roast, a rib-eye is loaded with flavor. Learn easy techniques for how to cook a rib-eye to perfection every time.
Grill masters go crazy for rib-eye steak. Any neighbors (or dogs) downwind from a rib-eye steak sizzling on a grill will surely smell the mouthwatering aroma and will have to fight the urge to pay a visit.
What’s in a Name: Rib-Eye Defined
The rib-eye is actually the center-most part of a delicious prime rib roast (or the “eye of the roast”), which means that it is the juiciest and most flavorful of all steaks. The steak is most often cut and sold without the bone from the animal’s upper rib cage—or rib primal—in the midsection. Typically, the meat is cut from ribs six through twelve, between the loin and shoulder. The meat is so tender because the muscle in that area is only lightly used.
Another type of rib-eye steak—this one with bone left on—is called the “cowboy cut” or “cowboy rib-eye steak” and is a show-stopping cut because of its impressive size.
Like a prime rib roast, the rib-eye steak has excellent marbling, giving it loads of flavor and providing the fat needed to help it stay tender during cooking. Most chefs agree that a succulent rib-eye steak is best grilled and served medium rare, but it can still be tender if grilled to medium.
In restaurants, the prized rib-eye steak is also known by many names: “Beauty Steak,” “Delmonico Steak,” “Spencer Steak,” “Market Steak,” “Scotch Filet,” and the French term “entrecôte.”
You can find restaurant-quality steaks to prepare at home at many grocery stores, specialty butchers and online…even aged steaks can be purchased online.
Cooking a Rib-Eye for Best Results
Rib-eye steaks are ideal for dry-heat cooking: grilling, broiling or searing in a cast-iron skillet. Their versatility comes from the perfect combination of flavor and tenderness. The way the meat’s fat melts into the steak infuses a buttery richness that die-hard rib-eye steak fans say is second to none.
Before you cook any steak, let it come to room temperature for at least 10 minutes or more. When you first set the steak out, season it at the beginning of this process to allow the flavors to absorb prior to cooking.
Chefs agree that the best rib-eye steaks only need salt and coarse black pepper for seasoning. Feel free to be generous with the salt because it draws the liquid out of the meat; the juice then gets re-absorbed during cooking, in a process similar to using a brine.
Some experts say that 135 degrees is the optimum temperature for this steak. Just shy of medium doneness, the longer cook time allows the fat to render, creating an absolutely tender bite.
Whether you cook a rib-eye steak on the grill or pan sear it in a hot skillet, using grapeseed oil is recommended for its high smokepoint; it allows the steak to sear without burning and reduces the chance that you’ll set off the fire alarm!
Even though you might be drooling at this point with anticipation, be patient. When the steaks have reached their allotted cook time, remove them from the grill or pan and place them on a cutting board, where they should rest for 10 minutes prior to cutting or serving. During the resting period, the steaks will become even juicier. While the steaks rest, you can even add a pat of butter, or a flavored compound butter on top for extra seasoning and to enhance the meat’s melt-in-your-mouth texture.
Rib-eye steaks might be a bit more expensive than other cuts, but they are definitely worth the investment. And a one-pound steak is enough to share, especially if you complement the beef with a classic baked potato, sautéed mushrooms and a crisp salad.
Now let us connect you with some premium aged rib-eye steaks!