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How to Cook Ribeye Steak

Serves 2     adjust servings

Guys, I honestly thought I didn't like steak that much. BUT OH WAS I WRONG. This Ribeye Steak recipe is unreal! You will not believe how tender and juicy it is! Salting well ahead of time is the secret. Oh, and tons of garlic butter. I've got all the details for the best way to cook ribeye steak, grilled or on the stove top!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ribeye steak, well marbled
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1-2 teaspoons vegetable or canola oil

For the butter sauce

  • 3-4 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme)
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary (or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary)
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and sliced into strips
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • additional salt, as needed

Instructions

  1. Choose your ribeye steak: You can buy either bone-in or boneless steak for this recipe. The most important thing is to buy a high quality steak (read: expensive. Mine was $15/pound.) The grade of the meat should be labeled USDA Prime, or Choice if you are desperate. Don't buy Select, it is not appropriate for this cooking method. The steak should be well marbled, which means that you can see lots of swirly white veins of fat all over the meat. Fat=flavor. Bring it on.
  2. Prepare your ribeye steak: At least 4 hours or up to 48 hours before you want to eat, prepare your steak by rubbing it with a ton of kosher salt. For 1 pound of steak, I used 2 teaspoons kosher salt (one teaspoon per side, and make sure to get the edges too). This sounds like a lot! But something magical happens while it sits for so long: the salt first draws out the moisture, but then absorbs it back into the meat and tenderizes and flavors the entire steak, not just the outside. Place the salted steak on a plate and put it in your fridge uncovered. Yes, uncovered. This allows the steak to dry out and give you an incredible sear when you cook it. (NOTE: If you are using table salt (regular salt that you find on the table in any restaurant) then use a total of 1 and 1/2 teaspoons).
  3. 30 minutes before cooking: Get your salted steak out of the fridge and set it on the counter for at least 30 minutes. Don't cook a cold steak, it will be overdone on the edges and undone in the middle. Just before cooking, drizzle the steak with 1-2 teaspoons canola or vegetable (or any high heat) oil, and rub it all over the steak. Don't be shy.
  4. Make the garlic butter sauce: In a small bowl, add 3-4 tablespoons butter and melt it in the microwave. (The more butter you use the more drizzling sauce you will end up with.) Add 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1 teaspoon thyme leaves, and 1 teaspoon chopped rosemary. (Use 1/2 teaspoon each dried thyme and rosemary if you don't have fresh). Use the side of a chef's knife to smash two cloves of garlic. Peel them and slice the garlic into strips. Add the garlic to the butter. Stir it together and set aside. If you have fresh thyme and rosemary, prep the sprigs you are using and set them nearby.

Grill Method with Cast Iron Skillet

  1. Place your dry cast iron skillet onto the grill rack. Preheat your grill to high heat and shut the lid. Ours got up to 700 degrees F. It should take at least 15 minutes. The higher the better! (If you are using a non-gas grill, set up two heating zones: one for high heat, and a separate zone for low heat.) Make sure the cast iron preheats as long as the grill, you need it super hot.
  2. If you haven't done it yet, drizzle the steak with 1-2 teaspoons canola or vegetable (or any high heat) oil, and rub it all over the steak. Be generous.
  3. Be prepared with hot pads, tongs, a meat thermometer, the garlic butter, and a spoon. Check the temperatures in the notes and decide now what doneness level you are cooking your steak to.
  4. Add the well-oiled meat to the dry skillet. It will smoke like crazy. Sear the meat with the grill lid open for 1-3 minutes, until you have a very dark brown sear. Flip the steak with the tongs and sear the other side for about 1-2 minutes until it is nice and brown. Keep the lid open.
  5. Turn the heat down to low (or move your steak to the low-heat zone) and check the temperature of the center of the steak. When your steak is about 5-10 degrees below when you want to take it out (usually a little after turning the heat to low), add the garlic butter on top of the steak. Add the thyme and rosemary sprigs to the pan if you are using them. Use the hot pads  to tilt the pan to the side and let the butter pool on the edge. Dip the spoon into the butter and continually douse the steak with it, over and over. See photos. Move the garlic slices around with the butter and make sure that they spend enough time in the pan that they get slightly browned, but once they reach that point, spoon them on top of the steak and leave them so they don't burn. (Same with the thyme and rosemary sprigs.)
  6. Once you have turned the heat to low, if you want medium rare steak (you do), it should only take about 5 minutes to finish cooking. I took my steak off the heat when it reached 120 degrees F. Keep in mind that the steak will continue cooking off-heat and will raise in temperature about 5 degrees.
  7. Transfer the steak and all juices to a plate or rimmed platter. Cover with foil and wait at least 5-10 minutes before slicing against the grain and serving. Be sure to pass the butter sauce at the table so your guests can spoon it over their steak!

Grill Method without Skillet

  1. Preheat your grill to high heat. Ours got up to 700 degrees F. The higher the better! It should take at least 15 minutes. (If you are using a non-gas grill, set up two heating zones: one for high heat, and a separate zone for low heat.) Make sure your grill grates are clean.
  2. If you haven't done it yet, drizzle the steak with 1-2 teaspoons canola or vegetable (or any high heat) oil, and rub it all over the steak. Don't be shy.
  3. Prepare the garlic butter. To a small saucepan, add 3-4 tablespoons butter, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves (or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme), 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary (or 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary), and 2 cloves sliced garlic. Add the fresh thyme and rosemary sprigs to the pan and turn the heat to medium. Cook for 2-4 minutes, until the butter has turned brown and the garlic is lightly toasted. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Oil the grill grates a bit and add the steak over high heat. Shut the lid and sear for about 1-3 minutes, until grill marks show. Flip the steak and sear the other side for another 1-3 minutes. Turn the heat to low. (Move the steak to your low-heat zone if you aren't using gas.) Cook the steak over low heat  with the lid shut for another 3-5 minutes until a meat thermometer registers 5 degrees below the temperature you want (it will continue cooking after you remove it from the grill). See notes for doneness temperatures. For medium rare, a 1-inch steak should take about 9-12 minutes total on the grill. I like to remove my steak when it has reached about 120 degrees.
  5. Remove the steak to a plate or rimmed platter. Immediately spoon the cooked garlic butter over the top of the steak. Cover with foil and wait at least 5- 10 minutes before slicing. The steak will continue cooking and will raise in temperature about 5 degrees.

Stovetop Method

  1. If you haven't done it yet, drizzle the steak with 1-2 teaspoons canola or vegetable (or any high heat) oil, and rub it all over the steak.
  2. Place your dry cast iron skillet on the burner and turn the heat to high. Let the pan preheat for at least 5 minutes. It may start smoking and that's okay.
  3. Add the well-oiled steak to the dry pan and sear for 1-3 minutes, until it is a deep golden brown. Use tongs to flip the steak and sear the other side for another 1-3 minutes.
  4. Turn the heat to low and continue cooking.
  5. When your steak is about 10 degrees below when you want to take it out (usually around the time you turn the heat to low), add the garlic butter on top of the steak. Add the thyme and rosemary sprigs to the pan if you are using them. Use the hot pads  to tilt the pan to the side and let the butter pool on the edge. Dip the spoon into the butter and continually douse the steak with it, over and over. See photos. Move the garlic slices around with the butter and make sure that they spend enough time in the pan that they get slightly browned, but once they reach that point, spoon them on top of the steak and leave them so they don't burn. (Same with the thyme and rosemary sprigs.)
  6. Once you have turned the heat to low, if you want medium rare steak (you do), it should only take about 5 minutes to finish cooking. I took my steak off the heat when it reached 120 degrees F. Keep in mind that the steak will continue cooking off-heat and will raise in temperature about 5 degrees.
  7. Transfer the steak and all juices to a plate or rimmed platter. Cover with foil and wait at least 5-10 minutes before slicing against the grain and serving. Be sure to pass the butter sauce at the table so your guests can spoon it over their steak!

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