How to Cook a Great Rib-eye Steak

Sometimes there’s nothing better than a juicy, slightly charred, well-seasoned steak. In our house, we usually have steak three to four times a month. My husband’s a steak and potatoes kinda guy, and steak also happens to be quick and easy to prepare. How to cook a great rib-eye steak has been a project of mine.

TIP: If you pay attention, you can usually find a good package of steaks on sale at the grocery store every week or two. I stock up on a few packages, transfer them to freezer bags put them in our deep freeze to save both time and money.

I’ve tried various cuts of steak from sirloin to filet, and t-bone to porterhouse. However, my absolute favorite to cook with AND eat is rib-eye. Rib-eye’s consistent fat marbling, along with its tender grain, make for a piece of steak that melts in your mouth – if it’s cooked properly.

Most nights I prep our steak very simply by coating them with Worcestershire sauce, sprinkling the outside with Grill Mates Montreal Seasoning, and then popping them in the fridge to rest for about a half-hour. Then, about 20 minutes before I’m ready to cook I pull out the steaks and let them come to room temperature.

Some nights I get a little crazy and use a homemade marinade like this:

Marinade for Two Rib-eye Steaks
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (about 1/2 a lemon’s worth)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
Whisk all the ingredients together, and pour into a gallon zip top bag*. Add the rib-eyes, zip the top, and maneuver the baggy until the meat is completely coated. Let them marinate for at least 30 minutes, but as long as overnight, turning every so often to make sure both sides marinate evenly.

TIP: Pull the rib-eyes out of the fridge and allow them to come to room temp prior to cooking. This allows for more even cooking when they go in a hot pan, or on a hot grill.


*An alternative to a zip top bag is to use a baking dish – cover tightly with plastic wrap before refrigerating.

Definition of “sear” from –verb (used with object) to burn or char the surface of: She seared the steak to seal in the juices.

Cooking the rib-eyes is very simple, and the only additional ingredient you’ll need is salt (preferable course sea salt). Whether you’re grilling outside, stove top, or broiling, the goal is the same: Sear the outside and don’t fuss with the rib-eyes once they hit the grill/pan/broiler.

(For medium rare with a 1″ thick rib-eye)

A stove top grill pan tends to be my goto cooking choice most of the time. I let the pan preheat on medium/high with a couple tablespoons of olive oil before adding the rib-eyes.

What’s considered “medium/high” you ask? My burner is set just below 8, with a dial that maxes out at 9. And, yes, I have an electric range, although one day I’d love a gas one!Here’s the thing, you don’t want your olive oil to smoke. But, you do want it to sizzle and pop when you flick drops of water in it. Depending on the type of stove you have, and the how heavy a pan you’re using, you might need to adjust your temp a bit.

Back to the how-to….The grill pan preheats on med/high for about five minutes with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon of salt on one side of the rib-eyes. Lay the rib-eyes SALT SIDE DOWN in your hot pan. It should sizzle, so if you hear nothing then you need a hotter pan. Sprinkle an additional 1/4 teaspoon of salt on the side facing up. Let it sear for 6 minutes.

VERY IMPORTANT: Don’t fuss with the rib-eyes, don’t move them, don’t pick them up, don’t peek, do anything! In fact, now would be a great time to make your salad, check on the kids, read a chapter in your book…something other than touching the meat. I set my timer so that I don’t forget to come back to them.

When the six minutes are up, flip your steaks and repeat the paragraph above, again for six minutes.


When the timer goes off the second time, remove your rib-eyes to a plate and let them sit for at least five minutes before serving so that the juices absorb back in. If you were to cut into the steak right after it’s removed from the pan, all the yummy juices would run out.


After patiently waiting the five or ten minutes before digging in, what you’re left with is a succulent rib-eye, buttery in texture, with a charred undertone (better accentuated by an outdoor grill), and so juicy you’d think each bite was dipped in au jus. Seriously.

The only things that make these rib-eyes better are creamy mashed potatoes and a fresh, crisp salad.
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  1. says

    I’m not snobbish enough to refuse other cuts, but yes…there is a distinct difference between rib-eye and the others(except, maybe, prime rib?). :)

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