Grilled Ribeye Steaks with Caramelized Onions and Mushrooms are a summer fixture at our house. A simple, easy meal your family will love!
A steakhouse-quality dinner at home
Phil and I used to go to a local steakhouse once a month for an extra-special date night.
Then we discovered that we could do it at home for a fraction of the cost—with better results. SCORE!
In honor of the start of grilling season, I'm sharing our favorite grilled steak recipe. I'll also share our secrets for:
- buying ribeye steaks without breaking the bank
- properly grilling a steak on a charcoal grill
- knowing when your steak is done
This is a joint post with Phil, the uncontested grillmeister of our household.
How to buy ribeye steaks for a bargain
Post-holiday meat sales
A great time to shop for meat is right after a holiday—especially Christmas and Easter.
Grocers have almost always stocked too much meat: you can usually find great deals on your favorite specialty cuts.
This is especially true as the meat's sell-by date gets closer.
What I'm going to say next may seem counterintuitive, given the heading of this section...
Purchase a standing rib roast.
Yes, even when it's on sale it'll set you back anywhere from $75 to a couple hundred dollars depending on the size.
Many times grocers charge less per pound on a roast instead of individual cut steaks.
Added BONUS: you can cut the steaks to the thickness you want.T
Cutting and packaging your steaks
Cut your steaks at least 1 to 1 ½ inches thick if grilling them.
If you get any thicker, I would suggest reverse searing them.
Once properly packaged, they can remain safely frozen for up to one year.
How to grill Ribeye Steaks
Phil enjoys the heck out of grilling and smoking meat.
Another one of Phil's favorite grilling recipes is Greek Marinated Lamb Chops. The flavor is out of this world.
He looks at grilling (or smoking meat) as an event, not a task or chore. A chance to relax, preferably with a baseball game on TV on our screen porch and an adult beverage in hand.
Phil is all about charcoal grilling. He enjoys the process of preparing and tending the coals. I have to say (in my un-expert opinion) that I think you get better flavor this way.
Phil's 10 top steps for grilling steaks
1 - If time permits, dry brine your steak 4-6 hours before cooking it. Salt liberally on both sides and place in refrigerator on a cooling rack allowing air to circulate all around it.
2 - Remove steak 1 hour before grilling. Pat dry with paper towel to remove moisture from the dry brining process.
3 - Add seasoning. I prefer garlic powder and freshly ground black pepper. DO NOT SALT. Your salt from earlier has infused into the steak. (If you did not dry brine, salt liberally on this step)
4 - Make sure your grilling grates are clean and old charcoal has been removed.
5 - Always use a chimney to start the coals. DON'T use self-lighting charcoal or lighter fluid.
6 - Once coals are all lit, pour them onto the grill creating two cooking zones. You do this by laying your hot coals to one side of the grate. This will allow for direct and indirect cooking.
7 - Cover the grill and make sure all vents are wide open. We are preheating the grill for 10 minutes. Temps will reach 450+ degrees.
8 - Open the grill and place your steaks over the hot coal side. Cook on each side uncovered for about 2 minutes. This is providing a sear on the steak.
9 - After the searing (about 4 minutes total), move them to the indirect side of the grill and put the cover on.
10 - Cook an addition 2 minutes covered and check for doneness with an instant read thermometer.
11 - Continue to check every 1-2 minutes always re-covering the grill.
12 - Pull your steaks when internal temp reads 5 degrees below your final desired temperature.
13 - MOST IMPORTANT. Let your steaks rest for a minimum of 5 minutes for juices to redistribute into your steak.
PS: Always use tongs to flip your steak. Never use a fork as piercing the meat will release precious juices and dry out your meat.
|"Grilling should be an event. If you're trying to get it done as quickly as possible, just pan-sear your steak. Or use a gas grill."
—Phil "Grillmeister" Frank
How do I know when my grilled ribeye steak is done?
This is the best way to know when your steaks are ready to pull off the grill.
Insert the probe into the center of the meat in the thickest area and remove the steaks from the grill when they are 5º F from your final desired doneness temperature. Carryover cooking will happen while it rests, raising the internal temperature these final degrees.
|Doneness||Final Temperature |
|Medium Rare||135º F|
|Medium Well||150º F|
|Well Done||160º F|
The "face test"
This is a good way to check the progress of your grilled ribeye steaks. If you touch the meat and:
- it has about the same "give" as when you poke yourself in the hollow (fleshy part) of your cheek, the steak is approximately rare to medium rare. There should be very little resistance.
- it has about the same give/resistance as when you poke yourself in the fleshy part of your chin, the steak is approximately medium. (Slightly less give, slightly more resistance.)
- it has about the same resistance as when you poke yourself in the forehead, the steak is approximately well-done. (Very little give, much more resistance.)
How to caramelized onions and mushrooms
The process takes about 30 minutes, so plan accordingly.
For the mushrooms I use cremini, a.k.a. baby portobellos.
I trim the tip off the stem and discard. Then I make long slices across the mushroom, aiming for ~⅛" thickness.
I use a different method for prepping the onions than you might be used to.
First, cut the ends off the onions. Place the onion on one of the flat, cut sides and slice in half.
Peel, then cut into ~⅛"-thick slices across the short side of the onion halves (see photo #1 below).
Next, preheat a large cast iron skillet. Make sure it is fully heated on medium high for 10 minutes.
Add the butter, onions and mushrooms and saute. Stir frequently until golden brown, about 15-20 minutes.
Then, add Maggi seasoning sauce (about ½ tsp) and freshly ground black pepper.
Continue sauteing for 3–5 more minutes, or until the onions and mushrooms are deeply golden-brown, but not mushy.
You can see from the photos that, while the onions and mushrooms are gorgeously golden-brown, they also still have some texture.
That's exactly what we want.
About the portion size of your grilled ribeye steak...
As with so many fun/delicious things in life, filling up on red meat is not healthy.
Everything in moderation!
A 2-inch thick ribeye steak weighs in at a pound of meat or more.
With the mushrooms and onions, this grilled ribeye steak is more than enough for 2 people—especially if you eat it with side dishes. a
In fact, the American Heart Association recommends even smaller serving sizes (we've split a steak like this three ways with a couple of healthy side dishes).
What side dishes go with ribeye steak?
In addition to the mushrooms and onions, mashed potatoes would be a wonderful side.
For example, in keeping with the steakhouse theme, a perfect pairing would be Easy Skin-On Mashed Potatoes with Horseradish. Or, choose a green vegetable or salad (for example, Green Beans with Bacon and Onions, Easy Microwave Brussels Sprouts, or Arugula-Shaved-Fennel Salad).
That's it! I hope you love these steaks as much as we do. If you need more grilling ideas, check out my Carne Asada with Fajita Vegetables and Grilled Tri-Tip Steak with Chimichurri Sauce! Plus, be sure to have a look at my Virtual Memorial Day Potluck Recipes Roundup!
FOR THE STEAK
- 1 lb ribeye steak (a larger steak is fine: make sure it's cut at least 1.5" thick, but no more than 2" thick)
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
FOR THE CARAMELIZED ONIONS AND MUSHROOMS
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 Vidalia onion (or other sweet onion, cut in half and sliced ~⅛" thick)
- 8 oz cremini mushrooms (a.k.a., baby portobello mushrooms), cleaned, trimmed, and sliced ~⅛" thick
- ½ teaspoon Maggi seasoning sauce
- ⅛ teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Pat the steak dry thoroughly with paper toweling. Cover with plastic wrap and rest at room temperature for 30 minutes. Liberally salt and pepper both sides of the steak right before grilling.
- Meanwhile, prepare your charcoal grill. Light the coals using a chimney starter. When the coals are thoroughly ashed over, dump them into the kettle of your grill on one side for indirect heating. Place the grate on top and clean well.
- Place the steak directly over the hot coals. Grill for 1–3 minutes, until the steak develops a nice sear. Flip and repeat on the other side.
- Move the steak to the indirect side of the grill (but still close to the coals). Grill, flipping once, until done to your liking (see Recipe Notes #3–4).
- When the steak is approximately 5 minutes away from being done, heat a cast-iron skillet over high heat on the stovetop. When the skillet is hot, reduce the heat to medium-high and add the butter. When the butter is melted, tilt the pan to spread the butter and olive oil all around the skillet. Add the onions and mushrooms. Saute, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softening and turning a light, golden-brown color.
- Remove the steak from the grill when it reaches your desired doneness. Rest for a minimum of 10 minutes. Slice the steak against its grain and serve with the mushrooms and onions.
- If you are following a diabetic or low-carb diet, please note that the vidalia onion does contain some carbs, so keep that in mind and adjust how much you eat if you're near your daily carb limit.
- If you are following a paleo, whole 30, or gluten-free diet, you can substitute coconut aminos for the Maggi seasoning sauce.
- If your coals are not putting out sufficient heat, you may need to finish the steak directly over the coals. Or, move to the indirect side and cover the grill. Completely open the top and bottom vent.
- To get a general idea of "where the steak is" in the cooking process, press the center of the meat with your index finger. Compare the "give" of the meat to what it feels like if you press on different parts of your face (a.k.a., the "face test"):
- If you decide to use an instant-read thermometer, insert into the thickest part of the meat. Doneness guidelines (take the meat off at the appropriate temperature below and let rest for at least 10 minutes, or until the onions and mushrooms are done):
- 120º–125º for rare
- 125º–135º for medium-rare
- 135º–145º for medium
- 145º–155º for medium-well
- >155º for well-done
Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: ½ steak, ~1 cup onion-mushroom mix
Amount Per Serving: Unsaturated Fat: 0g