This reverse seared ribeye recipe is simple to follow and produces restaurant-quality steaks...EVERY TIME. The flavorful rub perfectly complements the flavor of the beef. Read on for step-by-step instructions for creating this amazing steakhouse dinner at home!
I love a thick ribeye as much as anyone. But shelling out $40, $50 or even $60 to have a restaurant prepare this for me is just not in the budget.
More importantly, it rarely lives up to the hype!
Because of this, I decided to perfect making these fabulous ribeye steaks at home and the family agrees: they come out BETTER than what we get eating out!
For this recipe, I am using a huge (nearly 3 pound), single bone-in ribeye steak.
(Don't worry, you don't need this big a steak for the recipe. Any steak that's 1.5 inches or thicker will do)
You're probably thinking..."how the heck are you going to cook a 3 inch steak properly?"
As you will see, it is really quite easy and foolproof!
The secret to cooking thick steaks is using a process called reverse searing.
What is reverse searing?
Reverse searing is when you first cook your steak at a low and controlled temperature.
Then, once you are close to the internal temperature you want, you remove the steak from the low heat and place it over high heat to sear and create a beautiful outer crust.
This process is ideal for any thick steaks like ribeye, porterhouse, or Filet Mignon.
For this reverse seared ribeye recipe, we will use our oven for the low and controlled temperature and a hot cast iron skillet for the sear.
Want to do this on your grill? No problem. I detail how to do this later in the post.
Why reverse sear?
The picture below does a fantastic job of explaining the best reason why you want to reverse sear thick steaks...
Reverse searing enables you to perfectly and evenly cook the inside of your thick steaks to your desired doneness.
Ever notice that traditionally cooked steaks are more done on the outside, but cooked to your preferred doneness only in the very middle? See how the 3.25 inch steak in the photo above is cooked to a perfect medium rare, end to end and top to bottom.
That's the magic of reverse searing! Now let's get cooking.
Begin by picking a good ribeye
It needs to be thick!
The reverse searing process works best for thick cuts of meat, so you should pick a ribeye that's at least 1.5 inches thick.
Also, make sure this thickness is uniform. You don't want one end measuring ½ inch thinner than the other end.
Go for quality
There are three grades of beef: PRIME, CHOICE & SELECT. Prime is the best, then Choice, then Select.
Purchase the best grade you can afford. The better the grade, the better the steak will be.
(For reference, my 3 pound PRIME ribeye was on sale for $50 at Wild Fork Foods)
Evaluate the steak
Check out the marbling
Marbling refers to the little bits of white fat that runs throughout the meat of the steak. More marbling the better.
These little fat pockets provide flavor and melt while cooking and keep the steak extra juicy.
How's the color?
Look for cherry-red. Stay away from anything turning dark red, brown, or grey.
How to reverse sear a ribeye steak
Trim excess fat
Ribeyes can have large fat pockets. I prefer to trim these down.
This is optional, but I do it because it allows more of my flavorful rub to stick to the meaty sides of the steak and not the fat (which would eventually get cut off anyway).
Dry brine the meat
I prefer to dry brine (pre-salt) my ribeye at least 4 hours before cooking it.
Dry brining allows the salt to penetrate deep into the meat, which not only flavors the meat but also allows it to retain moisture during the cook. This makes for an even juicier steak.
I used a full tablespoon of kosher salt for this 3 pound ribeye (1 teaspoon per pound). Thicker meats require more salt (and time) than thinner cuts.
Once salted, set it onto a cooling rack placed inside of a baking sheet. Allow this to rest in your refrigerator uncovered, 4 to 24 hours. (Yes, longer is just fine!)
If you don't have time to pre-salt, you can always salt it when you apply the beef rub.
Make the beef rub
Mix all the ingredients below into a small bowl or shaker. (This is enough for one steak)
|Freshly Ground Pepper||2 tsp|
|Garlic Powder, granulated||1 tsp|
|Crushed Rosemary||1 tsp|
Apply the rub
About one hour before cooking, it's time to apply the rub. This extra time allows the spices to soften and bloom.
Begin by splashing a few dashes of Worcestershire Sauce around the whole ribeye. This acts as a binder for the rub.
Then apply a generous amount of rub on the sides and the edges of the steak.
Let this rest at room temperature for one hour before cooking.
Prepare for baking
Pre-heat your oven to 250ºF.
Insert a leave in meat thermometer into the center of the thickest part of the ribeye.
Bake on low heat
We are now ready for the low and controlled cook phase of the reverse sear process.
Place the steak, still on the cooling rack and baking tray, on the middle rack of your pre-heated 250 ºF oven.
Baking on a cooling rack allows for even heat penetration on both sides of the steak. Added bonus: you can cook up to 4 steaks at one time.
Allow this to cook until you are 5 ºF from your desired internal temperature. For reference, my 3 inch steak took almost 2 hours to get to this temp.
|Doneness||Final Temperature |
|Medium Rare||135º F|
|Medium Well||150º F|
|Well Done||160º F|
Once the steak is within 5 ºF of your target temperature, remove it from the oven and allow it to rest uncovered on the cooling rack.
The temperature will continue to rise these remaining 5 ºF. This is called carryover cooking.
For example, I pulled my ribeye out when it hit 125ºF because I wanted a final internal temp of around 130 ºF.
Time for the sear
While the ribeye is resting, it's time to pre-heat your cast iron skillet.
Place the skillet on your largest burner and pre-heat for 5 minutes on medium-high.
Once pre-heated, add a tablespoon of grapeseed oil* and a tablespoon of butter to the pan. Throw in a fresh sprig of rosemary.
*any neutral oil with a high smoke point is fine, but DON'T USE OLIVE OIL.
Allow the oil and butter to heat up for an additional minute then place your steak in the hot pan.
Sear for a minimum of one minute. Then sneak a peek to see if the crust is to your liking. Cook longer if necessary.
Once seared, flip it over and sear the other side.
Pro chef tip: spoon the butter mixture over the steak a few times during the searing process.
If you are cooking more than one steak, just sear one after the other. The steaks that finish earlier can rest a bit longer if you cover them with tinfoil.
Rest the steak
Once both sides are seared to your liking, remove the steak and place it on a cutting board. Ladle some of the butter-oil from the pan over the top for added flavor.
Rest the steak for 10 minutes, then serve and enjoy.
What to serve with ribeye steaks
These are some of our favorite sides to enjoy with a steak dinner:
- Cream of Mushroom Soup or Fresh Tomato Soup
- Sauteed Peppers, Mushrooms & Onions
- Skin-On Mashed Potatoes with Horseradish
- Microwave Brussels Sprouts, Cauliflower, Broccoli or Asparagus
- Chimichurri Pasta Salad or Caprese Salad with Balsamic Glaze
What to do with leftovers
An obvious and delicious answer is to make Prime Rib Sandwiches. It's one reason we bought a 3 pound steak for only two people.
We also always save the bones and make Beef Pho Noodle Soup with them. This is another family favorite we just can't seem to get enough of.
How to reverse sear a ribeye on a grill
Whether you are using a gas or charcoal grill, the reverse sear process is essentially the same as outlined above.
The only concern is getting the heat right.
Set up for indirect heat
You need to set up your grill for indirect heat and establish a low and controlled temp anywhere from 225ºF - 275ºF.
For a gas grill, Weber has a good article on how to do this.
For a charcoal grill, I have a post called How to Smoke on a Charcoal Grill that shows how to set up the charcoal to maintain these low temps.
Simply leave out the wood chunks for smoking—unless, of course, you want smoke flavor, which would be awesome!
Set up for the sear phase
For the sear phase, it's a matter of pre-heating the grill at a very high temperature.
For gas grills, fire up all burners to high and preheat for 5 - 10 minutes with the lid down—then you're good to go.
With the charcoal grill, you will need push all your hot coals (and most likely some unlit coals) into the middle of your charcoal grate. Form an even, circular layer that's larger than your ribeye.
Keep the lid off and fully open all the lower vents. Once all the coals have ashed over and are red hot, sear away.
Note that if you've decided to smoke the ribeye, you shouln't add wood chunks during the sear phase.
So that's really it: it's so simple to create steakhouse-quality steaks in your own kitchen! With a couple of sides, we've stretched a 3-ish pound steak into four generous meals.
We hope that your family loves these steaks!
—Stay safe and well, friends!
- Four hours before cooking, trim excess fat from steak and salt both sides and edges. Place on a cooling rack set inside a foil-lined baking tray. Place into the refrigerator, uncovered, for 4 hours to dry brine. (See Recipe Note #1)
- 1 hour before cooking, prepare the beef rub. In a small bowl, combine and mix the black pepper, garlic powder and crushed rosemary. (Add 1 tablespoon of kosher salt if you did not dry brine in step 1)
- After making the rub, remove from steak from the fridge and sprinkle all over with Worcestershire sauce. Then liberally apply the rub to both sides and the edges. Rest at room temperature for one hour.
- After the steak has rested 45 minutes at room temperature, pre-heat your oven to 250ºF.
- Once the oven is pre-heated, insert a leave-in meat thermometer into the thickest center part of the steak. Place the baking tray with the steak (still on the cooling rack) into the oven on the middle rack.
- Cook until the meat reaches a temperature that is 5 ºF from being done to your desired temperature (see chart in the post above). At this point, remove the baking tray with the steak and rest uncovered.
- Meanwhile, pre-heat a cast iron skillet on medium-high for 5 minutes. Add oil, butter, and rosemary sprig. Heat an additional minute.
- Place steak in the hot pan and sear undisturbed for a minimum of one minute. Check to see if the crust is to your liking, cooking longer if necessary. Flip the steak and repeat on the other side.
- Once seared on both sides, remove steak from the cast iron skillet and onto a cutting board to rest uncovered for 10 minutes. (See Recipe Note #2)
- Use 1 teaspoon of kosher salt per pound of steak. Steaks can dry brine up to 24 hours.
- If you are searing multiple steaks, tent the steaks with foil after searing them. Allow the last one to rest uncovered for 10 minutes while the first ones remain tented.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 2 Serving Size: ½ steak
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1060Total Fat: 77gSaturated Fat: 33gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 42gCholesterol: 280mgSodium: 1355mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 85g
Nutrition data provided here is only an estimate: if you are tracking this information for medical purposes, please consult a trusted external source. Thanks!