How to Cook a Ribeye

Written by Bridget Wright

There are several portions of beef that are highly rated by beef lovers, including the shank, brisket, the sirloin portion and the chuck steak section. All of these portions of the cow are quite tasty, but the most tender, juicy selections of meat come from the middle section -- the rib portion -- where the ribeye steak is cut.

A good steak dinner is classic, hearty meal for many people who love the taste and pleasure of selecting, preparing and serving beef. Coupled with the right side complements and perhaps a nice bottle of wine or a cold beer, a steak dinner is a guaranteed celebration of dining.

One of the premium cuts of beef is the ribeye portion. There are numerous variations on how to cook ribeye steak so as to get the most enjoyment from this cut of beef. Ribeye steak can be cooked by baking or broiling with great results because it is a premium beef cut. Grilling, however, is the most popular way to cook ribeye steak.

The ribeye steak portion of the cow comes from the middle part of its body, or the beef rib section. An excellent ribeye steak should be juicy and tender. Ribeye steak is one of the most expensive cuts of steak on the market. The meat from the rib section has tender sections and more fatty areas. The marbled, fatty areas contribute to ribeye steak’s great taste and texture and makes grilling this cut of meat an excellent option. The extra fat on the beef it moist and flavorful and is capitalized upon by grilling, which sears the steak and locks in the juices.

One method of cooking a good ribeye steak, begins with a flavor-enhancing marinade. A marinade can either be a dry rub or a combination of liquid ingredients. Marinating a ribeye steak prepares the beef  for the grill. Start by piercing the beef with the tines of a fork or a piercing knife so the marinade can penetrate deep into the ribeye steak. Let the ribeye steak marinate in the marinade mixture from two hours to overnight.

Prepare the grill for the steak by cleaning with a wire grill brush.  Before preheating the grill, spray the grates with non-stick cooking spray so that the meat doesn’t stick to the grill grates once you’ve started cooking. Preheat the grill, either electric or charcoal, so that the grates are hot enough to sear the meat upon contact. Preheating the grill will sear the surface of the ribeye steak, sealing in the juices and preventing the ribeye steak from drying out in the cooking process.

Place the marinated ribeye steaks carefully across the hot grill grates using tongs and to avoid heat flare-ups. Close the cover to the grill and let the steaks cook according to your own preference. For a rare to medium rare ribeye steak, the recommended time to cook the steak is from 5-7 minutes per side. For a well-done ribeye steak, let the steaks cook from 7-10 minutes per side. The cooking times will vary depending on how thick the ribeye is and how high the heat is under the meat.

During grilling, don’t pierce or puncture the meat because this causes the juices to escape, drying the meat out. The searing process that happens when you first place the meat on the grill is what locks in the moisture and the juices that make the steak flavorful and delicious. Use steak tongs or a long handled grill spatula to turn the steaks. Avoid turning the meat with a grill fork or sharp edged tongs. Turn the ribeye steaks only once on the grill.

Grilled ribeye steak is flavorful alone but can be complemented with a steak sauce or gravy. Purists prefer ground sea salt and ground whole black pepper. Traditional vegetable accompaniments for a grilled ribeye steak dinner are baked or mashed potatoes, broccoli, green beans and a hearty salad.

Grilling premium ribeye steaks is as much an experience as a meal. Marinating, preparing the grill, carefully putting the steaks over the fire and placing the perfecting seared steaks on a platter is a culinary ritual for many.