If you are a fan of juicy and flavourful steaks, then rib eye is the cut for you! Cooking the perfect rib eye can seem daunting, but with the right techniques, you can become a master of this art in the comfort of your own home. From selecting the best quality meat to searing it to perfection, this article will guide you through the steps to cook a mouth-watering rib eye steak. So, get your grill pan or barbecue ready and let’s achieve steakhouse-level excellence!
The Science of Rib Eye
Before you start cooking your rib eye, it’s important to understand the science behind this delicious cut of meat. The rib eye comes from the beef rib primal cut, which is located near the spine of the cow. This meat is known for its high amount of marbling, or fat, which contributes to its flavor and tenderness.
What Makes Rib Eye So Delicious?
The marbling in rib eye contains a higher amount of unsaturated fat compared to other cuts of meat. This type of fat has a lower melting point, which means it melts at a lower temperature than saturated fat. This is what gives rib eye its juicy and tender texture.
The rib eye also contains a lot of myoglobin, a protein pigment that gives meat its red color. This protein helps to oxygenate the meat, which results in a more flavorful taste.
Choosing the Right Cut of Rib Eye
When it comes to cooking rib eye, choosing the right cut of meat is essential. A good-quality rib eye can make all the difference in the final dish’s taste and texture. Here are some important things to consider when selecting your rib eye:
Bone-In or Boneless?
One of the most significant decisions you’ll make when choosing your rib eye is whether you want a bone-in or boneless cut. A bone-in rib eye (also known as a cowboy steak) is the classic version and tends to have more flavor because the bone adds an extra dimension to the meat. However, it can also be more challenging to cook because the bone can affect the cooking time and the meat’s temperature. On the other hand, a boneless rib eye (also known as a lip-on rib eye) is easier to cook and tends to be more tender. However, it may not have the same depth of flavor.
- If you’re a beginner cook or are short on time, a boneless rib eye is likely the best option. You won’t have to worry about the bone affecting the cooking time, and the meat is easier to handle.
- If you’re looking for more flavor and are willing to put in the extra effort to prepare a bone-in rib eye, go for it! Just be sure to monitor the cooking time carefully to ensure the meat is cooked to your liking.
Preparing and Seasoning Rib Eye
When it comes to cooking a delicious rib eye steak, the preparation and seasoning are critical steps that can make all the difference. Here are some tips to help you master the art of cooking a mouthwatering rib eye at home.
1. Choosing the Right Cut of Meat
Before you start cooking your rib eye, it’s essential to choose the right cut of meat. Look for a rib eye that has good marbling, which refers to the thin streaks of fat that run through the meat. These streaks of fat will help keep the steak moist and tender during cooking, resulting in a juicier and more flavorful end product.
2. Preparing the Rib Eye
Once you’ve selected the perfect rib eye, it’s time to prepare it for cooking. Begin by taking the steak out of the refrigerator and letting it rest at room temperature for at least an hour. This will help ensure even cooking and prevent the steak from becoming tough.
Next, use a paper towel to pat the steak dry and sprinkle it generously with kosher salt. The salt will not only enhance the beef’s natural flavor but also help create a tasty crust on the steak’s exterior. If you have some extra time, consider seasoning the steak with a mixture of herbs and spices that complement the meat’s flavor, such as rosemary, thyme, and garlic.
3. Letting the Rib Eye Rest
After cooking the rib eye to your desired doneness, resist the temptation to cut into the steak right away. Instead, let it rest for five to ten minutes before slicing into it. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the steak, making for a more tender and flavorful end result. You can cover the steak with aluminum foil to retain heat while it rests.
Cooking on the Stovetop
Cooking rib eye on the stovetop requires the right equipment, temperature, and timing to ensure that it’s cooked to perfection.
Choosing the Right Pan
The best pan to cook rib eye on the stovetop is a cast-iron skillet. Cast-iron skillets retain heat well and distribute it evenly, giving you perfectly cooked meat every time. If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, a heavy-bottomed stainless steel skillet will also work.
Preparing the Pan
Heat your pan on medium-high heat for a few minutes before cooking your rib eye. Once your pan is hot, add some oil and swirl it around the pan to coat evenly. You can use any oil, but high-temperature oils like canola, grapeseed, avocado, or vegetable oil work best.
Seasoning Your Rib Eye
Season your rib eye well before placing it in the pan. Coat your steak with a generous amount of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides. You can also add any other seasonings that you prefer at this point.
Cooking Your Rib Eye
4-5 minutes per side
5-6 minutes per side
6-7 minutes per side
Cook your rib eye for the recommended time based on its thickness. For a deeper flavor, add a few sprigs of thyme, garlic, and butter to the pan while cooking and baste the steak with the melted butter. Flip the steak only once and use tongs to turn it over, not a fork. A fork will pierce the steak and allow the juices to escape, resulting in a dry and tough steak.
Grilling Rib Eye
Cooking the perfect rib eye on the grill requires the right techniques to achieve savory flavor and tender texture. Here are five steps to grilling the perfect rib eye at home:
Step 1: Choose the Right Cut
Not all rib eyes are created equal, so it’s important to choose a quality cut of meat. Look for a rib eye with plenty of marbling for optimal flavor and tenderness. Additionally, make sure the steak is at least an inch thick to ensure even cooking.
Step 2: Season the Meat
Seasoning the rib eye is a crucial step that can make or break the flavor of your steak. Apply a generous amount of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to both sides of the steak, or use your favorite rub for added flavor.
Step 3: Prepare the Grill
The perfect rib eye requires dual-zone cooking with direct and indirect heat. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat on one side and leave the other side unlit for indirect heat. This creates the ideal environment for searing the steak and then finishing it off with indirect heat to ensure even cooking.
Step 4: Sear the Steak
Once the grill is hot, place the seasoned rib eye on the direct heat side of the grill and sear for 2-3 minutes on each side. Use tongs to flip the steak to prevent piercing the meat and releasing the juices. After searing both sides, move the steak to the indirect heat side of the grill.
Step 5: Baste and Check Temperature
At this point, baste the steak with your favorite oil or butter and let it cook for an additional 6-8 minutes on the indirect heat side of the grill. Use a meat thermometer to check for your desired level of doneness – 120-125Â°F for rare, 130-135Â°F for medium-rare, 140-145Â°F for medium, 150-155Â°F for medium-well, or 160Â°F and above for well-done. Allow the rib eye to rest for several minutes before slicing and serving.
Serving, Pairing, and Storing Rib Eye
Mastering the art of cooking rib eye is only half the battle. Serving, pairing, and storing it correctly are equally important to ensure that the steak delivers its full flavor potential.
Serving Rib Eye
A good rule of thumb when serving rib eye is to allow each person at least 8 oz. of meat. Rib eye is a rich, hearty cut that can satisfy most appetites, so there’s little need for large portions. Once your steak has rested for a few minutes, slice it against the grain into half-inch thick pieces. This will make it easier to eat and bring out the steak’s tenderness.
Pairing Rib Eye
Rib eye’s bold flavor profile allows it to pair well with a variety of complementary sides and wines. A classic side to serve with rib eye is creamy mashed potatoes. The creamy texture contrasts well with the steak’s meaty texture and enriches the overall flavor experience. Green vegetables, such as roasted Brussel sprouts or sautÃ©ed asparagus, are also excellent options. For wine pairings, a full-bodied red wine like Cabernet Sauvignon, Malbec or Syrah will complement the steak’s strong flavor.
Storing Rib Eye
Whether you have leftover rib eye from a previous meal or bought it fresh from the store, proper storage is crucial to ensure freshness and flavor. To store cooked rib eye, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil and refrigerate it for up to three days. Before consuming, reheat the steak in the oven or on the stove for a few minutes. For uncooked rib eye, store it in the coldest part of your refrigerator for up to five days. If you don’t plan to use it right away, you can also freeze the rib eye for up to six months. To avoid freezer burn, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil.
Thank You for Reading
Now that you’re equipped with the knowledge of how to perfectly cook a rib eye steak, you can impress your family and friends with your culinary skills. Remember to always use high-quality meat, season generously, and let your steak rest before slicing it. Whether you’re grilling, pan-searing, or oven-roasting, these techniques will guarantee that your rib eye steak will come out juicy, flavorful, and cooked to your preference. Stay tuned for more cooking tips and recipes on our website. Bon AppÃ©tit!