The key to juicy, tender ribeye steak is to prepare it properly. Start with a liberal salt and pepper coating on both sides of your steak. Then, top with a pat of butter for richness and baste as the steak cooks.
Preheat Your Pan
Preheat a large pan and oil it. You’ll want to use an oil with a high smoke point to get the best sear on your tender ribeye steaks. This could be grape seed, avocado, or canola oil – anything with a high smoke point will work. You can also try a mushroom blend. Take your steaks from the fridge and let them come to room temperature while your pan heats up. Pat the steaks dry and season them generously with salt and pepper. Try making garlic herb butter if you’d like to add extra flavor to your steaks. It’s super easy – you only need unsalted butter, thyme, and a few smashed garlic cloves. When your pan is hot and ready for your steaks, add the butter and let it melt over the meat. The thyme and garlic will add a nice herby flavor to the steaks. When the ribeyes are browned on both sides, remove them from the heat and place them on a plate or cutting board. Cover with foil and let them rest for 4 to 6 minutes.
Sear on the Outside
Pan-searing involves cooking the surface of your steak in a hot pan until a golden brown, flavorful crust forms. It’s essential to a great steak, helps prevent sticking, and adds a restaurant-quality finish to your meal.
Heat a large skillet or cast-iron pan until it’s scalding and just starting to smoke. A heavy pan that can handle high temperatures is essential, as the high heat creates a delicious sear. Add your steak and allow it to cook without moving it for 3-4 minutes or until it releases easily and the bottom is a beautiful golden brown. It’s a good idea to turn on the exhaust fan for this part so that the smoke doesn’t irritate your guests! If you’d like, you can add a few smashed cloves of garlic and a handful of fresh thyme to the pan during this process. The herbs infuse the steak with a rich, earthy flavor, and the garlic adds a layer of caramelization to the meat. You can baste your steak with compound butter (melted and poured over the steak) near the end of cooking to add even more flavor.
Cook to Your Optimal Temperature
A great steak needs to be cooked to the ideal temperature. This ensures the center is warm and the steak has a luscious crust. It also allows the flavor of the steak to be accentuated. A digital meat thermometer is the best way to know if your steak is done. A good rule of thumb is to cook your steaks for about five minutes less than you would expect them to be finished. This will allow your steak’s internal temperature to rise by a few degrees while it rests. Pat steaks dry, then season with salt and pepper. Use flaky sea salt for better adhesion. Sear in the pan with olive oil. During the process, do not touch or move the steaks. Aim for a nice, brown crust on each side of the steaks, and remove them from the pan when they are nicely browned and have reached your desired level of doneness.
Let Them Rest
Once you’ve nailed your desired internal temperature, it’s time to let the steaks rest. This will allow the juices to redistribute, producing a juicy and tender steak. The muscle fibers that comprise the meat tighten as it’s cooked, concentrating the juices toward the center of the cut. Suppose you slice into a steak immediately after it’s been pulled off the heat. In that case, the flavorful juices will pour out, leaving your plate with unappetizing bloody streaks and taking valuable moisture and flavor. The muscle fibers relax by allowing your steak to rest, and the juices redistribute throughout the meat. It also gives the residual heat a chance to finish cooking the steak to its desired doneness, ensuring it’s tender and moist when you bite it. A good rule of thumb is to let your steak rest for about half the time it took to cook, though this may vary depending on the thickness of the steak and other factors. Feed the steak with foil to retain heat while resting for best results.
Ribeye steaks are naturally marbled and don’t need a lot of extra manipulation to be tender. That’s why it is best to grill or pan-sear them rather than marinate them. A simple seasoning of salt and pepper plus a few sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme adds great flavor without overpowering the meat. Try a bold seasoning blend like Italian, Creole, or blackened seasoning. It’s essential to let the steak rest after cooking because it pulls juices toward the surface. The longer it rests, the more evenly distributed the juices will be for a juicy and tender steak. Once the steaks have rested, serve them with a medley of grilled vegetables for a delicious and healthy meal. Remember to slice the steak against the grain for a tender bite. If you feel extra indulgent, end your meal with a delicious dessert.