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The ribeye is the king of steaks. Ribeyes are cut from the 6th to 12th rib on a cow and they are the best marbled and beefiest tasting pieces of meat you can get. Remember, when selecting your ribeye, taste is driven primarily based on marbling so the higher the grade the better the marbling. So, if possible go with Prime, but Choice will also get the job done. Also, aged steaks also have increased tenderness and flavor intensity. My preference is for a 4 week dry aged ribeye when I can get i

The preparation

If you have a whole rib roast you should cut them in 1.25 to 1.5 inch thick steaks. Depending on the amount of fat around the outside of the steak you will want to trim some of it off. Personally, I leave it on for the cooking process.

If you purchased the ribeye already cut to size, or you just cut your own, let it set out to reach room temperature. Depending on thickness this should take 20-30 minutes. The benefit of bringing the steak to room temperature is two fold: It allows you to cook directly over high heat getting a proper sear, and secondly is speeds up the cooking process which helps keeping the inside of the steak juicy.

How to grill a ribeye steak on a gas grill, charcoal grill or wood fired grill

The key is to get the grill very hot before starting. My personal preference is mesquite wood because I like the smoky flavor. If you don’t like smokiness, go with charcoal or propane/gas.  My preferred grill temperature is 600 degrees because I like a charred exterior and medium rare interior. If you like less charing go with 500 degrees.

Always make sure and clean the grates prior to cooking. You can use a bristle brush, or in my case I make a ball of aluminum foil and scrape the grates. It is easier to clean the grates after the grill is hot just be careful because the aluminum foil ball will get hot quickly so use grilling gloves or tongs to hold the ball of aluminum.

In order to keep the steak from sticking to the grates before the fat has a chance to melt some would recommend oiling the grates of the grill. You can do that, but I would urge you not to. Because we have our grill at a screaming hot 500 – 600 degrees, any oil you add at directly to the grate at this point will instantly hit the smoke point and oxidize. The best method is to brush a light coat of oil directly onto the steak before seasoning to get a perfect char and help the seasoning stick. I like an oil that is light in flavor with a high smoke point, such as grapeseed oil.

How to season a ribeye steak before grilling

If you have a good piece of meat you don’t need much. I just generously coat it with salt and pepper on both sides (I prefer Himalayan or kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper). I only add the seasoning a right before I place the meat on the grill, and I never season until the ribeye gets to room temperature. Other alternative seasonings I recommend are Lawry’s Garlic Salt or Montreal Steak Seasoning. If you want a little spice go with a tasty Asada style dry rub.

Cooking time for ribeye steak

If you have an 1.25 to 1.5 inch steak, we are only talking about 3-5 minutes on each side and the goal is to reach an internal temperature of 135 degrees for medium rare. There is a lot of discussion about how many times you should rotate a steak. Most recipes specify you should rotate it once on each side to get those perfect grill marks. I prefer another other method… move it a lot. Why? Because that tends to provide the most even charring. Also, while I’m in there moving it around I’m also basting it with butter.  Why you ask? Because it helps speed up the charring, which speeds up the cooking time and keeps the inside moist. It also adds some amazing flavor… who doesn’t love browned butter?

Some people say they can touch a steak and feel for doneness. I think this method works for people who cook a lot, but for the average home cook, a meat thermometer is your best friend.

How to cook a 3 inch thick ribeye steak

Let me touch quickly on grilling a super thick ribeye steak. We will need to need to deploy the reverse sear method to cook this steak properly. You’re going to need to set your grill up with a direct and indirect heating areas because the cooking time takes longer. You will burn a thick steak if you cook only over direct heat, and we are going for charred here, not burnt. You will start the steak over the indirect heat area to get to the internal temperature to about 10 degrees lower than your target. Pull your steak and tent with foil to allow your direct heating area to get screaming hot again. Brush the steak directly with butter, if desired, and place back on the hottest area of the grill to get a quick char, about a minute per side. Remove and let rest before slicing.

How long to let a steak rest after grilling

Resting allows the juices to redistribute in the steak so they don’t just come rushing out when you cut into it. You should let the steak rest for 5-10 minutes. I simply put the steak on a plate and tent it with aluminum foil.

Once it has rested it is time to serve!  Enjoy…