In the canon of beef cuts, the rib eye steak is by far one of the most popular in restaurants and homes alike. Coming from the top of the rib primal section, the rib eye is a boneless steak that is prized for its marbling. The marbling (fat), in turn, helps not only in the flavor realm but when it comes to tenderness during and after cooking.
To learn how to cook a rib eye perfectly every time, we turned to Vincent Olivieri, chef de cuisine at Fairway Market, a chain of grocery stores headquartered in New York City and spread throughout the New York/New Jersey area.
The first thing you need to worry about when preparing to cook a rib eye is buying the right quality of meat, otherwise known as the grade.
“Steak should be treated as a luxury and going the cheap route will leave you with much to be desired.”
“Spare no penny when it comes to picking out your steak,” Olivieri advises. “Steak should be treated as a luxury and going the cheap route will leave you with much to be desired. Shop Fairway! Go for Prime Dry Aged. It’s almost impossible to find it anywhere else. That’s what all the best steakhouses use so why not follow suit? You’ll get the same experience that you would at any fancy steakhouse for less than half the price. Prime is the way to go, that means more fat! More marbleization! More flavor!”
He adds that you want your steak dry aged because “it means that your steak was hand-selected, and pampered in a controlled environment that is just right for absorbing moisture, leaving you with a more concentrated beefy flavor. The aging also gives you that slightly funky nutty flavor that you smell right away when walking into a top steakhouse.”
You’ll also want to get your butcher to cut your steak custom if you can. “I like it about 2 inches thick,” Olivieri says. “That’ll enable you to get great crusty grill lines without overcooking the center.”
Once you’ve picked out your steak, it’s time to fire up the grill and get cooking.
The Perfect Rib Eye Steak Recipe
- 2-inch thick Prime dry-aged rib eye steak
- 2 tbsp butter
- Thyme sprigs
- 3 cloves of garlic
- I use both my grill and my oven. More control. Although a hot grill will give you great grill marks, grilling rib eye also causes a lot of flare-ups.
- Get your grill smoking hot! Once it is, turn down the flame and throw your steak on. Give it a half turn in about 2 minutes.
- Then flip, in a different spot that you started so that the grill grates are still hot.
- After 2 minutes give it a half turn again and then off the fire.
- I place mine in an oven-safe pan, and cast iron works best. Oven should be at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Keep it in there based on how you take your steak. I pull mine out at an internal temperature of 125 degrees Fahrenheit, that’s a rare/medium rare.
- As the pan’s coming out of the oven make sure you’ve got 2 tabs of butter, a couple sprigs of thyme, and 3 cloves of garlic with the skin on ready to go.
- Toss it all in the hot pan and start to spoon the butter vigorously over the steak. That’s it!
- Let it rest for 5 minutes then slice and serve. Pour some of that brown butter over the top, garnish with your toasted thyme and sprinkle a bit of flaky sea salt on top, sit back and enjoy!