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There is nothing as mouthwatering as a juicy, medium-rare Grilled Ribeye Steak that is seasoned simply to let the natural flavor of the meat be the star of the meal. You can make restaurant quality steaks on your own backyard grill!
The carnivores in my family definitely approve of these grilled steaks. If you have hungry meat-eaters at your house as well, they will also love our Texas Smoked Brisket, Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken Thighs, Indiana Pork Tenderloin Sandwich, and our Garlic Herb Butter Beef Tenderloin Roast.
Grilled Ribeye Steaks
I wasn’t a fan of steak growing up. It wasn’t until I met my husband in college and he made medium-rare, perfectly cooked steaks for us one night that I realized what I had been missing out on all those years. The tender, juicy meat has the most succulent flavor ever!
Since then, I have enjoyed many amazing steaks, from New York Strip to Filet Mignon, and pretty much everything in between, including these grilled ribeye steaks, which are high on my list of favorites.
I wanted to share how we make this popular cut of beef to represent one of the foods that Kansas is known for as part of my American Eats series where I’m making some of the most popular recipes and flavors of each state in the USA, one state at a time.
I knew that beef production was a big part of the Kansas economy, but I had no idea that cattle outnumber people 2-to-1 in Kansas! So fire up that grill and get ready for the best ribeye steak of your life!
What is a ribeye steak?
A ribeye steak comes from the rib section of a cow. It is beautifully marbled and super juicy for a supremely tender, rich texture and flavor that hardly needs anything beyond salt and pepper.
You can use any kind of steak rub you want with additional spices, or even marinate ribeye (I have a great meat marinade in my beef kabob recipe), but really, when it comes to this quality cut of beef, the simple approach of just salt and pepper is the best way to go.
How to choose a ribeye steak
I typically choose boneless ribeye steak because it is easier to cook than bone-in. Look for steaks with good marbling – those thin lines of white fat throughout the meat that indicates that it will not only have amazing flavor, but also that it will be tender and juicy when cooked.
Steaks are labeled with a grading system set out by the USDA. “Prime” meat is the best quality, followed by “Choice”. The lowest quality steaks are called “Select”. I always go for Prime or Select when grilling because as long as you are going to the expense of making steaks, they really ought to be good ones.
How long to grill a steak
Keep in mind that the information in this post is based on boneless, approximately 1 1/4 to 1 1/2-inch thick ribeye steaks. If you have thicker steaks, they will take longer to cook. This is why I highly recommend relying on a good digital meat thermometer to tell when your steak is ready to take off the grill.
How to grill ribeye steak
- Pull the steaks out of the fridge to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before you plan to cook them. Preheat the grill to a medium-high temperature, which is around 450 to 500 degrees F. You want the grill grates to be nice and hot (and clean) when the meat hits it so that it can sear the outside of the steak and seal in the juices. Letting the meat lose some of the chill from the fridge before grilling also helps it cook more evenly.
- Season liberally with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. Ribeye is usually cut thick so it can take quite a bit of salt and pepper. For more even coverage, sprinkle the salt and pepper from higher to avoid hitting one spot too heavily with seasoning while other areas get very little.
- When ready to grill, place the steaks on the hot grill grates, close the lid, and leave it be. Cook for around 4 minutes on each side, flipping once, until they reach 130 degrees F when tested with an instant read digital meat thermometer . The temp will continue to rise after you take the meat off the grill, so if you want it to end at around 135 degrees F, you have to pull it 5 degrees before that. Do NOT cut into the steak while it’s on the grill to check to see if it’s done!
- Let it rest for 5-10 minutes. I like to top them with a little pat of butter mixed with minced garlic and some chopped up rosemary or thyme to give it that little something extra.
Temperature guide for steak
Use the following guidelines to determine when you are ready to pull your meat off the grill. Keep in mind that the temperature of the meat will continue 5-10 degrees while it rests before slicing.
My personal preference is a lovely medium-rare where the meat is a warm red inside, so I pull it off the grill when it hits 130 degrees F.
- Rare (120-125 degrees F): cool red center; about 3 minutes per side.
- Medium-rare (130-135 degrees F): warm red center; about 4 minutes per side; super moist, tender, and juicy.
- Medium (140-145 degrees F): warm pink center; about 5 minutes per side; still tender, but not as juicy.
- Medium-well (150-155 degrees F): pale pink center; about 5-6 minutes per side; tougher, not very juicy.
- Well-done (160 degrees F): Little or no pink; 6+ minutes per side; dry, not as flavorful.
Garlic herb compound butter for steaks
These grilled ribeye steaks are amazing all on their own, straight off the grill. But I cannot resist letting a simple garlic herb compound butter melt over the top of them while they rest. It’s so incredibly delicious!
Just finely mince a few cloves of garlic along with some finely chopped fresh rosemary. Thyme, oregano, or tarragon would also be good. Mash the minced garlic and herbs into softened butter. Place this in the fridge to firm up until the steaks are done, then slice off a tablespoon-sized knob or two of butter and let it melt over the top of the steaks before serving.
What to serve with ribeye steak
Almost anything seems to go well with a good steak, but some of our favorites are a classic baked potato (or better yet, twice baked potatoes!), some grilled or roasted asparagus, corn on the cob, or a nice salad with homemade Italian dressing. And don’t forget dessert!
More satisfying main dish recipes
- Alaskan King Crab Legs
- Garlic & Rosemary Rack of Lamb
- Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin
- How to Make a Brined & Smoked Turkey
- Pan Seared Scallops
- Authentic German Sauerbraten
- Pan Fried Trout
- Sriracha Mayo Marinated Grilled Lamb Chops
- Smoked Pork Belly Burnt Ends
- Grilled Santa Maria-Style Tri-Tip
- 2 to 4 boneless ribeye steaks, approximately 1 1/4 to 1 1/2-inches thick
- 1-2 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1-2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons salted butter, softened
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2-3 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- Pull the steaks out of the fridge and let rest on the counter at room temperature for 30-45 minutes prior to cooking. Preheat grill on medium-high heat to about 500 degrees F or start charcoal 15-20 minutes before you plan to cook the steaks.
- Season the steaks liberally on all sides with plenty of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. The amount largely depends on the size of your steaks, but plan on roughly 1-2 teaspoons of salt and almost as much pepper for each steak if they are about 1-inch thick.
- Prepare the compound butter by combining the softened butter with the garlic and rosemary and mashing it together with a fork, then set it in the fridge to reharden.
- Set the steaks on the preheated grill grates and cook for approximately 4 minutes per side, until the internal temperature reaches 130 degrees F when tested with an instant read digital meat thermometer. The temperature will continue to rise about 5 degrees after the steak is removed from the grill.
- Remove the steaks from the grill and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Top each steak with 1-2 tablespoons of the compound butter and let it melt on top while the steaks rest. The temperature of the meat will be around 135 degrees F for a perfect medium-rare. See notes for other degrees of doneness.
- Rare (125 degrees F): cool red center; about 3 minutes per side;
- Medium-rare (135 degrees F): warm red center; about 4 minutes per side;
- Medium (145 degrees F): warm pink center; about 5 minutes per side;
- Medium-well (150 degrees F): pale pink center; about 5-6 minutes per side;
- Well-done: Just please don't.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 686Total Fat: 56gSaturated Fat: 29gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 24gCholesterol: 194mgSodium: 6628mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 2gSugar: 0gProtein: 43g
Curious about foods from other states in my American Eats series? Check them out below!
Alabama • Alaska • Arizona • Arkansas • California • Colorado • Connecticut • Delaware • Florida • Georgia • Hawaii • Idaho • Illinois • Indiana • Iowa • Kansas • Kentucky • Louisiana • Maine • Oregon • Puerto Rico • South Carolina • Texas