A Guide to Grilling Ribeye

CC BY-SA 2.0 license for this photo by WmJR.

Ribeye steak is traditionally delicious when grilled. Tender and bursting with flavor, this steak cut is made even better on the grill. Some people even claim that grilling ribeye improves its flavor over pan-frying it.

The Ultimate Guide to Cooking the Perfect Steak

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Is everyone ready to master the art of grilling a ribeye? Read on for a helpful tutorial  

Getting the Barbecue Ready

Getting the grill nice and hot for a sear is the first step when grilling ribeye. Whether you're using a gas or charcoal grill, you'll want to follow a different set of instructions. Oil the grill grate lightly before using either grill.

Gas Grill

Prepare your gas grill for high heat, preferably 500 degrees. If your grill has two settings, high (say, 500 degrees) and low (275 degrees) are what you want. Steaks should be heated for 3-5 minutes before being added.

Grilling Over Coals

Coal should be stacked in a mound at the bottom of the grill to facilitate faster heat distribution. Light the coals by spraying them with lighter fluid and striking a match. The whiteness of the coals indicates that they are ready to cook on after a few minutes. Before beginning to cook, spread the coals out evenly across the bottom of the grill.

Coals can also be lit using a chimney starter by placing a few crumpled pieces of newspaper in the bottom of the chimney starter and then adding the coals on top. After lighting the newspaper with a lighter or match, waiting a few minutes for the coals to turn white is recommended.  

Preparation Time

The grill you use and the thickness of your ribeye will determine how long you need to cook the steak. About 1.5 inches is the typical thickness of a ribeye. When cooking to a medium-rare doneness, these steaks should be in the oven for 12 to 16 minutes. The steak should rest for 5-10 minutes after cooking.  

Plan on grilling a steak that is about an inch thick for 8-12 minutes to achieve a medium-rare doneness. Add three to five minutes to each cooking time for medium or medium-well doneness.

Temperature at the end

The following chart outlines the various degrees of doneness that can be achieved with grilled ribeye steak, though we always recommend medium-rare for best results with this cut. Remove the steak from the grill at the appropriate time for each doneness level, as indicated by the temperature in the middle column.

Doneness Heat-Releasing Temperature Maximum Degrees Medium-rare 125-130℉ 130-135℉ Medium 135-140℉ 140-145℉ Medium-well 145-150℉ 150-155℉ Well-done 155-160℉ 160-165℉

Ribeye Steak, Medium Rare

Grilling ribeye to medium-rare ensures that the fat will melt and distribute throughout the meat without jeopardizing its tenderness. Each bite of a perfectly cooked medium-rare ribeye will be bursting with flavor and tenderness.

Cook the steak for 12 to 16 minutes, or until a meat thermometer inserted into its thickest part registers 125 degrees Fahrenheit (or 130 degrees Fahrenheit if you prefer it a little closer to medium) for this doneness. The steak should reach an internal temperature of 130-135 degrees Fahrenheit after resting for 5-10 minutes in a foil tent.  

How to Grill a Ribeye

In order to consistently grill a juicy and flavorful steak, keep in mind the following advice:

  • Steaks should only be turned over once while grilling to ensure a good sear on both sides. Instead, turn it over only once, around the halfway point of cooking.
  • Prepare the steak for the grill by liberally salting it and letting it sit for 45 minutes before grilling. This allows the salt to form a brine that aids in the crisping of the ribeye during cooking. Before grilling, season with pepper and any other herbs and spices you like.
  • Some grills, especially charcoal ones, are temperamental, so keep a close eye on your food to prevent the steak from burning and the flames from going out.
  • Steaks can be cooked to perfection with the help of a digital meat thermometer. If you're looking for the best cook, you won't find them through other means.

Finding the Perfect Trim

Choosing the right steak is also important when trying to grill a tasty ribeye. You might be able to find some inexpensive ribeye steaks at the grocery store, but that doesn't mean they're of great quality.

Ribeye steaks with the USDA Prime or Wagyu labels are the highest quality cuts for the grill. Ribeye steak graded as USDA Prime is the highest available. Steaks made from Wagyu beef are widely recognized as being of the highest quality, earning the name "Wagyu."  

Also, think about dry-aged versus wet-aged The ribeye steaks that have been wet-aged have more moisture than those that have been dry-aged. The prolonged process of dry-aging is what makes the steak so incredibly tender. The flavor of ribeye can be improved by seeking out either wet-aged or dry-aged steak; neither is inherently superior.  

Recipe for Grilled Ribeye

Let's get serious about grilling and replicate your favorite steakhouse's ribeye at home like the pros!

The First Step: Getting the Steaks Ready to Grill

The steaks need to be taken out of the fridge first. Sprinkle a lot of salt on both sides. Then, let them brine for 45 minutes at room temperature before cooking.  

Grill to a high temperature (about 450–500 degrees for a gas grill) when ready to cook. Brush some olive oil on your grill grates before heating them if you find that food often sticks.

Brush a little olive oil on each side of the steaks and season with salt, pepper, or whatever you like before throwing them on the grill.  

Second, get the ribeye on the grill.

Steaks should be grilled with some space between them. Wait two to four minutes before checking the steaks to make sure they have a nice sear. Then, after 2 to 4 minutes, flip them with tongs and cook the other side.

The Third Step Is to Take a Reading

Most steaks need a few more minutes of grilling time to reach medium-rare; however, you should move the steaks away from the heat source so that you don't scorch the exteriors.  

Check the steak's temperature using a digital meat thermometer in the thickest part, and use the aforementioned chart to see if more cooking time is required. The ideal internal temperature for a medium-rare steak, for instance, is between 125 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

Steaks that need more time on the grill can be cooked to perfection by placing them over indirect heat and covering the grill for a few minutes.

Fourth, Relax

Using tongs, take the steaks off the grill and place them on a plate. Steaks should be rested for 5-10 minutes before serving to allow the meat to reach the desired serving temperature and absorb any remaining juices.  

grilling ribeye steak
  • 2 meaty rib-eyes
  • flavor with kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp new black peppercorns
  • Bring out the steak from the fridge, and salt both sides liberally. The next 45 minutes should be spent chilling out. Grill should be heated to 450°F–500°F. Season the steaks with salt and pepper to taste, then brush them with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
  • Grill up some ribeyes, please. To get a golden brown crust going, sear for about 2 to 4 minutes. After 2–4 minutes, turn the meat over and continue cooking.
  • Check the internal temperature of the meat with a digital meat thermometer. Steaks that need more time on the grill can be cooked in a low heat area for an additional 2–5 minutes.
  • Take steaks off the grill and let them rest for 5-10 minutes on a plate covered with foil.

Variations on Grilling Ribeye

Even though grilling is a common and often recommended way to prepare a ribeye steak at home, it is not your only option. Ribeye does not dry out easily, so roasting it in the oven is a good option if you'd prefer a less labor-intensive method of cooking. Some other great ways to cook a ribeye:

  • Grilled ribeye
  • Ribeye cooked in the oven
  • Slow-cooked ribeye
  • Ribeye seared in a pan
  • Broiled ribeye

Ribeye steaks, both boneless and bone-in, are available in a variety of cuts and breeds at Chicago Steak Company, including Premium Angus, USDA Prime wet-aged and dry-aged, Kobe, and Wagyu.  

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