How to Cook a Rib-Eye Like Restaurants Do

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There's one guideline to buying rib-eyes: The more marbling, the better. (Image: vicuschka/iStock/Getty Images)

Full-service restaurants prepare rib-eyes by searing them in an oven-safe pan on the stove and finishing them in an oven. This method gives the cook the most control over the final temperature of the steak. Steakhouses prepare rib-eyes by first searing them on a flattop grill and finishing them on a broiler, a type of indoor gas grill, or cooking them from start to finish on the flattop. You can recreate the effects of a commercial flattop using an electric griddle or a large, heavy-bottomed frying pan. The closest you can get to broiling is by searing the rib-eyes, then finishing them on a barbecue grill.

Oven Finished

Step 1

Heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil to an oven-safe frying pan.

Step 2

Heat the oil on medium-high heat until it starts to smoke, or for about 4 minutes. Season the rib-eye to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Step 3

Lay the rib-eye in the pan and sear it for about 3 minutes on each side, or until it develops a rich golden-brown color. Transfer the pan to the oven.

Step 4

Roast the ribeye for 3 minutes for medium-rare (between 125 and 130 degrees Fahrenheit) and 6 minutes for medium (between 130 and 135 degrees F). Add another 3 minutes of cooking time for medium-well (140 to 145 degrees F).

Step 5

Take the pan out of the oven. Transfer the steak to a plate and cover it with aluminum foil. Let the rib-eye stand for 4 to 5 minutes before serving it. Some restaurants brush the top of the steak with butter or olive oil before it leaves the kitchen.

Stovetop

Step 1

Heat a couple of tablespoons of olive oil or 1 tablespoon each of butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed frying pan. Add the rib-eye to the pan when you see wisps of smoke coming from the oil.

Step 2

Cook the rib-eye for 3 to 4 minutes for medium-rare, turning frequently. Cook the rib-eye for 6 minutes for medium and 8 to 10 minutes for medium-well and well-done.

Step 3

Cover the steak with foil and let it rest for a few minutes before serving it.

Grill

Step 1

Set up the grill to cook with medium-high heat. Add a couple of tablespoons of vegetable oil to a stainless-steel or cast-iron frying pan and set it on the grill.

Step 2

Let the pan heat on the grill until the oil starts to smoke, or for about 4 to 5 minutes. Lay the rib-eye in the pan.

Step 3

Sear the rib-eye until golden brown on both sides, about 6 minutes total cooking time. After searing, take the rib-eye out of the pan and lay it on the grill. Move the hot pan to a heat-resistant table or an area where it won't cause damage.

Step 4

Grill the steak for 4 minutes for medium-rare, 5 minutes for medium, and 7 minutes for medium-well and well-done. Flip the steak frequently. Keep a water bottle close by to snuff out any flames from the dripping fat. Let the steak rest, covered with foil, for a few minutes before serving.

Tip

Contrary to popular belief, searing rib-eyes, or any meat for that matter, does not seal in the juices. But you should always sear all meats before roasting, braising or grilling them to develop flavor and promote uniform cooking.

These cooking times apply to rib-eyes between 3/4- and 1-inch thick, the average size of restaurant rib-eyes.

Warning

Use an oven mitt or potholder when using a frying pan on the grill.

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