Rib eye steak is a mouthwatering dinner idea when you want to splurge. It's one of the most tender steaks but also the most flavorful! It only takes 20 minutes to make on a stovetop for a memorable dinner that's easy to prepare.

These Rib Eye Steaks melt in your mouth with their beautiful marbling and rich flavors. High-temperature cooking in a cast-iron skillet makes them extra tender and juicy. So skip the steakhouse and make this rib eye steak recipe instead!

A traditional rib eye steak in a cast iron pan after being pan seared, with broccoli and sauteed potatoes on the side ready for serving

A rib eye is easy to make in 20 minutes for a special occasion or just for dinner when you want to splurge. The rib eye is one of the finest steaks that makes you feel like royalty eating one!

Ribeyes are easy to find and quick to prepare. While they’re pricey, making your own is a fraction of the cost in a steakhouse. Serve them with potatoes and a green vegetable like broccoli or green beans for a complete dinner.

Closeup of the surface of a rib eye showing beautiful caramelization and seasoning after cooking. This rib eye steak recipe is pan seared to perfection in a cast iron pan with olive oil, butter, salt and pepperTips for Cooking the Most Tender Rib Eye Steak

  • Thick cut rib eyes are the juiciest. Try to buy ones that are 1 ¼ – 1 ½ inches (3 – 4 cm) thick, or simply ask your meat counter to cut them for you.
  • Steak cooks more evenly at room temperature, so remove the rib eye from the fridge to rest for 30-60 minutes before cooking.
  • Pat dry the steaks with paper towel before cooking to remove excess moisture. This step helps to produce the best sear possible.
  • Season the steaks generously with salt to help tenderize the meat before cooking. Fresh rosemary and thyme are excellent additions to put in halfway through.
  • Let the steaks rest after cooking for 3-5 minutes. This allows the juices to retreat back into the meat for the best texture. Cover with a plate or foil to keep warm.
  • Use a large cast-iron pan or skillet over medium-high heat to get a robust sear and caramelization.

Closeup of sliced rib eye steak that has been perfectly cooked to medium rare doneness and served with green beans, sauteed potatoes and a sprig of fresh rosemaryon the side

How to Cook Rib Eye Steak

This recipe shows you how to cook rib eye steak in a frying pan with a cast iron skillet recommended. However, they are also fabulous broiled or grilled using the same basic preparation.

After resting, drying and seasoning your steak, it’s time to cook your steak. Place the pan on medium-high heat and, once hot, add the olive oil and steak.

Baste the steak from time to time by spooning the juices on top. It’s normal to get some splatter due to the rib eye’s higher fat content, so a splatter screen and apron are a good idea.

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Closeup of pat drying a rib eye steak with paper towels to remove excess moisture that could interfere with searing

Cooking Time and Doneness

Cooking time depends on the rib eye thickness and your desired doneness:

Steak DonenessSteak Internal TemperatureCooking Time Per Side
1 in (2.5 cm)1 ½ in (3.8 cm)2 in (5 cm)
Rare*125°F (52°C)1 min1 ½ min2 min
Medium Rare130°F (54°C)3-4 min4-5 min5-6 min
Medium140°F (60°C)4-5 min5-6 min7-8 min
Medium Well150°F (66°C)6-7 min7-8 min10-12 min
Well Done160°F (71°C)7-8 min8-10 min12-14 min

Note: These times are for boneless rib eyes. For bone-in, add 1-2 more minutes per side depending on the size of the bone. The internal temperatures will rise an additional 5°F (3°C) while resting after cooking.

Insert an instant-read thermometer to check your rib eye steak temperature against the chart above. Avoid cutting into the steak, which will let valuable juices escape!

The preparation and cooking times for grilled rib eye steak are the same. Use the cooking times above. 

According to the USDA, the safe internal temperature for beef is 145°F (63°C) or “Medium” even if it’s not always observed.

Closeup of seasoning of coarse salt and black pepper on a rib eye steak before cooking

What cut is a ribeye?

The rib eye steak cut comes from the rib section between ribs six through twelve. It’s exactly the same meat as Prime Rib, but cut into steaks instead. It’s also the original cut used to make a Philly Cheese Steak!

Why is it called a ribeye? The steak comes from the “eye of the rib”, or the best part of the rib section. The traditional rib eye is boneless, sometimes being called a Delmonico in America or a Scotch Fillet in Australia/New Zealand. The bone-in cut is referred to as a Cowboy Ribeye or a Tomahawk Steak when the bone is extra-long.

 

Rib Eye versus Sirloin Steak

What’s better ribeye or sirloin? Because it’s so well-marbled, rib eye usually wins on tenderness, but also on flavor. Sirloin is a leaner cut that, while very flavorful, is typically less tender.

Which is better ribeye or strip? A New York Strip steak has less marbling than a ribeye and consequently is less tender with a milder flavor.

Watch How to Cook Rib Eye Steak:

A traditional rib eye steak in a cast iron pan after being pan seared, with broccoli and sauteed potatoes on the side ready for serving
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3.91 from 11 votes

Rib Eye Steak Recipe

Pan Seared Rib Eye Steak is unparalleled with its beautiful marbling and bold flavors. Rib eyes are easy to make in 20 minutes for a quick weeknight dinner or a festive occasion, so skip the steakhouse and make your own delicious steak!
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Resting Time: 5 mins
Total Time: 20 mins
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 rib eye steaks, 1-2 inches thick
  • 1 tsp coarse salt, (6 g)
  • 1 tsp black pepper, (2 g) or to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil, 15 ml
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter, 14 g
  • fresh rosemary or thyme, garnish - optional

Instructions

  • Remove steaks from the refrigerator 30 minutes ahead in order to reach room temperature for even cooking. Prepare the rest of your meal in the meantime.
  • When your steak has reached room temperature, pat dry with paper towels. This step will remove excess moisture in order to get the best sear possible.
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper onto both sides of the steak, rubbing in with your hands. 
  • Turn on your ventilation/exhaust fan and place a cast iron skillet over high heat. 
  • When the pan is hot, add the oil and swirl around to coat the pan.
  • Add the steaks and cook for 3-6 minutes according to desired doneness (see details above), spooning the juices on top from time to time to baste the meat.
  • Flip the steaks and add the butter on top along with the optional fresh herbs.
  • Cook 3-6 minutes more using an instant-read thermometer to check doneness.
  • Remove to a plate to rest for 5 minutes, covering with foil or another plate. This important step lets the juices to retreat back into the meat for the best texture.
  • Cut crosswise against the grain to serve. Enjoy!

Recipe Video

Notes

  • Thick cut rib eyes are the juiciest. Try to buy ones that are 1 ¼ - 1 ½ inches (3 – 4 cm) thick, or simply ask your meat counter to cut them for you.
  • Season the steaks with salt to help tenderize the meat during cooking. Fresh rosemary and thyme are great to add halfway through (so they don't char).
  • Use a hot skillet to get a robust sear and caramelization. A large 12-inch cast iron skillet over high heat is ideal.
  • Note that the internal temperature will keep rising another 5°F (3°C) while resting.

Nutrition

Serving: 8oz, Calories: 529kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 46g, Fat: 38g, Saturated Fat: 17g, Cholesterol: 146mg, Sodium: 409mg, Potassium: 608mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 123IU, Calcium: 16mg, Iron: 4mg
Author: TipBuzz
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: delmonico steak, rib eye, rib eye steak, scotch fillet
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Editor note: Originally published Aug 10, 2018 and updated Aug 22, 2019