Pan Seared Bone-in Ribeye

Try out my go-to recipe for a killer pan-seared bone-in ribeye. What I love about this recipe is how it gives you that awesome crust while keeping the inside just right, medium-rare. It’s super easy to make, and you can get those same great results every time. Just make sure to follow the tips I’ve prepared below.

The Ingredients You’ll Need

To prepare a bone-in ribeye in a skillet on the stovetop, you’ll need:

  • Bone-in ribeye (Ideally 1.5 to 2 inches thick)
  • High-smoke point oil (I recommend avocado oil)
  • Kosher salt
  • Black pepper
  • Unsalted butter
  • Thyme or rosemary
  • Garlic cloves

The Tools You’ll Need

  • Cast Iron Skillet
  • Tongs
  • Instant Read Thermometer

How to Cook Bone-in Ribeye on a Stove

Ingredients: Black pepper, garlic, salt, butter, avocado oil, rosemary, and bone-in ribeye

Step 1: Prepare the Bone-in Ribeye

First, grab some paper towels and dry off the bone-in ribeye. This keeps the surface nice and dry. Then, pick one of these salting methods depending on how much time you’ve got.

  • Option 1: Salt both sides of your bone-in ribeye steak, then place it on a rack in the fridge. Make sure it’s got space around it for air to circulate. Leave it there overnight. The steak’s surface will have dried out by the next day, making it perfect for searing. This is my favorite way to prep a steak for pan-searing.
  • Option 2: Can’t wait until tomorrow? No problem. Just salt your bone-in ribeye and let it sit for about 45 to 60 minutes, then pat it dry. It’s not quite the same as the overnight option, but it still boosts the steak’s flavor.
  • Option 3: Super short on time? Skip the salting and jump straight to the next part of the recipe. 

The key to a great crust is starting with a dry steak because moisture is a natural enemy of a good crust formation. After salting the steak, the salt draws moisture out to the steak surface, and you’ll see this as little droplets. What happens next is pretty cool: the salt dissolves in this moisture and then gets reabsorbed by the steak. After salting, wait for 2-3 minutes, and you’ll notice the top becoming moist. However, the catch is that you must wait approximately 45-60 minutes, even longer, for the steak to reabsorb most of this salty moisture. Therefore, I recommend leaving the salted steak in the fridge overnight. The steak surface will be completely dry the next day, as long as you haven’t gone wild with the salt.

If you skip waiting for the salt to be reabsorbed by the meat and start cooking while the steak’s still pretty wet, you won’t achieve that great crust and flavor you aim for.

Bone in ribeye steak, 24 hours after salting

Step 2: Preheat the Cast-Iron Skillet

Turn your burner up to medium-high and get that cast iron skillet. Give it about 2-3 minutes to heat, then add a tablespoon of refined avocado or any high smoke point oil, and wait another minute. By now, your skillet should be hot, somewhere between 400°F and 450°F – it usually takes about 3-4 minutes to get there. Remember, that’s the sweet spot for searing steak.

Cast iron skillet heated to 453°F

Now, while waiting for the pan to get all nice and hot, it’s a great time to season the bone-in ribeye steak. Give it a good rub with finely ground black pepper on both sides. If you haven’t already salted it (as mentioned in the previous step of the recipe), do so now and then immediately place the steak in the very hot pan. Don’t let the salt sit on the steak for more than a minute before cooking, as the salt will start to draw out moisture from the steak’s surface, which is very bad for forming a good crust.

Bone in ribeye steak seasoned with ground black pepper

Step 3: Place the Bone-in Ribeye in the Skillet

Place the seasoned bone-in ribeye steak on a hot skillet. Gently press it with your hand or tongs to ensure even contact with the surface. Flip the steak every 30-60 seconds, cooking it until its internal temperature reaches approximately 100°F.

Then, add butter, garlic, rosemary, or thyme to the pan. As the butter melts, take the opportunity to sear the edges of the steak quickly. Finally, turn the burner down to low and move to the next step.

Bone in ribeye steak seared in a cast iron skillet with butter, rosemary, and garlic.

Step 4: Baste the Bone-in Ribeye with Butter

Tilt the pans slightly to pool the melted butter, garlic, and thyme or rosemary near the bottom edge. Then, move the steak to the center of the pan. Use a spoon to baste the bone-in ribeye steak with the butter mixture for about 30 seconds. After that, flip the steak and repeat the basting process. Meanwhile, monitor the steak’s internal temperature closely.

Baste the bone in ribeye steak with the melted butter

Remove the bone-in ribeye steak from the pan when it reaches about 15-20°F below your desired temperature. For instance, when aiming for medium-rare doneness, around 130-135°F, I take the steak out at about 115°F. This is because, due to carryover cooking, the steak’s temperature will continue to rise by about 15-20°F as it rests. For more details on this, please refer to the FAQ section.

Don’t forget to turn off the burner once you take the steak off the pan, and let it rest before you slice into it.

Step 5: Let the Pan-Seared Bone-In Ribeye Rest

Let the steak sit for 5 to 10 minutes after removing it from the pan. During this time, the steak will continue to cook due to carryover cooking, causing its internal temperature to rise by as much as 15-20°F. This resting period is also great for making the steak juicier. It allows the juices to redistribute and the meat to relax. As a result, the steak retains more juice when sliced compared to cutting it immediately after cooking.

Cooked bone in ribeye

Once the steak has rested for at least 5 minutes, you can slice the bone-in ribeye any way you prefer – it will be very tender. Don’t forget to add the butter, rosemary, and garlic seared earlier to enhance the flavor. Just before serving, quickly reheat them in a pan and serve alongside the sliced steak.

Pan-seared bone in ribeye steak; medium-rare doneness


When’s the best time to remove a bone-in ribeye from the pan?

Considering the phenomenon of carryover cooking, it’s best to remove a bone-in ribeye from the pan when its internal temperature is 15-20°F below your desired target temperature. For example, for a medium-rare doneness, you should remove the steak at around 110-115°F. During a resting period of 5-10 minutes, the temperature of the steak will increase to as much as 130-135°F, achieving the ideal medium-rare doneness.

I have a real-life example for you: Look at the first photo. That’s a 1.75-inch thick bone-in ribeye I seared at around 450°F. I removed the steak from the pan when its internal temperature reached 109.8°F, let it rest for nearly 10 minutes, and guess what? After this period, the internal temperature increased to 132.1°F – check out photo number 2 for proof. That’s over a 22°F increase, all thanks to carryover cooking!

Bone-in ribeye internal temperature: 109°F
Bone-in ribeye internal temperature: 132°F

Imagine if I had taken this steak off the heat at 130°F, just following what the steak doneness chart suggests. What do you think would happen? It would shoot up to about 150°F while resting. But remember, this kind of big jump in temperature usually happens when you’re cooking at high temperatures. If you’re curious about how this works, I recommend reading about carryover cooking on Amazing Ribs.

What is the best doneness for a bone-in ribeye steak?

Medium-rare is the best doneness for a bone-in ribeye. Here’s why: Ribeye’s got a lot of fat. When cold, this fat is waxy in texture. The fat starts to melt at around 130°F, so it’s best to cook your steak medium-rare, between 130°F and 140°F. At this doneness, it’s super juicy, tender, and flavorful. Medium-rare is my go-to doneness for most steaks, especially a ribeye.

Pan seared bone-in ribeye steak

Pan-Seared Bone-in Ribeye

Adam Wojtow
This pan-seared, bone-in ribeye recipe is easy to make and requires just a few ingredients: butter, finely ground pepper, salt, garlic, and either rosemary or thyme.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Course Main Course
Cuisine American


  • bone-in ribeye ideally 1.5 to 2 inches thick
  • black pepper finely ground
  • butter unsalted
  • 1 tablespoon I recommend refined avocado oil I recommend refined avocado oil
  • 1-2 garlic cloves
  • thyme or rosemary fresh


  • Prepare the Bone-in Ribeye
    Pat steak dry with a paper towel, then choose a salting method – salting options:
    Option 1: Salt both sides and refrigerate overnight on a rack.
    Option 2: Salt and let sit for 45-60 minutes, then pat dry.
    Option 3: Skip salting and go straight to the next step in the recipe.
  • Preheat the Cast-Iron Skillet
    Heat the skillet on medium-high for 2-3 minutes, then add a tablespoon of high-smoke point oil and wait for 1 minute.
  • Season and Sear the Steak
    Season bone-in ribeye with black pepper (and salt if not done earlier), then place the steak in the hot skillet. Flip every 30-60 seconds until the internal temperature reaches ~100°F. Then add butter, garlic, and herbs and wait for the butter to melt; in the meantime, sear the edges of the steak.
  • Baste with Butter
    Tilt pan, pool butter mixture, and baste steak for 30 seconds per side. Monitor internal temperature closely, and remove steak at 15-20°F below the desired doneness (e.g., remove at 115°F for medium-rare).
  • Rest the Steak
    Let rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing, then serve with reheated butter, herbs, and garlic from the pan.

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Photo of author

Written by: Adam Wojtow

Adam Wojtow is a Polish entrepreneur and writer who founded Steak Revolution in 2020 because of his passion for steaks. Adam has been cooking steaks for over 5 years, so he understands well all aspects of steak, from the types of steaks and their cooking times to choosing the best cooking technique for any steak.