Pan Seared Ribeye Steak

PREP TIMEREST TIMECOOK TIMETOTAL TIME
5 mins45 mins to 24 h10 mins1 to 24 hours

A pan-seared ribeye steak, basted with butter and fresh herbs, is one of the best ways to prepare ribeye. My recipe offers more than just basic instructions; it provides a detailed explanation and practical tips on achieving a perfectly cooked ribeye every time.

Learn how to cook a ribeye steak in a cast-iron skillet, mastering the art of creating a crispy crust and juicy interior. The combination of great ribeye flavor, butter, and aromatic herbs makes this recipe outstanding.

The Ingredients You’ll Need

For a tender, juicy, and buttery ribeye steak cooked on your stovetop, these are the ingredients you would need:

  • A 1.5 to 2 inches thick ribeye steak
  • 1 tablespoon high-smoke point oil (I recommend avocado oil)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ stick of unsalted butter
  • 2-3 garlic cloves
  • 2 thyme or rosemary springs

The Tools You’ll Need

  • Cast Iron Skillet
  • Tongs
  • Instant Read Thermometer

How to Cook Ribeye Steak on a Stove

Here is my comprehensive, easy-to-follow recipe packed with handy tips on cooking ribeye steak on the stove.

Note: This recipe uses a 1.5-inch-thick ribeye steak. If you feel this is too large for one person, treat this recipe as a meal for two. Steaks between 1.5 and 2 inches thick are perfect for a beautifully seared exterior with a crispy crust while keeping the inside cooked to medium-rare.

Ingredients: Black pepper, garlic, salt, butter, avocado oil, rosemary, and ribeye steak
Ingredients: Black pepper, garlic, salt, butter, avocado oil, rosemary, and ribeye steak

Step 1: Prepare the Ribeye Steak

Start by thoroughly drying the ribeye steak with a paper towel. Once it’s dry, it’s time to salt the steak. But when is the best time to do this? It depends on when you plan to sear the steak.

For this recipe, the goal is to get the best possible crust on the steak. A dry surface is key—remember, moisture is the enemy of a crispy crust. After you salt the steak, the salt draws out water, which the steak mostly reabsorbs within 45-60 minutes. So, what’s the takeaway?

  • If you want a flavorful steak with a nice crust, take it out of the fridge, salt it on both sides and then wait at least 45-60 minutes before you sear it.
  • If you’re after the best flavor and an amazing crust, leave the salted steak in the fridge overnight so it’s ready to cook the next day. Remember to let the steak sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes before cooking it. This method ensures the steak is flavor-packed and completely dry on the surface. I always use this method when I have the time.
salt seasoned ribeye steak
Salt-seasoned ribeye steak
Ribeye steak, 5 minutes after salting
Ribeye steak, 5 minutes after salting
Ribeye steak, 24 hours after salting
Ribeye steak, 24 hours after salting

Step 2: Preheat the Cast-Iron Skillet

Preheat your cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. After 2-3 minutes, add a tablespoon of refined avocado oil. Give it a minute to get hot. The whole process should take about 3 to 4 minutes, bringing the pan to a temperature of over 400°F. While you’re waiting, season the steak with some pepper.

For a good sear on your steak, you need high heat, ideally at least 400°F, and even heat distribution. A cast-iron skillet is perfect for this because it retains heat so well. Also, ensure you’re using an oil that can handle the heat. Refined avocado oil is great for this, with a smoke point of 510°F.

ribeye steak seasoned with ground black pepper
Ribeye steak seasoned with ground black pepper
Cast iron skillet heated to 473 degrees F.
Cast iron skillet heated to 473 degrees F.

Step 3: Place the Ribeye Steak on the Skillet

Gently place the steak on a preheated, very hot skillet, pressing it down slightly to ensure even contact with the surface. Flip the steak every 30 seconds to get a rich brown crust, and evenly cook it inside. Keep an eye on the steak’s internal temperature with a thermometer; once it hits 90°F, turn the heat down to low and move on to the next step.

Note: My 1.5-inch thick ribeye steak usually reaches 90°F in about 4 minutes, but that’s a rough guide. The actual time can vary based on the steak’s thickness, how long it’s been resting, and the type of pan. That’s why using a meat thermometer is a must.

Step 4: Baste the Ribeye Steak with Butter

Add the butter, garlic, and your choice of thyme or rosemary to the pan. As the butter starts melting, sear the steak’s sides quickly. Then, tilt the pan to pool the melted butter at the bottom edge. Move the steak a bit higher in the pan and use a spoon to baste the steak with the melted butter for 30 seconds on each side.

While basting, monitor the steak’s internal temperature and remove it from the heat when it’s 20°F below your target doneness. Although I recommend aiming for medium-rare to medium, adjust the cooking time based on how you like your steak.

If you don’t like basting, tilt the pan to collect the butter, place the steak in it, and cook, flipping every 30 seconds. The overall results will be the same as with the basting method.

Note: Always lower the heat to low when basting to prevent the butter from burning. Aim for a golden-brown butter color, not black. Remember that butter has a relatively low smoke point (around 300°F). If exposed to high heat for too long, butter can burn quickly and ruin the flavor of your steak.

Ribeye steak, seared in a cast iron skillet with butter, rosemary, and garlic.
Ribeye steak, seared in a cast iron skillet with butter, rosemary, and garlic.
Baste the ribeye steak with the melted butter
Baste the ribeye steak with the melted butter
Internal Ribeye Steak Temperature 129 F
Internal Ribeye Steak Temperature 129°F

Step 5: Let the Pan-Seared Ribeye Steak Rest

Let the pan-seared ribeye steak rest for 5 to 7 minutes. If the steak is up to 1.5 inches thick, rest it for 5 minutes; if it’s between 1.5 and 2 inches thick, rest it for 6-7 minutes. After that, add the leftover butter from the pan, rosemary, and garlic, and slice the steak however you like.

pan-seared ribeye steak; medium-rare doneness
Pan-seared ribeye steak; medium-rare doneness
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pan seared ribeye steak

Pan Seared Ribeye Steak

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  • Author: Adam Wojtow
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Rest Time: 24 hours
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 24 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 16 oz Ribeye Steak
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: American

Description

A perfectly pan seared ribeye steak with a crispy crust and juicy interior. Infused with rich butter and aromatic herbs, this recipe guarantees a mouth-watering dish every time.


Ingredients

  • A 1.5 to 2 inches thick ribeye steak
  • 1 tablespoon high-smoke point oil (I recommend avocado oil)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground pepper
  • ½ stick of unsalted butter
  • 23 garlic cloves
  • 2 thyme or rosemary springs

Instructions

  1. Prepare the Ribeye Steak: Dry the ribeye steak with a paper towel, then generously salt it using one of the following methods:

    Option 1: For optimal flavor and crust, salt the steak on both sides and let it sit at room temperature for 45-60 minutes before searing.

    Option 2: For an exceptional crust and flavor, salt the steak and leave it in the fridge overnight. The next day, let it sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before cooking.

  2. Preheat the Cast-Iron Skillet: Preheat a cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat for 2-3 minutes. Add a tablespoon of refined avocado oil and let it heat for another minute until the pan reaches over 400°F. While the skillet is heating, season your steak with pepper.
  3. Place Ribeye Steak on Skillet: Place the steak on a hot skillet, pressing it down slightly for even contact. Flip every 30 seconds to get a rich brown crust and cook more evenly inside. Monitor the steak’s internal temperature with a thermometer; once it reaches 90°F, lower the heat and move on to the next step.
  4. Baste the Steak: Add butter, garlic, and thyme or rosemary to the pan. As the butter melts, quickly sear the steak’s sides. Tilt the pan to pool the butter and baste the steak for 30 seconds on each side. Monitor the internal temperature and remove the steak from heat when it’s 20°F below your target doneness. Alternatively, cook the steak in the pooled butter, flipping every 30 seconds. Lower the heat while basting to prevent the butter from burning; aim for a golden-brown color.
  5. Let Steak Rest: Let the pan-seared ribeye steak rest for 5-7 minutes. For steaks up to 1.5 inches thick, rest for 5 minutes, and for thicker steaks, rest for 6-7 minutes. Then, add the leftover butter, rosemary, and garlic, and slice as you like.

FAQs

How long does it take to cook ribeye steak on the stove?

The cooking time for a ribeye steak on the stove varies depending on several factors. These include the steak’s thickness, the type of pan you’re using, the power of your burners or electric stove, the temperature of the pan, and the resting time.

For the 1.5-inch steak I cooked in this recipe, it took about 6-7 minutes to reach an internal temperature of 110°F. However, these times are just approximations. Don’t cook the steak without a thermometer. I highly recommend using an instant-read thermometer. This tool lets you quickly and accurately check the steak’s internal temperature, which is crucial for determining when to take the steak off the pan to achieve perfect doneness.

Is ribeye steak better pan-seared or grilled?

The answer varies from person to person, depending on individual preferences. Both methods offer delightful tastes but have advantages and disadvantages beyond flavor.

I love pan-seared ribeye for its precise temperature control, quick cooking time, rich buttery and other leftover ingredients flavor, and beautiful golden-brown crust. Plus, it’s a method you can rely on throughout the year, regardless of the weather. On the other hand, grilled ribeye wins my heart with its straightforwardness, smoky flavor, and the added benefits of less indoor smoke and easier cleanup.

More Pan-Seared Steak Recipes To Try

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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 five years and knows a lot about them, including the different types of steak cuts, how long to cook them, and the best ways to cook any steak.

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