Pan-Seared Ribeye (with Garlic Butter)

published Jul 22, 2023
Seared Ribeye Steak Recipe

How to perfectly sear this flavorful cut in a skillet in less than 10 minutes.

Serves2

Prep5 minutes

Cook10 minutes to 15 minutes

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a seared steak being basted with garlic, rosemary, thyme, and butter in a cast iron skillet
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Nicole Rufus

A ribeye steak may seem like an obvious choice to cook for a romantic meal, but it’s honestly so easy that you can make it for dinner whenever you’re in the mood for a tasty steak. With the help of a really hot skillet and a kiss of garlic-herb butter at the end, this seared ribeye steak recipe takes only about 10 minutes on the stovetop. If you want to recreate the steakhouse experience at home, serve it up with a baked potato and a side of creamed spinach

 Tips for Buying Ribeye Steak

  • Choose bone-in or boneless. Some people prefer steaks that still have the bone attached because they feel that they’re more flavorful (and I personally love nibbling on the meat that’s attached to the bone), but boneless steaks are also just as delicious and also easier to slice. The choice is up to you!
  • Go for a thicker steak. In order to have a flavorful browned crust, steaks need to be cooked for a certain amount of time over high heat. Thinner steaks cook more quickly, however the outside sometimes doesn’t get as browned, so thicker steaks (around 1 1/4-inch) are better if you want a well-browned exterior and a more rosy interior (if you prefer it rare or medium-rare).
  • Look for even marbling. Ribeye steaks with even white streaks of fat (also known as marbling) are better than steaks that have bigger chunks of fat concentrated in a few spots. A more widespread network of fat means the fat will melt more quickly and distribute itself more evenly into the meat.
  • Buy the right amount of steak. Thick ribeye steaks usually weigh around one pound each, which feeds two to three people. If your steak has a bone, it will feed two people generously.
Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Nicole Rufus

How Long it Takes to Cook Ribeye Steak

For a ribeye steak that’s about 1 1/4 inches thick, it will take eight to 10 minutes cooking time on the stovetop over high heat until it registers 120ºF for medium-rare.

If you have a thinner steak, check on it earlier, and if you have a thicker steak, continue searing and flipping the steak until it hits 120ºF, which will take a few minutes longer.

How to Sear Ribeye Steak

  1. Dry and season the steak. Pat the steak dry of excess moisture; dry steaks brown better. Season with salt, but save the pepper for later, as pepper can burn when cooked at such high temperatures.
  2. Really heat the pan. Heat a little bit of vegetable oil in a medium frying pan or cast iron skillet over medium-high heat until you see a wisp of smoke. You want the pan hot enough so that it can do a good job of searing, so don’t be afraid of heat (definitely have the windows open or your hood turned on!). If you want to double the recipe and cook two steaks at once, use a 12-inch-wide pan so that the steaks aren’t crowded.
  3. Flip often. Contrary to common steak cooking techniques where you only flip the steak once, flip it every minute or so instead. This still yields a nicely browned exterior, but browns both sides evenly.
  4. Finish with butter. Butter burns easily but imparts delicious flavor. When the steak is almost ready, add some butter, garlic, and herbs to the pan. Then, baste the steak with that flavorful melted butter as it finishes cooking.
  5. Rest the steak. I like to let the steak rest for five minutes for the juices to redistribute themselves throughout the meat before slicing and serving. Top with some freshly ground pepper at this point if you like a peppery kick.

5 Ways to Use Up Leftover Steak

I like doubling the recipe and searing two steaks at once, as leftover cooked steak can be used up in many different ways and gives me a jumpstart on a future meal. 

While you can just reheat steak and eat it as is, here are a few ideas for using up leftover steak.

  1. Used in an upside-down steak dinner bowl.
  2. Sliced and served on top of a spinach salad with apples, walnuts, and feta.
  3. Stir-fried into fried rice.
  4. Added as protein on garlicky soba noodle bowls.
  5. Tucked into warm tortillas with some salsa and sliced radishes for easy steak tacos.

Seared Ribeye Steak Recipe

How to perfectly sear this flavorful cut in a skillet in less than 10 minutes.

Prep time 5 minutes

Cook time 10 minutes to 15 minutes

Serves 2

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • 1 clove

    garlic

  • 1 tablespoon

    unsalted butter

  • 1 sprig

    fresh rosemary or 2 sprigs fresh thyme

  • 2 teaspoons

    vegetable oil

  • 1

    (about 1 1/4-inches thick) bone-in or boneless ribeye steak (about 1 pound)

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    kosher salt

  • Flaky salt (optional)

  • Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Instructions

  1. Peel and smash 1 garlic clove. Measure out 1 tablespoon unsalted butter. Have 1 fresh rosemary sprig or 2 fresh thyme sprigs ready.

  2. Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in a medium frying pan or cast iron skillet over high heat until just starting to smoke. Meanwhile, pat 1 ribeye steak dry with paper towels. Season all over with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.

  3. Place the steak in the pan and cook, flipping every minute or so, until dark golden brown all over and almost to desired doneness (115ºF in the thickest part), 6 to 8 minutes (reduce the heat slightly if the pan starts to burn). If you want browned sides, stand the steak up on its side with tongs to sear for a minute or two.

  4. Add the butter, garlic, and herbs to the pan. When the butter is melted, use a spoon to baste the steak with the butter as it cooks and continue cooking until desired doneness, 1 to 2 minutes more for medium rare (120ºF in the thickest part).

  5. Transfer the steak to a clean cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut the steak off the bone if bone-in, then cut into 1/2-inch thick slices. Transfer to a plate. Drizzle any juices from the cutting board over the steak if desired. Sprinkle with some flaky salt and a few grinds of black pepper if desired.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days.