Everyone loves the perfect ribeye steak. And restaurants love to cook them for you. In a previous post, Wagyu Beef Tallow – How to Make a Choice Grade Steak Amazing, I outlined how to upgrade your choice grade steaks. In this post, I will walk you through a few secrets to making your favorite ribeye steaks at home, for a fraction of the cost.
When you learn to make your own steaks, you learn to appreciate your efforts and you can also add whatever small twist you want. Teach a man to fish….
Where to Start
When you decide what cut you want to cook, you’ll find a wide variety at the store already cut for you. There are a few ways to purchase what you’re looking for. From skirt steaks, to delmonico’s, t-bones, and filet mignon, you can find them pre cut at your local grocery store or meat market.
We’ll be focusing on ribeyes because a ribeye fits every characteristic everyone is looking for in a steak.
- Fat content
- Flexibility in thickness available
- Forgiveness when cooking yourself
I recommend always looking for a good deal. Every Christmas, Publix will sell standing rib roasts for around $5.99 a pound. This is unheard of as most ribeyes you will see will run roughly twice that amount.
This is an awesome steak hack that I always recommend and can also be used when you come across a strip loin that will allow you to cut a New York Strip to the size you want.
For steaks you are looking to grill, I strongly recommend using steaks that are a minimum of 1” thick. As previously noted in my prior article, this allows you some flexibility and to avoid overcooking your steaks while still giving you the outer crust that tops off the steak.
For this cook, I cut the steaks between 1”½ and 2”. These were cut directly from the standing rib roast I purchased from Publix shown above. To cut these, use a large knife that will allow you to cut through the entire roast with one stroke to avoid the sawing action that can give your steak an odd shape.
This allowed me to cook (2) 32 oz steaks and one 27.5 oz steaks for the family. What restaurant will give you this deal for $32?
I did trim some of the heavy tallow fat from the thicker parts. This heavy, dense fat doesn’t provide a pleasant flavor and only creates flare-ups.
As per usual, I only use coarse kosher salt, 15 mesh ground pepper, and garlic powder.
Season both sides of each steak, and don’t forget the edges. With the thicker cuts, you can’t really season them too much.
To be clear, these are pre seasoned to dry brine them prior to cooking. This allows the salt to penetrate into the meat and work its magic. As you can see in the picture below, the salt has darked the meat.
This means the salt has penetrated into the steak providing a deeper flavor and a slight tenderizing effect.
The Grill Plan
As described in all my cooking plans, these steaks are grilled on my charcoal grill using lump charcoal. The temperature is monitored to ensure the internal temp doesn’t exceed 115 degrees prior to searing the steaks.
The grill set up being used is a Weber 22” Master–Touch Charcoal Grill with Fogo premium charcoal. Both are, in my opinion, the best products for this type of cook. The pictures below show the actual set up as well as the internal set up with the charcoal placement and grates.
The charcoal location and set up or the indirect heat set up. This is why I prefer this model of the Weber Master Touch. The charcoal baskets are able to be placed in the most efficient location for your specific cook.
There are other options for cooking steaks as well. Cast iron skillets and smokers are certainly amazing alternatives for cooking steaks. Before you decide which platform to use to cook your steak, you need to consider the final flavor you’re looking to achieve.
When using a smoker, I would recommend using a wood that gives a less sweet flavor to beef. Reserve these for pork and chicken. If you choose to smoke your steak, I recommend the Camp Chef Pellet Smoker to provide you with the control and variety of different pellet flavors you may want to experiment with.
As noted above, the steaks are placed on the grill and covered to cook. They are monitored to ensure they don’t exceed 115 degrees internal prior to searing them. They will continue to cook during the sear. As shown below, these steaks are nearing the finishing stage and ready for the sear.
Flip the steaks as many times as required to avoid burning the outside of the steak. Once the internal temp reaches 110-115, I move them over the direct heat one by one to sear the outside of them. DO NOT go overboard with this as you can over cook the steaks.
We are cooking to a medium rare at best. As Hank Hill told Bobby when he asked, “What is someone asks for a well done steak Dad?”, “Well, we respectfully but firmly ask them to leave”.
There are a couple of notes that may defy the convention that your prior grilling mentors have passed down. No one likes burnt food. When addressing grill marks, these are burnt food. If you place your steak on a grate that is too warm, it will burn it. Place the steak on the side that is opposite the open flame then turn the grates to avoid the grill mark burned areas.
Also, cooking a steak also allows you the amazing opportunity to baste the steak with butter. However, be very conscious about when you put the butter on. This should always take place near the end of the cook. Butter burns and will create an off putting flavor if it’s not taken care of. If your butter has turned brown due to the heat, it’s burned and not recommended to use.
Butter basting is an incredible way to add flavor to your steak. I recommend using a cast iron pan to baste the steak while adding the crust with the cast iron pan. This can be done on your grill or on the cook top. Basting in a cast iron pan allows you to also add garlic cloves and rosemary to your butter baste.
Are you hungry yet? If not, you’re not human.
This isn’t a complicated process and can seem like a no-brainer. However, I still see people saying how great their steak from Outback or Longhorn was. There is NO substitute for a job well done yourself.
One thing to consider is the rest. It’s recommended to let any piece of meat rest for a short period of time before cutting and eating. This allows the meat to finish itself and the juices to ooze within.
Medium rare and juicy is how one should show respect to the cow that made this meal possible. And if this is too much steak at once for you, steak and eggs for breakfast the next day is always a welcome treat to wake up to.