A high-quality, flavor-packed steak, rib eye is well suited for cooking to a medium-well degree of doneness, leaving a hint of pink remaining in the center of the meat. A steak with a thickness of at least 1 inch nets the best results. Cooking a rib eye steak to perfection in the oven is easy, but the key to a steak cooked exactly to medium-well is careful attention and a quality meat thermometer.
Let the steak warm to room temperature for about an hour, then remove excess moisture by patting the meat lightly with a paper towel.
Place the oven rack 4 to 6 inches below the broiler. Place a cast-iron skillet on the rack, then turn the oven on broil. Let the empty skillet preheat for 15 to 20 minutes. You can also preheat the skillet on the stovetop. Set the burner on high, then heat the pan for about 5 minutes.
Brush both sides of the steak with olive oil or canola oil, then season it generously with kosher salt or sea salt. Pat the salt lightly into the steak.
Remove the hot skillet from the oven, then place the steak carefully in the skillet, using tongs and a thick potholder. Return the skillet to the oven and sear the under the broiler steak for 3 minutes. Flip the steak with tongs, then sear the second side for 3 minutes. Reduce the time by about 1 minute on each side for steaks thinner than 1 inch.
Turn off the broiler and set the oven temperature to 500 degrees Fahrenheit to finish cooking. A 1-inch steak requires an additional cooking time of 4 to 5 minutes and a 1 3/4-inch steak requires 8 to 9 minutes.
Test the temperature with an instant-read digital thermometer approximately 3 minutes before the end of the estimated cooking time. Insert the probe of the thermometer 1/2 inch into the center of the steak, then wait for 10 seconds before reading. Return the steak to the oven, if needed, until the thermometer registers 150 to 160 F.
Transfer the steak to a serving plate. Cover the meat loosely with a tent of aluminum foil, then let it rest for at least 3 minutes. Don't wrap the meat tightly because it will become soggy.
Season the steak with freshly ground black pepper. Your rib eye steak is ready to serve.
- The Kitchn: How to Cook Perfect Steak in the Oven
- University of Wisconsin Extension: USDA Revises Recommended Cooking Times for All Whole Cuts of Meat to 145 Degrees
- Kansas State University Research and Extension: Choosing a Meat Thermometer
- The Kitchn: How to Broil a Steak in the Oven
- The Deluxe Food Lover's Companion; Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst
M.H. Dyer began her writing career as a staff writer at a community newspaper and is now a full-time commercial writer. She writes about a variety of topics, with a focus on sustainable, pesticide- and herbicide-free gardening. She is an Oregon State University Master Gardener and Master Naturalist and holds a Master of Fine Arts in creative nonfiction writing.
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