The benefit of an electric skillet is that it maintains the desired temperature throughout the cooking process, which means that foods cook evenly and thoroughly. This is especially important when cooking steaks, as you want to ensure even searing and caramelizing of the outside, and a safe interior temperature when done. Ribeye steaks are taken from the cow's rib section, making them tender and best-suited to certain cooking methods, including pan-frying. This can be done on a stove top or in an electric skillet.
Place the electric skillet on a solid surface and away from any flammable materials. Preheat it to 375 to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Consult the owner's manual for the correct setting if the dial displays heat rather than temperature settings.
Sprinkle a few drops of water into the pan; if they evaporate quickly, the pan is ready. Add the oil or butter to the pan, and allow the butter to melt completely.
Place the steaks carefully in the pan, but do not overcrowd them. Season the top with salt and pepper and allow them to cook for two to three minutes to allow a crust to develop. Move the steaks just a bit to keep them from sticking to the pan.
Turn the steaks over and season the other side with salt and pepper. Cook for two to three more minutes, then reduce the heat to 275 to 300 degrees F. Partially cover the pan to allow the steam to escape. Cook the steaks for five to 10 more minutes, or until they are done to your taste.
Test the meat for doneness by inserting the thermometer into the thickest part away from any bones, but without going all the way through. Look for a reading of 130 degrees F for very rare, 140 degrees F for rare, 145 degrees for medium-rare, 160 degrees for medium, and 170 to 180 degrees F for well to very well-done.
Serve the steaks immediately or keep them warm on a platter covered in aluminum foil.
Don't ignore those browned bits left in the bottom of the pan after removing the steaks. Turn the pan back on to a low setting and add wine, beef broth or water to the bits and any drippings. Cook and stir, scraping all the bits into the sauce, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Add flavor to the pan sauce by adding a little more butter, along with a sprinkling of garlic powder, parsley or other herbs or seasonings. Serve the sauce hot with the steaks.
Meat thermometers include the type you insert into a turkey or roast for the entire cooking time or the instant-read type with a small temperature dial gauge at one end or a digital read-out screen. An instant-read is preferable for testing steaks, as they get the job done quickly while the meat is still hot.