CK Cooks: Pan Seared Rib Eye

April 21, 2009 · 10 comments · Print This Post

in Beef, CK Cooks, Dinner

Pan Seared Rib Eyes

Every so often we get a craving for a nice steak dinner, usually on a Sunday night accompanied by a great baked potato and a vegetable side. When that time comes, we find ourselves in a bit of a bind.

You see, we are apartment dwellers, with no access to any sort of outdoor grill. Also being in the Northeast, it’s horribly cold out for a good portion of the year. What we need is a way to cook these steaks indoors. Our biggest problem is always the large amount of smoke that cooking steaks on the stove top creates.

We had been using Alton Brown’s Sirloin Recipe, which cooks the steaks on the oven rack directly with a tray or foil underneath to catch drippings. This technique works well, though is not only messy, but also requires shifting the height of multiple very hot oven racks during the cooking process.

One weekend a few weeks back I wanted to make a steak for Erin on a mini special occasion. I decided to “upgrade” the steaks for this meal to something of a little higher caliber. I decided on a couple of Rib Eyes. Now I just needed a recipe/technique to cook them. I should have known Alton would have me covered there as well.

I actually like this recipe a lot more than the Sirloin recipe, as it requires no oven rack shifting or extreme cleaning methods afterward. All it does require is a nice Cast Iron Skillet and a hot oven. One of the main tricks to successfully cook this (in my mind) is finding an oil with a high smoke point. For our purposes, we were lucky enough to have some refined Safflower Oil laying around, which has one of the highest smoke points of all oils. In most cases Canola oil is going to be your best bet.

Pan Seared Rib Eye Steak

As for preparation, we prefer a basic steak: coat steaks with oil via a brush, and then liberally apply salt and pepper to both sides.

To cook the steaks, get the cast iron skillet up to 500 degrees by sticking it in the oven for a good 10 minutes (can be done while prepping the steaks, naturally). Once the skillet is hot, take it out and put it on the stovetop over high heat and throw the steaks on, leaving them for 30 seconds on each side. After that, you throw the whole skillet back into the oven at the same 500 degrees for 2-3 minutes on each side (we like ours medium, and 3 minutes made our steaks perfectly so). Take them out and let rest for 2 minutes. At this stage we usually place a little pat of butter on top, steakhouse style.

Pair with your favorite vegetable and a nice baked potato and enjoy with a good beer or Gin and Tonic.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 carrie April 21, 2009 at 2:01 pm

mmmm… now I want steak!

I’d say that’s a nice piece of meat you have there, CK, but it maaaay come out sounding wrong.

On a side note… the one thing that got Troy and I through our apartment years was a $10-$20 CAMPING grill that runs on mini-propane tanks. I tend to shuck anything that’s camping related, but it was small enough to use on our ~3 square foot patio, easy to store when not in use, and always hit the spot when we wanted to grill steaks, kabobs, etc. No Safflower Oil required! 😉

of course you can always go ghetto like I did in florida and chuck some charcoal in a disposable lasagna pan with a cookie cooling rack…. but y’all might be too hi-brow for those kind of shenannigans.


2 snooky doodle April 21, 2009 at 4:42 pm

that ribeye looks elicious. I have just bought some ribeye steaks for the first time and this will surely help me to cook them right. Thanks for sharing


3 Allen of EOL April 21, 2009 at 5:00 pm

That vein of fat in the steak is scandalous! Love it. The downside of living in California was that such beautiful pieces of marbled meat were harder to find, something about being all health conscious or some other nonsense.


4 Air April 21, 2009 at 6:47 pm

Erin, This has nothing to do with your delicious looking Rib Eye…. I’m wondering if soon you can post something on some sort of fish? Unless you don’t like fish…

I’ve been searching high and low for a yummy Talapia recipe but I’m not having much luck.

It’s spring time where I live and for some reason my family likes to cook with fish during this season.

Any ideas?


5 Kerstin April 21, 2009 at 7:08 pm

We don’t have a grill either anymore, but we had a balcony in Chicago and I completely miss it. My hubby had a smoker too, and made the most amazing ribs!

Your ribeyes look incredible – now I’m craving a big juicy steak!


6 Elyse April 21, 2009 at 8:08 pm

What a cool technique!! You’re making me want to get my skillet out. Although, I’m afraid to heat anything up to 500 degrees right now–it’s 90 degrees in my apartment (Bay Area heat wave), and the idea of having my oven on is enough to make me start sweating 🙂


7 Kelly April 23, 2009 at 10:33 am

That looks like a good comfort meal. Nothing beats a simple piece of good meat.


8 EB April 23, 2009 at 10:18 pm

Such is life in the city eh? Although a neighbor offered to let us pull an ancient Weber out of the basement storage unit and put it in the parking space and grill on it…. um… so back to the pan you mentioned…


9 Erin April 24, 2009 at 7:06 am


Thanks so much for your comment. I actually don’t really like fish unless it’s in sushi form. Weird, right? Unfortunately I never cook fish at home. Perhaps someday I’ll learn to overcome one of my last childish food prejudices but until then you probably wont see any fish recipes on ErinCooks. Sorry I can’t be of assistance!



10 The Optimistic Pessimist April 24, 2009 at 10:44 am

I have my Mom’s old cast iron skillet. You are right it is the best way to cook a rib eye! I also use it for when I make stew…. Yuuuum


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