Rib Eye Steak is my love language. These Grilled Rib Eye Steaks with Balsamic Red Wine Glaze are akin to wedding vows for me. Simply seasoned, slow smoked and then seared in a buttered cast iron skillet to perfect medium rare. Top that with this balsamic red wine glaze and your mouth is going to owe you big for the rest of forever.
I would choose a bone in, marbled rib eye, medium rare over pretty much any other steak available. The texture, flavor, and overall appearance of digging in to a massive hunk of a glistening grilled rib eye steak is so dang appealing to me. I’m here to give you the steps to master this particular cut of meat, so let’s get started!
What is a Rib Eye?
Rib eye steaks come from the rib section (technically ribs 6 through 12) and contain three different muscles. Depending on where your steak is cut from within this rib section determines how much of each muscle you get in each rib eye. steak. My favorite rib eye steaks for grilling are finding steaks with the largest portion of the spinalis dorsi muscle, that top outer strip of well-marbled muscle that is separated from the middle longissimus dorsi muscle by a strip of fat.
How to Cook Rib Eye Steak:
This recipe will help you grill the perfect rib eye. We are using a method called reverse searing (I give all of the details for that method in THIS post). The process involves cooking your rib eye steak at a low temperature, and of course for me, this low temperature step is always done in my smoker, and then finishing with a high heat sear. That kiss of wood smoke at the beginning of the process adds an incredible amount of flavor to the overall flavor of the finished steak. If you don’t have a smoker, you can follow the same time and temperature guidelines and cook in your oven.
Once your rib eye steaks have slowly risen in temperature, it is time to finish the cooking process to lock in all of those delicious juices and add a crust to the exterior of the rib eye steaks. You can sear your steaks using several methods, a preheated grill on high heat, a screaming hot cast iron pan with some butter, or even broiling under the flames in your oven. The most important thing is to have your temperature for this step incredibly high. Your steaks will be nearly done cooking, so you don’t want to overcook them during this step, just add the sear to the exterior.
Internal Temperature for Rib Eye Steaks
You will need to monitor your internal temperature closely during this cooking process. I recommend investing in a good internal thermometer (I use and trust my Thermoworks MK4 more than any other thermometer I own). You’ll be using it twice, first to check the internal temperatures during the slow smoke step. You want your internal temperature for the first step to be at least 10 degrees lower than your final desired temperature because it will rise those last 10 degrees during the high heat sear.
Internal Temperatures after the first step (the slow smoke):
Rare: 110-115 degrees F
Medium Rare: 120-125 degrees F
Medium: 130-135 degrees F
Medium Well: 140-145 degrees F
Well Done: 150-155 degrees F
Internal Temperatures after the second step (the high heat sear):
Rare: 125 degrees F
Medium Rare: 130-135 degrees F
Medium: 140-145 degrees F
Medium Well: 150 degrees F
Well Done: 160 degrees F
Rib Eye Steak Recipe
Grilled Rib Eye Steaks with Balsamic Red Wine Glaze
- 2 1 inch thick bone in rib eye steaks
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh cracked black pepper
Balsamic Red Wine Glaze
- 1/2 cup high quality balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
- 1 clove garlic (finely minced)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Remove the steaks from the refrigerator approximately 2 hours before cooking to allow to come to room temperature.
- Start your grill on low heat and allow approximately 5-10 minutes for pre-heating. You’re looking for approximately 250 degrees F in your grill, smoker, or oven. If smoking, use a strong wood like oak.
- Season your steaks with the salt and pepper. Make sure to press the seasonings into the meat with the flat of your hand opposed to just sprinkling them on.
- Place the steaks on the grill and close the lid. Cook the steaks at 250 until the internal temperature reaches 120-125 degrees F (for medium rare). Use an internal thermometer to check the temperature. This can take anywhere from 30-45 minutes depending on the thickness of your steak.
- While the steaks are cooking, prepare the balsamic red wine reduction. Add the vinegar, red wine, garlic, and brown sugar to a small saucepan. Simmer over medium heat until the mixture is reduced by about two-thirds. This will take about 10 minutes. You want your reduction to cling to the back side of a spoon without running off too quickly or turning into a hard ball. Slowly melt in 1 tablespoon of butter and stir thoroughly to incorporate. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Remove the steaks from the grill to a separate plate to rest. It's time for the final sear. If using a cast iron pan, preheat over high heat. Melt in 1 additional tablespoon of butter. If searing on a grill, turn the temperature setting on your grill to High and preheat for 10-15 minutes while the steaks rest.
- Return the steaks to the grill or place into the preheated cast iron pan and sear each side for approximately 2-3 minutes or until desired doneness. 125-130 degrees for rare, 130-140 medium rare, 140-150 medium.
- Remove the steaks to a platter and drizzle with the warm balsamic red wine glaze. Serve the steaks immediately.