posted March 03, 2016
Rib Eye Steaks with Balsamic Red Wine Glaze
These rib eye steaks are simply seasoned, slow smoked, and then seared in a buttered cast iron skillet to perfect medium rare. Top that with a balsamic red wine glaze and your mouth is going to owe you big for the rest of forever.
Rib Eye Steak Cut
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.
The rib eye steak cut of meat is a killer steak. It’s extremely juicy and bursting with classic beefy steak flavor. It can be a more expensive cut of steak, but it’s always worth the cost.
My favorite rib eye steaks for grilling are the ones 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). These are packed with flavor and will always give you the biggest bang for your buck.
When purchasing the right rib eye steak, I recommend purchasing 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.
Balsamic Glazed Rib Eye Steak
A good rib eye steak holds its own, and can easily be grilled up with little more than salt and pepper. For these steaks, we’re giving them a bit of a glow up with an added balsamic glaze that will knock your socks off.
These steaks have “date night” written all over them. Rib eye is already a great steak, and the sweet and succulent balsamic red wine glaze adds that final fancy element. If you have someone you need to impress, cook them a pair of these rib eye steaks!
How to Cook Rib Eye Steak
This recipe will help you grill the perfect rib eye. Guaranteed. We are using a method called reverse searing (for more details, see my post on the Perfect Reverse Seared Steak on the Grill). The process involves cooking your rib eye steak at a low temperature and then finishing with a high heat sear. Here’s a breakdown of the steps:
- Season. Season the steaks with some high-quality kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper on all sides. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can use my Beef Rub on these steaks. Preheat your grill to 250 degrees F. If cooking these in a pellet grill, use a strong wood like oak.
- Smoke. Cook the steaks on the grill for 30-45 minutes until they are within 10 degrees of your final target temperature. The kiss of wood smoke at the beginning of the process adds an incredible amount of 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.
- Sear. Once your rib eye steaks have slowly risen in temperature, it is time 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, 1) a grill preheated to high heat, 2) a screaming hot cast iron skillet with some butter, or even 3) 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.
How Long to Cook Rib Eye Steak
The time it takes to cook a rib eye steak will vary depending on how thick your steaks are, how consistent the temperature of the grill is running, and your preferred doneness.
For medium rare steak, you can expect it to take around 30-45 minutes from start to finish to cook your rib eye steaks. Adjust this time as needed for your preferred doneness.
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. 115 degrees F
- Medium Rare. 125 degrees F
- Medium. 135 degrees F
- Medium Well. 140 degrees F
- Well Done. 150 degrees F
Internal temperatures after the second step (the high heat sear):
- Rare. 125 degrees F
- Medium Rare. 135 degrees F
- Medium. 145 degrees F
- Medium Well. 150 degrees F
- Well Done. 160 degrees F
More BBQ Steak Recipes
It just doesn’t get much better than these grilled steak recipes. Rib eye is my personal favorite, but I’ll honestly take a steak in any form (as long as it’s cooked to medium-rare!). Check out these other great steak recipes from Hey Grill Hey.
- Grilled Rib Eye Steak with Roasted Garlic Resting Butter
- Smoked Rib Eye Cap Steak
- Perfect Reverse Seared Steak on the Grill
Rib Eye Steak Recipe
It’s time to preheat that grill and get some gorgeous rib eye steaks cooking! Once you’ve enjoyed the fruits of your labor, return to this post and leave a comment below!
Grilled Ribeye Steaks with Balsamic Red Wine Glaze
- 2 1 inch thick bone in ribeye 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.
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