Salt and Pepper Rib Eye Steak

This salt and pepper rib eye steak recipe, made with bone-in-rib eye, salt, and pepper either on the grill or stovetop, provides a foolproof technique for perfectly cooked steak.

Cutting board and knife with a salt and pepper rib eye steak

To paraphrase author and editor Adam Rapoport, a well-marbled rib eye is so damn rich and flavorful on its own, it needs nothing more than salt, pepper, and fire. That’s all it takes to create one of the most superlative suppers known to humankind.#Truth. Originally published July 25, 2013.Renee Schettler Rossi

Salt and Pepper Rib Eye Steak

  • Quick Glance
  • (5)
  • 40 M
  • 1 H, 50 M
  • Serves 2
5/5 - 5 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the The Grilling Book cookbook

Want it? Click it.



Pat the steak dry with paper towels and place it on a wire rack situated on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt per side. Let stand at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Pat it dry with paper towels again and reseason it with 1/2 teaspoon salt per side and 1/2 teaspoon cracked peppercorns per side, pressing so the seasoning adheres.

If making the rib eye on the stovetop, see the variation below. If making the rib eye on the grill, build a two-zone (medium-hot and medium-low) fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill to high just before cooking, leaving one burner on low. Brush the grill grate with oil. Place the steak over the higher heat, close the heat, and cook, flipping it just once, until nicely charred, 3 to 4 minutes per side. (If a flare-up occurs, use tongs to gently slide the steak to a cooler part of the grill until the flames subside.) Move the steak to lower heat and cook, flipping once, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Using tongs, lift the steak and sear both edges (the bone side and the fatcap side) for 1 to 2 minutes per side to render some of the fat. Measure the temperature of the steak to ascertain when it has reached the desired temperature. For rare steak, it will take 14 to 18 minutes total grilling time to reach 120°F (49°C) although it will carry over to 125°F (51°C), or medium-rare, as it rests.

Transfer the steak to a cutting board and let it rest for at least 10 minutes. Slice it against the grain and season it with coarse sea salt. You know what to do from here.

Print RecipeBuy the The Grilling Book cookbook

Want it? Click it.


    • Stovetop Rib Eye

    • Got 6 inches of snow blanketing your grill? Forget the grill and instead slap this magnificent cut of steak in a large cast iron skillet that you’ve been heating and heating and heating over medium-high heat until it’s consistently hot but not smoking. Cook the steak, turning once, until nicely seared on each side. Transfer the steak and skillet to a preheated 350°F (180°C) oven until cooked to the desired degree of doneness. Let it rest for at least 10 minutes and season with salt.

    • Boneless Rib Eye
    • If you can only get your hands on a boneless rib eye rather than a bone-in rib eye, no worries. That’ll work. Whether you’re cooking it on the grill or the stovetop, keep a watchful eye on your steak as it will probably need to cook for a touch less time than indicated in the recipe.

    Recipe Testers' Reviews

    Who knew a little bit of salt and a little bit of time could transform an everyday rib eye steak into something amazing?! I adore this recipe and will be using this technique to wow guests in the future when I serve the most flavorful, tender steaks they’ve ever had!

    This salt and pepper rib eye steak was just perfect. Everyone loved them. Dad especially liked it.

    I followed the directions exactly. Seared on each side for 3 minutes and then moved to the low side of the grill for 3 minutes on each side. I only did the edges for about 45 seconds each. I was using boneless rib eye steaks. They were crisp, crunchy, salty, and peppery on the outside and absolutely perfectly rare to medium-rare inside.

    This will now be my go-to method for the gas grill on a steak of that thickness (mine was 2 inches) for future forays into the “man land” of grilling.


    #leitesculinaria on Instagram If you make this recipe, snap a photo and hashtag it #LeitesCulinaria. We'd love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.


    1. This has become my “go to” recipe for steak. Simple. Perfect. And the leftovers, should there be any, are pretty amazing.

    2. I don’t often wax poetic about steak. In fact, even though I am a writer, I don’t often wax poetic about the majority of recipes I try, even when they are good…so this one is indeed special. If you know me, you also know that steak is not high on my food priorities list. However, this steak was literally what changed those priorities for me, as we are having this for a second time in the same week! We threw this on the grill for our Fourth of July dinner, and we followed it to the letter. If it needs any changes at all, I would cut back just a little on the salt next time; that said, I’m rather salt-sensitive, so it is probably a “me” thing. Anyway, this ribeye was tender, flavorful, and needed no sauce to adorn it; in fact, sauce of any kind would have detracted from the sublime experience that is this steak. Sauce on a steak of this caliber is blasphemy. And it was as tender as butter. It was perfect for the Fourth of July, and I think it would also make a great meal for any other excuse to fire up the grill: Father’s Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day… or, heck, just to cover all the bases, showcase this steak at every outdoor grilling event of the season. (Yes. I liked it that much. lol)

        1. Meat first and foremost. A 2 inch thick rib steak or rib eye cooked to precisely 128 F has is transplendent when done sous vide. Mojo marinated center cut loin chops, cooked for 45 minutes at 138 F will change the mind of anyone who normally avoids that inherently bland cut.

          Of course, finishing up the meat on a hot grill (for color) for a minute a side is required.

          I’m going to do J. Kenji-Alt’s sous vide eggs next.

    3. I bought a grill with a separate infrared searing section just for a steak like this. While I love flank steak and all of the seasonings that play well with it, every now and then I just want a big, juicy ribeye. I’m with Lloyd…a pat of butter just adds a bit more decadence, and I say, “Why not!”

    4. Hello,

      We have been cooking steak this way for several years and we prefer a 1 to 11/4 inch striploin that is well marbled. Along with cracked pepper and sea salt we also add powdered garlic. After cooking it, we let it rest, slice it against the grain, and now the secret ingredient: BUTTER! Yes, put butter on the steak and serve. Apparently this is what high-end steakhouses do. Regardless, it tastes great.



      1. We’re not going to stand between a man and the steak that he loves, Lloyd. And actually, I grew up in the midwest, where even though we had that spectacular Iowa beef, we still put a pat of butter on top of the steak and let it melt prior to tucking into it. Thanks for the memory.

    Have something to say?

    Then tell us. Have a picture you'd like to add to your comment? Attach it below. And as always, please take a gander at our comment policy before posting.

    Rate this recipe!

    Have you tried this recipe? Let us know what you think.

    Upload a picture of your dish