Updated: Mar 25, 2021
How To Reverse Sear A Ribeye Steak, CAVEMAN STYLE, featuring our TEXAS DIRT Rub!
Howdy meat heads!
The weather’s getting warmer, and you know what that means! Grilling season is officially upon us! I don’t know about you, but when I think about firing up the BBQ, nothing sounds better than a thick, well-marbled ribeye steak fresh from the butcher shop. I mean, who doesn’t love a good ribeye?! It’s a go-to steak for most red meat eaters and rightfully so! Ribeyes are famous for their combination of deep, rich flavor and juicy tenderness. If cut right, it’ll eat right, and if seasoned and cooked properly, it’ll be the best steak you’ve ever had in your life! Not even the best steakhouse in town will be able to top your home cooked steak, and that’s exactly what I’m going to teach you how to master today. We’ll go through which part of the animal the ribeye comes from, how to choose the right steak at the butcher counter, how and when to apply the seasoning, my absolute FAVORITE cook method called The Caveman Reverse Sear, and of course, the importance of resting the meat after the cook.
Let’s cut to it!
Did you know? Cows have 13 pairs of ribs, and when butchered, the ribs can be found in different sections, or primals, of the animal. Let’s touch on that real quick.
Here’s how it works: The rib section consists of 7 ribs and sits between the forequarter and the loin. The forequarter section consists of ribs 1 through 5 while the 13th rib is considered part of the loin section. The ribeye steak is actually cut from the rib section known as the Longissimus Dorsi Muscle, which spans from the 6th to 12th rib. So when a cow is butchered, the forequarter is separated by cutting between the 5th and 6th rib, while the rib section is separated from the loin by cutting between the 12th and 13th ribs. Now ALL your rib related cuts come from this one rib section including bone-in and boneless ribeyes, prime rib roasts, tomahawk steaks, beef back ribs, and ribeye caps! That’s a lot of versatility from one muscle!
So when you’re at the butcher shop or grocery store, how do you know which ribeye to choose?
Go for the steak with the largest cap! The cap is by far the most prized part of the steak when it comes to flavor and tenderness, and an easy indicator that you’re getting a steak that was cut closer to the forequarter side versus the loin side. The cap will begin to taper down and become less noticeable starting with the 9th rib, so ideally, you want a ribeye that was cut from the 6th - 8th rib. This is definitely what I consider the sweet spot! On the contrary, steaks cut from the loin side will be noticeably leaner, and while still delicious, they won’t pack as much flavor as the ribeyes cut from the forequarter side. When using the reverse sear method, I prefer my steaks cut at 2 inches inch. This allows for enough time to get an even cook throughout and a nice finishing sear. A steak too thin will cook too fast and most likely dry out on you. Definitely keep that in mind when choosing your steaks! If you don’t see the steak you like in the meat case, don’t be afraid to flag a butcher down and ask if they’ll cut one for you! Most meat counters, like Whole Foods or any local shops are full service and will cater to specific cuts and special requests.
Now that we know how to choose our steak, let’s talk a little bit about the different grades of meat. There are a few, but I’m just going to touch on my 2 favorites.
PRIME VS CHOICE
What’s the difference? USDA Prime is produced from young, well-fed cattle. Its abundant marbling make it far superior when it comes to tenderness and flavor. USDA CHOICE is still very high quality, but has slightly less marbling than Prime beef. So which one should you choose? I’m of the opinion that you should make that decision when you get to the butcher shop. Some choice cuts will look just as marbled, if not more so than prime in some cases, and will most likely cost less. The best advice I can give you is to use your eye, and talk to your butcher! Don’t be afraid to tell them what your looking for and ask for their opinions. Most educated butchers are sure to lead you in the right direction!
What is Reverse Searing? And What On Earth Is Caveman Style?!
To start, reverse searing is a cook method that involves cooking the meat about 3/4 of the way on a lower, indirect heat, then finishing off with a sear using direct heat. So for example, for this recipe, we’ll be cooking the steak at 250F to an internal temperature of 100F, then finishing the steak off directly on the coals for a final temperature of about 125F. So what makes this method more favorable than others? The warm temperature of the indirect cook will dry out any excess moisture on the surface of the steak, creating the perfect opportunity for a nice crust to form! Also, the steady temperature allows for more control and prevents overcooking. Not to mention the consistent internal color! Reverse searing prevents any grey, overcooked outer edges, giving you a beautiful pink color all the way through! So what’s this Caveman Style talk? Caveman Style is simply searing your meat directly on the coals! Sounds kind of crazy right? Who does that?! Is it even safe? Absolutely! While I don’t use this method often, it’s a total game changer and will transform the flavor of your meat tenfold! My only recommendation would be to make sure you brush off any lingering ash that may have stuck to the steak. That probably won’t taste very good! Other than that, I assure you, this is completely safe and delicious!
Here’s what you’ll need for this recipe:
Ribeye Steak, cut at least 2 inches thick.
The Butcher’s Cut TEXAS DIRT Steak & Brisket Rub
Meat Probe and/or Meat Thermometer
For this recipe, we’ll be cooking on the Weber Smokey Mountain Smoker, however, you can use any charcoal grill!
Now that we brushed up on our meat knowledge and gathered our ingredients, let’s crack open a cold beer and get goin’ on this DIRTY RIBEYE!
Check out our easy how-to video below!
We’ll start by applying a nickel sized amount of olive oil to one side of the steak, massage all around, then repeat the process on the other side.
Next, once we’ve got the steak all oiled up, we’ll apply a liberal amount of Texas Dirt to all sides of the steak. Remember, this is a thick steak, so go heavy!
While the steak comes to room temperature, let’s fire up the pit!
Go ahead and get your coals lit!
Once the pit hits 250F, you can put the steak on.
Insert your meat probe into the thickest part of the steak.
When the internal temperature hits 100F, remove the steak from the pit.
Next, remove all grill grates so the coals are exposed. This is where we go CAVEMAN STYLE!
Place your steak directly on the hot coals for 1 minute.
Carefully flip the steak and repeat for an additional minute on the other side.
Next, remove the steak. Using a paper towel, gently brush off any ash that may have stuck to the meat.
Set the meat down on a cutting board and let rest 10-12 minutes.
Now it’s finally time to cut into this MONSTER!
Cut thinly against the grain, and serve!
Time to FEAST!
There you have it folks! Thanks so much for trying out our recipe. For those of you who are interested in purchasing our BBQ rubs, you can do so by visiting
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Until then, stay hungry and keep your knives sharp!