Cooking a Medium-Rare Ribeye Perfectly Every Time | Rock the Grill

Cooking a Medium-Rare Ribeye Perfectly Every Time

BenPublished: January 31, 2024
Cooking a Medium-Rare Ribeye Perfectly Every Time

Ever wondered how long it takes to grill that perfect medium rare ribeye? We've been there too. It's all about timing, heat control, and a bit of grilling know-how.

The joys of grilling.

When it comes to whipping up a marvelous feast, grilling stands uniquely as our beloved option. It's not just about the mouth-watering taste of beautifully charred ribeye; it's also about the singular joys that come with the process.

Stepping outdoors, firing up the grill, licking our lips in anticipation... ah, it's an experience that feels almost ceremonial. And when that savory smell of sizzling steak wafts through the air, there's no denying it, we can hardly wait to take that first tender bite.


What makes grilling so satisfying isn't only about the flavors it adds. It's the knowledge, the skills learned over time, the gradual mastery of heat control, knowing when and how to flip, understanding the proper internal temperatures, and the art of searing. Let's not forget the thrill of the dance between the open flame and your chosen piece of meat.

When we grill, we become more than chefs. We become artists, alchemists, even – the grill our canvas, the slab of ribeye our raw material. We find joy in tending to our creation, carefully watching over it, tweaking and adjusting as we endeavor to grill it to perfection.

Grilling isn't a solitary endeavor. A grill often becomes a gathering place, drawing friends and family closer. It encourages camaraderie and connection. We laugh, we chat, we share stories and make memories all while awaiting that delectable medium-rare doneness.

Grilling. It's not simply cooking. It's a pastime, an art, and a means of making memories.

On this joyful journey, let's now delve deeper into exactly how long we need to grill a medium rare ribeye.

Understanding ribeye cuts.

When we talk about grilling, it's essential to understand our meat. One standout choice for grilling is the ribeye cut. But what makes it so special for having that perfect grill? Let's dive in.

Ribeye originates from the rib section of a cow. It's cut between the sixth and twelfth rib, right where the animal doesn’t do much work. That lack of work leads to fewer connective tissues, which implies the meat being tender and highly marbled. It's this marbling that brings out the rich, buttery flavor we all love about ribeye!

If you notice, the ribeye cut is often made up of two different parts. The first part is the long, tender 'eye' of the steak. It's named this way because its round shape resembles an eye.

This center cut is the most tender part of the steak. The second part is the rich, flavorful cap that surrounds the eye. It might not be as tender as the center, but it's oozing with flavor thanks to its heavy marbling.

Decoding the cut size also matters. Ribeye cuts are typically thick - about 1 to 1.5 inches. It's like hitting a sweet spot ensuring a beautiful sear on the outside, while not overcooking the inside. Knowing the cut's size aids in understanding how long to grill it for achieving medium rare.

Part of CowRib Section
Cut Between6th & 12th Rib
Typical Thickness1 - 1.5 Inches

Preparation tips for grilling ribeye.

Grilling the perfect ribeye isn't rocket science—it's all about the details. To get the best out of this excellent cut, preparation is key. here are a few tips we've gathered over the years.

First, let's talk about seasoning. Ribeye holds its own when it comes to flavor. Mild seasonings like salt and pepper are usually enough to enhance its natural taste. We recommend seasoning the steak a few hours before grilling, giving the salt enough time to permeate the meat.

Next up—let the steak reach room temperature. Grilling a cold steak could lead to uneven cooking. So, take the ribeye out of the fridge at least 30 minutes before it hits the grill. Keeping this tip in mind assures a steak that's cooked evenly all through.

Grill heat is another critical factor. For a medium-rare ribeye, a high heat setting works best. You'll want to sear that steak real fast to lock in the juicy, beefy goodness. Preheat the grill for about 15 minutes before placing your steak on it.

Finally, let's get to grilling time. Ensuring a juicy medium-rare ribeye is not about strict timelines— it's about monitoring internal temperature. Steakhouses typically aim for 130-135°F for medium-rare. Get yourself a decent meat thermometer and say goodbye to guesswork.

Ideal Internal Temperature
Medium-Rare - 130-135°F

In short, preparation is what takes grilling from good to great. You've got the fundamentals ironed out now, so get ready to grill up that perfect ribeye. It's never too late to level up your grill game.

And remember, each steak is unique—don't be afraid to break a few rules and find your perfect grilling match.

The perfect heat for a medium rare ribeye.

Let's dive right into what temperature you should set your grill to achieve that tender, juicy medium-rare ribeye. Regardless of the type of grill you use charcoal, gas, or a smoker, maintaining the right temperature is crucial in ensuring an evenly cooked steak.

You may ask, what’s that perfect grilling temperature we're talking about? Here's the deal. Your grill should maintain a heat scape around 450-500°F (232 - 260 °C).

Grill TemperatureFahrenheitCelsius
Medium rare Ribeye Steak450-500°F232 - 260 °C

This high heat allows the steak to sear quickly, creating a flavorful crust without overcooking the inside.

The key to achieving a perfectly grilled medium-rare ribeye, though, isn't just about hitting the right temperature on the grill - it's also about keeping tabs on the steak’s internal temperature. For a medium-rare finish, you are aiming for 130 to 135°F (54-57°C) inside.

Steak DonenessInternal TemperatureFahrenheitCelsius
Medium Rare130°F - 135°F (54-57°C)130-135°F54 - 57 °C

So, a handy meat thermometer will be your best friend here. But remember, once you remove your steak from the grill, it'll continue to cook a bit. This is what we like to call "carry-over cooking." So, we recommend pulling the steak off the grill when its internal temperature is about 5°F lower than your desired final temperature.

Timing the grill for medium rare perfection.

Alright, let's talk timing. Now that we've got our grill heated to a balmy 450-500°F (232-260°C) and our meat thermometer handy, it's time to get down to brass tacks. Because, here's the deal folks: when it comes to serving up a juicy medium-rare ribeye, it's not just about temperature - timing matters too.

Needless to say, the exact timing can vary depending on a few factors. We're talking steak thickness, starting temperature of the steak, and even the type of grill you're using. We're not in a one-size-fits-all situation here. Be that as it may, we can still nail down a general ballpark figure to help guide us.

For a 1-inch thick ribeye steak, we're typically looking at somewhere around 4-5 minutes per side. That’s right, we recommend a good old fashioned flip halfway through to ensure even cooking.

To ramp up the flavor, we also suggest searing the steak for about a minute on each side before you start the main grilling phase. That means you'll need to up the heat on your grill briefly, but trust us, it’s worth it for that delectable, caramelized crust.

Keeping a close eye on your meat thermometer is vital of course, because remember we want the internal temp to hit 130-135°F (54-57°C) for that perfect medium-rare finish.

But here's our golden rule: stick to the lower end of that temperature range when you lift the steak off the grill. Just around 5°F less will do, or in the 125°F (about 52°C) zone. Carry-over cooking from the steak resting post-grilling will bring it up to perfection.

So there we have it. In general terms, serve up a champion medium-rare ribeye - have your grill hot, your timing spot on, and your meat thermometer at the ready.

Start grilling like a pro!

So there you have it! We've covered the ins and outs of grilling that perfect medium-rare ribeye. Remember, it's not just about the timing. It's about the thickness of the steak, the starting temperature, the type of grill you're using, and even the searing process. But most importantly, it's about keeping an eye on that internal temperature.

Shooting for that sweet spot of 130-135°F ensures a juicy, flavorful steak every time. And don't forget about carry-over cooking - take it off the heat a bit early to let it finish up on its own.

With a hot grill, the right timing, and a trusty meat thermometer, you're all set to grill up a mouth-watering medium-rare ribeye.




Ben is a certified nutritionist with a special interest in sustainable cooking. He has a master’s degree in Environmental Studies, which gives him a unique understanding of the connection between food and the environment. With years of experience working in organic kitchens and writing about sustainable food practices, Ben brings a wealth of knowledge to the table. His insights guide readers on how to make their outdoor cooking experiences more eco-friendly.