Since then, the reverse sear method has taken off in the grilling world – it’s the best way to evenly cook a steak. When I saw these gorgeous bone-in cowboy ribeyes 2, I had to revisit this recipe.
2 inch thick cowboy ribeyes
What is a cowboy ribeye? It’s a bone-in ribeye steak, with the fat around the bone trimmed so it sticks out like a small handle. These ribeyes were monsters, cut 2 inches thick – two of them fed my family of five with enough leftovers for me to make myself a steak salad for lunch the next day.
The trick of the reverse sear is to start the steak away from the heat, treating the grill like an oven. Indirect heat cooks the steak slowly and evenly – important with thick steaks like these – leaving them perfectly pink from edge to edge. Then, once the steaks are cooked on the inside, I baste them with garlic and herb oil, move them over the direct heat, and quickly sear them to add a delicious browned crust.
Coals on one side of the grill…
…steaks on the other side to start
The keys to this recipe are a probe thermometer, which lets me know exactly when the steaks are done and ready to sear, and a quick sear – you don’t want to undo the low and slow cooking by leaving them over the fire too long and letting them overcook.
Garlic and herb baste
Looking for the recipe I would use to win a steak cook-off? This is the one.
Recipe: Grilled Cowboy Ribeye Reverse Seared with Garlic and Herb Baste
2 Cowboy Cut ribeye steaks - 2 inches thick, each one about 28 ounces
2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
Garlic and Herb Baste
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced fresh thyme
1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
pinch of salt
pinch of fresh ground pepper
1. Season the steaks: Sprinkle the steaks with the salt and pepper, and rest in the refrigerator for 2 to 4 hours. (Seasoning ahead of time lets the salt penetrate deep into the meat, seasoning the steak all the way through.)
2. Set up the grill: Set the grill up for indirect high heat, 500°F. On a charcoal kettle grill, light a chimney of charcoal (100 coals), wait for the coals to be mostly covered with gray ash, then pour them in a layer 2 to 3 coals deep over half of the charcoal grate. Put the grill grate on and brush it clean. In a gas grill, preheat the grill with all burners on high for 10 minutes, brush the grill clean, then turn half the burners off.
3. Start the steaks on indirect heat: Put the steaks on the grill over indirect heat, away from the lit coals. (Push the probe thermometer into the middle of the steak from the side, keeping it away from the heat.) Close the lid and cook the steak, flipping once after 10 minutes, until the steak reaches an internal temperature of 115°F for medium-rare, about 15 minutes. (Cook to 105°F to 110°F for rare, 125°F for medium. Beyond that…buy a thinner steak and burn it over direct heat.)
4. Make the garlic and herb baste:
While the steak is cooking on indirect heat: Stir the oil, garlic, herbs, and pinch of salt and pepper in a microwave safe bowl. (I use a 2 cup pyrex measuring cup.) Microwave until the garlic starts to sizzle, about 1 minute.
5. Baste and sear the steak: Brush the steaks with the garlic and herb baste on the side facing up, digging into the baste to scoop up lots of herbs and garlic. (Remove your probe thermometer from the steak now - you don’t need it any more, and you don’t want to burn the probe out over direct heat.) Flip the steaks, basted side down, onto the side of the grill with direct heat. Immediately baste the second side of the steaks with the garlic and herb baste. Sear the steaks with the lid open until they are browned on both sides, flipping often. This should take two to four minutes. The steaks will brown quickly; keep them moving, the dripping oil may cause flareups.
6. Rest and serve: Remove the steaks to a platter and baste them with any remaining garlic and herb baste. Let the steaks rest for ten minutes, then slice and serve.
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