Watch the Food Lab Video Series The Food Lab's Perfect Grilled Steaks

[Photographs: J. Kenji Lopez-Alt]

The ribeye comes with a large, tender eye of meat surrounded by a swath of fat and a cap that comes from the spinalis muscle. This cap is far and away the juiciest, most flavorful piece of meat that you'll find on any steak.

Note: For best results, use prime, bone-in ribeye steaks. Ask your butcher to cut them at least 1 1/2-inches thick. Each bone-in steak should be about 1 pound. Boneless steaks can be used as well. They should be about 12 ounces. New York Strip steaks can be used in place of ribeye.

The Food Lab's Perfect Grilled Steaks


  • 2 large ribeye or strip steaks, 1 1/2 to 2-inches thick, about 2 pounds total (see note above)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. 1

    Season steaks liberally with salt. Set on a plate and let rest for at least 40 minutes, or up to 4 days. If resting longer than 40 minutes transfer to a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet and refrigerate uncovered until ready to cook.

  2. 2

    Light one chimney full of charcoal. When all the charcoal is lit and covered with gray ash, pour out and arrange the coals on one side of the charcoal grate. Set cooking grate in place, cover grill and allow to preheat for 5 minutes. Clean and oil the grilling grate. Season steak with pepper and place on cooler side of grill, cover, and cook with all of the vents open flipping and taking temperature every few minutes until steaks register 105°F for medium-rare or 115°F for medium on an instant read thermometer, 10 to 15 minutes total.

  3. 3

    Transfer steaks to hot side of grill and cook, flipping frequently until a deep char has developed and internal temperature registers 125°F for medium-rare or 135°F for medium, about 2 minutes total. Transfer steaks to a cutting board and allow to rest for at least 5 minutes and up to 10. Carve and serve immediately.

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