Streaked with gorgeous marbling, as juicy as they come, and equipped with a bone that translates into big steak flavor, Bone-In Ribeyes (a.k.a. Cowboy Steaks) are almost as impressive before they hit the grill as they are coming off of it. But, make no mistake, this particular cut of beef is as unforgettable as it is mouthwatering when it hits the dinner plate, and there’s nothing that satisfies an appetite quite like a hunky, flavorful Cowboy Steak.
In addition to the best Cowboy Steak Recipe and cooking method, we’re talking all the essentials, and any questions you may have? Well, they’ve already been answered. You’ll find out:
- How to pick the perfect Cowboy Steak!
- How to properly season a thick-cut steak.
- Degrees of doneness and grill time guidelines for Bone-In Ribeyes.
- Cowboy Steak Q&A: All questions about this famous cut — Answered below!
HOW TO PICK THE PERFECT RIBEYE
At the meat counter, you’ve likely noticed the same cut of beef comes in multiple grades with very different price tags. So what determines the quality of grade and that great big swing in price when it comes to steaks? Marbling.
Prime beef (numero uno) has more marbling, which is the fat running throughout a cut of meat, and when it comes to ribeyes, marbling is everything. These streaks of fat not only add a great deal of flavor, but they also help to keep the steaks moist and tender throughout the cooking process. Note, for good marbling, look for thin streams of fat running across the ribeye.
If you want a Cowboy Steak, be sure to get bone-in ribeyes. For an impressive presentation, you’ll want to look for a nice, thick, hunky bone. And, if you’d like the bone showing, ask your butcher to french it before you leave the meat counter.
WHAT YOU NEED FOR COWBOY STEAKS
Beef doesn’t need a whole lot of help in the flavor department, but most especially ribeyes. Because of their heavy marbling Ribeyes are packed with flavor. Also because of their heavy marbling, no oil is needed before these bad boys hit the grill.
To simplify matters even further, the only seasoning you’ll need for this cut of steak is good old-fashioned salt and pepper. However, you’re going to need a lot of it.
These steaks are thick, so naturally, more salt and pepper is needed, but you should also consider that a great deal of your salt and pepper rub is going to fall through the grates of the grill. Point of the story? Don’t be afraid to season Cowboy Steaks very liberally.
So just a recap, for your Cowboy Steaks, you will need:
- Bone-In Ribeyes
- Kosher Salt
- Coarse Black Pepper
We promise — simple as has never tasted so good.
HOW TO MAKE COWBOY STEAKS
When it comes to cooking your Cowboy Steaks, nothing beats an open flame, and these hunky, gorgeous steaks deserve nothing but the best.
- Set out the ribeyes at room temperature 30 minutes before grilling.
- Prep the grill and bring to medium-high heat.
- Season steaks liberally with salt and pepper.
- Grill about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare.
- Allow to rest 5-10 minutes, serve, and enjoy!
STEAK DONENESS COOKING GUIDELINES
Note, there are multiple factors that go into the degree of doneness of a cooked steak, and it goes far beyond cook time and the temperature of the grill. For example, the internal temperature of the beef when it hits the grill, the amount of marbling, and the thickness of the steak will all affect cook time.
Therefore, these suggested cook times should be used as “guidelines,” for grilling accuracy, nothing beats an instant-read thermometer.
- For rare steaks, cook for about 3 minutes on each side. Pull when the internal temperature reaches 120°.
- For medium-rare steaks, cook for about 4 minutes on each side. Pull when the internal temperature reaches 130°.
- For medium to medium-well steaks, cook for about 5 minutes on each side. Pull when the internal temperature reaches 140° – 145°.
COWBOY STEAK Q & A
WHAT IS A COWBOY STEAK CUT?
A Cowboy Steak is a Bone-In Ribeye.
WHERE DOES A COWBOY STEAK COME FROM?
A Cowboy Steak comes from the ribeye which is from the primal rib section of a cow, or the Prime Rib.
WHY IS IT CALLED A COWBOY RIBEYE?
Some sources say Bone-In Ribeyes are referred to as Cowboy Steaks because cowboys would hold on to the bone like a handle. Others say it is because thick-cut ribeyes are big, hearty, and ultra-rugged, ensuring they would satisfy any hard-working cowboy’s appetite.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A COWBOY STEAK AND A TOMAHAWK STEAK?
A Tomahawk Steak has an impressively long, frenched rib bone, whereas a Cowboy Steak would likely be thinner cut than a Tomahawk Steak and if there is a bone extending out of the steak, it would not be nearly as long.
HOW BIG IS A COWBOY RIBEYE?
The size of a Cowboy Steak depends on the size of the cow and how thick the steak is cut. These steaks can range anywhere from 14 to 24 ounces.
STEAK SAUCES TO TRY
- Authentic Chimichurri Sauce is the perfect blend of parsley, cilantro, jalapeños, and lime.
- Easy Blender Béarnaise Sauce is like Hollandaise sauce on steroids, amped up with fresh tarragon and completely delicious on beef.
- Creamy Horseradish Sauce takes less than 5 minutes and requires only two ingredients: Prepared horseradish and sour cream!
5 MORE BEEFY RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Beef Tenderloin roasted in the oven with a gorgeous black pepper crust is truly a sight to behold! Learn to easily cook it to a perfect medium-rare.
- Beef Short Ribs are braised in a red wine sauce with mushrooms and fresh herbs. Serve over creamy polenta or mashed potatoes for an elegant and hearty dinner.
- Fork Tender Pot Roast braised in a red wine, beefy sauce with fresh herbs, and carrots, is an elegant take on a comfort food classic, and guaranteed to win over your guests!
- Chicken Fried Steak does not get tastier than this! Fried cracker-crusted cube steaks topped with easy homemade country gravy.
- Tacos al Carbon makes Tex-Mex easy at home! Featuring full-flavored flank steak marinated in a simple cilantro-lime marinade, rolled in flour tortillas and served with all the fixings!
Streaked with gorgeous marbling, as juicy as they come, and equipped with a bone that translates into big steak flavor, these Bone-In Ribeyes (a.k.a. Cowboy Steaks) are almost as impressive before they hit the grill as they are coming off of it.
- 2 tablespoons Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons coarse black pepper
- 4 cowboy cut ribeyes or bone-in ribeyes (just over 1" thick)
Set the steaks out at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to grilling.
Prepare a gas or charcoal grill and bring to medium-high heat. To test whether or not your grill is hot enough, (carefully) hold your hand about 6" from the grate. It should be so hot, that you have to move it by the count of 3.
While you're waiting on the grill to come to temperature, season the steaks liberally with the salt and pepper on both sides and all around the edges. Pat to adhere.
Add the steaks to the hot grill. For medium-rare, cook over direct heat for 4 minutes on each side, turning only once throughout the entire cooking process. Watch for flare-ups. Your goal internal temperature is 130°.
Set the steaks aside and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes, serve and enjoy.
For rare steaks, subtract 1 minute from each side's cook time, and pull when the internal temperature reaches 120°.
For medium to medium-well steaks, add 1 minute to each side's cook time. and pull when the internal temperature reaches 140° - 145°.