Today, learn how to purchase ribeye steaks with these tips. Ribeye steaks are one of the most flavorful steak options out there. They come from the cow’s upper rib, making them a delicious and tender steak cut. Let’s dive in.
How to purchase ribeye steaks
You’ll want to ensure you’re buying the best quality ribeye steak for your sous vide steak dinners.
When you go to buy ribeye steak, here are the main things to consider:
- What the cow was fed
- How thick the steaks are
- Do you want bone-in or boneless ribeyes?
- How are you going to cook them?
- What’s the desired level of doneness (or what temperature will you cook them to?)
- Thoughts on fat marbling
- And more
Grain-fed or grass-fed: what’s the difference?
First, know where you’re buying the steak. Were the cows grain-fed or grass-fed? As long as the cows were fed grass their entire lives, they have a high nutrient content. But many steak enthusiasts argue that grain-fed steaks have better marbling content.
So when it comes to the grass-fed or grain-fed debate, there is no right or wrong preference.
Considering size and thickness of ribeye steaks
You’ll next want to look at the size of the steak. This recipe for sous vide boneless ribeye steak is ideal for a steak 1-2” thick. The different levels of thickness will impact the cook time for steak. If cooking a few steaks at once, choose steaks that are the same size so they cook evenly and over the same time.
What about marbling?
The next thing to consider when purchasing ribeye steaks is to look at the fat profile, also known as marbling. While you can go by looks (marbling has a good mix of white fat and red meat), I actually suggest identifying different USDA grades.
Here are the grades, from highest to lowest:
- USDA Prime Beef
- USDA Choice Beef
- USDA Select Beef
If you’re not based in the US, check your local country’s beef grades — though they’re likely similar.
While USDA Prime is the ideal choice, only a small percentage of steaks in the US are Prime. If you can’t find a Prime cut, choose a Choice one.
Where do you find the best ribeye steaks?
Your local grocery store, your local butcher shop, and online and mail order stores all have great steak selections. See the bottom of this post for specific details on where to purchase ribeye steaks.
Cooking boneless vs. bone-in steaks sous vide style
Fortunately, there aren’t many differences between cooking boneless vs bone in ribeye steaks when it comes to sous vide cooking. Unlike traditional cooking, sous vide is a more consistent method. Using an immersion circulator will allow the meat to cook to the same temperature, bone or no bone.
Final tips for finishing ribeye steak in cast iron or on the grill
If you’re grilling or searing ribeye steak in a pan, your steak may be slightly rarer around the bone. But don’t change up your cooking time — if your steak is a little rarer than what you would like, heat the steak on the cast iron skillet for a minute or two longer (we’ll discuss this more in another section). Try sous vide ribeye with mayo sear for a delicious new way to finish your steaks.
This is a common issue that occurs when you sous vide all bone-in meats, not just steak. Something like this sous vide whole chicken recipe and these sous vide bone in pork chops have a similar result.
Find new ways to enjoy your favorite food with sous vide cooking with my new book – The Home Chef’s Sous Vide Cookbook.
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The Perfect Sous Vide Setup
Everyday I’m asked, “what do you need to sous vide food?”. Here’s my answer.
- A sous vide machine.
Option 1: “stick” models like the Joule, Anova, or Instant Pot Slim.
Option 2: “multipot” models like the SousPreme multipot or InstantPot Duo Evo Plus.
- Sous vide container.
If using a sous vide “stick” model, you need something to hold the water the food cooks in, like a bucket or stockpot.
- Bags to cook sous vide food.
Keep it simple and sous vide in ziplock gallon bags, or get fancy like me with a vacuum sealer setup.
- Nice-to-have accessories for sous vide cooking.
– Sous vide weights to hold down food that floats.
– Mini mason jars for desserts and sous vide egg bites.
– Cast iron skillet to sear sous vide steaks to finish them.
– My sous vide cookbook with 100+ recipes.
- Butcher quality meat.
Stock up on top-quality meats like wagyu at Crowd Cow and Snake River Farms. They always have specials, and will ship delicious cuts of craft meat right to your door.