Reverse Sear Ribeye Steak [Barbecue Smoked Beef]

5 from 1 vote
5 from 1 vote

Reverse seared ribeye steak is the perfect balance of juicy, smoky, and crusty. Best of all, it’s easy to do. Learn how to cook the perfect medium-rare ribeye on your outdoor smoker or grill today.

smoked reverse sear ribeye steak

What is Ribeye?

The ribeye steak is a type of cut that comes from the top of the rib. A piece of ribeye is also called Prime Rib, but only when it is made from prime-grade beef. A ribeye steak does not contain bone. You’ll find it has plenty of flavors and stays tender after cooking. To keep it tender, it is important to cook no further than to a medium level.

The ribeye is marbled with fat, which gives it more flavor and ensures it is succulent and ripe. Prime rib or ribeye is different from a type of beef such as the New York Strip Steak, which has less fat and a more compact texture. 

reverse sear ribeye recipe

How to Reverse Sear Ribeye Steak

What is reverse searing? Reverse searing a steak entails cooking or smoking a cut of meat on a decreased and indirect heat and then searing the outside of the meat over high and direct heat. Therefore, you can cook the meat to a medium-rare level and then heat it to have a delicious crust on the outside.

The benefits of reverse searing include a pink color on the inside of the steak and a slow, even heat that averts overcooking. It also provides a wonderful crust after searing over high heat. Some of the best cuts of beef for reverse searing include T-bone, ribeye, tenderloin, strip steak, filet mignon, and other thicker cuts of steak over 1 inch in thickness.

reverse sear ribeye recipe


The ingredients of this recipe are simple and straightforward. They include:

  • Two 16-ounce and 1.5-inch thick ribeye steaks
  • ½ tablespoon of salt
  • ½ tablespoon of black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Pinch of rosemary 

Time and Temperatures

When reverse searing a ribeye steak, you’ll want to first smoke the meat. You need to preheat the smoker to 225°F. Then cook the meat until it has an internal temperature of 110°F for a rare piece of meat, while the ideal medium-rare steak temp is 130-135°F. 

It will take you around one hour to smoke the meat, but you’ll need to keep track of the meat’s internal temperature. Have a thermometer on hand to make sure the meat is not overcooked. When the ribeye steak reaches the required temperature, take it from the smoker and put it on a grill or a skillet over direct heat. Doing so will give the meat a strong sear.

Now check the internal temperature of the ribeye steak one more time. For a rare piece of steak, the temperature should be no more than 130°F, while medium-rare varies from 130°F to 140°F.

A medium piece of steak should have an internal temperature of 140°F to 150°F while medium-well should range from 150°F to 160°F. Lastly, a well-done steak is not recommended because it would dry out the meat and remove much of its flavors.

Meat Prep

When preparing the meat for reverse searing, cut off extra fat on the sides of the steak. Then season the ribeye steak using salt, pepper, and a pinch of rosemary. You could also pick your favorite seasoning instead. 

Simple seasoning is all you will need for a delicious cut of meat since it will allow you to enjoy natural flavors instead of extra seasoning. You can put the steak into the fridge after seasoning over a few hours for a dry brine. You should add oil and butter to a skillet during the searing step to bring more flavor out of the meat.

What Wood is Best for Smoking Ribeye?

There are specific woods that are superior when smoking ribeye steak. Some of these woods are:

  • Hickory
  • Oak
  • Pecan
  • Applewood
  • Mesquite

Hickory wood requires greater attention since it only takes a few minutes for it to create a trace of bitterness in your ribeye steak. However, it brings rich and smoky flavors when used right. When using oak, you’ll need to put it in the smoker little by little to ensure controlled smoke and heat. Oak will bring either a medium or a strong flavor to your steak. 

Pecan wood produces a rich and sweet flavor in your steak, and applewood is an even sweeter flavor but requires more time for smoking. Mesquite provides a more natural flavor to your meat unlike other types of wood.

What Side Dishes to Serve

The type of side dishes that would be perfect for serving alongside a nice piece of ribeye steak include roasted potatoes, grilled broccoli or broccolini, other grilled vegetables, or even a grilled Romaine Caesar Salad. Choose one or two of these side dishes to enjoy a delicious dinner with family or friends. You can also coat the steak with a garlic butter sauce.

Key Steps for How to Reverse Sear Ribeye Steak

  • First, on a three-burner or four-burner grill, turn on one of the burners to low or medium heat.
  • Put wood chips into a foil packet and put this contraption onto the grill grates.
  • Now position the steak indirectly over the heat source. Keep the lid closed when cooking. The gas grill needs to have a temperature below 250°F, so you should modify the flame.
  • Once the temperature of the steak reaches 110°F, remove the foil packet.
  • Now switch the steak from a low heat smoker to a high heat grill or griddle. Sear the meat.
  • Remove the ribeye steak when the internal temperature is at the level you prefer.
reverse sear ribeye recipe
reverse sear ribeye recipe

Reverse Seared Ribeye

5 from 1 vote
Reverse seared ribeye steak is the perfect balance of juicy, smoky, and crusty. Best of all, it’s easy to do. Learn how to cook the perfect medium-rare ribeye on your outdoor smoker or grill today.
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time2 hours
Cook Time1 hour
Total Time3 hours
Servings: 2



  • 2 ribeye steaks 16-ounce and 1.5-inch thick
  • ½ tbsp kosher salt
  • ½ tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 pinch rosemary


  • Salt the steak and put it in the refrigerator for about two hours. Take it out 20 minutes before cooking and pepper the steak.
  • Preheat the smoker to 225°F (107°C)
  • Position the steak onto the smoker and remove it after reaching an internal temperature of 110°F.
  • Grill the meat over direct and high heat for approximately three minutes.
  • Flip the steak and grill it for another three minutes.
  • Remove the steak once it reaches your desired internal temperature. Let it rest for 10 minutes before cutting.

About the Author

Ben Isham-Smith

A BBQ obsessive, Ben is behind 250+ of The Online Grill’s recipes, as well as countless barbecue guides to help barbecue newbies get to grips with the world’s best form of cooking.

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