Home Beef Recipes Cowboy Steak Recipe (Bone-In Ribeye)

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 this hunky, flavorful 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 steak!
  • How to properly season a thick-cut steak.
  • Degrees of doneness and time guidelines for cooking Bone-In Ribeyes.
  • Cowboy Steak Q&A: All questions about this famous cut — Answered below!

Looking for more excuses to fire up that grill? Add our thick and juicy Porterhouse Steaks to your recipe lineup! 

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’LL NEED

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 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 this particular cut of beef, nothing beats an open flame, and these hunky, gorgeous steaks deserve nothing but the best.

  1. Set out the ribeyes at room temperature 30 minutes before grilling.
  2. Prep the grill and bring to medium-high heat.
  3. Season steaks liberally with salt and pepper.
  4. Grill about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare.
  5. 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 IT COME FROM?

A Cowboy Steak comes from the ribeye which is from the primal rib section of a cow, or the Prime Rib.

Image from iStock.com

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. 

The heartiness of the steak is the most likely explanation, coinciding with the etymology of both Cowboy Cookies and Cowboy Casserole.

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?

This is completely dependent 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 
  • Easy Blender Béarnaise Sauce
  • Creamy Horseradish Sauce
  • Gorgonzola Sauce

5 MORE BEEFY RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE

  • Beef Tenderloin
  • Beef Short Ribs
  • Fork Tender Pot Roast
  • Chicken Fried Steak
  • Tacos al Carbon

4.9 from 39 votes
Print

Cowboy Steak
Prep Time
5 mins

Cook Time
8 mins

 

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.

Course:

Main Course
Cuisine:

American
Keyword:

Bone-In Ribeye, Cowboy Steak
Servings: 4
Calories: 474 kcal
Author: Philip and Kelly Anthony

Ingredients
  • 2
    tablespoons
    Kosher salt
  • 2
    tablespoons
    coarse black pepper
  • 4
    cowboy cut ribeyes or bone-in ribeyes
    (just over 1″ thick)

Instructions
  1. Set the steaks out at room temperature for 30 minutes prior to grilling.

  2. 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.

  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.

  4. 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°.

  5. Set the steaks aside and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes, serve and enjoy.

Recipe Notes

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°.

Nutrition Facts
Cowboy Steak
Amount Per Serving
Calories 474
Calories from Fat 288
% Daily Value*
Fat 32g49%
Saturated Fat 14g88%
Cholesterol 138mg46%
Sodium 1862mg81%
Potassium 626mg18%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 46g92%
Vitamin A 35IU1%
Calcium 22mg2%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Sources: YouTube | How to Dry Age Beef | Texas-Sized Steaks at Home , Chicago Steak Company | Everything You Need to Know About the Cowboy Steak and How to Cook It

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