Pan-Seared Ribeye with Garlic Butter makes a perfect home-cooked meal for two. Ribeye steaks are seasoned and pan seared in a cast iron skillet, then finished with a rich and flavorful garlic herb butter.
Looking for a special meal for two? Whether for Valentine’s Day, an anniversary, or because it’s Thursday – a home-cooked steak is always a great choice.
There’s nothing better than grilling steaks in the summer. However, when winter rolls around, or on a random rainy Sunday, grilling is not an option. Pan-searing steaks is an easy way to have a fancy meal at home.
To bring your steaks to the next level, try finishing them with garlic herb butter. All you’ll need is butter, thyme, and a few smashed cloves of garlic. This extra step adds just a hint of flavor to your steaks without overpowering them. It’s a must try!
Pan for searing steaks
I do not recommend non-stick pans because they can become damaged when sitting on high heat for long periods of time. If you only have non-stick or enamel pans available, opt for a lower heat setting and don’t let them sit over high heat with nothing in the pan.
Thyme is optional, but adds a nice flavor to the garlic butter for finishing your steaks.
Set your steaks out for 30 minutes before beginning – they should be at room temperature.
Oil for searing steaks
You need an oil with a high smoke point when searing steaks on the stovetop. This means that your oil can withstand higher temperatures without smoking/burning.
I recommend canola oil, peanut oil, or any oil with a smoke point over 400 degrees Fahrenheit for best results. While I normally use olive oil in my cooking, I wouldn’t recommend it for this recipe.
Here’s a great article breaking down the smoke points of many popular oils: Cooking Oils and Smoke Points: What to Know and How to Choose the Right Cooking Oil
Season your room temperature steaks well with sea salt and pepper on both sides. Gently press the seasoning into your steaks. Meanwhile, place your pan over medium heat for 4-5 minutes to heat the pan.
Next, add your oil to the pan. When hot and rippling (this should happen quickly), add your steaks, making sure they do not touch each other.
When it’s time to flip your steak, use a set of tongs. If your steak is resisting and sticking to the pan, allow it to cook longer, until it releases easily from the pan. This may happen if your pan is not hot enough and your steak needs more time to sear. A properly seared steak should not stick to the pan.
Garlic herb butter
Once you have flipped your steak over, find an empty space in the pan and add your butter. Allow to melt, then add your smashed garlic cloves and thyme to the pan.
Allow them to cook for a minute, then spoon your garlic butter sauce over your steaks until your steak is seared on the second side.
Remove from heat and immediately transfer your steaks to a plate. Rest steaks by covering loosely with foil for five minutes. At this point the garlic and thyme can be discarded from the pan.
Optionally, drizzle any extra garlic butter from the pan onto your steaks before serving. I also like to drizzle this butter over mashed or baked potatoes.
Pan-Seared Ribeye with Garlic Butter
- 2 boneless ribeye steaks 1 inch thick
- salt and pepper
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cloves garlic smashed
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- Remove steaks from refrigerator 30 minutes before cooking to bring to room temperature.
- Place cast iron skillet over medium-high heat for 4-5 minutes. Meanwhile, season both sides of steaks with salt and pepper, gently pressing seasoning into the steaks.
- Once pan is hot, add canola oil. When hot and rippling, add steaks to pan, making sure they do not touch each other.
- Set a timer and sear first side for 2 minutes and 30 seconds (For a 1 inch steak at medium doneness - see table below for temperatures). Flip steak and set timer for 2 minutes and 30 seconds for second side.
- Cooking times for a steak will vary based on the thickness, size, and shape of your steak. For best success, I suggest a meat thermometer. You'll want to remove your steak from the pan when the temperature reaches 5 degrees below your desired doneness. The steak will continue to cook slightly while it is resting. Temperatures are listed in Fahrenheit.- Rare: 125 degrees - Medium-rare: 135 degrees- Medium: 145 degrees- Medium-well: 150 degrees- Well done: 160 degrees.
- After flipping steak, add butter, smashed garlic cloves, and thyme sprigs to pan. Once melted, spoon butter over steaks while second side cooks.
- Once steak is cooked to your desired temperature, remove steaks immediately from pan and transfer to a plate. Rest steaks by covering loosely with foil for five minutes. At this point the garlic and thyme can be discarded from the pan.
- Optionally, drizzle extra garlic herb butter over steaks before serving.
- I highly suggest using a meat thermometer if you are not familiar or comfortable with pan-searing steaks. Due to the variance in thickness, temperatures of the stove top, size, and shape of your steaks, the cooking times may vary.
- Here is a great resource to visualize the degrees of doneness for your steak: Degree of Doneness - Certified Angus Beef
- Use an oil with a high smoke point for pan-searing steaks. I recommend canola oil, peanut oil, or vegetable oil. I do not recommend butter or olive oil.