If you’re looking for ways to enhance the flavor of your ribeye, the good news is that you’ve got a lot of great options. Creating a great-tasting quality ribeye is all about how you cook it and how you season it (and what you serve with it).
For example, smoking your ribeye will produce a different taste based mostly on the wood you’re using to smoke.
However, broiling produces a different experience, even if you use the same seasoning.
What Should I Season My Ribeye Steak With?
Most professional chefs advise keeping it simple with kosher salt and black pepper. Freshly cracked black pepper is better than ground black pepper.
Best Ways to Make Your Ribeye Taste Better
1. Smoke It
If you’ve got the time and patience, smoking your ribeye, especially ribeye roast but also ribeye steaks, can impart a lot of deliciously sweet, smoky, woody flavor that penetrates deep into the meat.
Here are some of the best woods to use for beef:
2. Use a Good Marinade
When it comes to ribeye steaks, there are two schools of thought. Some say that all you need is salt and pepper, no marinade, especially since the cut is already super fatty and juicy.
And the other school says marinate away. There’s no harm.
Personally, we love marinating steaks since you can achieve all kinds of wild and exciting flavors. It even works well when smoking steaks.
Ideally, you want to marinate one – two days before cooking.
And if you’re not smoking the meat but want to give it some smoke flavor, you can try adding liquid smoke to your marinade.
Just be sure not to overdo it. Just a little goes a very long way.
When marinating, put your steaks in an airtight container or bag and set it in the fridge until it’s time to grill.
You’ll want to flip your steaks halfway through the marination process.
After you’ve marinated your steaks, you can pour your marinade into a saucepan and heat it up for some delicious sauce you can drizzle over your cooked steaks.
Here is a delicious marinade recipe you can use to flavor your steaks. Ingredients needed are balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, honey, freshly ground black pepper, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, ginger powder, liquid smoke, and scallions (or chives).
3. Just Beat it
No matter how good a steak’s flavor might be, if it’s tough as shoe leather, it won’t matter.
The good news is that ribeye is a very tender cut of meat. But if it’s a low quality cut, you might be out of luck. If you’ve got a tough cut of meat, beating it with a meat mallet will help tenderize it, saving your jaw a lot of hard work once it’s cooked.
While this method isn’t the easiest, it does work and is essential, especially for cuts such as flank, flap, and skirt. Besides, it can also be rather therapeutic.
4. Pack a Treat
Another cool trick to make your ribeye taste better is to crush a garlic clove to release its oils and rub it all over your steak.
Next, pack some of the remaining crushed garlic into little folds and pockets of your steak.
This will help your meat soak up the flavor better while cooking.
This method also works with rosemary. Crush a fresh sprig in your hands to release its oils and do the same thing you did with the garlic.
You can also grill your steak directly on top of the rosemary and garlic or sauté them in a hot pan for a minute to make their flavor stronger before returning them under your steak.
5. Make Your Rub Brine
Dry rub seasoning can only penetrate into the meat so far, making the flavor stronger on the surface.
However, you can speed up the seasoning process by adding salt to your rub.
Salt also serves to tenderize your steak by drawing moisture out of your steak. The moisture mixes with the salt and is reabsorbed into your meat.
Your salty seasoning will also serve as a good dry brine. About 3-4 grams of salt per pound of steak should do the trick.
6. The Dopamine Cheat
While sugar doesn’t work as well as salt in most areas, it does help the meat’s proteins create a tasty Maillard crust.
The sugar triggers the brain’s dopamine reward center (also called the VTA) by dusting it on your steak before cooking. Is it cheating? Sure! Does it work? You bet!
7. Living La Sous Vide
When it comes to taking the tough out of cheap steaks, an immersion circulator, more commonly known as the sous vide machine, will keep the meat at the ideal moisture and temperature until the fat, cartilage, and stronger muscle finally breaks down.
The result could be a cheap steak that melts in your mouth like butter.
8. Marinade Away but Be Careful
When it comes to marinading steak, there’s a good reason you should not let it too long.
While the acids may improve the taste, they can also tighten up the muscle.
Thankfully, beef tends to hold up pretty well, so with the chewier cuts like skirt, flank, and top round, using a marinade like pineapple juice with an enzymatic acid can work wonders.
However, keep it in too long, and the meat can become mushy.
Also, dairy products like yogurt or buttermilk can serve as a gentle tenderizer.
And if you like your marinade a little boozy, alcohols like bourbon and wine are absorbed better in fatty cuts of meat, allowing them to remain juicy even while the alcohol dehydrates the meat.
For bland cuts of beef like chuck eye, soak it in soy sauce to achieve a little umami magic. In many cases, just a few hours should do it.
9. The Velvet Glove Treatment
Mix baking soda or egg whites in water, along with water and corn starch, to create a special coating before cooking.
You can throw in a dash of soy sauce for more flavor.
You can also add a splash or two of alcohol. Just about any type of alcohol should improve the flavor and texture.
10. Stuff It
You can also cut the steak until it opens like a book and stuff it with your favorite herbs, seasonings, butter, veggies, cheeses, and even other kinds of meats like bacon.
Tie it up with twine or toothpick it closed before cooking it on low to medium heat.
Your steak should absorb the flavorful explosion while cooking.
11. Splash It with Acid
Just before serving, you can splash a little apple cider vinegar, red wine, or lemon juice on a cheap piece of steak to give it a little flavor boost.
12. Mushroom and Blue Cheese Bombardment
If you feel your steak didn’t finish quite as savory as you wanted after it’s done resting, cover it in a pan with blue cheese and/or sauteed mushrooms to boost its flavor.
Plus, the mushrooms continue releasing water, which could also help your steak if it’s naturally dry or overcooked.
FAQs about Ways To Make Your Ribeye Taste Better
How do you make grocery store steak taste better?
One of my favorite ways of cooking any steak is by marinating the steak in butter for about 45 minutes. I’ve cooked some of the best steaks ever using this trick. They come out juicy, flavorful, and very tender.
How can I make my steak more flavorful?
The tried and true seasoning combo is kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper when cooking steak.
However, you can also try out some chopped fresh herbs like rosemary, sage, or thyme to add a little variety to your steak.
And, of course, there are a variety of steak marinades and rubs you can try as well.
How do you make cheap steak taste good?
If you have a cheap cut that you want to get the most out of flavor-wise, you can use a couple of tricks of the trade to bring out the very best in your cheap steak meat.
These include marinating the steak, tenderizing it with a steak tenderizer, and cooking it in a slow cooker.