How To Tenderize Ribeye Steak For Grilling

"Tenderizing a ribeye steak is like unlocking its hidden potential. With a few simple steps, you can turn an already great cut into a melt-in-your-mouth masterpiece on the grill."

Choose a Quality Ribeye

How To Tenderized Ribeye Steak

Start with a good foundation. Select a well-marbled ribeye with a decent amount of fat. The marbling is key to both flavor and tenderness.


Mechanical Tenderization: The Mighty Mallet

Tender Grilled Mediterranean Steak Medley

Using a meat mallet can work wonders in breaking down the muscle fibers and making your ribeye more tender. Here's how:

  • Place your ribeye on a cutting board.
  • Cover it with plastic wrap to prevent splattering.
  • Gently pound the meat with the flat side of the mallet.
  • Focus on thicker parts to even out thickness.

Marinate for Flavor and Tenderness

The perfect ribeye steak marinade

A flavorful marinade not only adds taste but also helps tenderize. Consider a simple mixture of:

  • Acid (like citrus juice or vinegar): 1/4 cup.
  • Oil (olive oil or a neutral oil): 1/4 cup.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Optional additions: Garlic, soy sauce, or Worcestershire sauce can enhance both the flavor and tenderness.

Read our ribeye marinating guide: How to Marinate Ribeye Steak


Give It Time to Soak In

Tenderized Steak Being Cooked

Place your ribeye and the marinade in a sealed plastic bag or a shallow dish, then refrigerate. Let it marinate for at least 30 minutes.

For a more profound impact, consider marinating for a few hours or even overnight.

Related: How to Season Ribeye Steak


Bring It to Room Temperature

Before grilling, take your ribeye out of the refrigerator and let it come to room temperature. This ensures even cooking on the grill.

The Salt Brine

Juicy Cut of Steak Ready For Salt Brine

About an hour before grilling, sprinkle both sides of the ribeye with salt. This salt rest helps to further tenderize the meat by drawing out some moisture and then reabsorbing it.

Related: When to Salt Steak for Grilling


Perfect Grill Marks: High Heat Searing

Steak With Perfect Grill Marks

Preheat your grill to high heat. Sear the ribeye for a couple of minutes on each side to create those coveted grill marks. Then, reduce the heat to finish cooking to your desired doneness.


Let It Rest

Once off the grill, let your ribeye rest for about 5-10 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute, ensuring a juicy and flavorful bite.

Tenderizing Table: Quick Reference Guide

Here's a simple table summarizing the steps to tenderize a ribeye steak:

Tenderizing Step Details
Choose Quality Ribeye Select a well-marbled ribeye.
Mechanical Tenderization Use a meat mallet to pound the meat gently.
Marinate for Flavor and Tenderness Create a marinade with acid, oil, salt, and pepper.
Give It Time to Soak In Marinate for at least 30 minutes, or longer for more impact.
Bring It to Room Temperature Let the ribeye come to room temperature before grilling.
The Salt Rest Sprinkle with salt about an hour before grilling.
High Heat Searing Sear on high heat for grill marks, then reduce heat to finish cooking.
Let It Rest Allow the ribeye to rest for 5-10 minutes before serving.

By following these steps, you'll ensure that your ribeye steak is not only flavorful but also incredibly tender.