How to Tenderize Ribeye Steak (Super Simple Method!)

Ribeye is a delicious and juicy piece of meat. 

But how do we tenderize this high-quality meat?

Don’t worry!

We’ve got you covered. 

This guide is going to take you through the steps you need for tenderizing ribeye steak. 

What Is Ribeye Steak?

Ribeye comes from the rib section of the cow. 

It is a boneless steak, with a decent amount of marbling that gives it great flavor. 

Ribeye is one of the most popular steaks after filet mignon around and when tenderized, it tastes amazing!

What Is Tenderizing?

Tenderizing is the process of breaking down the connective tissue in the meat. 

This will make it easier to cut and chew. 

Tenderizing the steak will also make it easier to cook with marinades and seasonings. 

Before You Tenderize

Before you get started, there are a couple of steps you need to take care of. 

Step 1: Thaw your steak. 

Step 2: Assemble your ingredients. 

Step 3: Place some pink butchers paper on a cutting board.

Step 4: Place your meat on the paper and you’re good to go!

What Meats Can Be Tenderized?

Any meat you want!

It will just depend on what meat it is as too how much tenderizing the steak needs. Meat with more connectvie tissue needs more tenderizing.

Always check the steak thickness before you get started so you choose the right method. 

Does Ribeye Need Tenderizing?

Not as much as other cuts, but it will definatly benefit from it. 

It has more marbling than connective tissue. The marbling (the fat) breaks down during cooking and juicy and delicious.  

Here Are Our Go-To Methods for Tenderizing your Ribeye Steak. 

1. Acidic Marinades

Acid marinades include lime juice, lemon juice, orange etc. 

They give a nice flavor to the meat and help to tenderize it. 

A combination of citrus fruits might even work better than just one!

2. Enzyme Marinades

Enzyme marinades include; pineapple, kiwi and papaya fruits. 

They’re great for tenderizing meat and enhancing flavor. 

They also work fast at warm room temperatures and faster than an acid steak marinade. 

3. Meat Mallet

A meat mallet is a classic option for tenderizing meat. 

For this method, you need to pound steaks with a mallet on each side. 

Be careful with using a mallet as it can alter the texture of the steak if you pound too hard. 

4. Low And Slow Cooking

Low and slow involves cooking ribeye over a long period of time. You can cook a ribeye with a sous vide to make this process easier.  

Aim for a temperature of 270 F for a juicy and tender steak. 

This method is perfect if you’re looking to leave the ribeye for a couple of hours while you do other things. 

5. Needle Meat Tenderizer 

Needle meat tenderizers is a great tool to use for ribeye and any other tough cut. 

The stainless steel blades pierce the steak, leaving it tender without losing flavor. 

One of its advantages is that it tenderizes without changing the meat’s appearance.

6. Salt

Seasoning with salt will not only give it amazing flavor but will also help with tenderizing. 

Rub the entire steak in Kosher salt for about 30-45 minutes before cooking. 

Let the steak rest for an hour or overnight, but not too long as it will dry out. 

7. Soy Sauce

Soy sauce gives the steak a richer flavor, but it also helps with tenderizing. 

Step 1: Start by puncturing holes in the steak with a fork.

Step 2: Pour soy sauce on the steak.

Step 3: Let it sit for 10 minutes.

Step 4: Repeat process on both sides. 

Step 5: Get cooking!

Alternatives for Ribeye

Can’t afford ribeye? Or maybe you can’t find it at the butcher or supermarket.

See some substitutes for ribeye here.

Cooking Your Ribeye to Perfection

Medium-rare doneness is ideal for cooking ribeye

If you’re using a meat thermometer aim for an internal temperature of 155 F. 

Using a Traeger?

Are you using a Traeger to smoke your ribeye?

There is a simple guide to smoking your ribeye like a grill master here.

Cooking Your Steak in The Oven?

Don’t have time to fire up the grill?

See how to cook your ribeye in the oven.

Are you craving some amazing ribeye steaks for your dinner table?

Well, we’ve got plenty of methods to tenderize a perfect steak. 

From salting to cooking to needling and everything between!

Find out what works best for you and get tenderizing. 

Are you a big fan of ribeye steak? 

Smoke On!


Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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