Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Behold, the Perfect Rib-Eye

Most steak connoisseurs agree, the rib-eye is the ultimate steak. It offers the perfect balance of flavor and tenderness, and it's ideal for grilling, broiling, and searing. No other cut of steak can satisfy carnivorous cravings in quite the same way. When you're selecting a rib-eye from the meat case, here's what to look for…


1. A relatively small eye. The eye meat is tasty, but even better is…

2. A relatively large cap (also known as lip, lifter, or deckle), which any rib-eye aficionado will tell you is the best part of the steak. The most perfect rib-eye has about as much cap meat as eye meat. If I could get a cap steak, I would. By the way, a large cap indicates that the steak came from the chuck end of the rib.

3. Only a small lump of fat. Every rib-eye steak has a fat mass that's situated between the cap and the eye. The smaller it is, the better. However, fat is desirable when it comes in the form of…

4. Ample marbling. These flecks of fat melt as the steak is cooked and keep the meat moist and succulent. Prime grade steaks have the most marbling and also the highest price tag. Choice grade steaks are relatively affordable and often have impressive amounts of marbling. Select grade steaks have little to no marbling and are hardly worth eating.

5. A thickness of approximately 1 ¼ inches so that each bite has a good ratio of seared surface to juicy, tender interior. Also, look for a steak that's cut evenly so that it cooks evenly.

6. Small overall size. Ideally one rib-eye steak should equal one serving, and each diner should get a steak of his or her very own so as to avoid sharing and the inevitable fisticuffs over who gets the cap end.

Incidentally, this particular rib-eye steak is grass fed, grain finished, ungraded (but looks like choice), and wet aged (dry aged would be even better). It's just less than 1 ½ inches thick and weighs in at about 12 ounces.

7 comments:

Linda from NJ said...

Good information. Most of which I am not familiar with. Appreciate it!

Michelle said...

Great reference! The rib eye is by far my favorite type of steak...in fact it's probably my favorite kind of meat, period, assuming we exclude bacon.

Irina said...

It is gorgeous! Who said diamonds are girl’s best friend. I want this one set in my ring or may be necklace.

Irina

Anonymous said...

So if you went home to visit the 'rents....where would you buy it? Cuz I live down the street....

Lucy Vaserfirer said...

Anonymous,
Try Whole Foods, Central Market, or Kuby's if you're in the Dallas area. By the way, do I know you?

Mardelle said...

Interesting and informative instructions on choosing rib-eye steak. Thanks!

Before making a small center cut pork loin tonight I took a crash course on pork from SEARED TO PERFECTION. The result? Perfect!

Norma said...

I agree with you that you need the perfect steak in order make a perfect steak dish. It is really so important make good decisions about your food and grass-fed meat is definitely a better option. I'm not a steak connoisseur but I do know that having a healthy steak that is grass fed gives a perfect balance of flavors and tenderness that makes it idea to add just a dash of salt and pepper for grilling, broiling, or barbecuing as a recipe. A great place to go if you want to have grass-fed steaks delivered, is LaCense Beef. They only sell high quality, grass fed beef. While I do work for them, they are genuinely the best steaks I have found. I wouldn't buy anything else because not only do they taste great, but they are so much healthier for you than the alternatives.They include wonderful recipes that help you expand your meal repertoire. I love giving the grass fed steaks as a gift especially during the holidays. Check it out.

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