If you want to serve a special, yet inexpensive steak for dinner tonight, look no further than ranch steak! It’s a juicy and impressive piece of meat that’s known for its tenderness, rich marbling, and irresistible flavor.
Why you’ll love this ranch steak recipe
You don’t have to spend big bucks on cuts like ribeye, filet, and prime rib to enjoy a good steak. In fact, cuts of steak like hanger, denver, and bavette can offer the same steakhouse-quality flavor and juiciness without hurting your wallet! and of course, ranch steak.
- Budget-friendly. Like arrachera and skirt steak, ranch steak is easy on the palate and the wallet. With simple step-by-step instructions, you can enjoy a restaurant-quality steak dinner at home without breaking the bank!
- Elegant and classy. This impressive piece of meat is lightly seasoned, then seared in a sizzling skillet with butter, garlic, and herbs. Each bite is irresistibly savory and always makes for a truly satisfying dinner!
- Very little prep work. Ranch steak is very flavorful and beefy on its own, so all you need is salt, pepper, and garlic to help bring out its hidden flavors. From there, throw it on the grill and you’re done (we do this too with a porterhouse steak).
- Endless flavor possibilities. When you’re feeling fancy, zhuzh up this simple steak with a creamy garlic butter sauce, a steak seasoning blend, chimichurri sauce, steak marinade, or any seasonings or marinades you like.
What is ranch steak?
Ranch steak, also known as shoulder center steak, chuck shoulder steak, or chuck steak, comes from the center of the cow’s shoulder muscle closer to the rib area, called the chuck roll. This thick, typically boneless cut of steak is well-marbled with fat, which gives it a rich flavor and plenty of meaty juices. This also makes it an ideal cut for cooking over high heat on the grill or in a hot skillet.
This simple cut of steak is turned up a notch thanks to these easy and budget-friendly ingredients:
- Ranch steak. Look for bright red and thick steaks with even marbling. If you can’t find ranch steak, this recipe works with other boneless steak cuts, such as ribeye, sirloin, and New York strip steak.
- Sea salt and pepper. To season the steaks and allow the natural mouthwatering flavors to shine.
- Olive oil. To prevent the meat from sticking to the grill pan.
- Butter. Melted butter gives this marbled piece of meat an even richer flavor profile.
- Garlic. Keep the garlic cloves whole.
- Rosemary. A fresh sprig of rosemary gives the steak a distinct earthy aroma. You can use fresh thyme if you can’t find rosemary.
Rosemary salt substitute
Want to turn up the flavor? Mince the fresh rosemary and stir it into the sea salt to make homemade rosemary salt to rub on the steaks.
How to grill a ranch steak
Follow these straightforward instructions to grill perfectly seasoned ranch steaks to perfection:
- Season the steaks. Pat the steaks dry and rub them with sea salt and black pepper, generously covering both sides.
- Grill. Add the oil to a grill pan over high heat, then add the steaks. Add the butter, garlic, and rosemary. Cook on both sides until the steaks are medium-rare.
- Rest, slice, and serve. Transfer the cooked steaks to a cutting board to rest before slicing them into thin strips. Enjoy!
Ranch steak cooking temperature guide
Use this time and temperature guide to cook your steaks to your desired doneness:
- Rare. 125°F or 3 to 5 minutes
- Medium rare. 135°F or 5 to 6 minutes
- Medium. 145°F or 6 to 7 minutes
- Medium well. 150°F or 7 to 8 minutes
- Well done. 160°F or 8 to 10 minutes
While classic salt and pepper work well, feel free to experiment with the following dry rubs, bastes, and marinades to turn up the flavor:
- Dry seasoning ideas. Try seasoning the steaks with Montreal steak seasoning, Cajun or blackening seasoning, dry BBQ rub, garlic herb seasoning, etc.
- Baste ideas. As it grills, brush the steak with sauces, like hot honey, teriyaki, bulgogi, and BBQ sauce.
- Marinade ideas. Before searing, marinate the ranch steak for 1 to 8 hours in my 3-ingredient steak marinade or pork tenderloin marinade.
What to serve with ranch steak
This tasty cut of steak only gets more impressive when you serve it with these delicious sides:
- Grilled Sweet Potatoes
- Air Fryer Green Beans
- Sauteed Asparagus
- Baked Potatoes
- Sauteed Mushrooms
- Zucchini Fries
- Sauteed Carrots
To store: Store the leftover cooled steak in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
To reheat: It’s best to reheat leftover steak in a baking dish in a 250ºF oven until the internal temperature reaches 110ºF. Heating it in a covered pan on the stove also works well.
To freeze: Freeze the leftover steak in a container or ziplock bag for 2 to 3 months.
Recommended tools to make this recipe
- Grill, grill pan, or cast iron skillet. It’s best to cook ranch steak over high heat using one of these three tools so the fat melts and the outside becomes perfectly seared.
- Meat thermometer. To ensure the steak is cooked to your preferred temperature.
- Chef’s knife. To slice the steak into strips before serving.
Recipe tips and tricks
- Bring it to room temperature. Remember to take the steaks out of the fridge and place them on the kitchen counter for 20 to 30 minutes before cooking. This way, they’ll come down to room temperature and cook more evenly in the grill pan.
- Pat dry. To achieve a nice sear, blot the steaks dry with a paper towel before seasoning them with salt and pepper.
- Flip only once. Let the steaks sear undisturbed until a crust develops on the bottom. Then and only then, flip the steaks to sear on the other side. Flipping the steak too often will prevent it from browning.
- Rest after cooking. Let the steaks rest off of the heat for about 5 minutes when they’re done so the beefy juices can redistribute and settle into the meat.
- Slice against the grain. After letting the meat rest, slice it against the grain for maximum tenderness.
Frequently asked questions
Yes! While it may not be as sought-after as some other cuts, the flavors and tenderness of ranch steak make it a great cut at a fraction of the cost of other kinds of steak.
It isn’t necessary but marinating the steak before cooking can add more layers of dynamic flavor and enhance the tenderness of the meat.
- Preheat your grill or stovetop grill pan to high heat.
- Rub both sides of the steak with sea salt and black pepper.
- Place the steak on the preheated grill with olive oil and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side. Add the butter, whole garlic, and rosemary and cook both sides for 3-4 minutes for a medium-rare steak. Cook longer if you prefer it more done.
- Let the steaks rest for 5 minutes, before slicing against the grain.
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