Perfectly cooked and seasoned, blackened ribeye steak is the star of the meal! It's quickly seared, then finished to your liking, and will be ready in minutes.
This is a super flexible recipe that you can cook inside or on the grill. The blackened seasoning can quickly be homemade with ingredients you have on hand, or you can buy a good version at the store. And, of course, your steaks can be finished any way you like them, from rare to well done.
Why you'll love this steak
- You can use any cut of steak that you like. We usually have ribeyes because the marbling keeps them extra tender, but you could use filet mignon, new york strip steaks, or even sirloin.
- Make it as spicy as you like. The cayenne pepper in the seasoning is what gives it the heat, and you should feel free to adjust that according to your preference.
- It's fun! We love a simply prepared steak as much as the next person, but sometimes you just want to do something different.
Making the blackened seasoning yourself gives you control of the salt and the spiciness. This recipe is time tested and you probably have what you need on hand. Click over for the proportions. It will make more than you need for a couple of steaks, but you can use the rest on blackened chicken, blackened baked salmon or blackened pork chops.
For the seasoning you'll need:
- Smoked paprika (we recommend that you NOT substitute regular paprika)
- Black Pepper (coarsley ground is best)
- Salt (also coarsley ground)
- Dried Oregano
- Garlic Powder
- Onion Powder
Get the full blackened seasoning recipe.
Besides the seasoning you will just need the following:
- Steaks -this recipe is for 2 ribeye steaks, but you'll be fine to cook 4 or more steaks of any cut and size that you like.
- Cooking oil - some people like to use olive oil, but the heat gets pretty high when searing so we prefer something with a high smoke point like canola oil or safflower oil. You'll use this to brush the steaks and in the pan.
- Butter - the traditional blackening cooking method finishes the dish with a drizzle of melted butter. We like to put a pat of melted butter on the steaks when they come off the heat and let it melt. You can skip this altogether if you like.
- Fresh herbs - this is totally optional and just to make your steaks pretty.
See recipe card for full ingredient list and quantities.
How to make your blackened steak
First off, traditional blackening is cooked at very high heat and it produces a lot of smoke. We've modified the method a bit to eliminate all of that smoke. You'll still get flavor galore!
- Start with steaks that you've allowed to sit out at room temperature for up to an hour, and at least 30 minutes.
- Pat the steaks dry and brush lightly with oil.
- Sprinkle liberally with the seasoning - about 1 teaspoon for each side of the steak.
- Pour the remaining oil into a cast-iron skillet (or other heavy skillet) and heat over medium high heat.
- Put the steak into the hot skillet and let sear for 1-2 minutes on each side.
- Insert a probe thermometer into the middle of the steak and finish at lower heat (about 250 degrees Fahrenheit) until your desired doneness is reached.
- Top with a pat of butter and let rest for 2-3 minutes before serving. Adding the butter is optional
How to get steak cooked perfectly
Okay, we're going to raise some eyebrows here. We first published the method that we call reverse reverse sear several years ago. The idea is to sear the steaks first and then finish at a lower temperature.
We have found this process to be foolproof. Why? Because cooking at a lower temperature means the meat temperature rises slowly giving a larger margin for error. As long as you monitor it and take your steak off the heat a few degrees before it gets where you want it, you'll have perfectly cooked steak.
In case you need some guidelines, here you go:
What thermometer is best for steaks?
More eyebrow raising here. Many folks swear by an instant read thermometer, and they do work great. The problem comes if you wait to long to insert it and your steak is overdone.
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We recommend (and always use) a probe type digital thermometer. It goes in the center of the steak when you move it to the lower heat and you can watch it rise on the display screen. This is the probe thermometer we have and you can also keep track of the temperature on your phone.
If you can insert the probes from the side like this you can be sure it's right in the middle. This thermometer comes with 4 probes so you can get everyone's steak just right.
FAQ's about blackening steak (and other proteins)
The quick answer is either. We like to sear first either in a skillet on stovetop or on the grill at medium high heat.
Then you can finish at a lower temperature wherever you like. If you've got the grill going to sear there you'll probably want to finish on the grill. Just move your steaks to indirect heat, insert the probes and monitor the temperature.
If you don't have a grill your steaks will still be delicious cooked indoors. Just sear in the skillet and then move to a 250 degree oven to finish, with the probes inserted. They can go right in the oven and close the oven door on the wires.
So, it's really up to you. Choose any combination of pan or grill searing and indirect grill heat or low oven heat that you like.
Our tips include patting the steak dry, brushing it with oil, and after adding the seasoning, pat it in to the surface of the steak.
Because butter burns easily we never use it in the pan or on the steak (or other protein) before cooking. A high smoke point oil is best. To get the flavor of butter add melted butter or a pat of butter and let it melt after cooking.
Storing and reheating leftover steak
Keep it in an airtight container or wrap and refrigerate for up to 4 to 5 days. To reheat let the steak sit out for an hour at room temperature. Then briefly heat in a skillet at medium heat until hot through.
Be very careful to not start "cooking" the steak again. You don't want to get it overdone.
More Creole and Cajun recipes
The blackened method of cooking is considered Creole. We love all things in that cuisine and its close cousin, Cajun. If you'd like to see more you can browse around at Cajun & Creole Recipes, but a few reader favorites are these:
- Popeyes Red Beans & Rice Copycat
- Creole Cream Sauce
- Easy Shrimp Etouffee
- Cajun Cream Sauce
- Oyster Po'Boys
Blackened Ribeye Steak
- Allow steaks to sit out at room temperature for up to one hour.
- Brush steaks on both sides with oil.
- Sprinkle both sides of each steak with about 1 teaspoon of seasoning. Pat.
- Heat remaining oil in heavy skillet over medium high heat.
- Sear steaks in skillet 1-2 minutes on each side.
- Insert a probe thermometer in steak and finish cooking over indirect heat on grill or in a 250 degree oven until desired level of doneness.
- Remove from heat and top each steak with half of the butter. Allow to rest 2-3 minutes before serving.
- For homemade blackened seasoning use this recipe. Purchased seasoning may be used instead.
- A high smoke point oil like safflower or canola oil is recommended.
- Cayenne pepper may be adjusted in the seasoning for desired level of spiciness, and additional cayenne may be added to store bought seasoning for extra heat.
- Butter may be salted or unsalted, and is an optional ingredient.