Broiled Bison Ribeye

Chef's notes:

The bison steaks I used for this article are ribeyes, but they are from the smaller end of the rib section. As you move down the rib section from nose to tail, the ribeyes will get smaller until they are no longer ribeyes and are just rib steaks. The section immediately to the rear of the ribs is the short loin section. This is where the strip steaks, T-bones, and Porterhouses come from. So some of the rib steaks may end up looking like strip steaks and vice versa.

The best ribeyes are nearly round. They have a semicircular piece of flesh in the middle surrounded by an uneven, lopsided ring of marbled pink meat and fat. Every time I eat bison ribeyes, I enjoy it. If you have a chance to try them, I encourage you to.


  • 2 bison ribeye steaks
  • Sea salt
  • White pepper
  • Black pepper
  • Vegetable oil
  • Butter

Broiled Bison Ribeye with Sea Salt and Pepper and Topped with a Knob of Butter

  1. Take the ribeye steaks out of the cooler. Meat cooks best from at or near room temperature. If you take the steaks out of the fridge for an hour before you plan to cook them, they should be at a good temperature for cooking. The steaks shouldn’t need any trimming, and don’t worry about fat. That can be easily cut away after cooking, if its preferred. Some people, like myself, like to eat the fat, especially if its all caramelized and delicious.
  2. Season the ribeye steaks simply. As I always recommend for steak, season them as simply and plainly as possible. Let the flavor of the meat be the reason you eat steak. If you start adding a bunch of herbs and spices, the flavor of the meat gets lost in the chaos. For these steaks I used some sea salt, some fine ground white pepper, and some coarsely ground black pepper. Make sure you season the sides too. Let the steaks sit for a minute and then rub on some vegetable oil.
  3. Let the broiler get really hot before putting the bison ribeyes under it. The broiler will take at least 10 minutes to get up to heat. Move the top rack down a rung to the second shelf location. You will not need to oil your broiling pan if you oil your steaks. In fact, oiling the broiling pan will only create smoke. When the broiler is up to heat, put the steaks on the pan and underneath the broiler. Close the door and let them be for 3‒4 minutes.
  4. After 3‒4 minutes, take a peak and see how the steaks look. You will know to flip them when the fat begins to caramelize and get dark. To test how done they are, read my note below about testing them by feel. Of course the best way to tell when a steak is cooked to your liking is to use a thermometer. Below I also list the temperatures for each level of cooked steak, from rare to nuked. Whatever you do, don’t cut into the steak until it has rested for 5‒10 minutes. Less time for rare, and more time for well done.

Tips & Tricks

  • Temperature guide for cooked steaks. Use a digital thermometer to test the internal temperature of the steaks. For rare meat, 120–125 degrees F, medium is 140–150 degrees, and well done is around 160–170 degrees.
  • Firmness test for cooked steaks. I am sure you have all heard of the thumb reference for cooked meat. To tell you the truth, I never thought it was all that reliable of a method until I heard it described to me in this way. Hold your hand up with the palm facing you. Now touch the tip of your thumb to the tip of your pointer finger, just so they are touching with just a little pressure. Now, with your other hand’s pointer finger, poke the meaty, muscly part (at the base) of your first hand’s thumb. That is what rare meat should feel like. And when you touch the tip of your thumb to the next finger, the middle finger, press that same place on your thumb again. That represents medium. As you progress down toward the pinky you will notice it begins to get very firm. The ring finger would be around medium-well, and the pinky would represent well done. As you cook meat, continue to practice this technique and eventually you will just know, like I do.