Making ribeye steak in the air fryer is an incredibly easy way to enjoy this classic dinner. Enjoy tender, juicy steak with flavorful, simple seasonings in just minutes.
What’s your favorite cut of steak?
I have two: ribeye and skirt steak. The answer depends on my mood, if I have time to marinate and how I’m planning to eat it. For instance, I love skirt steak marinated and thrown onto nachos or enjoyed in tacos.
But when it comes to enjoying a steak straight-up, nothing beats a juicy, marbled ribeye.
Awhile back, I took the plunge and air fried skirt steak. I was skeptical the air fryer could give me similar results as the grill and worried about ruining an expensive steak, but it actually came out well beyond my expectations.
Which is why sharing this air fryer ribeye recipe is a must. If you want a juicy, tender ribeye steak in just minutes without the need for fancy seasonings or rubs, this method is for you. It’s perfect for the winter months when standing outside in the cold to grill is not high on your list of fun things to do.
It almost sounds too good to be true, but trust me that it works.
Ingredients to make ribeye steaks in the air fryer
- Two boneless ribeye steaks — about 1 1/2 inches thick and 16 ounces each
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Garlic powder
- Minced chives or parsley for serving
- Butter for serving
Choosing the best ribeye steak
The ribeye cut comes from the rib cage and rib primal located directly underneath a cow’s backbone. The muscles that make up a ribeye get less use than others, making the cut a naturally tender piece of beef.
Ribeyes get their name from the heavily marbled piece of meat near the center of the cut that serves as its “eye.”
When choosing a ribeye steak, look for one that’s well marbled throughout. The more marbling (fat), the juicier the final product will be.
How to cook ribeye in an air fryer
Preheat the air fryer to 400 degrees F for a few minutes to get it nice and hot.
Season the ribeyes with salt, pepper and garlic powder generously on both sides.
Place the steaks in the air fryer and cook for 5-6 minutes per side for medium-rare, flipping halfway through.
Use a digital read instant thermometer to ensure the proper temperature and pull the steaks out of the air fryer at 130°F. They will continue to cook up to 135°F even after they come out of the air fryer.
Set the air fried ribeyes on a plate or cutting board, loosely tent with foil, and let rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Top with a pat of good quality grass-fed butter and some minced chives or parsley.
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How long does it take to cook ribeyes in an air fryer?
If you prefer your steak cooked differently than medium-rare, use the thermometer to gauge cooking time. An instant thermometer is much more accurate than a timing chart since each steak can be a different thickness and air fryer models vary.
Rare — pull steaks out at 125°F
Medium — pull steaks out at 140°F
Medium-well — pull steaks out at 150°F
Well done — pull steaks out at 160°F
Tips and tricks for the best air fryer ribeye recipe
- Preheat the air fryer — Most air fryer recipes don’t warrant preheating, but when making steak or air fryer lamb chops, preheating is a must to get that nice sear on the outside of the meat.
- Look for thick steaks — The average supermarket ribeye is usually less than 1″ thick. Look for steaks around 1 1/2″ thick which may mean asking the meat counter butcher to get some freshly cut steaks.
- Room temperature steak — Always allow steak to come to room temperature before air frying or grilling. This ensures more even cooking.
- Don’t eyeball it — The instant meat thermometer is your friend. It’s the only way to get an accurate temperature and a steak that’s cooked exactly to your liking.
- Let it rest — Muster up your patience and let the ribeyes rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute into the steak instead of seeping out when you cut into it.
For other seasoning options, use any of your favorite steak rubs or seasoning mixes. When I have a quality, grass-fed ribeye steak like this, however, I like to keep things simple and let the flavor of the meat shine rather than overwhelming it with seasonings.
Want to try a different method altogether? Reverse searing is an excellent option for a thick cut ribeye steak as well.
What to serve with air-fried ribeye
When making an air fryer main dish, I like to keep the sides simple. There are so many vegetables that can quickly be made in the air fryer while the steaks rest.
For a slightly fancier potato side dish, try air fryer hasselback potatoes. Those crispy edges are hard to beat!
Juiciest Air Fryer Ribeye
- 2 boneless ribeye steaks about 16 ounces each, 1 ½” thick, at room temperature
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- Minced chives or parsley, for serving
- 2 tablespoons butter, for serving
- Preheat the air fryer to 400°F.
- Season both sides of the steaks with the salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Air fry for about 5-6 minutes per side, flipping the steaks halfway through cooking. Cooking time will depend on the thickness of the steaks. Use a digital instant read meat thermometer to cook to your liking. For medium-rare, remove the steaks from the air fryer at 130°F.
- Transfer the ribeye steaks to a cutting board and let rest, loosely covered with foil for 5 minutes.
- Serve with a pat of butter and garnish with finely chopped chives or parsley.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.