Ribeye Cap Steaks – Spinalis Steaks Recipe
If you are anything like me, grilled steak is one of your favorite foods to eat. However, a perfectly cooked steak is not something you can take for granted.
Cooking steak and choosing which recipes you use it in depends largely on the cut. Ribeye steak and rib roast have always been my favorite cuts of beef hands down. That is until I had my first ribeye cap steak in New York for a celebratory dinner at an upscale restaurant. Until then, I had never even heard of a spinalis cut or a deckle steak.
Ribeye cap ranks right up there with beef tenderloin in buttery softness. It is the meat on the outskirts of the large "eye" of steak attached to the rib bone. Some beef connoisseurs would tell you it surpasses filet mignon because of its unbeatable flavor.
How do you prepare such a delicacy without ruining taste and texture? The higher grades of beef are often the simplest to cook well, requiring less seasoning, time, and marinade.
List of Items and Ingredients
- Serving platter
- Grate tools – brush, scraper, and metal flipper
- Chimney lighter and charcoal grill with grill rack and grates – Grill grates will help prevent flare-ups as your steak cooks.
- Charcoal briquettes
- Small bowl
- Plastic wrap
- Aluminum foil
- 18 ounces of spinalis steak or 2 ribeye cap steaks – should come rolled and tied
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons Garlic
- 1 tablespoon Killer Hog Hot BBQ Rub or BBQ steak rub of your choice
- Roasted garlic steak butter (needs to be prepared two or more hours ahead of time to cook steaks)*
Directions for cooking your Spinalis Steak
Step 1: Bring your ribeye cap to room temperature before cooking.
This may take up to two hours.
Step 2: Prepare your grill.
Scrape any excess grease and cooking residue off the rack and grate. Use your chimney lighter to heat up your charcoal briquettes. Once the briquettes start to gray over, pour them onto the bottom of your grill. Place the rack and grate on top. Close the lid to heat the grill, opening vents for good air flow.
Step 3: Prepare your steaks.
If the cap steaks are tied then they are already trimmed. Mix your garlic, salt, and pepper in a small bowl and coat the steaks with this mixture. Follow with a generous coating of your barbecue rub.
Step 4: Cook your steaks.
Place your steaks and mash them gently into the grill grates with your spatula. Close the lid to the grill and allow to cook for two minutes. Rotate the steaks about 45 degrees and move them over a little. Clean the area the steaks were sitting on with your scraper. Close the lid and cook for another two minutes.
Step 5: Flip your spinali steaks and apply the homemade garlic butter.
Place a tablespoon of the butter you prepared in the middle of each steak. Close the lid and cook for another two minutes. Rotate the steaks once more about 45 degrees, close the lid, and cook for a final two minutes. This is the stage where you will start checking the temperature of the steaks.
Step 6: For best results, ribeye cap steaks are usually best medium rare to medium.
125 degrees Fahrenheit is medium rare, 135 degrees is medium, and 145 degrees is medium well.
Pro tip: Keep in mind the steaks will heat another 5 degrees after you remove them from the grill.
Step 7: Allow the steaks to rest.
Remove your steaks to a serving platter and tent a piece of aluminum foil over them. Let them sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving them.
Spinali steak can also be purchased straight from the butcher where it is not trussed or rolled up. In its natural state, a ribeye cap comes as a rather thin flap of meat about the size of a flank steak. You can also use direct grilling for this preparation.
Clean your grill grates, and season the steak with sea salt and pepper on both sides. Place the steak and cook for two and a half minutes. Rotate 45 degrees and cook for another two and a half minutes with the lid closed. Flip the steak, cook two minutes, rotate 45 degrees to create aesthetically pleasing grill marks, then close the lid and cook for a final two minutes. Measure temperature as above. When ready, remove to a platter and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
You can also reverse sear ribeye spinalis.
Season the cap with pepper and Kosher salt. Place hot coals on one half of the grill and place the steaks on the grates on the opposite side. Close the lid. Make sure you have a meat thermometer in place. Flip the steak at about 100 degrees internal temperature. Once the meat reaches 130 degrees, remove it to a platter. Let it rest ten minutes under an aluminum foil tent. While it is resting place, a ballistic griddle on your grill rack and allow it to heat with the lid closed. When you are ready to put the steak on the griddle add a tablespoon of fat (butter or lard) to help form a crust on the steak. Sear for about a minute on each side. Remove your steaks from the grill and allow to rest for about five minutes before serving.
*Garlic Steak Butter recipe
- 1 stick softened butter
- 1/2 shallot, minced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons Killer Hogs Steak Rub or a steak rub of your choice
Combine garlic steak butter ingredients in a small bowl. Place the mixture on your plastic wrap. Shape it into a small log and wrap it tightly in the plastic wrap. Store in the refrigerator until firm or about two hours.
What make this spinali steak recipe so good?
The feature that should jump out at you first with this recipe is its simplicity. Ribeye cap is a very tender and flavorful cut – it does not require much seasoning or fuss. It is designed to cook perfectly at high temperatures for short periods of time. The garlic butter along with the steak's exceptional marbling pairs well with savory dishes like grilled Parmesan broccoli, roasted or grilled sweet potatoes or baked potatoes, or summer squash. It also goes with green beans or corn, quinoa, and herbed cucumbers or zucchini. Top it all off with a Cabernet Sauvignon or a spicy choice of Zinfandel and you have a meal fit for kings.
By now you must be ready to cook a fabulous ribeye cap yourself. If you like grilling, this cut is identical to cooking any other premium beef steaks. You do not need a fancy grill or smoker or any other high-tech equipment. Yet the end result will be close to what you can get at a gourmet cuisine. Even better, you can throw many of the side dishes that would go with this cap steak recipe right on the grill as an additional convenience.
If you found this article helpful, share it with your fellow grilling aficionados. Or we would love to see any tips about grilling steaks you may have in the comments below.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a ribeye cap steak?
The ribeye cap - also known as the spinalis ribeye or the deckle steak - comes from the outer rim of the prime rib roast. You may recognize it from ribeye steaks you’re familiar with; it’s the loose piece on the other side of the large fat marbling running through the ribeye. It is prized for its tender texture and superior flavor.
What is the difference between a prime rib and a ribeye steak?
The main difference between these two cuts is that one is cut into a steak while the other is a roast. The prime rib is a large roast cut that includes the ribeye steaks. If you roast it whole, you’re making prime rib (or, standing rib roast). If you cut it into steaks, you have ribeye steaks!
What temperature do you cook ribeye cap steaks?
Since the ribeye cap is such a flavorful and tender piece of meat, you don’t want to overcook it. For best flavor, we recommend a medium-rare temperature of 125 degrees F. If you like a more well-cooked steak, you can go up to medium at 135 degrees. Since this steak is expensive, we wouldn’t recommend cooking it more than that.
How can you find a ribeye cap steak?
Many butcher counters and grocery stores don’t regularly stock the ribeye cap. You may need to special order it at the butcher, as it usually needs to be cut to order. If the spinalis steak comes trussed up into a roast, you can easily unroll it to cook it flat (like a flank steak) to follow the recipe in this article.
Why are ribeye steaks so expensive?
You will find that ribeye steaks are much more expensive than top round or sirloin steaks (although, they are less expensive than beef tenderloin and filet mignon). They are priced so high because they are easy to cook, thanks to all that intramuscular fat marbling. It’s hard to overcook a ribeye steak to the point where it’s dry because the fat keeps it nice and juicy.