In Bryan's Words
This is the big brother of the Rib Eye Steak. The only difference between the two is the presence of the bone; otherwise it’s the same steak. Though all bone-in rib steaks will, clearly, have a bone (who knew?!), the size of the bone fluctuates. The Rib steak cut from the loin end of the rib (towards the south end of a north-bound cow) will have a bone length of about 6 to 8 inches, while the steak cut from the chuck end (closer to the head of the cow) will have a much shorter bone, maybe only 3 to 4 inches long. If you’ve ever seen what is called the “cowboy” steak, it is cut from the loin end so that the bone is long enough to be exposed on one end while still having a good sized section attached to the steak.
The question that I field the most when it comes to this cut is whether or not the bone will add flavor to the steak. General opinion is split 50/50 on this question, but I count myself among those who believe that no additional flavor is imparted. My personal opinion is that the only time the bone will impart flavor into the attached meat is when the meat is braised. By simmering the meat in liquid, there will be an interaction of the bone essence (basically marrow) with said liquid, which will then ultimately become the accompanying sauce. A steak on the grill will not replicate that co-mingling because there is simply no transfer medium.
So does that mean it’s not worth it? If it wasn’t worth it would I have anything to do with it? Didn’t think so. The addition of the bone with the steak takes a classic cut and gives it a little flair, along with the great fun of chewing on the bone once the steak is gone. This bone is the exact counterpart to pork baby back ribs and will have a thick portion of meat in addition to the Rib Eye Steak; in some cases as much as an inch thick attached to it.
A side note to consider is that the pricing of this cut takes into account the presence of the bone, and is adjusted accordingly so that the net cost of the meat will be the same whether it is purchased with the bone or without.
We dry age the whole prime rib as a primal, and once it hits 30 to 35 days of dry age, it's ready to be cut into bone in ribsteaks. similar to the kansas city strip steaks, you will see some darkening in the bones of this cut. this is the result of dry aged beef. during the dry aging process, these rib bones as well as the outer layer of fat are exposed to the open air in our temperature controlled dry aging rooms. when cutting ribsteaks from a dry aged prime rib, or 'export rib' in industry terms, the outer fat is trimmed, as are the outermost edges of the rib bones. this trimming process eliminates the outer crust that develops during the dry aging process, leaving behind a more flavorful and tender product. however, some of the darkness might remain on the bones, but it isn't anything to be concerned about. It's proof that you have received a legitimately dry aged steak.
Contrary to what you might have heard, the best way to determine the cooking time on a steak is by the thickness, rather than the weight.
On the Grill:
1” – 8 minutes total; 5 and 3
1¼“ – 9 minutes total; 7 and 3
1½“ – 14 to 15 minutes total; 9 and 5
2” – 15 to 18 minutes total; 11 and 6
2½“ – 20 minutes total; 12 and 7
3” – 22 minutes total; 14 and 8