Grab some cowboy ribeye steaks. It’s time to show off what your Ninja Woodfire Grill can really do.

sliced cowboy ribeye steak on black platter.

Save this BBQ Tip

Enter your email, and I’ll send this link directly to your inbox. Plus, you’ll get new BBQ recipes and tips weekly.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

What is a cowboy ribeye steak

Ribeye steaks are cut from the rib primal of a cow. That primal is also where the prime rib roast comes from. When the roast is cut into steaks, you get ribeye steaks.

What makes this steak a cowboy ribeye is the length of the bone that is still attached to the meat. If the entire long rib is left in tact, it’s a tomahawk steak. If the bone is shorter, it’s considered a cowboy ribeye cut.

Because of the size of the Ninja Woodfire Grill, the cowboy steak is a better option than the tomahawk. With a tomahawk, the bone may be too long for the lid to close.

Cowboy cut steak is usually 1-1/2 to 2 inches thick, which is why this recipe uses the reverse sear method. Reverse searing is a cooking process where you smoke the meat first with indirect heat at a lower temperature. Then, you finish it on a hot grill to get the perfect sear.

If you tried to grill a thick steak over high heat, you’d end up with an overcooked steak on the outside and an undercook steak inside.


two cowboy ribeye steaks, salt, pepper and olive oil.
  • Cowboy Ribeye Steaks: For the best flavor, look for bone-in steaks with superior marbling.
  • Vegetable Oil: Any type of vegetable oil will work. I usually use canola oil or olive oil.
  • Kosher Salt: I almost always cook with Diamond kosher salt. The flakes are course, but they also dissolve well into the meat. Don’t forget use a little salt at the end, too.
  • Black Pepper: For that great peppery crust, use a coarse-ground black pepper.
SUBSTITUTIONS: Try by steak rub or ribeye rub as an alternative. 

How to grill cowboy ribeyes on a Ninja Grill

  1. STEP ONE: Brush both sides of the bone-in ribeye steak with vegetable oil and sprinkle both sides with a generous amount of kosher salt and black pepper. Let it rest at room temperature while you heat the grill.
two cowboy ribeye steaks seasoned with salt and pepper.
  1. STEP TWO: For smoke flavor, add wood pellets to the fire box. Set the grill function to smoker, the temperature to 250 and the time to 1 hour. Once the grill is ready, place steaks on the grill side by side and close the lid.
two raw seasoned cowboy ribeye steaks on Ninja Woodfire Grill.
PRO TIP: If you have the Ninja Woodfire Grill Pro, insert the temperature probe through the side into the center of the steak and set the probe temperature to 100F degrees. Otherwise, use an aftermarket digital meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature of the steak. 
  1. STEP THREE: Once the steaks reach an internal temperature of 100F degrees, remove them from the grill. Change the Ninja Grill function to grill and set the temperature to high and the time to 15 minutes.
PRO TIP: If you have the Ninja Woodfire Grill Pro, keep the thermometer in the steak. On the grill, push Preset. Select beef and choose your desired doneness.
  1. STEP FOUR: When the grill is ready, return the steaks to the grill. Press down on them, so they get direct contact with the grill grate. This will help form grill marks and a great sear. Cook for 3-7 minutes per side, depending on how well you like your perfect steak.
tongs pressing ribeye steak onto grill to form grill marks.
two cowboy ribeye steaks with grill marks on Ninja Woodfire Grill.
  1. STEP FIVE: Once the steak has reached your perfect temperature, remove it from the grill and let it rest on a cutting board. You can tent them with aluminum foil to keep them warm.
grilled cowboy ribeye steak resting.

How to serve cowboy ribeyes

Once the steaks have rested at least 15 minutes, you can slice them in the kitchen or serve them tableside.

To slice the steaks, run your knife along the bone to remove the meat. Save that bone, someone in your life will probably want to gnaw on it.

Next, slice the meat into strips and garnish with a bit more salt and pepper. A sprinkling of fresh herbs, like thyme, is also a nice touch.

sliced cowboy ribeye steak.

Some sides that go great with this Ninja Grilled cowboy ribeye steak recipe are Grilled Carrots in a Ninja Grill, Ninja Grilled Balsamic Brussels Sprouts or Garlic Parmesan Ranch Air Fryer Frozen Fries.

You won’t need any steak sauce, but a big glass of robust red wine like a cabernet sauvignon will make this a perfect meal.


If you have any leftover steak, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to five days. You can eat it cold or reheat it. Leftover steak can also be frozen for up to six months.

If this information was helpful, I would appreciate it if you would use the link below when you purchase your Ninja Woodfire Grill. After you make a purchase, I will be provided a slight commission at no extra cost to you.


Frequently Asked Questions

Is cowboy ribeye the same as a tomahawk?

Kind of. The meat is essentially the same, which is a ribeye steak. What makes them different is the length of the rib bone. Cowboy cut ribeye steaks have a shorter Frenched bone. Tomahawk steaks include a very long bone.

Does bone-in ribeye taste better?

Generally, if you are cooking any meat for a longer period of time like this reverse-seared cowboy ribeye steak, choosing a bone-in cut is a great choice. As the meat cooks the bone will release added flavor that enhances the meat. If however, you’re cooking a thinner steak hot and fast, the bone won’t make much difference.

Is bone-in ribeye the same as prime rib?

The cut of meat from a bone-in ribeye comes from the full prime rib roast, so it’s essentially the same. What makes it different is that a ribeye is a thinner cut of beef that can be cooked rather quickly. Prime rib is a roast that usually includes three rib bones, so it takes longer to cook.

More Ninja Grill Steak Recipes

Want even more great grilling recipes and tips? Subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on Facebook, Instagram and TikTok for my latest grilling adventures. If you make a recipe, please leave a comment and rating below.

Save this BBQ Tip

Enter your email, and I’ll send this link directly to your inbox. Plus, you’ll get new BBQ recipes and tips weekly.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
5 from 3 votes

Cowboy Ribeye Steak on Ninja Woodfire Grill

Reverse sear impressive cowboy ribeye steaks on the Ninja Woodfire Grill with real woodfire flavor and a great crust.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 cowboy ribeye steaks
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp coarse ground black pepper


  • Season: Brush the steaks with vegetable oil and sprinkle both sides generously with salt and pepper.
  • Heat Grill: Add wood pellets to the Ninja Woodfire Grill. Set the function to smoker, the temperature to 250F degrees and the time to 1 hour. If you're using the Ninja Pro, use the temperature probe and set the goal temperature to 100F degrees.
  • Smoke: Place the steaks on the grill side by side and smoke for about 45 minutes, or until they reach an internal temperature of 100F degrees.
  • Adjust Grill: Remove the steaks from the grill. Change the function to grill. Set the temperature to high and the time to 15 minutes. If using the Ninja Pro, change the thermometer preset to beef and your desired doneness.
  • Grill: Return the steaks to the grill. Using tongs, press down on the meat so there is good contact with the grill grates. Cook for 3-7 minutes per side, depending on your preferred doneness.
  • Rest: Remove the steaks from the grill. Let them rest for 15 minutes. Then, slice and sprinkle with a little more salt and pepper.



Calories: 657kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 57gFat: 47gSaturated Fat: 19gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 0.04gCholesterol: 173mgSodium: 3636mgPotassium: 800mgFiber: 1gSugar: 0.02gVitamin A: 59IUCalcium: 35mgIron: 5mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Did you try this recipe?Be sure to rate it, leave a comment and save it so you can make it again. Show off your awesome results on social by tagging @girlscangrill

What's HOT

christie vanover standing against wood wall.

Hey BBQ Family

I’m Christie, the head cook and award-winning competitive pitmaster for Team Girls Can Grill. I have won multiple grand championships and top 10 category finishes. I’m an expert grill reviewer for BBQ Guys, and I have appeared on the Food Network and Ninja Woodfire Grill infomercials. I established this website in 2015 to share my BBQ tips and recipes.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating