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Cooking Ribeye Steak in Wood Fired Oven

Many owners of our Forno Piombo pizza ovens are excited to learn you can cook more than just 90-second pizzas in the oven. We’ve been lighting our new refractory pizza oven and having lots of fun with a wide range of wood fired oven recipes. Today we’re sharing with you how to cook a whole rib eye in the pizza oven. There are a number of ways you can cook steak in the pizza oven depending on the type of equipment and accessories you have on hand. Entertaining someone special? These tips and flavor techniques will ensure your wood fired rib eye steak is an absolute show stopper!

Forno Piombo pizza ovens are made for year round entertaining! Though most of us could happily enjoy margherita pizza through rain or shine, it’s important to remember your oven is useful for a range of seasonal wood fired oven recipes. A family favorite for us is wood fired rib eye steak with roasted fingerling potatoes. This recipe is the easiest way to elevate a classic Steak Frites or steak and fries and the best part is it’s easy and simple. 

A few tips for achieving the best wood fired rib eye steak include:

  • Allowing the rib eye to rest
  • Seasoning the rib eye
  • Monitoring internal temperature


How long to rest a rib eye steak?

Resting is an important step and this doesn’t just mean after cooking and before serving. It’s important that you remove the rib eye from the refrigerator and allow it to rest at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Place your rib eye on a cooling rack positioned over a baking tray and season with salt generously. Adding salt 1 hour prior to cooking will allow time for the salt to permeate and flavor the meat, but also draw moisture from the steak, which is important to obtain a nice crust on your steak. 

Resting the steak after cooking is equally as important. Once removing the cast iron from the pizza oven remove from the pan as the hot cast iron will continue to cook the steak. Transfer steak to a clean cooling rack over a baking tray to collect any juices that may run. As a guide, rest for around 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. Don’t worry, your steak will still be hot!

Seasoning a rib eye steak

As described above, salt should be added to the steak 1-hour prior to achieve the best flavor and texture. If you’re adding fresh ground black pepper, apply generously to the steak immediately before placing the steak in the pizza oven. Seasoning can also include other flavors that you enjoy. When cooking wood fired rib eye steak, we like to add butter, garlic, thyme or rosemary half way into the cooking. 

How long do I cook rib eye steak?

Cooking steak in the pizza oven involves ultra high heat. The time it takes to cook is totally dependent on the thickness of your steak, which is not an exact science. Time and practice cooking in a wood fired oven will give you more confidence. By far the best companion to keep close is a temperature thermometer. Here’s a guide for the internal temperature you should be looking for to deliver the best wood fired rib eye steak for your preference. Remember your rib eye will continue to cook once removing from the pizza oven, so remove steak when the internal temperature is about 5-8 degrees Fahrenheit away from your desired temperature, or doneness. 

Desired Doneness

Remove when internal temperature reaches

Final Temperature


117 - 120ºF


Medium Rare




130 - 135ºF

135 - 140ºF

Medium-Well to Well-Done


145 - 155ºF

Remember that sins will be forgotten for overcooking the steak, when guests experience the added flavor that results from a wood fired oven cooking. As a general rule, the steak will take no more than 8-12 minutes to cook. 

Equipment you’ll need:

  • Forno Piombo Refractory Oven
  • Large Cast Iron Pan (12-14” diameter)
  • Cast Iron Fire Poker with Hook
  • Heat Resistant Silicone Glove (for handling)
  • Large Steel Spoon for Basting
  • Baking Tray
  • Cooling Rack 

  • Ingredients for Rib Eye Steak:

    • 2.5 - 3lb Dry Aged Rib Eye Steak (or New York Cut Porterhouse, Tomahawk etc). 
    • 1 Tbsp. Kosher Salt
    • 1 tsp. Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
    • 2 Tbsp. Vegetable-Olive Cooking Blend Oil
    • 3 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
    • 3 Garlic Cloves
    • 2-3 Sprigs Woody Herbs (Thyme, Rosemary, Sage)

    Ingredients for Fingerling Potatoes:

    • 1½ qrts. Fingerling or Yukon Gold Potatoes, skin on, sliced lengthwise
    • 3 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
    • 5 cloves Garlic 
    • 1 Shallot, sliced finely lengthwise
    • 1 Bay Leaf
    • 1 Tbsp. Rosemary, finely chopped
    • ½ tsp. Sea Salt Flakes or Kosher Salt


    1. Preheat Refractory Wood Fired Oven to using our Guide to Lighting here. The wood oven will be ready to use when the internal dome has transitioned from black to white in color (approximately 800ºF). The aim will be getting the wood oven to a high heat and allow the internal temperature to reduce gradually to a cooking temperature of around 650-700ºF. Cooking steak in the pizza oven is performed at high heat to develop an exciting golden crust to the steak. 
    2. Place 2 (TWO) large pans in the center or rear of the oven with 2 tablespoons of oil in each and allow to heat. Check the pans intermittently. The oil should not smoke significantly but should smoulder lightly to indicate a hot cooking surface. 
    3. Ready to cook your wood fired rib eye steak? Bring the cast iron to the mouth of the pizza oven and place the rib eye in the skillet allowing the steak to fall into the pan away from you, to avoid the dangerously hot oil splattering toward you. Return the steak to the back of the oven for 4 minutes. 
    4. Retrieve the cast iron skillet and assess the rate of browning. This is particularly important during the first few times cooking steak in the pizza oven. The steak will quickly develop a blistering crust. Refrain from flipping the steak too many times while cooking. 
    5. Check the underside of the steak with a large cooking spoon. Once golden, flip the steak, return to the oven and allow to sear for 2 minutes. Retrieve the cast iron skillet once again and add butter, garlic and herbs to the pan. At this point, pay close attention to the butter as it begins to brown. Angle the pan to allow the butter to pool in the edge of the pan closest to you. Spoon the brown sizzling butter, herbs and garlic over the steak and allow it to drain back down. Repeat for 2 minutes using the residual heat in the cast iron. and return the steak to the back of the oven for 1-2 minutes for the final cook. Check the internal temperature using a digital thermometer, using the guide above to achieve your desired doneness. 
    6. In a separate pan, place potatoes cut faced down in the oil. Return to the oven and cook for 2-3 minutes. Check the potatoes for color, texture and softness. Once the potatoes have achieved a consistent golden brown, add butter, garlic, bay leaf and/or  herbs and toss potatoes to coat. You may use a spoon to turn and toss, or use two hands to shake the skillet. Continue cooking potatoes for another 4 minutes tossing intermittently. Remove and add sliced shallots (and additional butter if needed). Position toward the front of the oven to cook more slowly until desired tenderness is reached. 
    7. Remove steak and transfer to a baking rack to rest as described in the introduction. Rest for approximately 10-15 minutes and slice against the grain for optimal tenderness. Serve your wood fire rib eye steak on a platter with roasted potatoes and a generous sprinkle of flaky sea salt. 

    Pro Wood Fired Cooking Tips: 

    • Along with teasing your fire and repositioning logs, you can use the fire poker to  maneuver, position and retrieve your cast iron skillet from the back of the oven. Using the hook of the fire poker to latch onto the hole in the handle of the skillet (most skillets should feature a hole through the end of the handle). 

    Wood fired ovens are a great way to creatively cook your food, and gives you the ability to go beyond the limitations of a BBQ or grill. Keep checking back in for more delicious wood fired recipes and make sure to take a peak at some of our other wood fired pizza oven recipes.

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