Big Cowboy Steaks with Whiskey BBQ Sauce


This is a hearty meal for the heartiest of appetites! A combination of quality, bone-in ribeye steak and the smoky tang of a homemade whiskey BBQ sauce. The tenderness of the meat and the zing of the sauce result in an impressive, robust flavor profile that will impress anyone at the table. 

If you’re looking for the perfect way to grill your steak once the whiskey BBQ sauce is made, check out our how-to for grilling a cowboy steak that will be the envy of everyone on the ranch. Go ahead, give it a try, and let us know how your cowboy steak came out!

Big Cowboy Steaks with Whiskey BBQ Sauce

By Jamie Purviance

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
¼ cup whiskey
3 tablespoons tomato paste
½ cup pure maple syrup
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 bone-in rib-eye steaks, each 14 to 16 ounces andabout 1¼ inches thick, trimmed of excess fat
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper


1. In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and cook until tender but not browned, 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent browning. Remove the pan from the heat and slowly pour in the whiskey (beware of any flames!). Return the pan to the heat and cook until the whiskey is almost completely evaporated, about 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste until well incorporated. Add the syrup, vinegar, mustard, paprika, hot sauce, and pepper and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes to meld the flavors and thicken the sauce slightly. Remove from the heat and set aside.

2. Lightly brush the steaks on both sides with oil and season evenly with salt and pepper. Allow the steaks to stand at room temperature for 15 to 30 minutes before grilling.

3. Prepare the grill for direct cooking over high heat (450° to 550°F).

4. Grill the steaks over direct high heat, with the lid closed, until cooked to your desired doneness, 8 to 10 minutes for medium rare, turning once or twice (if flare-ups occur, move the steaks temporarily over indirect heat). Remove from the grill and let rest for 3 to 5 minutes. Serve warm with the sauce.