Are you having a hard time deciding between Fort Worth ribeye and bone-in ribeye? It might help if you understand what sets the two apart. After all, both of them are ribeyes, and ribeyes are delicious. So is one of these steaks better than the other?
Fort Worth Ribeye vs Bone In Ribeye
The Fort Worth ribeye is a boneless steak cut from the rib primal. It’s best when grilled over high heat. The bone-in option comes with a sizable section of bone attached, which imbues the beef with extra moisture and flavor. In order to cook the meat to the desired temperature without burning the outside, it’s best to sear it quickly and then roast it.
Ribeye Steak: The Basics
The ribeye is cut from the rib primal, located on the cow’s upper back. Since this portion of the animal doesn’t get a great deal of use, the meat stays quite tender. That’s one of the qualities that makes ribeye such a popular cut for the grill.
Another hallmark of the ribeye steak is its fatty texture. A great ribeye will contain a great deal of marbling, which keeps the meat moist as it cooks. In some cases, you might even have to trim some of the exterior fat before you start to cook.
Ribeye is excellent when it’s grilled or smoked. You can also pan-sear or broil the steaks if you have to move the party inside. The key is to achieve a great sear on the outside, in contrast with the tender, juicy interior.
Is Ribeye The Same Cut as Prime Rib?
In essence, ribeye and prime rib are the same cut. Both of them are cut from the rib section of the animal. But there is a notable difference between the two.
Prime rib is a large roast, consisting of a sizable portion of the rib primal. It can be sold boneless or bone-in, and is best when roasted at a low temperature. When it’s done, the meat is carved into slices and served, often with an au jus.
In order to portion out ribeyes, the butcher cuts the rib primal crosswise into individual steaks before the meat is cooked. That’s the main difference between prime rib and ribeye. Also, it’s preferable to cook ribeye over high heat.
Fort Worth Ribeye vs Bone in Ribeye
The term “Fort Worth ribeye” will be familiar to anyone who regularly dines at Texas Roadhouse. This chain of steakhouses offers diners a choice between Fort Worth ribeye and bone-in ribeye, among other options.
Whether you’re grilling your own steak or dining out, you want to be sure to get your money’s worth. That’s why it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with both options before you decide which one to buy.
Fort Worth Ribeye
At Texas Roadhouse, this superb cut is available in three different portion sizes: 10 ounces, 12 ounces, and a whopping 16 ounces—a whole pound. The meat is flavorful, juicy and melt-in-your-mouth tender, as all good ribeyes should be.
In order to prepare the Fort Worth ribeye, the chefs will typically sear the meat at a high temperature. This is a boneless cut, so it benefits from this quick-cooking method.
As you’ve probably figured out, the bone-in ribeye contains a portion of the rib bone. This contributes flavor and additional moisture to the beef, though ribeye is a naturally juicy cut to begin with.
The bone-in ribeye on the Texas Roadhouse menu weighs in at 20 ounces. That makes it an appealing option for hungry carnivores. However, bear in mind that a portion of that weight is made up of inedible bone, so it might not be the most cost-effective option.
The preparation method for the bone-in ribeye differs from the Fort Worth ribeye technique in one important respect. Because the meat is bone-in, it takes longer to reach the optimal temperature. That means the outside could char before the meat is done.
To avoid this, it’s preferable to sear the bone-in ribeye for just a couple of minutes per side, then transfer it to the oven to finish cooking. This combination of high heat and slow cooking give the steak the ideal texture.
Be aware that while a Fort Worth ribeye should be perfectly cooked throughout, the bone-in option will usually be very rare around the bone. If that turns you off, then you should consider the boneless option instead.
Breaking it Down
Just to recap: the Fort Worth ribeye is boneless, while the bone-in ribeye obviously includes a portion of bone. That means that they require slightly different preparation techniques in order to bring out their best qualities.
The bone-in ribeye should be cooked at a lower temperature after it acquires a nice sear on the outside. Since the boneless version cooks more quickly, it can withstand high heat for the duration of the process.
Also, note that when you’re dining at Texas Roadhouse, the bone-in ribeye is priced higher than even the 16-ounce portion of the Fort Worth ribeye. Both are served with your choice of two sides.
Other Names for Bone-in Ribeye
While you’re more likely to encounter the term “Fort Worth ribeye” at a Texas Roadhouse than anywhere else, bone-in ribeye is easier to find. The tricky part is that it might be labeled under a different name.
Cowboy steak is an alternate term for bone-in ribeye. Confusingly, this moniker has also been applied to other large cuts, like the porterhouse. Nowadays, though, the term is typically reserved for ribeyes that include a segment of bone.
Another common term for bone-in ribeye is tomahawk steak. In order to earn this designation, the bone portion has to be long enough to resemble a handle. That’s where it gets its name—the bone looks like the handle of an ax, or tomahawk.
If you’re unsure whether the bone-in steak you’re seeing in the meat case is in fact a ribeye, ask the butcher to clarify.
Saving the Bones
While we’re on the subject of those bones, you should save them. Even if you’ve ordered a bone-in steak at a restaurant, ask to have the bones wrapped to go so you can take them home.
Beef bones contain marrow, which has an exceptionally rich flavor. Roasting the bones makes the flavor even more complex. When you simmer the bones in water with aromatic vegetables and a few other ingredients, it results in glorious beef stock.
Best Sides to Serve With Ribeye
When you have a Fort Worth ribeye or a bone-in ribeye on your plate, the steak is understandably the star of the show. But you’ll want something to complement all that beefy goodness, too.
Since the steak itself is so rich, you can keep it simple with a green salad or roasted asparagus. If there’s room on the grill, asparagus is delicious when prepared that way, too.
Want something a little bit heartier? A baked potato with butter and sour cream should hit the spot. If you’re serving a compound butter with the steak, go ahead and use some of that on the potato as well.
If you have time, try making potatoes au gratin or a baked macaroni and cheese. These dishes can be reheated easily the next day if you’re lucky enough to wind up with leftovers.
When you order these steaks at Texas Roadhouse, you’ll have a choice of two sides. The options might vary from location to location, but there are a few constants. Try the steak fries, sweet potato, buttered corn, sauteed mushrooms, or Texas red chili.
Are you in the mood for a bone-in steak, or would you prefer not to carve around that segment of bone? That’s the primary question you should ask yourself when deciding between Fort Worth ribeye vs bone in ribeye. After that, your choice is easy.