There are a lot of excellent cuts of steak out there. It can be overwhelming to keep track of them all, and even more difficult to determine which one you should select for the grill tonight.
My guide to New York strip vs ribeye is here to eliminate some of the mystery. When you’re finished reading, you’ll have the information you need to make that critical decision.
New York Strip vs Ribeye
The New York strip comes from the short loin and consists mainly of the longissimus dorsi muscle. The ribeye is cut from the rib primal and also includes a portion of this muscle, along with another section called the spinalis dorsi. The ribeye has a higher degree of marbling and a more tender texture than the New York strip.
All About New York Strip Steak
The New York strip is taken from the longissimus dorsi muscle in the short loin. This portion of the animal can be found between the rib and thigh. As such, the meat is flavorful and rich, with a slightly chewy texture.
You might see the term “New York strip” abbreviated to “NY strip” when reading labels. These names are interchangeable—the abbreviation is used only to save space and time.
There’s a fine distinction between T-bone and porterhouse steaks. While both consist of the New York strip and a segment of the tenderloin, the porterhouse is larger.
Specifically, a New York strip with a piece of tenderloin measuring .51 to 1.24 inches across is a T-bone. In order to be classified as a porterhouse, the tenderloin portion must measure at least 1.25 inches across at its widest point.
All About Ribeye Steak
Often called the “king of the grill,” the ribeye steak is extremely popular with outdoor chefs. If you’ve ever tasted a ribeye that was prepared over a charcoal fire, you’ll understand why.
The ribeye comes from the rib primal—usually the 6th through the 12th ribs. It consists of two different muscles. The longissimus dorsi, or the eye, is the most tender portion. The spinalis dorsi, or cap, is fattier and sits on top of the eye.
The marbling (also known as intramuscular fat) gives ribeye steak a juicy texture and bold, beefy flavor. The cut’s popularity keeps the prices high, though perhaps not quite as high as those for filet mignon.
We should point out that while ribeye steak and prime rib are technically the same cut, they differ in terms of preparation. While ribeyes are cut into individual steaks, prime rib is left whole and prepared as a roast, then sliced after cooking.
Ribeye goes by many different names. Scotch fillet and Spencer steak are alternate terms for boneless ribeye. When the steak is sold with the bone in, it might be called a cowboy steak, a market steak, or a Delmonico.
New York Strip vs Ribeye
The ribeye comes from the rib primal, while the New York strip is taken from the short loin just behind it. Both of these sections can be found in the middle section of the animal.
In addition, both cuts feature the longissimus dorsi muscle. This is a long muscle that extends from the hip bone to the shoulder blade. While it’s fairly tender, it doesn’t have the same buttery texture as the tenderloin.
The price of New York strip steak is fairly similar to that of ribeye. As of this writing, a per-pound price of $15 to $17 was common when shopping at local supermarkets. Quality steak from online retailers was fetching around $35 per pound.
If your budget is a major concern, opt for New York strip. Even if it’s set at the same exact price as a ribeye, it’s easier to carve the steak into slices and serve it that way. That means you can stretch out the portions.
Ribeye steaks are typically cut 1-½ to 2 inches thick. As you can imagine, that translates into a hefty weight. It’s unusual for a ribeye to weigh less than 1 pound, and a total weight of 1-1/2 pounds is more common.
The New York strip is sometimes cut this big, but a single steak will usually weigh between 3/4 and 1 pound. People with daintier appetites (if there’s any such thing when it comes to steak) should go for this cut instead of the ribeye.
Flavor and Texture
The marbling in a ribeye steak gives it a wonderful rich flavor. As the meat cooks, the fat renders and “bastes” the meat, improving both the taste and the texture.
While it does include a wide band of fat around the edge, New York strip doesn’t have the same degree of marbling. It also has a slightly chewier mouthfeel. It still tastes great, but ribeye wins this round.
Both of these steaks are superb when cooked over a medium-hot fire or seared in a cast iron skillet. You can top either one with a compound butter to intensify the richness and add complexity to the flavor.
Ribeye is best when cooked to medium-rare, or even medium. If you serve the steak too rare, the marbling won’t have a chance to melt into the surrounding meat. As a result, the steak will have a chewy, almost rubbery texture.
If it comes down to New York strip vs ribeye, which one is preferable? That’s a tough question.
Both of these cuts have fine qualities that make them a good fit for grilling. Essentially, which one you choose comes down to whether you prefer a great deal of marbling, or if you’re looking for a leaner steak.