Have you ever sat at a steakhouse reading the menu and realized you don't know the difference between ribeye vs. t-bone? That's a common question! Ribeye is a steak cut from a cow's upper rib cage, while t-bone gets cut from a cow's short loin.
Both have a lot of delicious flavors and once you learn the difference between these two juicy cuts, you can decide which you prefer the next time you order or cook yourself. So, let's dig in and learn the common differences between ribeye and t-bone steak!
Ribeye vs. T-Bone: What Are the Differences?
Ribeye and t-bone are some of the best cuts of steak, but there are some key differences. Ribeyes have a smoother texture and are more expensive while a t-bone steak is actually two separate cuts. One is fatty while the other is more tender. Let's examine some of their most important differences individually:
- Appearance: Ribeye can either come with a bone or boneless and is a larger cut than t-bone, while t-bone consists of a T-shaped bone that separates two cuts.
- Texture: Ribeye is tender and has a smooth texture. The thicker side of t-bone steak is smooth and fatty, and the thinner side is meaty and tender.
- Price: T-bone is cheaper than ribeye steak.
Nutrition and Calories in Ribeye and T-Bone
Both ribeye and t-bone steak is red meat with plenty of protein and zero carbs. It's important to know what you're putting in your body. So let's compare the nutritional and calorie content of both.
|Nutrition||Ribeye Steak (100 g)||T-bone Steak (100 g)|
|Fat||21.81 g||11.05 g|
|Protein||23.69 g||27.48 g|
|Dietary fiber||0 g||0 g|
|Carbs||0 g||0 g|
|Water||54.59 g||60.6 g|
What Is Ribeye?
Ribeye is a tender, delicious beef rib primal cut. The steak can be boneless or contain a piece of rib bone. While ribeye with the bone adds more moisture to the meat, it can increase cooking time. The ribeye comes from the long muscle that stretches from a cow's shoulder blade to the hip bone.
Ribeye is so tender because this muscle doesn't get too much exercise, making the meat fattier. The fat is known as marbling, adding to the flavor of the meat. Ribeye is a rich, smooth, buttery cut, around 1 ½ inches thick.
The ribeye cost varies according to geographical location and the franchise you purchase from. However, on average, in 2023, ribeye can cost between 12-15 USD per pound. Keep in mind that some local butchers could have special offers on finer cuts.
How to Cook Ribeye
Choosing the best ribeye is not difficult. The meat should be bright red, moist but not wet, and have a firm texture. Try to avoid steak in packaging that has liquid pooling underneath the steak.
Ribeye is a versatile steak that you can use in various ways. You can grill it, make kebabs, or slice it into smaller pieces and add it to a tasty salad. Even the leftovers will make a delicious steak sandwich the next day. But what's the best way to cook ribeye?
How to grill ribeye:
- One area of the grill should be on high heat and the other on low heat.
- Season the ribeye and add it to the high-heat area.
- Grill for 2-3 minutes on each side.
- Move the steak to the low-heat area and grill for another 3-5 minutes.
- Check the temperature. It should read 120-125°F for a medium-rare steak.
- Remove the ribeye from the grill and let it stand for 5 minutes.
How to pan-sear ribeye:
- Add 1 tablespoon of butter to a medium-high heat pan.
- Add your preferred seasoning to the ribeye and put in the pan.
- Sear for 2-3 minutes.
- Add another tablespoon of butter and flip the steak.
- Sear for 2-3 minutes.
- The temperature should reach 120-125°F for a medium to rare steak.
- If it is not the desired doneness, cook for another minute or two until satisfied.
What Is T-Bone?
T-bone is an iconic, high-quality steak cut from the front section of the short loin of a cow. There is a T-shaped bone that separates two different cuts. When sold separately, the smaller, thicker side is the beef short loin, known as the New York strip. The thinner, larger side of the bone is tenderloin, also known as filet mignon. When these two steaks are intact and stay uncut, you have a t-bone steak.
The strip has tons of flavor with more chew, while the tenderloin has a fine texture and taste. T-bone steak should be around 1 ½ thick, but a 1-inch cut is acceptable if you want less meat. Anything smaller will result in overcooking, especially on the thinner part of meat furthest from the bone.
The price of t-bone steak sells for approximately 14 USD per pound in 2023. However, fine cuts could run up to 28 USD per pound. These prices will differ according to geographical location and the franchise.
How to Cook T-Bone
Cooking t-bone takes some skill due to the bone. The meat closest to the bone will take longer to cook, so it can be tricky not to burn the thinner meat furthest from the bone.
If you want to cook the perfect t-bone steak, you'll need a high-quality cut. The meat should be bright red, firm, and 1-1 ½ inches thick. A dull meat color indicates that the meat is below sufficient quality. Also, ensure the packaging is intact and check the expiration date.
Now you need to decide on which cooking method you prefer. The most common way to cook t-bone is by grilling or pan-searing the steak.
How to grill t-bone:
- Have an area on the grill with high heat and an area with low heat.
- Use your preferred seasoning and put the steak on the high-heat area of the grill.
- Sear for 3-4 minutes on each side.
- Move the t-bone to the low-heat area of the grill for an additional 5-10 minutes.
- For a medium-rare steak, the temperature should read 125°F.
- Remove the steak from the grill and let it rest for 5 minutes.
How to pan sear t-bone:
- Add 2 tablespoons of butter to a medium-high heat pan.
- Sear for 3 minutes on each side while spooning the melted butter in the pan over the meat.
- Turn the temperature on low and sear for another 3-5 minutes until you reach the desired doneness.
- Remove the steak from the pan and let it rest for 5 minutes.
What Has More Flavor — Ribeye vs. T-Bone
Both ribeye and t-bone steak are premium cuts of flavorful beef. However, the rich fat marbling makes ribeye more tender and flavorful than t-bone. In addition, the fat deposits will ensure the meat holds its moisture throughout the cooking process.
That doesn't mean t-bone isn't a prime cut. On the contrary, T-bone is leaner and packs tons of meaty flavor. You can't go wrong with either cut.
Steak is super versatile. You can make it spicy or mild, serve it with a side of veggies, and even add some wine if you're feeling fancy.
Ribeye is from the rib section of a cow, and it contains a lot of marbling (fat). This means that it has a lot of flavors, and it's very tender when cooked correctly.
A t-bone steak is cut from the short loin section of a cow, which includes both filet mignon (part of the tenderloin) and New York strip. T-bones have great flavor and texture because they contain a lot of fat, just like ribeyes, but they have more meat than just one cut of meat.
So, the next time you shop for a steak, opt for a tasty ribeye or t-bone. Neither will let you down in terms of juicy goodness.