Strip Steak vs Ribeye [2021]: Which Is Better?

For a true steak connoisseur, the strip steak and the ribeye are two cuts that are high up in the pecking order. They are very tender, super juicy, and deliver that beefy steak punch that all meat-eaters crave.

At first glance, every steak seems pretty similar but we are here to show you the subtle differences and the best way to cook each of these incredible cuts so you can treat yourself to a fancy steak dinner in the comfort of your own home. Both of these highly sought-after cuts are from high up on the animal where the muscle runs along the spine of the cow.

Due to their location, these muscles do very little work especially compared to the lower half of the animal, this makes these cuts very tender. Tender cuts like this come from a mere 8% of the overall carcass which is why they are so popular and exclusive.

The key to cooking a really good steak, any steak at all, is to get the perfect internal temperature and this can be achieved flawlessly using a meat thermometer.

These gadgets are relatively cheap and are an essential part of every meat lovers arsenal so before you embark on cooking these you may want to invest in one to really amp up your steak game.

But without further ado, if you want to learn more about these steaks, how to tell them apart and how to cook them let’s have a dive into what is actually the difference between the two.

What Are the Main Differences Between Strip Steak vs Ribeye?

The main differences between strip steaks vs ribeyes are:

  • The strip is taken from further down closer to the rump, whereas the ribeye can be found as part of the prime rib which is found under the ribs closer to the neck of the animal
  • The strip steak has a thick fat cap along the top that can be rendered out during cooking, whereas the ribeye is highly marbled throughout the meat
  • Due to the fat distribution, the fat cap steak strip allows it to maintain a distinct steak-like chew that allows you to savor the flavor that little bit longer, whereas a ribeye is really fatty throughout the whole steak which makes the meat really moist and smooth to bite down on

If you want a steak that truly melts in the mouth then a ribeye should be in your sights but a strip steak is still close on its heels due to its flavor.

Even though when put side by side the ribeye seems superior compared to the strip the cut is still tender in comparison to other steaks on the market. As you can see they have a lot in common but it’s the small differences and the overall texture is what really separates them.

  strip steak Ribeye
Cooking method Quick sear Quick sear
Fat distribution thick fat cap on top Marbled throughout
Serves per steak 1 two
Texture Light Chew smooth
Position At the rear Under the ribs by the neck

Strip Steak

A strip steak is a cut taken from the short loin of the cow, a muscle called the longissimus. This muscle does very little work which makes it have toothsome texture. It is juicy and flavorful and they make perfect grilling steaks because of their fat content. The fat cap can be rendered down and create a really deleteable addition to the slightly chewy meat.

What is the Best Way to Cook Strip Steak?

As with most steaks a strip will cook best either on a grill or in a frying pan. The technique that works for both the strip and the ribeye is cooking the steak on both sides, turning every 2-3 minutes. What this does is it caramelises the outside but prevents it from drying out along the outer edge which improves the texture greatly.

This is best done over a smoking hot pan for a nice quick sear that will lock in the juices while getting that tasty browning around the outside. It is best served in thick slices with the classic steak sides like chips, mash and a homemade gravy or pan juice sauce.

Here is a quick and easy recipe for the perfect strip steak:

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 strip steak
  • 1 tsp homemade (recipe below) or store bought spice rub
  • Oil
  • butter
  • 1 clove garlic
  • red wine

Method

  1. Before cooking take the steak out of the oven and allow it to come to room temperature.
  2. Put the frying pan on a high heat with a drizzle of oil and heat until smoking.
  3. Rub the meat with the spice rub and really massage it in to impart the flavor into the meat.
  4. Place the steak in the pan and cook turning every 2-3 minutes until it reaches your desired level of doneness. 130 F is medium rare.
  5. Rest the meat for 5 minutes before eating to retain the juices.
  6. While the meat is resting make the pan sauce: Add a knob of butter to the pan juices with a clove of minced garlic. Saute the garlic for 1 minute. Heat on medium and add a splash of wine while scraping the bottom of the pan to get the frond (crust) off the bottom of the pan, this is where the flavor is. Cook off the wine to get rid of any raw wine flavor and season to taste. There is no need to make a lot of this sauce as it’s just there for an extra drizzle over the steak to impart some added flavor.

Ribeye

A ribeye is a steak that originates in the prime rib which sits underneath the ribs close to the neck. To portion the ribeyes they are sliced ​​​​individual into ribs, deboned (sone butchers will have them available on the bone if you prefer) and trimmed of their excess fat until only the steak remains.

These steaks are very large and richly marbled the whole way through which gives them a smooth melt in the mouth texture. They are about 1.5 inches thick and can feed up to two people depending on the size.

What is the Best Way to Cook Ribeye?

The ribeye is also a very tender steak it can be cooked in the same way as we have described above with the strip steak, in a nice hot pan turning every 2-3 minutes.

While with the strip steak we showed how to get a really flavorful steak using a spice rub with the ribeye we will show you a different method using oil and butter basting. Both of these techniques can be used interchangeably no matter which steak you are cooking.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 ribeye steak
  • salt and pepper
  • Oil
  • fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 clove smashed garlic

Method

  1. Before cooking bring your steak to room temperature.
  2. Rub the steak with oil, salt and pepper and heat your frying pan on high.
  3. Place the steak into the smoking hot pan and allow to caramelize.
  4. Turn the steak every 2-3 minutes until it has reached your desired level of doneness. Medium rare will measure 130 F.
  5. Shift your meat to one side of the pan and tilt slightly so the juices pool. Add a knob of butter, rosemary and the garlic into the pan with the juices and cook until foaming. Baste the steak in the butter 3-4 times.
  6. Rest the steak for 5 minutes before cutting to retain the juices.

What Wine is Best Served with Steak?

The general rule of thumb is that steak pairs well with red wine. Its deep, distinct flavors and tanins cuts the richness of the steak and works perfectly with its fattiness. Cabernets are always a good choice and a shiraz will pair particularly well with a ribeye due to the meats marbling the fat and the robustness of the wine.

The Best Spice Rubs for Strip Steak and Ribeyes

Spice rubs are an excellent way to add flavor to any meat but particularly in rich steaks like these. There are a lot of spice rubs on the market that come pre-blended so all you need to do is massage it into our meat and go. Here are a few great ones we think you should check out:

Stonewall Kitchen Carne Asada Steak Rub

Stonewall Kitchen Carne Asada Steak Rub

This award-winning steak rub harnesses the flavors of Mexico so you can add a unique spicy kick to a traditional steak dinner. The roast beef is usually added in the form of a marinade, but this rub gives you another option that doesn’t require hours of marinating.

This mix includes brown sugar, molasses, coriander and lime which combine to contribute a deliciously layered and charred flavor to your steak.

Wayward Gourmet High Octane Coffee Spice Rub

Wayward Gourmet High Octane Coffee Spice Rub

Coffee is a really intense umami flavor and brings out bold richness of a steak. This rub will add some umph to your meat without any nasty preservatives and additives. The coffee in this particular rub is paired with brown sugar, cayenne pepper and maple syrup to create a unique balance of flavors that you will want to eat again and again.

Dos Gauchos Authentic Argentina Chimicurri Rub

Dos Gauchos Authentic Argentina Chimicurri Rub

Argentina is a country that is well known for their amazing steaks and the most common accompaniment you will find with them is chimichurri. This is usually in the form of a fresh sauce but this rub allows you to get that flavor in there with a simple sprinkle.

Add some distinctive Latin American flair to a steak with this rub that includes. It is also keto-friendly, gluten-free and all-natural so you can get real flavor with no harmful additives.

If you are a steak enthusiast and want to customize your spice rub to your exact tastes you can make your own blend. Here is a basic little recipe you can make using spices you already have in your pantry:

Ingredients

  • 1 tbl salt
  • 1 tbl black pepper
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbl smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes

Method

  1. Measure out the spices and whisk together until well combined.
  2. Store in a tightly sealed jar at room temperature.

For a true steak connoisseur, the strip steak and the ribeye are two cuts that are high up in the pecking order. They are very tender, super juicy, and deliver that beefy steak punch that all meat-eaters crave.

At first glance, every steak seems pretty similar but we are here to show you the subtle differences and the best way to cook each of these incredible cuts so you can treat yourself to a fancy steak dinner in the comfort of your own home. Both of these highly sought-after cuts are from high up on the animal where the muscle runs along the spine of the cow.

Due to their location, these muscles do very little work especially compared to the lower half of the animal, this makes these cuts very tender. Tender cuts like this come from a mere 8% of the overall carcass which is why they are so popular and exclusive.

The key to cooking a really good steak, any steak at all, is to get the perfect internal temperature and this can be achieved flawlessly using a meat thermometer.

These gadgets are relatively cheap and are an essential part of every meat lovers arsenal so before you embark on cooking these you may want to invest in one to really amp up your steak game.

But without further ado, if you want to learn more about these steaks, how to tell them apart and how to cook them let’s have a dive into what is actually the difference between the two.

What Are the Main Differences Between Strip Steak vs Ribeye?

The main differences between strip steaks vs ribeyes are:

  • The strip is taken from further down closer to the rump, whereas the ribeye can be found as part of the prime rib which is found under the ribs closer to the neck of the animal
  • The strip steak has a thick fat cap along the top that can be rendered out during cooking, whereas the ribeye is highly marbled throughout the meat
  • Due to the fat distribution, the fat cap steak strip allows it to maintain a distinct steak-like chew that allows you to savor the flavor that little bit longer, whereas a ribeye is really fatty throughout the whole steak which makes the meat really moist and smooth to bite down on

If you want a steak that truly melts in the mouth then a ribeye should be in your sights but a strip steak is still close on its heels due to its flavor.

Even though when put side by side the ribeye seems superior compared to the strip the cut is still tender in comparison to other steaks on the market. As you can see they have a lot in common but it’s the small differences and the overall texture is what really separates them.

  strip steak Ribeye
Cooking method Quick sear Quick sear
Fat distribution thick fat cap on top Marbled throughout
Serves per steak 1 two
Texture Light Chew smooth
Position At the rear Under the ribs by the neck

Strip Steak

A strip steak is a cut taken from the short loin of the cow, a muscle called the longissimus. This muscle does very little work which makes it have toothsome texture. It is juicy and flavorful and they make perfect grilling steaks because of their fat content. The fat cap can be rendered down and create a really deleteable addition to the slightly chewy meat.

What is the Best Way to Cook Strip Steak?

As with most steaks a strip will cook best either on a grill or in a frying pan. The technique that works for both the strip and the ribeye is cooking the steak on both sides, turning every 2-3 minutes. What this does is it caramelises the outside but prevents it from drying out along the outer edge which improves the texture greatly.

This is best done over a smoking hot pan for a nice quick sear that will lock in the juices while getting that tasty browning around the outside. It is best served in thick slices with the classic steak sides like chips, mash and a homemade gravy or pan juice sauce.

Here is a quick and easy recipe for the perfect strip steak:

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 strip steak
  • 1 tsp homemade (recipe below) or store bought spice rub
  • Oil
  • butter
  • 1 clove garlic
  • red wine

Method

  1. Before cooking take the steak out of the oven and allow it to come to room temperature.
  2. Put the frying pan on a high heat with a drizzle of oil and heat until smoking.
  3. Rub the meat with the spice rub and really massage it in to impart the flavor into the meat.
  4. Place the steak in the pan and cook turning every 2-3 minutes until it reaches your desired level of doneness. 130 F is medium rare.
  5. Rest the meat for 5 minutes before eating to retain the juices.
  6. While the meat is resting make the pan sauce: Add a knob of butter to the pan juices with a clove of minced garlic. Saute the garlic for 1 minute. Heat on medium and add a splash of wine while scraping the bottom of the pan to get the frond (crust) off the bottom of the pan, this is where the flavor is. Cook off the wine to get rid of any raw wine flavor and season to taste. There is no need to make a lot of this sauce as it’s just there for an extra drizzle over the steak to impart some added flavor.

Ribeye

A ribeye is a steak that originates in the prime rib which sits underneath the ribs close to the neck. To portion the ribeyes they are sliced ​​​​individual into ribs, deboned (sone butchers will have them available on the bone if you prefer) and trimmed of their excess fat until only the steak remains.

These steaks are very large and richly marbled the whole way through which gives them a smooth melt in the mouth texture. They are about 1.5 inches thick and can feed up to two people depending on the size.

What is the Best Way to Cook Ribeye?

The ribeye is also a very tender steak it can be cooked in the same way as we have described above with the strip steak, in a nice hot pan turning every 2-3 minutes.

While with the strip steak we showed how to get a really flavorful steak using a spice rub with the ribeye we will show you a different method using oil and butter basting. Both of these techniques can be used interchangeably no matter which steak you are cooking.

Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 ribeye steak
  • salt and pepper
  • Oil
  • fresh rosemary sprig
  • 1 clove smashed garlic

Method

  1. Before cooking bring your steak to room temperature.
  2. Rub the steak with oil, salt and pepper and heat your frying pan on high.
  3. Place the steak into the smoking hot pan and allow to caramelize.
  4. Turn the steak every 2-3 minutes until it has reached your desired level of doneness. Medium rare will measure 130 F.
  5. Shift your meat to one side of the pan and tilt slightly so the juices pool. Add a knob of butter, rosemary and the garlic into the pan with the juices and cook until foaming. Baste the steak in the butter 3-4 times.
  6. Rest the steak for 5 minutes before cutting to retain the juices.

What Wine is Best Served with Steak?

The general rule of thumb is that steak pairs well with red wine. Its deep, distinct flavors and tanins cuts the richness of the steak and works perfectly with its fattiness. Cabernets are always a good choice and a shiraz will pair particularly well with a ribeye due to the meats marbling the fat and the robustness of the wine.

What Internal Temperature should my Steak be?

Degree of Doneness F W
rare 120-125 49-51
medium rare 130-135 55-57
medium 140-145 60-63
medium well 150-155 65-69
well done 160 73

 

The Best Spice Rubs for Strip Steak and Ribeyes

Spice rubs are an excellent way to add flavor to any meat but particularly in rich steaks like these. There are a lot of spice rubs on the market that come pre-blended so all you need to do is massage it into our meat and go. Here are a few great ones we think you should check out:

Stonewall Kitchen Carne Asada Steak Rub

Stonewall Kitchen Carne Asada Steak Rub

This award-winning steak rub harnesses the flavors of Mexico so you can add a unique spicy kick to a traditional steak dinner. The roast beef is usually added in the form of a marinade, but this rub gives you another option that doesn’t require hours of marinating.

This mix includes brown sugar, molasses, coriander and lime which combine to contribute a deliciously layered and charred flavor to your steak.

Wayward Gourmet High Octane Coffee Spice Rub

Wayward Gourmet High Octane Coffee Spice Rub

Coffee is a really intense umami flavor and brings out bold richness of a steak. This rub will add some umph to your meat without any nasty preservatives and additives. The coffee in this particular rub is paired with brown sugar, cayenne pepper and maple syrup to create a unique balance of flavors that you will want to eat again and again.

Dos Gauchos Authentic Argentina Chimicurri Rub

Dos Gauchos Authentic Argentina Chimicurri Rub

Argentina is a country that is well known for their amazing steaks and the most common accompaniment you will find with them is chimichurri. This is usually in the form of a fresh sauce but this rub allows you to get that flavor in there with a simple sprinkle.

Add some distinctive Latin American flair to a steak with this rub that includes. It is also keto-friendly, gluten-free and all-natural so you can get real flavor with no harmful additives.

If you are a steak enthusiast and want to customize your spice rub to your exact tastes you can make your own blend. Here is a basic little recipe you can make using spices you already have in your pantry:

Ingredients

  • 1 tbl salt
  • 1 tbl black pepper
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tbl smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes

Method

  1. Measure out the spices and whisk together until well combined.
  2. Store in a tightly sealed jar at room temperature.

 

Ordering Meat Online – Best Services

This may seem like a really strange concept but online butchers and other meat delivery services are steadily gaining in popularity. These services let you do your shopping from the comfort of your own couch and delivers it fresh straight to your door.

The meat is packed and stored in a cool environment to ensure that your meat arrives safe and ready to slap on the grill. They have a great selection of steaks including the ribeyes and steaks we have been exploring here

Here are a few of those services that you could try out the next time you are craving a steak dinner. (These stores are all US based)

Butcherbox Meat Subscription Box

Butcherbox Meat Subscription Box

Butcherbox is a premium meat subscription that is delivered to your door whenever you choose. Their deliver frequency and variation of meats available can be tailor made just for you with custom boxes as well as mixed, curated boxes available. Check out our honest ButcherBox review for more details!

Their ribeyes and strip steaks are of the highest quality and you can choose them from their site with ease and have them on your table in a few days.

Crowd Cow

Crowd Cow

Named the best for variety by Food and Wine magazine Crowd Cow is a quality meat delivery service that saves you a pick through the steaks available at your local supermarket.

Whether you want a one off order or want a schedule repeat deliveries you can customize it to suit you and your family without a hitch. Their steak selection is amazing and high quality so you’ll be salivating over your keyboard before the meat even arrives.

Ordering Meat Online – Best Services

This may seem like a really strange concept but online butchers and other meat delivery services are steadily gaining in popularity. These services let you do your shopping from the comfort of your own couch and delivers it fresh straight to your door.

The meat is packed and stored in a cool environment to ensure that your meat arrives safe and ready to slap on the grill. They have a great selection of steaks including the ribeyes and steaks we have been exploring here

Here are a few of those services that you could try out the next time you are craving a steak dinner. (These stores are all US based)

Butcherbox Meat Subscription Box

Butcherbox Meat Subscription Box

Butcherbox is a premium meat subscription that is delivered to your door whenever you choose. Their deliver frequency and variation of meats available can be tailor made just for you with custom boxes as well as mixed, curated boxes available. Check out our honest ButcherBox review for more details!

Their ribeyes and strip steaks are of the highest quality and you can choose them from their site with ease and have them on your table in a few days.

Crowd Cow

Crowd Cow

Named the best for variety by Food and Wine magazine Crowd Cow is a quality meat delivery service that saves you a pick through the steaks available at your local supermarket.

Whether you want a one off order or want a schedule repeat deliveries you can customize it to suit you and your family without a hitch. Their steak selection is amazing and high quality so you’ll be salivating over your keyboard before the meat even arrives.

FAQ

Question: Why are Ribeyes and Strip Steak so Expensive?

Answer: Due to the fact that, as we mentioned previously, these cuts are only found in 8% of the meat on a carcass these cuts are rare compared to larger, more common cuts which makes them cost far more. If the steaks are rated by the USDA with a high rating this can also increase the price as it guarantees you steak of a superior quality.

Question: Is Strip Steak the Same as the New York Strip?

Answer: Yes, they are the same cut. Strip steaks go by many other names including Ambassador steak, club steak, strip loin and top loin.

Conclusion

With both of these premium cuts it really is hard to go wrong with either choice. They are both tender, rich, juicy and pack all the flavor you can ask for into each and every bite.

If you were going to choose just one I would recommend the ribeye as it is so juicy from the intense fat marbling that it just melts in your mouth. They will be well worth the investment and leave you full and fully satiated by the end of your meal.

Both of these steaks, as we have demonstrated, cook very well in a frying pan so if you want to get into cooking steak regularly then a cast iron pan like this one from the Lodge is the perfect choice for frying up the perfect steak on its preseasoned surface that heats evenly and for a perfect browning.

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