Depending on what you’re looking for in your steak, the right cut can make all the difference. Today, we’re examining two popular cuts and setting the record straight on their distinguishing features: the New York Strip and the Ribeye.
Since these two steaks do tend to get confused often, let’s start first with the similarities. The cuts are often of similar size and shape — though the Ribeye can also be sold bone-in — making the first glance nearly identical.
Both are also from a similar area of the cow called the longissimus dorsi, which refer to two muscles along the spine and outside the ribs. While the Ribeye comes from an area close to the neck and along the upper rib cage, the New York Strip is cut from the rear in an area called the short loin primal.
Since both of these cuts come from an underused muscle group, they’re known for their rich flavor and tender meat. However, there are some important differences to know about before you make your selection.
The biggest visual difference between a Ribeye steak and a New York Strip is the fat distribution. While a Ribeye is marbled throughout the meat, the Strip is more often characterized by a thick rim of fat. Because this rim of fat is so thick, it typically goes uneaten and only serves to add to the rich flavor of the rest of the steak.
And speaking of flavor, the fat marbling in the Ribeye makes it slightly richer and more tender than the New York Strip, which has a tighter texture. This causes the Strip to have more of the signature steak “chew,” as opposed to the Ribeye, which is smoother. However, it’s important to note that a properly cooked Strip still shouldn’t be tough — it still has internal marbling, just not quite as much.
Since the composition of these steaks is quite different, the preferred cooking method is as well. Here’s the best way to cook each:
- Ribeye: The high fat content of the Ribeye can cause fiery flare-ups, so many chefs recommend a “two-zone grilling” method, where you can sear the steak on high and then finish it on medium. Alternatively, you could us a reverse sear method where you first cook the steak in the oven, then sear to finish.
- New York Strip: To keep this meat tender, it’s best cook hot and fast. Whether on a grill or pan fried, use hot heat and turn every 30 seconds for an even cook and nice sear.
Which is the right steak for you?
Now that you understand the difference between the New York Strip and the Ribeye, which one is your preferred cut? There are certainly pros and cons to each, but here’s the good news: you really can’t go wrong. Both of these high-quality steaks are full of flavor and can satisfy any meat lovers craving. Plus, with seven nights of dinner each week…who says you have to choose?