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New York Strip vs. Ribeye: The Steak Comparison Series

Learn all the differences between New York strip vs ribeye steaks. Anatomy, price, taste, texture, and the best cooking methods for each.

Let’s go!

a ribeye and a new york strip steak on a cutting board
A thick cut prime ribeye (L) and New York strip steak (R).

 

Where New York Strip and Ribeye Come From on the Cow

Beef comes from a cow, but it’s not that simple.

The location that the beef is taken from will change every major characteristic of the beef.

a cow diagram showing where a new york strip and ribeye steak are from

In the same way that your arm isn’t the same as your foot, a New York strip isn’t the same as a ribeye.

To start things off, here’s a great video from Eater explaining where all the different cuts of steak come from on the cow.

Anatomy of New York Strip Steak

A New York strip comes from the short loin on a cow. This cut is right behind the rib and in front of the prize meats (the sirloins and tenderloin).

Like the tenderloin, the short loin is also comprised of a muscle. The big difference is that the muscle in the short loin, the longissimus, is much larger. The result is more meat from a single cut, and larger steaks.

 

Anatomy of the Ribeyea large cut of ribeye steak

As the name alludes, a ribeye steak comes from the rib of a cow. Specifically, it comes from the sixth to twelfth ribs.

It contains the complexus, longissimus dorsi, and spinalis muscles of the cow.

 

Alternate Names for New York Strip Steak and Ribeye 

When you go to a butcher or sit down at a restaurant, you might see a few slightly different names for each of their steaks.

Here are some of the common names for these two types of steaks, as well as close relatives.

 

New York Strip

If your New York strip has a bone in it, no need to call the butcher – it was just mislabeled.

A New York strip that has a bone is technically a Kansas City strip.

two new york strip steaks on a grill

If the cut is attached to the bone with a piece of tenderloin included as well, it’s called a porterhouse or a T-bone.

The former has a larger bit of tenderloin. A T-bone with no tenderloin might also be called a shell steak.

The traditional New York strip is also known as an ambassador steak, boneless club steak, hotel-style steak, top loin, strip loin steak, sirloin, veiny steak, or an Omaha strip.

The original name derives from the late 1820s.

Brothers who ran Delmonico’s Restaurant in New York City took the Kansas City strip and removed the bone upon a few customers’ requests.

Apparently, it was hit with the people in the area.  The name New York strip was coined and stuck.

 

Ribeye

A ribeye with the bone in can also be called a Delmonico steak, market steak, or beauty steak.

If there are no bones, it’s sometimes referred to as a Spencer steak, rib eye steak, or Scotch fillet.

 

New York Strip vs. Ribeye: Taste, Texture, and Fattiness

Now it’s time for the important section: how good do the different cuts of meat taste?

Of course, the way that you prepare the meat, such as smoking or grilling will play a big role in how delicious the plated steak is. The following are just generalizations about the meat.

 

New York Strip

The short loin is an especially muscly area of the cow.

The result?

It’s not as flavorful as a ribeye, nor is it as tender as a filet.

a seasoned new york strip steak

It’s a chewier cut that has a decent amount of fat on the sides, yet nowhere near the amount of marbling you will find on a ribeye.

A New York strip is also typically a bigger cut of meat compared to a filet mignon.

If you want a bigger steak than a filet but not as fatty as a ribeye, then the New York Strip is your best bet.

A bone-in version of the New York Strip strip, which also includes a filet, is called a porterhouse, and is one of the biggest steaks you’ll find in most steakhouses.

Unless of course they serve a cowboy ribeye or tomahawk ribeye for two.

 

Ribeye

The ribeye is a delicious-looking slice of meat. You’ll find them with a lot of intramuscular fat, known as marbling and a large amount of beefy flavor.

a butchers case of ribeye steaks

What the filet brings to the table in terms of tenderness, the ribeye brings in terms of flavor, and rich, decadent fattiness.

If it’s cooked and trimmed correctly, a ribeye is one of those steaks that should melt in your mouth.

The marrow of the ribs is known to add a really great taste to the meat. It is definitely the most flavorful cut of meat on this list.

 

How to Cook a New York Strip vs. a Ribeye Steak

As previously mentioned, any cut of meat is only as good as how it’s cooked and prepared.

Because ribeye is fattier than Filet, it does hold up to methods such as smoking a little better.

a ribeye and a new york strip steak in a cutting board

You can check out our favorite smoked ribeye steak recipe and method here.

For straightforward, everyday preparations though, here’s what the pros suggest:

 

How to Cook a New York Strip Steak

A New York strip is really easy to cook and it’s harder to mess up than a filet, making it a great “all around steak” in terms of taste, size, price, and ease of cooking.

Since there’s less fat in the cut, there’s a smaller opportunity for a flare-up on the grill, but it does cook faster than a fattier ribeye.

The best way to cook the steak is to first sear it to get a nice outer crust.

Season the strip steak well with some salt and fresh ground black pepper. You’ll start by searing it in a skillet on high heat with a high smoke point oil like avocado or grapeseed oil.

If grilling the steak, you can put it over some roaring hot charcoal or a high heat gas burner for about 4 minutes on both sides.

You want the internal temperature to get to 130°F before pulling it off. Always use a good quality instant read thermometer like our favorite affordable one from Powlaken.

Don’t forget to let it rest for another 5 to 10 minutes after you take it off the flame.

 

How to Cook a Ribeye Steak

Due to the massive amount of fat in a ribeye, you can expect to get some flare-ups if cooking on a grill.

If they get out of hand, move it to another section of the grill for a few moments to avoid the flame.

Regardless, you want to cook a ribeye in much the same way that you cook the filet mignon.

Sear it on high heat in a cast iron skillet or over a hot grill for about 4 minutes on each side.

ribeye steaks cooking on a hot grill

Make sure to season well with salt and pepper, then coat the steak in a high smoke point oil like avocado or grapeseed.

Once the internal temperature reaches 130°F, pull the steaks and let them rest until they reach 135°F, or medium rare.

You likely won’t need to finish them in the oven as ribeyes are usually not nearly as thick as filet’s.

 

Price of New York Strip vs. Ribeye Steaks

So now that you know all about the different cuts of beef, let’s talk dollar signs.

The average price for each cut of beef will obviously vary depending on where you live, where you shop for meat, and what grade of meat you are purchasing.

There are three main grades of beef from the USDA and they are based on a number of factors but the most important one is fat content.

The main grades for steak are:

  • Select (lowest rated)
  • Choice
  • Prime (highest rated

While there is nothing wrong with select or choice cut meat for ground beef or stew meat, when it comes to steak, you definitely want to buy prime if you can.

While prime graded steaks are more expensive and a little harder to find you will truly notice the difference, especially if preparing a thick cut filet or ribeye steak,

The better steakhouses in the world will ONLY serve prime grade steaks.

For reference, we used pricing for prime grade cuts from MarketHouse, and Bringhurst Meats for price per pound.

 

Price of New York Strip

A prime NY Strip will cost on average $32 in a nice steakhouse, depending on size making it less expensive per oz than the filet mignon, and usually less expensive than the ribeye due to its smaller size.

 

Price of Ribeye

A prime grade ribeye costs around $40-60 for a 12-16 oz boneless cut in a nice steakhouse, and anywhere from $50-65 for a similarly sized bone-in serving.

a prime ribeye steak

Some steakhouses even offer specialty cuts like cowboy ribeyes or tomahawk ribeyes that are meant to be shared by 2-3 people and can come in sizes up to 35 oz!

Expect to pay upwards of $100 for one of these massive cuts to share with that special someone.

At a good quality butcher, a 12 oz prime grade ribeye steak will likely run you about $20-$25 to take home with you.

 

Aged New York Strip vs. Ribeye Steaks

Another term you’ll see thrown around, mostly in nice steakhouses, is whether a new york strip or ribeye steak is dry aged or wet aged.

These are just two ways of aging beef. When beef ages, the enzymes in the meat break down the connective tissue and make the cut of meat more tender.

 

Dry Aged Beef

In the old days, butchers would hang the meat to age in their freezers.

While it was hanging there, a lot of the water weight would drip off. The beef would be more dense and have less blood in the cut of meat.

The result of dry aging is a beefier flavor in the beef. Who doesn’t love beefy tasting beef?

Nowadays, more butchers, chefs, and steak connoisseurs are opting for dry aged beef for this very reason:

More intense flavor.

dry aged new york strip steaks
Dry aged New York strip steaks

Now, dry aging takes time, which costs money, so expect to pay more for dry aged beef.

Some people are also turned off by the term “dry”, believing that they don’t want a dry steak.

Don’t worry.

Dry aged steaks are just as juicy as non-aged steaks because the “juiciness” people describe when they eat steaks and burgers actually comes from the melted fat, not water, in the beef.

And the fat doesn’t go anywhere when the steaks are dry aged, only the water content.

 

Wet Aged Beef

Later, people realized that you could vacuum seal the beef and it will also age.

By wet aging, there’s more water weight in the steak which means more profit for the butcher since they sell the meat per pound.

The problem, however, is that the meat can’t breathe when it’s wet aged.

The beef is also in contact with its own myoglobin while it is aging. The result is a more sour flavor.

For this reason, wet aging has kind of fallen out of fashion, so stick with dry aged New York strip and ribeyes when you can find them.

You will not regret it.

 

Check out the other articles in our Steak Comparison Series:

New York Strip vs. Filet Mignon

Filet Mignon vs. Ribeye

 

Looking for more Steak and Beef?

How to Make Smoked Ribeye Steaks: The Ultimate Guide

What Temperature Do You Cook Steak On A Pellet Grill?

How to Reheat Prime Rib

 

Additional Resources

https://www.dmagazine.com/publications/d-magazine/2011/may/a-guide-to-steakhouse-meat-cuts/

https://ownthegrill.com/ny-strip-vs-ribeye-steak/

https://www.seriouseats.com/2011/03/the-four-high-end-steaks-you-should-know-ribeye-strip-tenderloin-t-bone.html

https://www.mychicagosteak.com/steak-university/ribeye-filet-mignon-comparison/

https://www.markethouse.com/blogs/the-sizzle/new-york-strip-vs-ribeye-what-s-the-difference

 

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