T-Bone Vs. Ribeye Steak – Which is Better?

Sliced T-bone

Finding the right steak to grill on your portable pellet grill is no easy task. From Denver steaks to Tomahawk steaks to ranch steaks, the possibilities are endless.

However, do you choose between two of the most popular steaks? You cannot have a conversation about steak without hearing the words T-bone or Ribeye steak. They are just that popular.

These steaks are so famous that enthusiasts have decided to have a debate about which steak is better. So, let’s describe each cut in detail before comparing these two beautiful cuts of steak.

What is T-Bone Steak?

T-bone is considered an American cut of steak. Britain, as well as their commonwealth countries, call the New York stripe side of the T-bone a porterhouse steak. In contrast, the tenderloin section of the T-bone steak is called the fillet.

T-bone steak refers to a cut of beef carved from the short loin. The T-bone steak features a portion of the top loin and a tender piece of the tenderloin. However, these cuts are separated by a T-shaped bone.

To be considered a T-bone steak, the tenderloin portion of the steak must be at least 1/2-inch in thickness. However, T-bone steaks are usually 1-2-inches in thickness.

The T-bone is often thought of like a two-in-one steak.

T-bone steaks combine the bold, beefy flavor of a New York strip steak and the extremely tender bite of a tenderloin steak.

What is Ribeye Steak?

Ribeye steaks are carved from the rib section of the animal. The primary muscles in ribeye steaks are the longissimus dorsi. This is a long yet tender muscle that stretches from the animal’s hip bone to the shoulder blade.

The longissimus dorsi is tender because the animal barely uses it. In addition to this, a healthy amount of intramuscular fat or marbling accumulates in this muscle.

This intramuscular fat provides the steak with a lot of moisture as well as flavor. Additionally, there is also another muscle called the spinalis dorsi, or the ribeye cap, which sits at the top of the ribeye steak

They can be bone-in or boneless. Bone-in ribeye steaks contain a portion of the bone that can extend inches above the steak’s muscle. The bone can also be trimmed to align with the meat. Additionally, bone-in ribeye steaks can also be called rib steaks.

The bone in the ribeye steak serves two purposes. It adds flavor and moisture. However, the only caveat is that cooking a bone-in ribeye steak is harder than cooking a boneless ribeye steak. 

The meat surrounding the bone cooks at a slower pace. Therefore, by the time it achieves, medium-rare other portions of the steak will have a medium temperature. Therefore, if you are a newbie, save yourself the stress and cook a boneless ribeye steak.

T Bone Vs. Ribeye

Both T-bone and ribeye steaks are famous, high-quality steaks in the steak world. While there are a few similarities between these two cuts of beef, there are also several differences.

Location

T-bone steak is fabricated from the short loin of the animal. It also contains the lumbar vertebra or a T-shaped bone. Furthermore, the T-one has the internal abdominal oblique muscles.

In contrast, ribeye steak is carved from the upper portion of the animal, near the cow’s neck. Specifically, it is the longissimus dorsi.

Depending on the way the butcher carves the ribeye steak, it may also contain a part of the spinal or complexus muscles. Ribeye steak has several aliases, including Spencer steak, Delmonico steak, and Stoch fillet.

Texture And Flavor

When cooked properly, both cuts of steak are loaded with flavor. Even though both steaks are bursting with delicious flavor, their flavor catalogs are incredibly different.

For example, T-bone gives you the flavor of the filet mignon and tenderloin, creating a robust beefy flavor and super tender consistency.

In contrast, ribeye steaks are moist, rich, and tender. As the ribeye steak cooks on a kamado grill, all of the intramuscular fat will render, infusing the steak with moisture.

Compared to the T-bone steak, the ribeye’s flavor is not as pronounced. The flavor is mild yet beefy and savory.

Therefore, a generous seasoning of salt and pepper is all that’s needed to bring the ribeye steak’s flavor alive. Overall, the T-bone steak packs more of a punch.

Costs 

Since T-bone steaks and ribeye steaks are pretty well-known, they will be a hefty price to pay. While they are not as expensive as the tenderloin or fillet mignon, be ready to pay extra for superior quality.

Every pound of ribeye steak can cost between $12-$16. In contrast, T-bone steaks are slightly more expensive. They cost $14-$20 per pound.

T-bone steaks cost more because these steaks are usually reserved for special occasions. Ribeye steak can be cooked on any given day of the week.

Nevertheless, the prices listed above are estimates. The ribeye or T-bine steaks may cost more or less depending on your location and where you purchase them from. For example, grocery store T-bone or ribeye steaks will cost less than steaks sourced from a butcher shop or local organic farm.

Fat Profile 

Ribeye steaks are the fattier cut of these two steaks. The ribeye contains a healthy amount of marbling running throughout the meat.

This marbling is responsible for the rich ribeye’s buttery flavor. In addition to this, the additional fat helps the steak remain juicy as it cooks. However, ribeye’s fatty profile can be a bit much for some people, which is why they prefer the T-bone steak.

In contrast, the T-bone steak contains less fat than the ribeye steak. The lack of fat allows the T-bone steak’s beefy flavor to shine through. Therefore, the T-bone steak is popular among health-conscious folks who desire a lean cut of steak. 

Nutrition

Ribeye steak has more calories than T-bone steak. This is because of ribeye’s fatty profile. 100 grams of ribeye steak contains 201 calories. In contrast, 100 grams of T-bone steak has 247 calories which is about 18% less than ribeye steak. 

100 grams of ribeye steak contains 16 grams of fat contains 11.6 grams of fat. In contrast, T-bone steak contains a little more protein and water than ribeye steak.

Cooking Methods

In terms of cooking, both ribeye and T-bone steaks can be cooked in several ways. In addition to this, you do not need to heavily season the steaks.

A light seasoning of salt and pepper is enough to bring the steak’s flavor to life. However, you can use your favorite steak seasoning to season your ribeye or T-bone steak.

Ribeye steaks should always be cooked to medium-rare. You can get away with cooking a ribeye steak to medium.

However, the longer you cook a ribeye steak, the drier it becomes. Cooking the ribeye steak to medium-rare will preserve its moisture and flavor. 

Ribeye steaks are best cooked on a natural gas grill. Ribeye steaks are meant to be grilled, and grilling them infuses them with a beautiful, charred flavor. You should cook the steaks for 6-8 minutes per side.

In contrast, T-bone steaks are perfect when they are cooked in a hot cast-iron skillet. The trick to getting the perfect sear is to add oil to the skillet and wait for it to get extremely hot.

Once the oil starts to smoke, add your T-bone steak and cook it for 4 minutes per side. The only downside of cooking T-bone steak is that the smaller tenderloin portion of the steak will cook faster than the strip loin. So, watch your steaks carefully so they do not overcook.

You can also grill T-bone steak on your infrared grill. However, grilling the T-bone steak will lose some of its moisture during the grilling process.

Which Is Better: Ribeye Or T-Bone Steak

Wondering if ribeye steak or T-bone steak is natural. Both steaks give you a beefy, savory flavor and a tender bite. Therefore, no steak is superior to the other.

All in all, whether ribeye or T-bone steak is better depends on your budget, preference, and the occasion. T-bone steak is perfect for special events such as graduation, date night for two, or weddings. Either way, your friend or family members will devour T-bone steak as soon as they cut into it with their steak knife.

In contrast, ribeye steaks are inexpensive compared to T-bone steaks. Therefore, it is the better option if you are looking to feed a larger crowd.

Furthermore, grilled ribeye is highly delicious. It’s perfect for your next BBQ or cookout, birthday party, or special occasion.

Final Thoughts 

When it comes to delicious steaks, both ribeye and T-bone steaks are some of the best steaks you will ever sink your teeth into. As for which steak is best, I will leave that up to you.

Remember, there is no pressure to choose the superior steak as both cuts are equally delicious. Start with cooking ribeye steaks for your next weeknight dinner, then cook T-bone steaks for your next special occasion. At least you will be able to indulge in two delicious steaks even if you can’t decide which steak is better.

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