The ribeye is a steak with unparalleled taste and tenderness. That’s all thanks to its good balance of fat and meat. Meanwhile, the porterhouse comes from the short loin and has a lot of beefy steak intersected by the unique T-shaped bone.
I’ve come across the porterhouse vs ribeye debate among steak lovers at butcher stands. It’s come up a lot of times among us BBQ masters. What I won’t do is shove my steak preferences down your throat. Each has its charm, and I’m not here to declare a winner. But I’ll sure help you find out which is best for you.
So, in this porterhouse vs ribeye comparison, I’ll dissect these cuts piece by piece. We’ll talk about tenderness, fat and bone content, ease of cooking, and even what they cost at the meat counter. Now, let’s settle the score on the Porterhouse vs. Ribeye debate.
Which is Better, a Porterhouse or a Ribeye?
If you’re low on budget, are a greedy meat eater, and want more meat on the table, porterhouse it is.
Nevertheless, ribeye is a good cut to enjoy a healthy and tasty meal. Marbling, tenderness, and that delightful aftertaste – all check! If you love and can pay for a balanced, nutritionally heavy steak, take the ribeye and ask no more questions!
Overview of Porterhouse Steak
To get into the Porterhouse vs. Ribeye showdown, you’ve got to first wrap your head around what a Porterhouse steak is all about. The porterhouse steak comes straight from the “short loin” of a cow, right between those lower ribs and the sirloin. Think of it as the prime middle ground of the cow’s torso snuggled close to its spine.
A full Porterhouse steak isn’t just one cut – it’s a tag team of two meaty partners, the tenderloin and the strip steak. Then they’re separated by a “T” bone. These cuts are as tender as it gets because they don’t do much heavy lifting. But the tenderloin part is even more delicate than the strip steak. More on this later down.
Overview of a Ribeye Steak
The ribeye steak is the flavor-packed superstar of the steak universe, thanks to its fat marbling! This cut comes straight from the cow’s upper rib cage, like the cousin of prime rib. But while prime rib steak covers a whole bunch of ribs at once, the rib eye steak is all about those individual ribs. You can have it with the bone or without – your call.
However, the ribs in this area don’t bear the weight of the cow’s daily grind. So they’re like the VIP section of beef. That means the rib steak brings you a combo platter of flavor and tenderness you don’t find elsewhere in the cow’s carcass. Remember this: less muscle action plus more fat equals meat that’s tender and bursting with rich flavor once it hits your plate.
Spotting the Differences Between Porterhouse and Ribeye Steaks
Alright, let’s get real about porterhouse and ribeye – they’re both tasty, but they’ve got their different quirks.
Where Do They Come From on the Cow?
First, ribeye is taken in between the ribs (hence the name), while Porterhouse is higher on the cow’s torso. Both come from muscles that aren’t exercised much, so they’re tender and juicy, no doubt.
Ribeye sets up shop in the prime rib territory, right up front in the cow’s chest area. I’m talking ribs 6 to 12 when you count.
Porterhouse packs a punch on both sides of the T-shaped bone. Some steak lovers swear the strip side is the most flavorful, while others say the loin side takes the cake. But, put it up against the ribeye, and it’s got some catching up to do.
The ribeye is the most flavorful cut of steak on the entire cow!
Here’s a brief nutritional comparison table for Porterhouse and Ribeye steaks per 100g:
Total Fat (g)
According to the USDA, as you can see above, a 100-gram ribeye steak has around 22 grams of fats, 24 grams of protein, and 55 grams of water. As for porterhouse steak, there’s just 5.3 grams of fat, 23 grams of protein, and 71 grams of water.
So, if you’re looking at it from a nutritional point of view, ribeye steaks look the most blessed. But weight watchers may be worried by the higher fat content in the ribeye. However, it depends on how far you trim the fat layer.
Bones and Weight
Porterhouse steaks weigh up to two pounds while bone-in ribeyes are usually around 24 ounces (around 1.5 pounds). But note that while ribeye can be bone-in, they are most times boneless – that is, without the rib bone. On the other hand, the porterhouse is usually bone-in – of course.
The weight of the bone in a porterhouse steak can vary depending on the size and cut of the steak. On average, the bone in a Porterhouse steak can weigh anywhere from 10% to 15% of the total weight of the steak. So, for example, if you have a 16-ounce (1-pound) Porterhouse steak, the bone might weigh around 1.6 to 2.4 ounces.
Let’s break it down. Porterhouse brings two steaks to the whole. One side’s quite tender – that is the tenderloin steak part, which is also called filet mignon. The other side – the New York strip steak, also called the NY strip or the top loin – is not as tender as its neighbor but not a tough meat either.
Now, ribeye is all about that fat marbling. This is the secret to its tender, melt-in-your-mouth texture. Porterhouse doesn’t come close to the ribeye in tenderness!
Which is Easier to Cook?
Now, when it comes to cooking, the Porterhouse’s bone can cause a bit of a headache. The beef near the bone takes its time to cook. Meanwhile, the tenderloin’s in a hurry because of how tender it is. To avoid a steak drama with a porterhouse steak, cook it with the strips closer to the heat.
The Ribeye’s got a leg up ’cause it’s usually boneless, which makes it a grill party star. But that heavy fat can lead to more flare-ups than you’d want for your portable grill.
Still, some grillmasters swear by the rib eye. It’s a breeze to cook – no bones, no problem. A bone-in ribeye poses no problem, too. The bone here is not as curvy as the porterhouse’s large center bone, so it bends to any cooking style you give it. Some folks even swear by a broiled ribeye steak. But that’s a story for another grill.
Last but not least, let’s talk cents and dollars. Porterhouse and Ribeye prices can vary. But the numbers usually line up. You can find bone-in ribeyes for around $14-15 per pound, sometimes even cheaper. For boneless ribeye steak, it’s in the ballpark of $19-25 per pound.
Now, Porterhouse steaks are less expensive than ribeyes. But its price varies more based on whether it’s a USDA Prime, Choice, or Select. You can find it anywhere from $10 to $22 per pound depending.
Porterhouse vs T-bone Steak: What’s the Difference?
Both porterhouse and T-bone steaks may have the T-bone separating the tenderloin filet from the New York strip. But they’re a bit different. They both come from the short loin, but the T-bone steak is closer to the front while the porterhouse is taken from the rear end.
Also, the porterhouse is more tender than the T-bone steak. This is because the porterhouse has more tenderloin than the T-bone steak.
1. What is the Best Cut of Steak?
The best cut of steak varies, but popular choices include the ribeye, New York strip, and filet mignon.
2. Which is More Expensive, Porterhouse or Ribeye?
The ribeye cut is generally more expensive than the porterhouse because it’s more tender, and flavorful, and as I showed you earlier, it’s nutritionally richer.
The porterhouse vs. ribeye showdown is not just about picking a steak; it’s about choosing a flavorful cut. Whether you want a beefy flavor or something rounder in taste, the porterhouse and ribeye are unique steaks. Ribeye stands out with its rich marbling and flavor, while Porterhouse offers two tender cuts.
Again, it’s not a question of which is the best but your personal preference. While Porterhouse is an inexpensive steak great for open-flame grilling, ribeyes cost a bit more. And it’s more of a steak you should pan-sear than grill. So, again, the question is, what recipe are you making, and what cooking method is available to you? What’s your budget? And it depends on your taste buds – do you want tender, buttery steak or lean beef-tasting steaks?