The ribeye and the New York strip steak may seem similar because they're both from the back area of the cow. However, they are different! A ribeye is a steak with more intramuscular fats, while the New York strip steak is leaner. The former is delicious, tender, and juicy, while the latter has a nice firm, leaner and meaty texture.
What's the difference between a New York strip and a ribeye? I've been asked this question by pit masters and newbies before.
The ribeye steak and New York strips are a Christmas-time favorite for me every year or whenever I have friends and family around. To do justice to the ribeyes vs. New York strip comparison, I recently grilled the rib eyes and the New York strip steak. Today, I'll show you how I did it, what I got, and my final observation.
It's not fair to say one is better, since both come for almost the same price and almost the same part of the cow. However, the ribeye steaks are the choice of the two for many pit masters.
If I have to mention the difference between the strip loin and the ribeye, it’s that the strip loin is tender, and it’s more like a traditional roast.
However, the ribeye steak has more flavor and more texture. There’s more fat inside. However, if you like leaner meat, it’s best to go for the NY strip loin.
The first and most significant thing to know is where they're taken from: the rib eye comes from the rib area, and the New York (also known as Sirloin) comes from the loin area.
Today, we will be comparing a black Angus ribeye beef steak with a New York strip steak, also known as a strip loin, to find out which is better. Both beef cuts have been grain-fed for 120 days.
The strip, if you choose a large chunk of meat, about 10 pounds, will have a beautiful fat cap on top with nice red beef underneath. It also has some intramuscular fat.
The ribeye steak at 10 pounds is a beast too. With the ribeye steaks, we have the bone-in ribeye and the boneless ribeye steak. You'll also find a lot of fat between the rib cap and the rib eye.
The New York Strip steak, on the other hand, is a beauty steak. However, the intramuscular fat is slightly less than what you're used to with the ribeye. It's still a great cut of meat.
The New York Strip, also called a Kansas City steak, sirloin steak, or strip loin has a firmer texture. Strip loin steak cuts like this are called country club steak cuts or simply club steaks.
Coming from the rear part of the cow, known as the short loin, it is tender and has a rich flavor.
The New York strip steak comes from a lazy muscle of the cow that does little work. This is why it gets tender.
This loin steak doesn't have as much intramuscular fat or marbling as the ribeyes.
Some say the NY strip steaks taste a little beefier while the ribeye tastes flavorful. I agree!
Unlike the strip roast, the ribeye steak is a premium steak found more in the middle part of the cow (the upper rib cage). It comes from the rib primal before the short loin, where the strip loin is taken.
Now let's talk about prices. I'll say both the ribeye and the NY strip steak are similarly priced.
The rib eyes are a little more expensive, though they both tend to be.
They're actually the second most costly steak cuts. So we're dealing with premium steaks.
For this comparison, I bought a 10-pound ribeye steak recently for $15 approximately per pound. So it came down to around $150.
For the New York strip loin, I paid $13.99 per pound and almost $140 in total, which is a bit cheaper.
The ribeye steaks, on the other hand, are worth the extra bucks you're paying for them. They have a beautiful marbling that is all flavorful.
Looking at the inside of the strip loin, you can see that this is a much leaner cut. It may have a beautiful fat cap on top. The interior also has intermuscular fat, but it's way less than a ribeye.
One important thing to point out is the amount of hard tissue underneath the fat cap. The muscle is tough, and hard to eat.
Enough of all the theories. Let's do some practical!
Of course, you need a little flavor on the meat before smoking. So you have to make your rub like I always start with.
We'll start by making a pepper rub and applying it to the meat. You need the same amount of each rub ingredient, two tablespoons of salt, garlic powder, onion powder, and paprika powder. Now you have to mix them all up.
The most important thing I want the rub to do is to enhance the rich flavor of the beef. The garlic and paprika powder, together with the salt and pepper, will boost the beef flavors.
I wouldn't say I like anything special on the outside, so it doesn't take anything away from the beef flavor.
They didn't raise the black Angus and then fed it for 120 days on grain just for us to take away the flavor with craziness.
I started with the strip loin because it needs special treatment. It has a hard fat cap on top. I started by adding some salt to that fat cap. Then I carved it up with a knife. After carving the fat cap, I put on more salt.
Then you need to flip the strip loin around. On the meat side, I spread some French yellow mustard with my hand. This helped the rub stick to the meat and, at the same time, gave a slight flavor of mustard.
After adding the mustard, I sprinkled a good amount of rub to have a nice thick coating.
You can also do the same for the rib eye, except we don't have a fat cap.
Note: You don't need to marinade the rib eye or the strip loin. They're tender cuts of meat that will end up juicy and tender regardless.
I did my strip loin and rib eye on the charcoal grill. I like to use the Kamata Joe Big Joe. It's also perfect for making your roasts. Specifically for this grilling, I added some big blocks of charcoal and three fire starters. Then I lighted them up.
Once the charcoal is lit up, add a chunk of the beech wood for flavor. You can use Hickory, oak, mesquite, or whatever you like. Just don't add too much. Next, put the heat deflectors in and have the grill grates in position.
Place the meat on top of the grill grates and cook till they get golden brown or slightly charred for around 4 - 5 minutes. Turn your steaks around after this period and keep grilling for 3 to 5 minutes for medium rare cooking.
At this point, it should have around 135 degrees internal temperature. Next, you can keep cooking for 5 - 7 minutes for medium cooking until it reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
The last stretch of cooking takes about 8 - 10 minutes for medium-well until the meat reaches 150 degrees Fahrenheit internally.
This meets the minimum USDA recommendation for cooking beef. By now, the smoke ring should have set in, and the flavors are coming out in all their glory.
Place them down on a wood platter. For me, both meats ended up as a bomb full of juices. You can let them rest, and the juices will flow back to the meat. I rested them for 20 minutes, but 5 to 10 minutes is fine.
Both were cooked to perfection. The strip loin had a beautiful smoke ring and an intense yellow crust. The meat had great juiciness, all thanks to the fat cap and the additional treatment.
And when I sliced into the rib eye, there was the same perfection. Despite not having as much fat cap and rub treatment as my strip loin, I liked how juicy the ribeye came out. Beautiful crust, nice smoke ring!
If you like more fatty meat, you're better off with the rib eye. With the ribeye, you get more flavor, and roast-wise it doesn't make a big difference.
As you can see from the ribeye vs. New York strip steak comparison, choosing between the two is quite complicated.
However, in general terms, and due to the high degree of marbling, the rib eye is one step ahead in quality standards.
Now the big question is, would you spend the extra amount for the ribeye, or rather have the NY strip loin? I personally would rather have the rib eyes. The price difference isn't great, but I think it all depends on you.
If you're a weight-watcher, stay away from the ribeye beef cut. The NY strip loin is leaner.