Buying the right steak cut can be a bit tricky, especially when there are so many options available. From Porterhouse to Ribeye, and many others, how can you pick the right one?
While Porterhouse and Ribeye are the two most popular steak cuts on the menu, steak lovers always debate—which is better? Both share many similarities in protein percentage, quality, and taste, but also have differences that make them unique. The key to decide is knowing the differences in cut, cooking, and costs.
We have put together a guide about Porterhouse vs. Ribeye to help you decide what to order at a steakhouse, the butcher, or online.
Contender 1 – Porterhouse
The first contender is the Porterhouse—composite meat derived from where the top loin and tenderloin connect. If you remove the bone and remove the steaks that make up the Porterhouse, you will get a top loin (also known as the New York strip) and a Tenderloin steak.
Known as the king of the steakhouse, Porterhouse can weigh up to two pounds. It is generally served as a meal for two in restaurants, so expect big portions if you order one.
Depending on how you want it, a Porterhouse steak can be served sliced or whole. It is a challenge for meat lovers with a big appetite, but it makes the perfect meal to indulge your hunger when cut in two.
Like most beef cuts, the Porterhouse steak provides high amounts of protein, iron, B vitamins, and zinc. It gives you a taste of both the loin and the filet, is tender, and has a beefy flavor.
Contender 2 – Ribeye
Known as one of the best types of steak, Ribeye comes from the rib’s primal cut. It is also called beauty steak; this type is known for its tenderness, rich taste, and the right amount of fat.
Ribeye steaks can be bone-in or boneless, depending on how you prefer it. The bone adds moisture and flavor but can prolong the cooking process. Meat with bones cook more slowly, and by the time your steak reaches medium heat, other parts might be rare. Boneless Ribeye is easier to cook and tastes just as good as the bone-in ones.
A Ribeye steak contains almost 11 grams of fat and 80 grams of cholesterol. It also delivers a high dose of protein, selenium, zinc, phosphorus, and B vitamins.
A well-marbled Ribeye steak gets its unique flavor from the fat. It is one of the richest steaks available; therefore, you can expect a buttery, juicy meal. The central piece is usually smooth-textured, while the spinalis dorsi (Ribeye cap) section has more fat and looser grain.
Porterhouse vs. Ribeye
The Difference in Appearance
Both steaks come from the same section of the cow, meaning the location is not significantly different. However, we can all agree that both Porterhouse and Ribeye are easy to identify in terms of appearance.
Bone content is the main difference in appearance. The Ribeye steak usually has one bone towards the outside or no bone. The Porterhouse is similar to the T-bone cut, containing one large center bone. The bone is usually a T-shape, which is why many people confuse it with the T-bone steak.
The Difference in Fat
Another significant difference between Porterhouse vs. Ribeye is in the fat level. While both cuts come from the same section of the cow, they differentiate in fat levels because of the different positions. The exact position of Porterhouse and Ribeye impacts the fat as a result of the movements involved when a cow uses the muscles.
The Ribeye steak has a more beefy flavor because of the high-fat level, while the Porterhouse steak has two tenderness profiles because of the different cuts. The fat is in the form of marbling that surrounds the meat on both sides.
The Difference in Flavor
The two sides of the Porterhouse steak taste incredible. While some say the strip is more flavorful than the loin side, meat lovers agree that both sides are delicious.
When compared to the Ribeye steak though, they lose the battle. A Ribeye cut is more flavorful than Porterhouse. The taste is beefy and delicious due to the combination of fat, marbling, and tender texture.
In terms of tenderness, the Porterhouse steak is tender, just like most cow parts, including the filet mignon. The strip side is usually more tender, but nothing like the premium side of the Porterhouse. The Ribeye is also a very tender cut. Marbling makes this steak very tender with a delicious aftertaste.
The Difference in Cost
The cost of Porterhouse and Ribeye steaks vary. However, according to the data from the Department of Agriculture and the National Retail Report for beef, both cuts have the same average price.
Based on several studies, it is safe to say that a boneless Ribeye cut costs around $14-15/lb (the price is not fixed, and you may find it more or less expensive). Bone-in Ribeye steaks are less costly at $13-14 per pound. For larger cuts, expect to pay more, around $20 per pound.
The Porterhouse usually comes with a bone, meaning the price can vary based on how large the bone is. On average, a Porterhouse steak will cost less than Ribeye, or around $12 per pound.
The Ribeye tends to be more popular among homeowners and restaurants due to high-fat levels and rich flavor.
The Difference in Cooking
When it comes to cooking, the recommended method for Ribeye is grilling, pan-frying, and broiling. All three cooking methods will make the steak taste excellent. However, for some people, grilling can be a bit complex due to flare-ups. Most people go for the pan-frying method when preparing a Ribeye steak.
For the Porterhouse cut, the most popular cooking methods are broiling and grilling. Due to its shape and bone, it is hard to pan-fry it. The Porterhouse steak usually requires five extra minutes on each side (when compared to the Ribeye steak) given the center bone.
Is the Porterhouse vs. Ribeye debate settled? It is a difficult decision, and we can understand why. Both steaks taste incredible, are easy to cook, and include lots of protein and vitamins.
The main difference is in the bone size and the levels of fat, so, depending on what you prefer, you can decide which one to add to today’s lunch menu. If you are more into grilled meat, the Porterhouse would be an excellent option. If you are a fan of the pan-frying method, the Ribeye is a better choice.