It’s a long-held debate among serious steak lovers: Which is better — porterhouse or ribeye? Though strongly held opinions exist on both sides of the fence, each of these two cuts has some serious merits that place them at the head of the pack in terms of steak quality. But is one really better than the other? What sets these two cuts of steak apart? We’ve got the details below.
Affectionately referred to as the “king of the steakhouse,” the porterhouse steak is known for its significant size and often weighs up to two pounds! This particular portion of steak is cut from the lower rib section of the cow, which lies close to the rear end, or loin. Because the porterhouse is cut from the junction of the tenderloin and top loin, it delivers a mouthwatering combination of tender, succulent filet mignon and rich, flavorful New York strip.
As a meal, the size of a porterhouse steak is unrivaled, and many steak lovers find it easily feeds two people. Even for someone with a hearty appetite, finishing an entire porterhouse often proves a significant challenge!
As for its flavor profile, porterhouse is considered one of the highest-quality cuts available, which means it requires little in the way of adornments to deliver a delicious meal. Though filet isn’t the most flavorful cut of steak, it lends a juicy, succulent quality to the porterhouse, while the top loin (New York strip) delivers that sought-after, beefy, buttery flavor.
If you’ve ever had a T-bone steak and fell in love, you’ll likely gravitate toward the porterhouse. That’s because both the T-bone and porterhouse are cut from the same section of the cow; however, the size of the steak and the ratio of tenderloin to top loin differ considerably. Though they’re basically the same cut, a T-bone steak features a higher proportion of top loin than a porterhouse. A porterhouse, on the other hand, has more filet relative to the top loin. Furthermore, to classify as a porterhouse, the USDA stipulates that the steak must have a thickness of at least 1.25 inches from the interior bone to the widest edge.
The ribeye steak is widely considered one of the most flavorful cuts of steak around, due in large part to its abundant fat marbling. This particular cut is harvested from the rib portion of the cow and bears a striking resemblance to prime rib because the two are harvested from the same area. However, unlike the prime rib portion, which spans multiple ribs at once, the ribeye cut is taken from in between the animal’s individual ribs. As such, ribeye is available in both bone-in and boneless cuts.
Because the rib area does not bear any of the cow’s weight and sees very little exercise, ribeye delivers a highly sought-after combination of flavor and juicy tenderness. As a rule, the less a muscle is used and the more fat it contains, the more tender and flavorful the meat will be after harvest.
In terms of flavor profile, ribeye delivers. The cut features a rich, buttery, beefy flavor as a result of the fat-rendering process that occurs during cooking. Many steak aficionados affectionately refer to ribeye as the best steak on the menu due to its unmatched combination of flavor and tenderness.
All qualities considered, does one cut of steak outshine the other? That’s a tough question, and one that only personal preference can answer. Because a porterhouse is a composite steak, it brings together tenderness and rich flavor by combining two different loins of the cow. The ribeye, on the other hand, delivers incredible flavor but lacks the unique combination of different portions of the animal.
Size is another consideration. If you’re a ravenous meat monger, the porterhouse definitely wins out, but if you’re looking to savor a delicious yet manageable meal for one, the ribeye may be a more suitable cut. All in all, both the porterhouse steak and ribeye steak are two fantastically flavorful, high-quality cuts of meat. So why not try them both?
Selecting a great cut of steak can be a challenge, so why not let your taste buds do the deciding? At Cattlemen’s Steakhouse, our legendary steaks are known from coast to coast. Our dinner menu features a wide variety of tender, flavorful cuts of steak to cater to every preference, as well as a variety of other entrees, kids’ items, and a curated selection of beer and wine. Whether cooking dinner just isn’t in the cards or you’re planning a special evening out, feel free to order online or give us a call today at 405-236-0416 to set up your reservation. We look forward to seeing you!