Porterhouse vs Ribeye – The Battle of The Best Beef Cuts

porterhouse vs ribeye

Table of Contents

Many cuts and cooking options are available when we are talking about steaks. Two of the most liked cuts that you can choose from are porterhouse vs ribeye.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • What are the differences between porterhouse vs ribeye?
  • Different cooking methods
  • And much more!

These cuts come from different areas of the cow and offer differences in taste, texture, and cooking methods. As you explore the differences and similarities between these two cuts, in this article, I will provide in-depth insight so that you can make an informed decision. After reading, you should know the details of both cuts well enough to make a confident choice between them.

What is a Ribeye steak?

This Steak is similar to the prime rib since it is cut from the same area, the difference being that the ribeye is only the meat between the ribs.

ribeye steak

This part of the cow is not strained heavily during the animal’s lifetime, so it remains soft, fat, and juicy. As a rule of thumb, muscles that see less exercise see more marbling. This, in turn, makes the meat more tender, juicy, and flavorful. With all this in mind, it’s no wonder that by many, Ribeye is considered the best steak.

What is a porterhouse steak?

This steak is a larger cut with a bane in the middle shaped like the letter T. This bone separates the steak into two parts. One of them has tenderloin, while the other part is strip steak. This is a premium cut and is known for its tenderness and rich flavor.

porterhouse steak
  • Location of the cut

When cow meat is butchered, the large sections which are first cut during the process are referred to as primal. These cuts are made before the meat is divided into smaller cuts. These cuts are divided based on muscle groups and the bones of the animal. Each of these primal cuts has its own distinct profile.

They differ in flavor, cooking methods, and texture. The main primal cuts are the chuck, rib, short loin, sirloin, round, flank, and brisket. Porterhouse is cut from the short loin of the cow. This is the first primal to the rear of the center of the animal.

raw porterhouse

Ribeye, on the other hand, comes from the ribs, more precisely, the first primal section a bit forward from the center of the cow. This cut, however, unlike porterhouse, is available as a boneless cut as well.

raw ribeye

Since they come from different primal cuts, they have different characteristics in every regard (taste, texture, size)

  • Size difference

Porterhouse is a big chunk of meat, both in diameter and thickness. It has a T bone in the middle separating the tenderloin and strip steak. This steak is enough to fill up even the most gluttonous meat lover’s belly; that’s why it is usually recommended for two persons. Ribeye is a comparatively smaller cut that comes both with and without bones.

  • Composition

When compared to porterhouse vs ribeye, the latter has more fat in it since it is a muscle group that sees little to no exercise at all. More fat equals increased tenderness and a stronger, richer flavor. Porterhouse overall is a leaner cut, and it is preferred by people who think the ribeye fat is excessive. 

Overall I think when it comes to this meat, regarding fat composition, the porterhouse is more friendly since not everyone can handle the fatty goodness that is ribeye; they might find it too greasy.

Both of these steaks are well known for their tenderness and flavor, so when it comes down to it, it is just personal preference.

What are The Different Cooking Methods?

When you cook porterhouse and ribeye, there are a few differences between the methods utilized. It generally depends on how thick the cut is and how done you want to make it.

Porterhouses are usually cut around one and a half inches thick, meaning they take longer to cook than thinner cuts like Ribeye. These can be cooked in various methods, such as grilling, broiling, or pan searing. I think the best way is to use a grill or broiler to get a nice char on the outside while keeping the inside juicy and pink. 

Ribeye steaks are usually between 0.5  to 1 inch thick and great for cooking quickie over high heat. Additionally, this cut is excellent for grilling, broiling, and pan searing when cooked with smoking. Like with porterhouse, my preferred method for cooking ribeye is either grilling or broiling.

  • Broiling

This is a cooking method where the heat source is directly overhead of the meat. This can be either an electric or a gas flame on the top of the oven. For this method, you need a trail specially made for this cooking method.

The pan is special because it elevates the meat, allowing the heat to circulate around the food. This circulation is key for an even and quick cooking process, leaving some nice charring on the outside. Broiling a steak, in a nutshell, would go as follows:

Preheat the broiler, season the meat, and place it on the broiling pan. You then leave it in the oven until it reaches your preferred level of doneness. Pretty simple stuff.

  • Braising

For this cooking method, you must first sear the meat at a high temperature until the surface turns brown. After this, place it in a pot with a small amount of liquid, then cover it. This cooking method makes the meat tender and flavorful. This method is best for tougher cuts of meat that need longer to cook to become tender.

braising porterhouse and ribeye

The liquid you put in the pot with the meat can be many different things, such as broth, wine, or even beer. These will heavily impact the meat’s flavor, so you can play with this.

When doing the pan seer, one thing to note is that the porterhouse is more difficult to do because of the bone in the middle. You have to pay extra attention so that it sears evenly.

  • Grilling

This method is cooking with an open flame or hot coals under the steak. This can be done with gas or charcoal. I prefer charcoal to gas, as it gives the steak a smoky flavor. The result will be a char-grilled flavor with a crispy crust outside, succulent and tender on the inside.

grilling

When grilling the steak, bringing the meat to room temperature before cooking is better. Let the steak rest for a few minutes after the cooking is done, so the juices have time to redistribute.

Overall both of them are versatile cuts; the cooking method is up to your preference. The key difference between porterhouse and ribeye would be their thickness and cooking time.

What is the difference in taste between porterhouse and Ribeye?

The difference in taste between the porterhouse and ribeye is undeniable. This difference is due to the composition of the meat, which is caused by the difference in the location of these cuts.

A porterhouse is a combination of tenderloin and strip steak, separated by a bone. The tenderloin has a mild and delicate flavor, while the strip steak is flavorful, marbled cut with a rich beefy flavor. These two sides result in a balance of tenderness and flavor.

porterhouse steak

The Ribeye comes from the top of the cow’s ribs. This cut is also available in a boneless version and is well-marbled. This means the meat itself has a high-fat content. The high-fat content results in a rich beefy flavor and a texture that is tender. This high-fat content gives the Ribeye a distinct flavor, which is sought by many.

Which is easier to cook, porterhouse or ribeye?

Both of these cuts are relatively easy to cook, and the differences are minor when comparing porterhouse vs ribeye. These differences come down to personal preferences and experience.

Since the porterhouse is thicker, it takes more time and attention to make and reach the desired level of “doneness.” Ribeye contains more fat, making it harder to dry out. Based on these two factors, Ribeye is overall easier to cook.

ribeye steak

So which one is better?

As with most things in life, it all comes down to personal preferences. Whether you enjoy a fattier thinner slice of meat or a big slab of juicy, tender steak. If you ask me, both of them are excellent and definitely premium cuts.

Conclusion

Porterhouse steak vs ribeye is two popular cuts of steak that offer different tastes and textures. Ribeye has more fat than porterhouse, so for people who like their meat with more fat, this is a no-brainer; meanwhile, for the meat lovers who prefer a drier cute porterhouse is the ideal choice.

Both of these are premium cuts, suitable for broiling, braising, and grilling. Porthouse steaks are thicker and take longer to cook, while ribeye can be cooked quickly over high heat, and it’s also harder to overcook because of the increased fat content.

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Tom Wilmer

I'm Tom Wilmer, an award-winning pitmaster and BBQ judge. I share my passion for barbecue through my blog, BBQ Soldiers, offering recipes, tips, and smoker reviews. Let's grill together!

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