Is Strip Steak as Tender as Ribeye?

When it comes to choosing a steak, tenderness plays a crucial role in determining the overall dining experience. Among the various cuts available, two popular options that often come up in discussions are strip steak and ribeye.

But how do they compare in terms of tenderness? Let’s find out.

The Difference in Cuts

Before diving into their tenderness, it’s important to understand the basic differences between strip steak and ribeye.

Strip Steak:

  • Cut from the short loin of the cow
  • Also known as New York strip or Kansas City strip
  • Contains a long muscle fiber that runs along one side of the steak
  • Typically has a firmer texture compared to ribeye


  • Cut from the rib section of the cow
  • Also known as Delmonico or cowboy steak
  • Contains more marbling (fat) throughout the meat
  • Tends to be more tender and juicy compared to strip steak

Tenderness Comparison: Strip Steak vs. Ribeye

Tenderness is influenced by several factors:

1. Muscle Activity:

The level of activity in a muscle affects its tenderness. The muscles in the rib area where ribeye is cut from are less active than those in the short loin where strip steak is sourced. This lower level of activity results in a more tender meat for ribeye.

2. Marbling:

The presence of marbling, which refers to the intramuscular fat found within the meat, greatly impacts tenderness. Ribeye is well-known for its abundant marbling, which adds flavor and tenderness to the steak. Strip steak, on the other hand, has less marbling compared to ribeye.

3. Aging:

Aging is a process that allows enzymes to break down proteins in meat, resulting in increased tenderness. Both strip steak and ribeye can benefit from aging techniques such as dry-aging or wet-aging. However, due to its higher fat content, ribeye generally benefits more from aging, resulting in a more tender final product.


In conclusion, while strip steak can be delicious and flavorful in its own right, it tends to be slightly less tender compared to ribeye. The combination of lower muscle activity and less marbling in strip steak contributes to its firmer texture. However, personal preferences play a significant role in choosing between these two cuts.

If you’re someone who prefers a leaner cut with a firmer texture, strip steak might be your choice. On the other hand, if you prioritize tenderness and juiciness with abundant flavor from marbling, then ribeye is likely your go-to option.

Remember: Regardless of your choice, proper cooking techniques and seasoning can further enhance the tenderness and overall enjoyment of your steak!