What Is Rib Steak vs Ribeye?

If you’re a steak lover, you’ve probably come across the terms “rib steak” and “ribeye” at some point. While both cuts come from the same primal section of the cow, there are slight differences that set them apart in terms of flavor, texture, and cooking techniques.

The Rib Primal Cut

Before delving into the specifics of rib steak and ribeye, let’s first understand the rib primal cut. The rib primal is located between the chuck and loin primals and consists of ribs 6 to 12. This section is known for its marbling, tenderness, and rich flavor.

Rib Steak

Rib steak is a bone-in cut that is often referred to as a “cowboy steak” or “rib chop.” It is essentially a slice taken from the rib primal with the bone still attached. This bone imparts additional flavor during cooking and provides an appealing presentation on your plate.

Characteristics of Rib Steak:

  • Thick and juicy
  • Intense beefy flavor
  • Generous marbling throughout
  • Tender texture

Rib steaks are best cooked using dry heat methods such as grilling or broiling. The high fat content within the meat ensures it remains moist and flavorful even with these intense cooking methods.


Ribeye is a boneless cut that comes from the same section as rib steak but without the bone. It is highly regarded for its exceptional tenderness and marbling.

Characteristics of Ribeye:

  • Tender and buttery texture
  • Rich, beefy flavor
  • Abundant marbling for juiciness

Ribeye is incredibly versatile and can be prepared using various cooking methods such as grilling, pan-searing, or even sous vide. Its tenderness allows for a wide range of doneness levels, from rare to well-done, depending on your preference.

Choosing Between Rib Steak and Ribeye

When it comes to choosing between rib steak and ribeye, it ultimately boils down to personal preference and the desired presentation. Some individuals prefer the added flavor from the bone in rib steak, while others appreciate the tenderness of a boneless ribeye.

If you’re looking for a visually impressive steak with an intense beefy flavor, go for a thick-cut rib steak. On the other hand, if you value tenderness above all else and enjoy the convenience of a boneless cut, opt for a succulent ribeye.

In Conclusion

While both rib steak and ribeye share many similarities due to their origin in the same primal cut, they offer distinct characteristics that cater to different preferences. Whether you choose the bone-in richness of a rib steak or the buttery tenderness of a ribeye, both cuts are sure to satisfy any meat lover’s cravings.