Where Is the Ribeye Steak Cut From?

Ribeye steak is one of the most popular and highly prized cuts of beef. It is known for its tender, juicy, and flavorful characteristics that make it a favorite among steak lovers.

But have you ever wondered where exactly this delectable cut comes from on the animal?

The Anatomy of a Ribeye Steak

To understand where the ribeye steak comes from, we need to take a closer look at the anatomy of a cow. The ribeye steak is cut from the rib section of the animal, specifically from the ribs six through twelve.

This area is located between the chuck (shoulder) and loin (back) sections.

Within this region, there are two primary muscles that contribute to the ribeye steak: the longissimus dorsi and spinalis dorsi. The longissimus dorsi, also known as the eye muscle or rib eye muscle, is responsible for providing most of the meaty portion of the steak.

The spinalis dorsi, commonly referred to as the cap or deckle, surrounds the eye muscle and adds an extra layer of tenderness and rich marbling.

The Marbling Factor

One distinguishing feature of a high-quality ribeye steak is its marbling. Marbling refers to those thin streaks of white fat that are dispersed throughout the meat.

These intramuscular fat deposits play a crucial role in enhancing both flavor and texture.

The presence of marbling in a ribeye steak creates pockets of moisture during cooking, resulting in a moist and juicy final product. Additionally, these fat deposits melt during cooking, basting the meat with their rich flavors and contributing to its tenderness.

The Butchering Process

After the animal is slaughtered, the rib section is typically separated using a knife or saw. The butcher then trims the excess fat and connective tissue, leaving behind a well-defined piece of meat that is ready for further processing.

Depending on the desired thickness, the ribeye steak can be cut into various sizes. It is common to see ribeye steaks that are around 1 to 1.5 inches thick, but thicker cuts are also available for those who prefer a heartier portion.

Cooking Tips for Ribeye Steak

Now that you know where the ribeye steak comes from, let’s explore some cooking tips to make sure you enjoy it to its fullest potential:

  • Season generously: Ribeye steaks benefit from bold flavors, so don’t be afraid to season them with salt, pepper, and any other spices you like.
  • Sear it right: Start by searing your ribeye steak on high heat to create a delicious crust. Then lower the heat and continue cooking until your desired level of doneness.
  • Rest before serving: After cooking, let your ribeye steak rest for a few minutes before cutting into it. This allows the juices to redistribute and ensures maximum tenderness.


The next time you indulge in a juicy and flavorful ribeye steak, remember that it comes from the ribs six through twelve of a cow. The combination of well-marbled meat and expert cooking techniques makes this cut truly special.

So fire up your grill or preheat your skillet – it’s time to savor every delicious bite of this mouthwatering steak!