Difference between Rib Eye Steak and Sirloin Steak

Updated on June 14, 2018

Having a steak night and you can’t decide between a rib eye or a sirloin? Some people might think these types of premium beef are one and the same thing. They are indeed both prime cuts of meat that are wonderful for making steaks. And they both deliver on providing that delectable and juicy meat which steak lovers can’t get enough of. However, the rib eye steak and the sirloin steak have more differentiating them than you think. Reading this article will help you better understand each type and ascertain their differences.

Summary Table

Rib Eye Steak Sirloin Steak
Cut from the rib partCut from the topmost back part, behind the ribs but before the rump area
Has more marbling and fat contentLess fat content
More juicy and tasty, has a robust flavorSlightly more tender
Can be served with or without the boneUsually served without the bone
Also known as Delmonico, scotch fillet, Spencer, market, and beautyAlso known as New York strip, Kansas City strip, Manhattan, and top loin

Definitions

Rib eye steak
Rib eye steak

Rib eye steak is made from premium beef that comes from the animal’s rib part. This is a prized type of meat that is best served medium rare since it is marbled with fat and that extra cooking time improves its flavorful taste. Rib eye steak can be served bone-in, popularly known as cowboy steak in the US, or served without the bone.

Sirloin steak
Sirloin steak

Sirloin steak is cut from the topmost back part of the animal, behind the ribs but before the rump area. This popular steak has very lean and tender meat and is best served rare. Sirloin steaks are often boneless and are usually called New York strip in the US.

Rib Eye Steak vs Sirloin Steak

The main difference between rib eye and sirloin steak is in the source of the meat or that part of the animal where the meat is extracted. The meat used for rib eye steaks is cut from the animal’s rib part while the meat used for sirloin steaks is cut from the topmost back part of the animal, behind the ribs but before the rump area. Since the rib cage does not do any hard work in this area, this spot tends to contain more fat, providing a marbled, premium meat to rib eye steaks. The sirloin, on the other hand, is a large cut which further gets cut into other types of steaks. The meat for the sirloin steak tends to be more on the lean side.

Rib eye steaks are usually slow cooked because of the fat content. This type of steak is best served medium rare, providing steak lovers that robust flavor and juicy meat. They are served either bone-in or boneless. Rib eye steaks are also known by other names such as Delmonico, scotch fillet, Spencer, market, and beauty.

Sirloin steaks are best served rare and are considered to be the steak which provides the more tender type of meat. This type of steak is often served without the bone. Its other well-known names are New York strip, Kansas City strip, Manhattan, and top loin.

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