Do you usually order a porterhouse or ribeye steak when visiting a local restaurant? Well, do you order a specific cut of meat because you already know which steak you like best, or is it simply what you always order? These are simple questions, but many people are embarrassed to admit that they don’t really know the differences between the different cuts of steaks; they just order what they are used to order. In the following article, we will discuss the differences and comparisons between porterhouse vs ribeye steaks. The two came from different meats, and they do have different tastes and characteristics.
About Porterhouse Steak
The porterhouse steak is a composite steak which came from the area where the top loin and the tenderloin meet. It is basically an oversized T-bone steak. It is cut thicker, and it has much more tenderloin than the top loin part. If you remove the bone, you will get a tenderloin steak and a top loin steak. So, if you are ordering a porterhouse steak, you should be hungry. It is just enough steak for two people to share.
A good porterhouse meat should feature a rich, deep color without any gray color. The fat on the meat should be white, and not yellow. The meat should have good marbling, especially on the top loin portion. Trying to get a bargain on a steak like this is not recommended. Although dry aged and prime-grade porterhouse steaks can be expensive, there are good choice-grade steaks that are also fresh and highly flavorful.
A porterhouse steak can be served sliced or whole, whichever way you want. For a single person, it is a tremendous meal – or even a challenge. For two people, it is a perfect “special occasion” steak.
About Ribeye Steak
The ribeye steak is widely considered as one of the best choices on any steak menu. The ribeye steak is a man’s steak that can also be enjoyed by ladies. It has an abundance of marbling with ribbons of fat which melt into the lean meat during the cooking, creating a rich beef flavor. It is known for its smooth, fine texture as well as its exceptional tenderness. Whenever you are taking your favorite man to a dinner, or grilling on the patio, the ribeye steak makes the best choice that you can make.
The ribeye steak is acquired from the rib section. It is cut from the rib primal portion, which is usually on the ribs number six to twelve. This specific meat cut can be very tender because the muscle on the area was rarely used by the cattle. The abundance of fat results in a very rich flavor. However, different meat cuts may have different amounts of fat and fatty tissue. So, if you want to get more or less fat, make sure that you ask specifically to the restaurant server, so that the cook will be able to accommodate your preference by hand-selecting the suitable steak.
The first difference of porterhouse vs ribeye is the source. As explained above, the porterhouse steak is basically an oversized T-bone steak. It is comprised of a tenderloin part and a top loin part, which are separated by a T-shaped bone. It is cut from further back than a regular T-bone, which is cut from the front end of the short loin primal. A porterhouse steak typically has a tenderloin section of at least 1.5 inches wide.
On the other hand, the ribeye steak is cut from the front end of the longissimusdorsi, the rib primal of the steer. As the cut goes further towards the head of the steer, you will get more spinalis muscle – the cap of meat which wraps the fatter end of the steak.
The Cooking Methods
Now let’s see the best cooking methods for porterhouse vs ribeye. Cooking the porterhouse steak can be quite tricky, especially for a beginner. The best cooking methods are grilling and broiling. It is not recommended to be seared because of the irregular shape. It tends to shrink down as it cooks, leaving the bone protruding and preventing the meat from getting even contact with the pan surface.
But grilling is also not completely straightforward. The tenderloin part tends to cook faster than the fattier strip. As a result, the tenderloin part may end up getting overcooked while the strip is not even close to done. But there is an easy workaround: Just put the tenderloin part further away from the heat source than the strip. By putting the strip closer to the heat source, it will get cooked more quickly, whereas the tenderloin will be slowed down a little.
On the other hand, the ribeye steak is suitable for pan-frying, broiling, and grilling. Nevertheless, be careful that grilling the ribeye steak can be a little tricky; the abundant fat can cause flare-ups. It is also great for pan-searing.
The Taste and Flavor
Finally, how do the flavors of porterhouse vs ribeye steaks compare? Well, the porterhouse is basically composed of two steaks, the tenderloin and the strip. The tenderloin is extremely tender, the texture is almost buttery. However, this part is very low in fat, so the flavor is also not very rich. Meanwhile, the strip has a tight texture and a definite grain. It is moderately tender, slightly chewy. It has good marbling and a strong beefy flavor.
On the other hand, the ribeye steak is highly marbled in a large swath of fat. Since fat is the source of the distinctive beef flavor, the ribeye steak is one of the richest and beefiest cut available. The center tends to be smooth with a finer grain, whereas the spinalis section features more fat and a loose grain. The spinalis section is very, very tasty.
|- Comprised of a tenderloin part and a top loin part, separated by a T-shaped bone||- Cut from the rib primal portion|
|- Large size, suitable for two people||- Moderate size|
|- Best cooking methods are grilling and broiling||- Best cooking methods are pan frying, pan searing, broiling, grilling|
|- The tenderloin is tender, but most of the flavor is on the strip||- Incredibly tasty and flavorful|
Both porterhouse and ribeye steaks are popular and highly loved. The porterhouse steak is very large, as it is actually composed of the tenderloin and the strip. It is suitable for two people. The tenderloin is soft, but most of the flavor is on the strip. On the other hand, the ribeye steak is incredibly tasty and flavorful due to having a large swath of fat in the spinalis section.