T-Bone vs Ribeye: Which is Better?


When you go to your favorite steakhouse, do you order the T-bone or the ribeye? Many people choose their steak based on what they think it tastes like, because it looks more prominent on the menu, or even because they don’t know any better, and that’s what their parents taught them to order.

While these can be good reasons to order certain steaks, you should pick the right kind of steak based on its cut if you want to enjoy steak to its fullest potential.

The T-bone and the ribeye are two of the most popular cuts of steak you can find at your local butcher or grocery store. Both cuts are from the same area of the cow but differ in which muscles they come from, which can affect their texture and flavor profile.

This article will look at how T-bone compares with ribeye to help you decide which one is right for you next time you’re shopping for steak.

What is a T-Bone Steak?

The T-bone is a popular steak that gets its name from its distinct shape: a long, flat section of meat with a bit of T-shaped bone that separates the New York Strip on one side and a smaller piece of tenderloin (the filet mignon) on the other.

This cut gives you an opportunity to have two different tastes in one package—you can get a little bit of everything when you take a bite out of your T-bone. 

Often, the T-Bone steak is confused for the porterhouse steak and vice versa. But what’s the difference? The main difference between a T-bone and a porterhouse is that a porterhouse has an additional section of tenderloin on its opposite side (the part of the filet mignon that’s not connected to the rest of it).

This can be as much as 1/2 inch in diameter or more, depending on how large your cut of meat is.

To learn more about the actual differences, be sure to read our comparison on Porterhouse vs T-Bone.

In addition to taste, another major factor that sets these two steaks apart is price: T-bones are usually cheaper than porterhouses because they don’t have any extra tenderloin on them. In terms of preparation, you can cook a T-bone steak using any method that you’d like. You can grill it over high heat or sear it in a hot pan with butter or oil—the flavor will be excellent no matter how you prepare it.

For many people, though, one of the most appealing aspects of T-bones is how easy they are to cook: since tenderloin steaks are so lean and low in fat, they tend to dry out very easily when cooked at high temperatures.

What is Ribeye Steak?

When most people think of a rib steak, they’re thinking of a bone-in rib steak. A ribeye is essentially a boneless version of that same cut, with all (or mostly) of the fatty marbling left intact throughout — it’s richer and butterier than a T-bone or porterhouse, and more tender than any other bone-in cut except for maybe filet mignon

But that doesn’t mean that the ribeye must be boneless. In fact, most of us are probably more familiar with bone-in versions of it, which you’ll often find at steakhouses and upscale restaurants.

The ribeye is one of those cuts that is so tender, that you can eat it without a knife — though some people like to cut slices off with a steak knife for presentation purposes. If you like that slightly chewy texture, but don’t want to spend as much money on a filet mignon, go for a bone-in ribeye!

How can you tell a ribeye from other cuts? From the appearance, you can spot a ribeye by looking for that bone that runs down one side of it — if you’re still not sure, just remember rib, eye, and you’ll be good to go.

What is the Difference Between T-Bone and Ribeye?

There are a few notable differences between the T-Bone and ribeye: 

1. Tenderness

In terms of tenderness, it’s a tough call. First, one of them is a little more tender than the other. This isn’t just because of how it’s cut, but it actually has to do with how its muscle fibers are shaped and arranged compared to ribeye.

The meat from T-bone steaks comes from a larger portion of the cow and therefore contains more connective tissue that needs to be broken down during cooking, making it slightly tougher than ribeye. Because there’s less connective tissue present in ribeyes, they tend to be more tender. 

2. Flavor

It’s a very close call in terms of flavor, but I would have to say that ribeye does a bit better in that category because it contains more marbling (or intramuscular fat). This gives ribeyes extra flavor and juiciness, making them even more tender.

It also gives them an overall more buttery taste than T-bones. That being said, they’re both delicious cuts of meat that we love to eat and cook with, especially when paired with mushrooms!

3. Cooking

Both steaks are best cooked with dry heat techniques like grilling and broiling as opposed to methods like stewing or braising, which require moist heat techniques. But there’s slightly more task when cooking the T-bone because it’s made up of two different cuts NY Strip and filet mignon, whereas ribeyes are all one cut.

When you cook a T-bone, you have to make sure that both sides of each steak get equal amounts of time on the grill or in your pan before flipping them over, so they cook evenly. With ribeyes, you have to flip them over halfway through their total cooking time and then serve them when they’re done.

4. Cost

In terms of cost, ribeyes are usually more expensive than T-bones because they’re cut from more desirable sections of beef. Although ribeyes may cost a bit more money on average, it’s often worth it because they tend to be juicier and much more tender than their counterparts.

Both steaks are delicious and should be included in your next recipe lineup!

T-Bone vs Ribeye: Which is Better?

When gauging supremacy between the T-Bone and ribeye, there are a few things to consider: price, marbling and fat content, flavor, tenderness, and how you’re going to cook it.

For example, while a ribeye may be more flavorful than a T-bone due to its higher fat content (which makes for better marbling), if you’re cooking it over an open flame or searing it in a pan with high heat, then you might want to go with something leaner like a T-bone. 

If you’re looking for a cheap cut of meat that won’t break your budget, then go with a T-bone. If you have deep pockets and don’t mind paying top dollar for prime beef cuts, then definitely opt for a ribeye. But remember, when buying steaks at any level of quality, you always want to make sure they’re fresh—avoid any meats that look dried out or cracked; these are usually signs of spoilage. 

Finally, this argument is worth having, and it ultimately comes down to personal preference. If you like your steak with a bit of fat, go for a ribeye; if you prefer leaner meat, go for T-bone.

Either way, there are pros and cons to each cut of meat, but when it comes down to flavor and tenderness, we recommend trying both cuts at least once to make up your own mind!

Frequently Asked Questions

Where is the T-bone Located on a Cow?

The T-bone steak, or porterhouse, gets its name from its distinctive shape: It’s cut from the short loin section of a cow and includes both a section of tenderloin and a section of New York steak.

The bone itself actually separates one side of meat from another—the larger side contains a section of strip steak, while the smaller side is made up mostly of filet mignon.

Because it contains such high-quality cuts of meat, it’s often considered one of the most expensive steaks you can buy at your local butcher shop or supermarket deli counter. But don’t let that scare you away!

What Two Steaks Make Up A T-Bone?

A T-bone steak comprises two steaks, each with its name: a New York strip steak and a filet mignon. The strip steak, which makes up most of one side of a T-Bone, is cut from closer to the cow’s rump and contains more fat than a filet mignon, which comes from nearer to its spine.

It also tends to be larger than a filet mignon. The smaller side of a T-bone (or porterhouse) is known as a filet mignon, which translates from French as dainty fillet. It gets its name because it has very little marbling (fat), making it much leaner than other cuts on a cow—and therefore less dainty in comparison!

Is T-bone and Tomahawk the Same?

No, they’re not. While both a T-bone steak and a tomahawk steak are cut from a cow’s short loin, they come from different parts of that section of meat. A tomahawk steak is cut further down on a cow’s rib cage than a porterhouse or T-bone, so it contains more bone—and it’s also smaller in size than either of those cuts.

Besides, you can differentiate it using the long bone left like a handle when you slice off a portion of meat. It’s called tomahawk because it resembles an axe head.

Related: How to Cook a Tomahawk Steak

Is Ribeye Part of T-Bone?

No, it’s not. While a ribeye is cut from a cow’s short loin, it comes from closer to its shoulder than a porterhouse or T-bone. It also contains more fat and marbling than either of those cuts, making it more tender—and less expensive.

Is T-Bone a Good Cut of Meat?

Yes, it is. The tenderloin and strip steak on one side of a T-bone are great cuts, while its filet mignon is considered one of the most tender steaks you can buy at your local butcher shop or supermarket deli counter.

If you’re looking for an expensive steak that’s also easy to cook, you can’t go wrong with a T-bone steak. It’s also flavorful enough to stand up well when cooked in various ways, including pan-searing, grilling, broiling, roasting, and even smoking. 

Which is Better T-Bone or Porterhouse?

It’s hard to say. While you can’t really compare them to other steak cuts because they come from the exact same parts of a cow, both a T-bone and porterhouse are delicious—and each offers its own advantages over one another.

For example, while a porterhouse has more fat than a T-bone, it also has much larger portions of tenderloin and strip steak on its small side (filet mignon). In comparison, a T-bone is leaner but smaller in size. However, if you want to make sure that your cut is as large as possible, go with a porterhouse! 

For a more detailed explanation, be sure to check out our guide on Porterhouse vs T-Bone.


When it comes to steak, you have a lot of options. Even within T-bone and ribeye steaks alone, many different cuts and differences in taste can keep your mouth watering for more.

However, before you put either of these down on your dinner plate, remember that they’re not all created equal. Some taste better than others due to where they come from on a cow’s body and how they were cooked. Your best bet is to get both in one package to try them out yourself.

If not, do as much research beforehand, so you know what you’re getting yourself into before placing an order or making any commitments at a restaurant!

Bobby Johnson

When he's not writing about barbecue, you can find Bobby smoking meat for friends and family. He's been a backyard pitmaster for roughly half his life, and has worked with nearly every cut of meat. Not everyone has a hands-on guide to teach them BBQ, but that's what Bobby hopes to do with Electric Smoker HQ. He wants to help people create amazing food that they can be proud of.