Ribeye steak and flat iron steak are both cuts of beef, but they have distinct differences in terms of flavor, texture, and location of the animal. Ribeye steaks are cut from the rib section, known for their rich marbling, which imparts a tender and juicy texture. The high-fat content in the ribeye contributes to its pronounced flavor, making it a popular choice among steak enthusiasts.
On the other hand, flat iron steaks are derived from the shoulder or chuck area, specifically the top blade muscle. They are leaner than ribeyes, with less marbling, but still possess a tender texture and rich beefy flavor. Flat iron steaks are often more affordable than ribeyes and can be an excellent choice for those who prefer a less fatty yet still flavorful cut of beef.
In this blog post, I will explain the differences between flat iron and ribeye steaks, helping you to make an informed decision the next time you’re at the meat counter or perusing a steakhouse menu.
Difference Between Flat Iron Steak and Ribeye Steak
Here are the main differences between flat iron steak and ribeye steak:
Ribeye steak comes from the primal section called the beef rib, while flat iron steak comes from the chuck region. Both cow areas have different amounts of marbling, different texture, and flavor.
Ribeye steak is by far a more marbled steak cut than flat iron steak. Marbling is essential for flavor and texture.
Taste and Texture
Since ribeye steak has more marbling, it’s a more flavorful cut. However, the flank steak has a robust flavor and a more tender texture. It’s considered the second most tender cut right after the tenderloin. True steak lovers might argue over which one is more tender – ribeye steak or flank steak. It’s very close because both are incredibly tender.
It’s best to cook flat iron steak hot and fast on a scorching hot grill, stir fry, or pan fry. Because of its muscular structure, cooking beyond medium can make it chewy. Meanwhile, ribeye steak is best when seared for a minute or two on a hot skillet or grill and finished on medium heat. It’s better to cook it medium-rare or medium; however, since it has a good amount of marbling, it’s still tender enough when cooked past medium.
Ribeye steak is considered a premium cut; therefore, it costs much more than flat iron steak. However, lately, there’s been a considerable demand for flat iron steak – the prices are increasing steadily.
What is Flat Iron Steak
What part of the cow does flat iron steak come from?
Flat iron steak is a cut from the top blade in the chuck region. It’s on the front shoulder of the cow. The flat iron steak is a thick and well-marbled steak that not that long ago was considered unfit for steak, which is ironic considering how tender it is.
What does flat iron steak taste like?
Flat iron steak has a taste quality of a very expensive steak cut. Because it’s a well-marbled steak, it has a rich flavor profile.
What is the texture of the flat iron steak?
Flat iron steak is considered as second most tender steak cut. A tender filet mignon has a slightly more delicate texture than a flat iron, but it’s not that far behind.
How to cook a flat iron steak?
The best way to cook a flat iron steak is on a grill, pan-fry or stir fry. Here’s an excellent guide explaining how to grill flat iron steak. It has a muscular structure, so it’s best if cooked hot and fast. Considering the steak’s internal temperature – do not cook it past medium. Short cooking time will bring out a rich beefy flavor of the steak.
How much does flat iron steak cost?
Flat iron steak is a cheap cut considering it has the properties of a very expensive steak. It costs around $9/lb; however, it has become slightly more expensive in recent times due to the demand.
Where can I buy flat iron steak?
You can buy flat iron steak at most butcher shops and specialized online stores. Remember that flat iron steak has many different names depending on your location. The most common names are – shoulder top blade steak, top blade steak, top blade filet, butler’s steak, oyster blade steak, and top blade filet.
What is Ribeye Steak
What part of the cow does ribeye steak come from?
Ribeye steak is a cut of beef from the primal section called beef rib. It’s located between the chuck and the loin and can be cut from the sixth to the twelfth rib. It’s a thick and marbled steak cut that comes bone-in or boneless.
What does ribeye steak taste like?
Ribeye steak is a well-marbled cut with a rich buttery flavor. Unlike lean cuts like sirloin or skirt steak, ribeye steak has excess fat. Marbling makes it incredibly juicy and flavorful.
The texture of the ribeye steak
Ribeye steak has an incredibly tender texture. The Longissimus Dorsi muscle running through the steak is delicate because it’s not a well-worked area. And the excess amount of marbling and intramuscular fat makes the steak even more melt-in-your-mouth tender.
How to cook ribeye steak?
The best cooking methods for ribeye steak are grilling and pan-frying. Here’s a full guide on cooking ribeye steak in a frying pan. First, bring the steak to room temperature and season with a generous amount of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper. Sear the steak on both sides for a minute. Turn the heat down and continue cooking on medium heat. If cooking on a grill – move the steak onto the low-heat area. Do not overcook the steak. The best doneness is medium-rare or medium.
How much does ribeye steak cost?
Ribeye is an expensive steak cut costing around $15/lb.
Where can I buy ribeye steak?
You can buy ribeye steak at a butcher shop, a specialized online store, or a local supermarket. However, remember that depending on your location, ribeye steak is also known as beauty steak, Delmonico steak, cowboy cut, or spencer steak. In France, it’s known as entrecote, and in Australia and New Zealand, it’s known as scotch fillet.
Both flat iron and ribeye steaks offer unique characteristics in terms of flavor, texture, and cooking methods. The ribeye steak, known for its rich marbling and buttery taste, is a premium cut and comes with a higher price tag. Meanwhile, the flat iron steak, with its leaner profile and slightly lower marbling, is often more affordable and still delivers a tender, flavorful eating experience. The choice between these two cuts ultimately depends on your personal taste preferences and budget. By understanding the differences outlined in this blog post, you can make an informed decision when selecting a cut of beef, whether at the butcher shop or at your favorite steakhouse.
Is flat iron steak a good steak to grill?
A flat iron steak is a perfect steak for grilling. However, since steak has a muscular structure, it’s best to cook it hot and fast on a scorching hot grill.
Is flat iron steak a good cut of meat?
Flat iron steak is an excellent cut of meat. It’s flavorful and tender, which is more than enough to qualify as a good piece of meat.
Is flat iron steak a cheap cut of meat?
A flat iron is a cheap cut of steak costing around $9/lb. However lately it’s getting more and more popular, so the price is increasing slightly.