Porterhouse vs. ribeye: What’s the difference?

So porterhouse or ribeye steak? It all depends on personal preference. However, some traits define a good steak upon which everyone agrees. The amount of marbling the steak has, its flavor profile, tenderness, and how easy it’s to cook. Porterhouse vs. ribeye is an ongoing debate like the rest of the steak cuts (new york strip steak vs. ribeye is a good example). However, to sum it up quickly, ribeye steaks, both boneless cuts, and bone-in, have a clear advantage.

It can be difficult for an average steak consumer to choose the best steak cut. There are so many to choose from – lean steak cuts, well-marbled steak cuts, cheap steak cuts, and the list goes on.

This article will compare the two steaks in a league of their own – porterhouse vs. ribeye steaks.

What is Porterhouse Steak

what is porterhouse steak
Porterhouse steak

Ah, the porterhouse steak. A truly magnificent cut of meat that’s fit for a king – or a starving person. But what is a porterhouse steak, exactly? Where does it come from, and how much does it cost? Let’s take a closer look.

First and foremost, many people can’t tell the difference between a porterhouse steak and a t-bone steak. T-bone steak has a smaller portion of tenderloin. That is the only noticeable difference. Porterhouse steak is a cut from the short loin of the cow. It includes both a new york strip steak and a tenderloin filet, which are separated by a T-shaped bone. It means you’re getting the best of both cuts, the extra juicy and incredibly tender, making it one of the most sought-after cuts of meat at steakhouses worldwide. In terms of size, a porterhouse steak typically weighs in at around 24 ounces – more than enough to satisfy even the heartiest appetite. And as for price, well, you’ll need to open up your wallet if you’re looking to enjoy a porterhouse steak dinner. But trust me; it’s worth every penny.

What is Ribeye Steak

what is a ribeye steak
Ribeye steak

Ribeye steak is one of the favorites among steak lovers. It’s a cut of meat that comes from the rib section of the cow, and it gets its name from the fact that it contains a large amount of fat – also known as marbling – around the edge of the steak. This marbling is what gives ribeye steak its signature flavor and tenderness.

It’s well known for its buttery smooth texture, and when cooked correctly, it truly does deliver on expectations.

Ribeye comes boneless or bone-in, and it can be cut into different sizes – from a small, 12-ounce steak all the way up to a massive 24-ounce tomahawk ribeye. As for price, it’s very similar to the porterhouse steak; however, remember it’s a well-marbled steak cut that is one of the most popular meats you can buy. So it’s worth every penny.

Porterhouse vs. Ribeye: 6 Main Differences

porterhouse vs. ribeye which one is better
Porterhouse and ribeye steaks

The Difference in Fat Content

When comparing two similarly sized steak cuts, side-by-side ribeye steak has more fat running throughout the meat. It is due to the fact that ribeye steak comes from the rib section of the cow, which is a well-marbled area. On the other hand, Porterhouse steak comes from the short loin of the cow – an area that doesn’t have as much fat. The strip part on the porterhouse steak does have a fair amount of marbling, but the filet portion is relatively lean.

The Difference in Flavor

There’s a clear difference in flavor between porterhouse and ribeye steak. First of all, the t-shaped bone separates two different cuts the tenderloin and the strip. Both cuts have a very distinct flavor profile. While the strip section has a much more rich beefy flavor, the tenderloin part is lean, and some find it too mellow.

On the other hand, Ribeye is packed with marbling, and you should know the more marbling, the more flavor the meat will have.

It’s hard to argue which one is better taste-wise because everyone’s taste buds are wired differently. However, for the ultimate flavor experience, you would not regret going with a bone-in ribeye steak. It truly does deliver an excellent taste experience, especially when cooked on a charcoal grill.

The Difference in Texture and Tenderness

Both ribeye and porterhouse steaks are well known for their smooth texture and tenderness. Porterhouse contains one of the most tender cuts of them all – the holy grail of tenderness, the tenderloin (filet mignon). However, it also has a strip section that is not as tender. Ribeye, on the other hand, is tender throughout. It makes it the more desirable choice for those looking for a super tender steak with an extremely smooth texture.

The Difference in Cost

It’s hard to tell the difference in price because it varies depending on many factors like the location you’re getting your steak from as well as supermarket and butcher shop. However, in general, ribeye steak is going to be slightly more expensive than porterhouse steak.

Depending on data online, bone-in ribeye steaks are less costly than boneless ribeye coming at $14-15 per pound. Meanwhile, porterhouse comes at around $13-14 per pound, depending on the steak’s bone size.

The Difference in Appearance

The difference in appearance between porterhouse and ribeye steak is significant. Porterhouse steak has a T-shaped bone with two different cuts in one large piece of meat – the strip and the tenderloin. Ribeye steak, on the other hand, is a single cut that comes from the rib section of the cow. Keep in mind there’s a Bone-in ribeye as well. Sometimes it’s referred to as a tomahawk steak. It has a bone in the middle, while boneless ribeye does not.

The Difference in Cooking

The best cooking method for a ribeye steak is grilling, pan-frying, and broiling. It’s one of the easiest steaks to cook; however, many home cooks find it intimidating to grill because of the flair-ups. However, do not worry; with a bit of experience, you’ll get used to cooking fatty steak cuts.

Bone-in ribeye, however, is a bit more challenging to cook because of the bone attached to the steak and because it’s a thick steak. If your skillet is not big enough, try broiling it.

Porterhouse is by far more difficult to cook because it has two different types of meat. And to make things even worse, the meat toward the bone cooks slower, meaning it does not cook evenly throughout. The best cooking process for a porterhouse steak is broiling, grilling, or even reverse searing. Yes, you can try cooking porterhouse in a cast-iron skillet, but it can be quite challenging due to its shape and size if you have a small skillet.

As you can see, both steaks benefit from the same cooking methods; however, ribeye is by far the easiest one to cook.

Note: I have two blog posts about how to cook steak on the grill and another on how to cook steak in a pan. Read them if you want to cook both ribeye and porterhouse steak to perfection.


Porterhouse vs. ribeye? Which one is better? Well, the answer is simple – it all comes down to personal preference. If you want a steak cut packed with flavor, go for ribeye. However, if you’re looking for a super tender steak, the porterhouse has the tenderloin and the strip. And if you’re looking for a perfect balance of flavor and tenderness, perhaps ribeye is the best one to choose.


Which is better, a ribeye or a porterhouse?

It all depends on a personal preference; however, ribeye steak is a more popular option among steak lovers and restaurants because it’s an extremely flavorful piece of meat. Porterhouse lacks marbling; however, it has two different cuts separated but a t-shaped bone. Tenderloin is exceptionally tender, while the strip part has a nice bite to it. One of the downsides of a porterhouse is that it is far more challenging to cook.

Renaldas Kaveckas
Renaldas Kaveckas
Renaldas Kaveckas is an accomplished chef with over a decade of experience in the culinary world, having worked in esteemed, high-end restaurants across Europe. With a talent for combining traditional techniques and innovative flair, Renaldas has refined his signature style under the mentorship of respected European chefs. Recently, Renaldas has expanded his impact beyond the kitchen by sharing his expertise through his online platform. Dedicated to inspiring culinary professionals and food enthusiasts, he offers expert advice, innovative recipes, and insightful commentary on the latest gastronomic trends.
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