Rib-eye and New York steaks are both considered premium cuts of meat and cook well on the grill or under the broiler. Both cuts sell for approximately the same price in markets, and both result in flavorful meals. When determining which is the better cut of meat, it all comes down to personal preference.
New York Steaks
Also called Kansas City steaks, top loin steaks or strip steaks, New York steaks come from the short loin portion of the beef, situated between the rib and the sirloin. In T-bone steaks, the bone separates the New York portion of the steak from a piece of tenderloin. Consequently, New York steaks can be sold with a narrow bone on one side or boneless.
Rib-Eye steaks come from the rib portion of the beef, immediately forward of the short loin and behind the chuck. Because the rib portion of beef rests between major joint and movement areas, steaks from this portion contain rich fat marbling. This fat marbling helps rib-eye steaks remain tender and juicy when cooked.
Which to Choose
New York steaks contain less fat and marbling than rib-eyes, so choose New York cuts for a leaner steak that may satisfy dietary restrictions or personal preference. Rib-eye steaks provide a deep and rich flavor from the high fat content and aren't quite as easy to dry out by overcooking, a plus for beginners. Because of the high fat content, rib-eye steaks cook down a bit more than New York steaks, as the fat gets rendered into liquid form and dispersed. Because New York steaks retain more of their precooked weight, the price per pound of cooked meat becomes slightly less than that of rib-eyes.
Tips and Tricks
When preparing New York cut steaks, brush a bit of olive oil, add salt and pepper and allow them to come to room temperature for about 30 minutes before cooking. Pan-sear, grill or broil them on high heat for up to five minutes per side, or until a meat thermometer registers 145 degrees Fahrenheit in the thickest part for medium rare. Be careful not to overcook New York steaks to avoid dryness, and keep in mind that many chefs recommend taking the meat off the heat when it registers 125 F and allowing it to rest for up to three minutes for medium-rare. Prepare rib-eyes with salt and pepper, but skip the olive oil. The higher fat content in rib-eye steaks keeps them from sticking to the grill or pan. Cook rib-eyes in the same way as New York steaks, but because this cut is slightly more forgiving, allow guests to choose their own level of doneness.