This content contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase after clicking a link on this page, we might receive a commission at no cost to you.
How do sirloins and ribeyes differ? As far as we are concerned, these are two entirely different steaks, but we understand that not everyone is a steak expert, so we have written this article to explain the differences.
With this information, I hope you are able to pick out the perfect steak for your next steak night. On the other hand, is there such a thing as a bad steak? In our opinion, no.
Despite the fact that both steaks are tasty, what sets them apart? What methods should you use to prepare them? As part of this guide, we will go over all the characteristics of each steak so you understand what type of steak you are using and how to properly prepare it.
Sirloin vs Ribeye – Overview
The Characteristics Of A Sirloin
Sirloin derives from the Old French word surloigne, which means “above the loin.” Embedded in the hindquarters of the animal, the loin is located behind the rib cage and next to the rump.
Sirloin steaks are naturally lean, as they are placed on the loin muscle and only have a small amount of fat on the outside edge. Generally speaking, they are lean and a little tougher than most other types of steak.
Steaks of this quality are delicious, high protein, low fat, and can be cooked in any manner, from rare to well done, but our preference is for medium-rare cooking.
There is usually some sort of sirloin on the menu of most sit-down restaurants in North America. The name itself makes it more recognized than other cuts.
Sirloin steak comes in a variety of types, which is confusing. You’ll frequently see similar terms like “sirloin steak” and “top sirloin.”
As a result, the top sirloin is more tender than the standard or “bottom” sirloin, which comes from a section of the loin next to the tenderloin. While sirloin steaks vary in tenderness, they are generally pretty good.
The Characteristics Of A Ribeye
One of the best and most sophisticated flavored steaks, the ribeye steak is typically thought to be one of the tastiest. On the forequarter of the animal, next to the sirloin and moving towards the chuck shoulder, the tender center muscle of the forerib is cut.
When compared to other steaks, ribeye steaks commonly contain much more internal fat due to the position of the muscle. Real steak lovers can’t get enough of its rich flavor thanks to its distinct marbling of fat. We recommend cooking it medium-rare.
Several aliases are associated with it, including market steak, Spencer steak, and beauty steak. Places that serve really upscale food might call it Scotch filet or Entrecôte.
All these steaks are the same, though. Thanks to the combination of tenderness and full-bodied flavor, it’s one of the most popular cuts of beef steak.
On top of that, it’s available in oversize portions of 12 and 14 ounces, which always looks good on a menu. Ribeyes can be prepared with the rib bone in or bone out as well.
How To Cook A Sirloin Steak
The purpose of this section is to teach you how to cook the best sirloin steak you can and ideally, at medium-rare because this is when the steak is going to be the most flavorful.
Putting sirloin on a hot grill over the flame is the right way to prepare it. One burner should be set on medium-high, while the other should be on low. Make sure you set up a 2-zone grill for charcoal grillers by moving all the coals to one side.
To complete the sear on the opposite side, flip the sirloin after 3 minutes while it is over direct heat. Continue cooking it over indirect heat for 3 minutes longer.
You may need to leave it on the indirect side until it’s done, or you may need to cook it longer for it to be cooked like a medium steak. Let the meat rest for about five minutes after cooking to allow the residual heat to do its job and the juices to bind before serving.
Alternatively, you can use an afterburner for thin sirloins under one inch thick or an infrared burner if your grill has one. Regardless, you want the steak to be seared over extreme heat for a few seconds, and then cooled. Your thin steaks won’t dry out, as this is a fast way to medium rare.
How To Cook A Ribeye Steak
Now that we have shown you how to cook a sirloin, let’s talk about how to cook a ribeye.
Are you preheating your grill yet? This is the time when the ribeye steaks are resting. Ideally, your grill should have two heat zones: one direct and medium-high, and one indirect and low. You may need to turn on only one burner or move the charcoal to one side.
Steaks should be seared on direct heat first. According to the thickness, each side should be cooked for four to five minutes. To finish the ribeye, move it to the low-heat zone once it has been seared.
Using a digital thermometer is the most reliable way to determine doneness. A medium-rare steak is 130 degrees Fahrenheit, so you should take it off the grill at 125 degrees and let it rest for about five minutes.
Carryover cooking will get you the rest of the way. If you prefer your steaks medium to well done then you can of course leave it on the heat longer for a few minutes.
A smoker can be used to cook ribeyes if you have the time set aside to prepare one this way. Make sure your favorite wood is at 225ºF, preferably something with a medium to heavy flavor.
If you want your food done to your desired doneness, cook until the desired temperature is reached. Consider adding a quick sear to the surface of your food after you’ve cooked it. This technique is called the reverse sear and has become increasingly popular in recent years.
Final Thoughts On Sirloin vs Ribeye
Would you rather have sirloin or ribeye? You just have to consider your tastes and how much you want to spend. Ribeye steaks are more expensive than other steak cuts, but if you’re a steak lover who enjoys a burst of flavor and fat, ribeye is the steak for you.
The sirloin, which comes from a leaner cut of meat, is less expensive and will give you a more delicate flavor while still providing a tender and succulent steak.
In the end, the decision is ultimately determined by your own personal preference, so this is why we give you some tips on how to cook both steaks so that you can decide which one is best for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Does One Compare To The Other When Grilling?
You can grill both of these steaks to perfection. Both have similar dimensions and shapes, and they taste amazing as well. Price conscious grilling enthusiasts tend to prefer sirloin, due to the lower price – which still packs plenty of flavor.
Ribeyes on the other hand are popular for celebratory occasions – they’re also often big enough that one can be split amongst two people. Half of a ribeye and some steak sides is pretty hard to beat!
Sirloin vs Ribeye – Whose Flavor Is Better?
The ribeye is the clear winner in this category. The ribeye steak is the better choice if you prefer big, bold beef flavors. Every bite of them is packed with flavor, without the need for rubs, marinades, or sauces.
This is the real big difference between the two when it comes to tasting and you will come to realize that when you try it.
When Would You Pick One Over the Other?
Having just mentioned, sirloins are one of the most versatile steaks. Kabobs and fajitas are excellent with them. Sirloin steaks are perfect for Middle Eastern and Mexican menus.
Ribeye steaks are the ones you should pick when you need that beefy taste. When you crave meat cooked over a fire, it’s just what a caveman would do! In addition to the way they look on the plate, they are also sure to impress your boss or your pickiest relative when paired with a robust bottle of red wine.
In fact, however, you can have these for any event you want and it is all a matter of how much your price range is and where the steak is sourced.