Sirloin Vs. Ribeye – The Small Difference That Changes Everything

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At a first glance, choosing between sirloin vs. ribeye can be pretty hard. Unless you have some experience, chances are you can’t tell the difference. However, when it comes to cooking yourself, it’s in your interest to understand the main differences between these dishes. After all, you want to impress your friends and family, but you also don’t feel like spending half a day cooking.

Sirloin Vs. Ribeye – What’s the Difference?

Generally speaking, there is one major difference that draws people in two different directions. Some people might prefer the fat marbling in a ribeye, which also results in a tasty gravy. Others opt for the healthier choice – the lean cut of a sirloin.

Both varieties come in a few different cuts, not to mention the level of tenderness. Which option is the best for you solely depends on your personal necessities. So, what are the main things to consider?

The Lean Sirloin

The sirloin is a part between the short loin and the round. Both parts are different in consistency – the short loin is tender, while the round is hard. The tenderness of your meat depends on the cut. If the cut is close to the round, the meat is obviously a bit harder. On the same note, a cut next to the short loin will result in a tender piece of meat.

sirloin vs. ribeye

If you’d like a bit of fat on your meat, sirloin is not your best choice. Unlike most expectations, it won’t come up with a tasty gravy. It won’t even taste good. In fact, the fat around the sirloin is quite gristly, hence the necessity of a lean appearance.

The Flavorful Ribeye

The ribeye is different. Whether you opt for a roast or a steak, both parts come from the ribs. The meat is specifically located between the chuck and the short loin. Some people would agree this is the tastiest piece of meat in a cow.

Ideally, the ribeye should be boneless. It’s supposed to be tender too, yet this isn’t a general rule. Just like in the sirloin, it depends on the cut. If the butcher cuts the most tender part of this section, you’ll have a tender piece of meat.

porterhouse vs. ribeye

Ribeyes come in two varieties – bone in and out. The option without the bone is more tender than the bone in alternative. It’s imperative to know that the unique flavor of a ribeye is given by the small amounts of fat on it.

Sure, it has more calories than a sirloin, but the difference is not that big. After all, this is the representative difference between sirloin vs. ribeye, as well as one of the main concepts behind a well cooked ribeye.

Related: Porterhouse Vs. Ribeye

Cooking Sirloin Vs. Ribeye

Choosing between sirloin vs. ribeye is usually a matter of personal preferences. On this note, the cooking method may also play a significant role in the process. Such high-quality cuts are best prepared on a grill.

Broiling is another good option, not to mention pan frying. If you’re up for a healthy, yet tasty choice, the grill is your first choice. Heat the grill before putting the steak on it for a more even result. Furthermore, it will prevent drying the meat. Add all the spices and herbs you need, as well as olive oil or tomato sauce. You shouldn’t cook for more than 5 minutes on each side.

If you don’t have a grill, pan frying is just as handy. Add a little oil to your skillet, heat it, season the steak and put it in the pan. Give each side about 5 minutes. If the meat absorbs oil, add another tablespoon of oil or butter when you flip the steak.

Slow roasting is yet another cooking option, but most chefs would never choose it. It’s easy to tell why – you might end up with a tough cut. Sure, ribeyes are normally tender, but a sirloin can be hard if cut close to the round.

Related: Prime Rib vs. Ribeye Steak


As a short final conclusion, it’s not that hard to make the difference between sirloin vs. ribeye. Generally speaking, it’s up to you to decide which one you want based on your culinary preferences. The small amount of fat on a ribeye can make the difference, but don’t overlook your nutritional needs either.

See also: Chateaubriand Vs. Filet Mignon