Tasting the Best: Comparing Ribeye vs Tenderloin Steaks

The battle between ribeye vs tenderloin is longstanding when enjoying a juicy steak. Both cuts of beef have their loyal supporters, each claiming superiority over the other. So, if you want to settle the debate and make an educated choice for your next steak night, keep reading as we compare Ribeye and Tenderloin, weighing their differences and similarities to help you decide which suits your preferences.

What Are The Difference Between Ribeye vs Tenderloin?

  • Bone: Ribeye steaks often come with bone-in options, while tenderloin (including filet mignon) is typically boneless. Additionally, removing the bone from a ribeye may affect the meat’s tenderness, so it’s essential to consider the cooking method and handling of the steak.
  • Texture: The texture of a ribeye is often described as rich and buttery, with a pronounced marbling of fat that adds juiciness and a desirable flavor. A tenderloin has a finer texture; it is less fatty than a ribeye. While the ribeye may be more substantial in texture, the tenderloin offers a melt-in-your-mouth experience due to its finer texture.
  • Fat Content: Ribeye is known for its high-fat content and marbling, contributing to its bold and beefy flavor. On the other hand, Tenderloin has minimal marbling and fat content, resulting in a lean and delicate texture.
  • Nutritional: Rib steak has more calories than tenderloin, with 291 kcal per 100g, compared to 196 kcal per 100g of sirloin. Ribeye also contains more fat, with 21.81g per 100g, compared to tenderloin’s 15.18g per 100g. However, ribeye steak is also a good source of protein, with 23.69g per 100g. In contrast, tenderloin only has 15.18g of protein in 100g. Tenderloin has lower cholesterol levels and less fat than ribeye but contains more vitamins B6, B12, iron, and zinc.
  • Marbling: Ribeye is known for its high marbling, which results in a juicy and rich flavor. The marbling in a Ribeye also helps it to remain moist while cooking, providing a satisfying eating experience. On the other hand, Tenderloin has minimal marbling, which contributes to its tender and delicate texture. 
  • Cooking Methods: Ribeye steak is best cooked on a grill using high heat to achieve a perfect sear. On the other hand, Tenderloin steak is best cooked using dry heat methods such as grilling, broiling, or pan-frying. Diners can also opt for slow-cooking methods like roasting or braising to achieve tender and juicy results.

What Are The Nutritional Differences Between Ribeye And Tenderloin

Here is a comparison table depicting the differences between ribeye and tenderloin steaks:

  Ribeye Steak Tenderloin Steak
Bone Often, bone-in options are available Typically boneless
Texture Rich and buttery, pronounced marbling Finer texture, less fatty
Fat Content High-fat content, bold and beefy flavor Minimal fat content, lean and delicate
Nutritional More calories (291 kcal), higher fat content (21.81g), more protein (23.69g) Fewer calories (196 kcal), lower fat content (15.18g), less protein (15.18g), higher vitamins B6, B12, iron, and zinc
Marbling High marbling, juicy, and rich flavor Minimal marbling, tender, and delicate texture
Cooking Methods Best cooked on a grill with high heat Best cooked using dry heat methods like grilling, broiling, or pan-frying. Slow-cooking methods like roasting or braising also work well

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The Main Similarities Between Ribeye vs Tenderloin

Ribeye and tenderloin are two of the most popular cuts of steak. While they have clear differences, there are also some notable similarities.

Both cuts come from the same region of the cow, the loin, and are known for their tenderness. They are also considered luxury beef cuts and are typically more expensive than other cuts. Both ribeye and tenderloin can be cooked in various ways, including grilling, broiling, and pan-searing. Finally, both cuts can be served with a range of sauces and flavorings, allowing for a personalized dining experience.

What is Ribeye?What Is Ribeye

Ribeye is a cut of beef from the animal’s rib section. It is highly prized for its tenderness, marbling, and rich flavor. This cut is often considered one of the most flavorful and succulent cuts of beef available.

The ribeye steak is cut from the rib primal, which spans from ribs six to twelve. This section of the animal is located between the chuck and loin, making it a prime spot for a delectable cut of meat. The rib primal is known for its well-marbled and tender meat, thanks to the intramuscular fat that runs through it.

What sets ribeye apart from other cuts of beef is the marbling. Marbling refers to the fine fat streaks dispersed throughout the muscle tissue. This fat adds flavor and keeps the meat moist and tender during cooking. The more marbling a ribeye has, the more flavorful and tender it will be.

In conclusion, ribeye is a highly sought-after cut of beef known for its tenderness, marbling, and rich flavor. It is cut from the rib primal, and its marbling sets it apart from other cuts of beef. Whether you choose bone-in or boneless, ribeye steak is a meat lover’s dream come true. So treat yourself to a perfectly cooked ribeye and prepare for a truly mouth-watering experience.

What is Tenderloin?

Tenderloin is a specific cut of beef known for its incredible tenderness and delicate flavor. It is located in the loin region of the animal, which runs along the spine and is considered one of the most prized cuts. The tenderloin is sourced from the psoas major muscle, which doesn’t work much during the animal’s life, resulting in its tender nature.

The psoas major muscle is found on either side of the spine, stretching from the hip to the ribcage. It is a relatively small and elongated muscle, making the tenderloin a narrow and cylindrical piece of meat. Due to its location and the minimal amount of connective tissue, the tenderloin is exceptionally tender and lean compared to other cuts of beef.

When it comes to flavor, tenderloin is known for its mild taste. It lacks the intense marbling in fattier cuts like ribeye or New York strip steak, but its tenderness compensates for it. Some describe its flavor as buttery and delicate, making it an excellent choice for those who enjoy a more subtle beefy taste.

In conclusion, tenderloin is a highly sought-after cut of beef known for its exceptional tenderness and mild flavor. Whether you prefer it as a whole roast or as individual steaks, tenderloin offers a delightful dining experience. So next time you’re perusing a menu or visiting your local butcher, try tenderloin and savor its melt-in-your-mouth goodness.

What Is Tenderloin


Which cut has higher fat content, Ribeye or Tenderloin?

Ribeye steaks typically have a higher fat content compared to Tenderloin. The marbling in Ribeye contributes to its rich, beefy flavor and juiciness.

Which cut, Ribeye or Tenderloin, is usually more expensive?

Tenderloin is generally more expensive compared to Ribeye due to its tenderness and popularity. It is often considered a luxurious cut and is commonly served on special occasions.

How do the flavor and taste of Ribeye and Tenderloin differ?

Ribeye has a robust, beefy flavor due to its higher fat content. It offers a more intense and rich taste compared to Tenderloin, which has a milder flavor profile.

What is the difference in texture between Ribeye and Tenderloin?

Ribeye has a more substantial texture due to the marbling of fat within the meat. Tenderloin, on the other hand, is exceptionally tender and has a melt-in-your-mouth texture.

Which Cut Of Meat Is The Most Flavorful, Ribeye Or Tenderloin?

Ribeye is known for its rich, juicy taste due to its high marbling and fat content. In contrast, tenderloin is a lean cut prized for its tenderness rather than its flavor. Despite being expensive, tenderloin is often preferred as a luxury steak. However, many steak lovers prefer the bold taste of Ribeye.

Which Cut Is Best for Smoking?

Ribeye offers a rich, meaty flavor with defined marbling for added moisture and taste. On the other hand, the tenderloin, specifically the filet mignon, provides a smooth, melt-in-the-mouth texture and is lean with low-fat content. Ultimately, the best choice for smoking depends on personal preferences.


I hope this comparison between Ribeye and Tenderloin steaks has helped inform your preferences for your next delicious steak dinner. Whether you prioritize flavor or tenderness, both cuts have unique qualities that will satisfy your taste buds. So, the next time you order a steak, you’ll know exactly what to look for. Enjoy your meal and happy eating! Remember to savor each bite and appreciate the delightful flavors of a perfectly cooked steak.


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