Sirloin and ribeye, two of the most popular, most loved steaks in the world. But which is best? Or why would you choose one over the other? This detailed comparison looks at where they come from, flavor and texture, uses, and great recipes for each.
Today we’re looking at sirloin vs ribeye as part of a series of related articles, where we’re clearing up some of the mysteries about the major cuts of steak.
They’re both excellent steaks, but what are the distinguishing features? And how should you prepare and cook them? Read on for the answers, plus nutritional data and three excellent recipes for each kind.
Part of being the best griller you can be is knowing your cuts of meat. By learning what their characteristics are, how to cook them, and which is best for you, not only will you have more fun, but you’ll also eat better food more often. And isn’t that the whole point of barbecue?
A category of meat that nearly everyone loves, and yet still causes confusion, is steak.
There are many kinds of steak. We look at many of them in our guide to the eleven best steaks for grilling. But there are in fact anywhere from 12-16, depending on whom you ask. Considering most cuts have at least two alternate names, it can get downright intimidating, selecting a steak.
That’s where we come in. And todays guide looks at and compares ribeye and sirloin steak. Let’s get to it.
There is an oft-repeated story that King James I of England ate a steak in Scotland that was so delicious, he knighted the loin. From then on, the tender cut was known as “Sir loin.” It’s a fine tale, but almost certainly untrue.
In fact, the name comes from the Old French word surloigne, meaning “above the loin.” No less historical (the word predates the reign of James I), but far less interesting.
Sirloin steaks are incredibly popular, and you’ll find them in every steakhouse around the world. Actually, most sit-down restaurants in North America offer a sirloin of some description. It’s perhaps the most recognized cut of steak by name, along with filet mignon.
Confusingly, there is more than one kind of sirloin steak. Most commonly, you’ll see simply “sirloin steak” and “top sirloin.” The top sirloin comes from a section of the loin close to the tenderloin and is correspondingly more tender than the standard or “bottom” sirloin. All sirloin steaks, however, are decently tender.
While not a cheap steak, sirloin offers great bang for your beef buck.
The sirloin primal is located near the rear of the cow, just in front of the round, which is the hindmost primal. Sirloin steaks are cut from either the top sirloin or bottom sirloin subprimals.
Picture a steak in your mind, without a bone. Got it? That’s probably exactly what a sirloin looks like – it’s a classic, elongated oval (or rounded rectangle) cut of muscle, usually 1 to 1.5 inches thick. Porterhouse and T-bone steaks also come from this neighborhood.
How Much Meat and Fat Does Sirloin Contain?
A trimmed sirloin is almost all meat. Fat marbling is generally very light to virtually non-existent, making sirloin one of the leanest cuts of beef available.
This will depend greatly on the cut, however; a centre cut sirloin steak may contain one-third as much fat as a top sirloin steak.