Ribeye is a premium beef cut. It’s considered one of the tastiest cuts of of steaks.
However, it can be expensive!
Plus it’s not the only premium beef cut. There are other good cuts of meat.
Below are the six best ribeye alternatives we have found.
Looking for a good substitute for ribeye?
Cuts of meat from the rib, round, and loin are prime as they’re tender with enough marbling.
The front of the cow, or chuck, also produces good cuts with great taste. Here are six ribeye substitutes.
Prime Rib Steak
Also called a standing rib roast, a prime rib steak is a premium beef cut from the primal rib part.
The prime rib steak comes from the same place as the ribeye.
This makes it have the same marbling and tenderness as the ribeye.
But, the prime rib steak has a richer flavor than the ribeye.
Thanks to the rib bones, connective tissues, and fat that come with it.
A prime rib steak is best when cooked at low temperatures for some time.
Like roasting, reverse searing, oven grilling, or smoking.
Strip steak is a cut from the short loin sub-primal found on the area beneath the steer’s backbone.
It constitute the longissimus dorsi muscles.
This flap meat can be boneless or have a bone in it.
A strip steak with a bone attached is called the Kansas City steak.
Like the ribeye, the strip steak is tender and fatty meat.
This makes it becomes juicy with high flavor profiles when cooked.
Strip steak is perfect for grilling, broiling, skillet cooking, sous vide, or skillet to oven cooking.
A strip steak has different names across various locations. E.g., New York Strip steak, Strip Loin, shell steak, Omaha strip, etc.
See a smoked strip steak reicpe
This is a small, rounded beef cut obtained from psoas major muscles in the tenderloin’s end.
You can find the tenderloin along the spine on either side of the steer.
Since this area does not bear any weight, the connective tissues are not toughened by workouts. This leads to the good tender meat.
Being a small cut, about 1 ½ to 2 ½ inches in diameter, filet mignon comprises only 2% of the total meat yield.
The low yield and tenderness make this flesh among the most expensive cuts of meat.
Filet mignon is also very lean with no marbling, making it have a mild beef flavor.
Thus, it’s perfect for marinating and seasoning with a rub. you can also Wrap it in bacon or serve it with compound butter or sauce.
Beef tenderloin is a long (18-24 inches), lean, and narrow muscle.
It comes from the primal loin cut, located beneath the ribs and near the animal’s backbone.
This area hardly gets any exercise. As such, the psoas major muscles are tender.
They also have no connective tissues and pretty little marbling.
Because this cut of meat has little intramuscular fat, it has a weak flavor.
So, seasoning it with spice rubs and marinades or smoking it can improve its taste.
Wrapping the tenderloin in bacon is another way of enhancing its weak flavor.
This tender steak is ideal for hot and fast cooking. You can grill it, sear it in a hot skillet over a stovetop, roast, broil, or sautee it.
Cook this meat up to a medium in the middle and avoid overcooking.
Doing so can dry it and make the meat tough.
You can either grill beef tenderloin or smoke it.
Top Sirloin Steak
A top sirloin steak is a cut from the top sirloin subprimal cut.
The top sirloin sub-primal is the higher-end cut of the sirloin sub-primal. And the lower-end cut is the bottom sirloin.
This cut of meat is tender with a robust beefy flavor. It also has a fat layer running over its top part.
The fat layer renders during the cooking process, resulting in a juicy and flavorful beef.
You cannot go wrong when you grill, pan-fry, broil, or roast the top sirloin steak.
But, avoid overcooking as that may lead to tough meat.
Top sirloin steak is best served with sauces. E.g., peppercorn, mushroom, and bearnaise sauces.
This type of meat is a long, rectangular, thin beef cut from the diaphragm muscle.
It’s about 3-4 inches wide and ½ -1 inch thick.
There are two skirt steak varieties. The outside and inside skirt steak.
The outside skirt is more uniform and comes from the animal’s diaphragm.
Since this area gets less exercise, the meat is thicker and more tender than the inside skirt.
The inside skirt is fatty, irregular-shaped, and chewy obtained from the area below the cow’s ribs.
This cut (inside skirt) is thinner, tougher, and more available in grocery stores or butcher shops.
When presented with the two, go for the outside skirt. It’s more tender with a robust beefy flavor.
Skirt steak is best smoked or cooked fast over high heat. So, cooking on a hot grill, under the broiler, or in a cast-iron skillet are ideal cooking method.
Avoid overcooking skirt steak, as doing so will toughen the meat. Medium-rare to medium is the ideal doneness for this cut.
Remember to marinate the meat before cooking. The loose structure ensures the beef absorbs the marinade well.
A ribeye is a primal piece of meat obtained from the steer’s primal rib section.
This cut of meat can be boneless (ribeye) or bone-in (ribeye steak).
The ribeye comprises two muscles. The longissimus dorsi is a long and more predominant muscle running from the hip bone to the shoulder blade.
And a less predominant muscle known as spinalis dorsi.
Beef from the rib part doesn’t get much exercise. This makes the ribeye a tender cut of meat.
The animal also deposits lots of intramuscular fat in this area, resulting in juicy meat with a buttery flavor.
Ribeye’s tenderness and marbling make it best for quick and high-heat cooking methods or low and slow.
So, you can try broiling, pan-frying, grilling, or searing in a cast-iron skillet.
Aim for an internal temperature of 130-135 for medium-rare. And 135-145 degrees for rare when cooking.
See the smoked ribeye recipe here
There are many cuts of meat that are as good as ribeye.
You can use filet mignon, beef tenderloin, prime rib steak, top sirloin steak, etc., in place of ribeye.
And still, get tender meat with a strong beefy flavor.
Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)
You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!
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