When looking for an affordable alternative to ribeye steak, you may have come across a cut known as a Delmonico steak. Delmonico steak isn’t the same as ribeye, but it’s relatively close to the ribeye’s well-known texture and flavor, making it a viable option for people on a budget.
What Is Delmonico Steak?
Delmonico steak comes from the chuck section of a cow, which covers the shoulder region. This is why Delmonico steak is also sometimes referred to as chuck eye steak or chuck filet steak. Steak cut from the chuck area sometimes get a bad rap for being chewy or tough, but that’s not always the case, especially if you know how to use the best cooking and preparation methods to tenderize the meat.
What Is Ribeye Steak?
Ribeye steak is cut from the rib section of the cow, which you might have guessed from its name. The rib section is less exercised than the chuck section, which makes it more tender overall. The rib area is also where we get prime rib steaks and rib roasts from.
What Is The Difference Between Delmonico And Ribeye Steaks?
We know that Delmonico and ribeye steaks come from different sections of a cow, but what other differences lie between these steak cuts? We outline the key points you should know when choosing between each cut.
Perhaps the most notable difference you might find when choosing between Delmonico and ribeye steak is that Delmonico generally has a lower per-pound price. In fact, Delmonico steak can be as low as about half the price per pound of a ribeye. It’s not uncommon to see ribeye cost $15 or more per pound, but you can usually find Delmonico steak for about $5-$10 per pound, making it one of the more affordable cuts.
At first glance, you might not notice a lot of disparity in how many steak cuts look, including ribeye compared to Delmonico steak. However, look a little closer and you’ll see that these two steaks do have some important differences.
First, Delmonico steaks are usually a little heavier and larger, nearing closer to one pound compared to the ribeye’s traditional half-pound size. Delmonico steaks are also often on the thicker side, with about 1 ¾ to 2 inches thick. On the other hand, ribeyes average about 1 ½ inches thick.
Fat content differs between the two, too. Ribeye is known for its highly visible fat that runs through the steak. It’s known as marbling because of the marbled appearance it creates. Those thin whitish lines running through ribeye steak make that marbled look. Delmonico doesn’t have as much fat content, so it won’t be as visible in these steaks. Instead, you might see thinner and fewer lines of fat on a Delmonico steak.
Texture and Taste
Steak is steak, right? Wrong. Although they can be used relatively interchangeably, these two steaks are quite different in flavor. Ribeye is known for having a lot of beefy flavor that can almost be described as buttery. It’s a go-to steak for customers at a steakhouse who are craving an authentic steak flavor. However, it can still work well with more delicate, upscale dishes because its flavor isn’t necessarily intense.
On the other hand, many would say that Delmonico steak does have a more intense beef flavor that you might want if you’re in the mood for a hearty, rustic steak.
As for texture, both cuts deliver juicy, tender meat when cooked properly. The ideal cook for either one is medium rare, which keeps the meat moist and easy to chew. Ribeye still edges out Delmonico in texture, though, as it’s known for being one of the most tender steaks.
Delmonico Pros and Cons
Pros of Delmonico
- Leaner than ribeye
- More affordable per pound than ribeye
- Works with several cooking methods, like grilling or pan-searing
- Full of rich beefy flavor
- Often available in thick, two-inch cuts
- Can be bone-in or boneless
Cons of Delmonico
- Not as tender as ribeye
- May be a little too intense in flavor for delicate dishes
- Not as much marbling as ribeye
Ribeye Pros and Cons
Pros of Ribeye
- Heralded as one of the top cuts of steak for flavor and texture
- Versatile cut of steak to cook with
- Robust marbling to keep it tender throughout the cooking process
- Known for its excellent beef flavor
- Can be bone-in or boneless
- Usually easier to find in the supermarket
Cons of Ribeye
- Costlier option than Delmonico steak
- Not a lean cut of steak
Conclusion: Delmonico Steak vs. Ribeye Steak
There’s no clear winner between Delmonico and ribeye steak because each cut has its pros and cons. If affordability is your priority, Delmonico steak can certainly save some money, especially if buying steak for a group. However, if money isn’t an object, and quality and flavor are your top considerations, then ribeye steak wins, hands down.
In fact, our USDA Prime ribeye steaks are among our most popular sellers. Find out why more than 10,000 happy customers have recommended our steak by placing your own order from Chicago Steak Company today.