T-bone or New York strip steak: Is one better than the other? Not necessarily, but you’ll certainly find that some steak enthusiasts prefer one or the other. Luckily, that’s why most steakhouses have options. And, when you cook steak at home, you always have the final decision over which cut to choose.
But which cut you should choose remains to be answered, and we will do our best in this guide to help you solve the problem by comparing these delicious steak cuts.
What Is T-bone Steak?
T-bone steak gets its name from the T-shaped bone that runs along its outer edge and middle. However, there’s much more to this steak than its signature bone. This cut of beef is also famous because it houses two types of steak: strip steak and tenderloin.
That’s right — when you dig into this steak, you can actually enjoy two steaks in one. On one side of the bone is the strip steak, which is rich in beef flavor with tender meat. On the other side of the bone is a thicker, even more tender tenderloin, which draws back on the beef flavor a bit. Together, the two cuts provide an excellent balance that can please almost any steak lover’s palate.
What is New York Strip Steak?
New York strip steak is, in fact, one of the portions of steak that makes up the T-bone. New York strip is also known simply as strip steak. However, the “New York” designation is often added because of the strip steak’s close ties with New York City, or more specifically, the New York City restaurant it hailed from known as Delmonico’s.
New York strip steak can be either bone-in or boneless, although many believe that keeping the bone attached adds flavor and tenderizes the meat. Either way, this cut is very juicy and provides an impressive amount of beef flavor in every bite.
What is the Difference Between T-Bone and New York Strip Steak?
For some, a steak is a steak, regardless of the cut. For others, there are distinct differences between each type of steak. The T-bone and New York strip steak definitely have recognizable differences in appearance and taste, which we detail below.
Where They Come From
Because you’ll find New York strip steak within a T-bone steak, it’s not surprising that these two cuts come from the same area of a cow. That area is the short loin, which is right behind the ribs. The small tenderloin portion reaches into the short loin, and that intersection is where butchers cut the T-bone from.
This area of the cow isn’t very muscular because it sits far enough away from any of the animal’s four legs. As a result, the short loin does not produce the leanest cuts of beef. However, it does provide some of the most flavorful and tender cuts, including the T-bone and New York strip.
You can cut more strip steaks than T-bone from one cow, so its price per pound is usually a bit lower. Additionally, keep in mind that T-bone has two steaks in one, so it makes sense that you’d pay more per pound for it. Plus, T-bones are larger, so the overall cost of a T-bone could be as much as double the price of a strip steak.
Prices vary significantly based on where you live, supply and demand, and beef quality. Generally, expect to pay between $12-$25 per pound for T-bone steak and $10-$16 per pound of strip steak.
Size and Appearance
Strip steak is a long and narrow cut of steak. On average, it’s about 1 ½ to 2 inches thick. A T-bone steak looks much larger, but remember, much of its size is taken up by bone, and one-half of the steak includes a strip steak. The other half, the tenderloin, is a smaller portion of meat than the strip steak side, but it’s usually a bit thicker at 2 to 2 ½ inches thick.
Texture and Taste
A New York strip steak notably has a more traditional steak flavor than a tenderloin. So, if you’re into that tell-tale beef taste that’s straight out of a steakhouse, the strip steak will probably be enough to win you over. With that said, T-bone balances the mild flavor of the tenderloin with the full-throttle flavor of strip steak. If dabbling in both types of steak at one time intrigues you, then T-bone is a clear winner here.
Bone and Fat Content
Strip steak can include a bone or be boneless. Some people believe that the bone adds flavor and lends to a more tender texture, although leaving the bone intact really just comes down to personal preference. With T-bone, there’s no other option than bone-in, so this might not be the steak for you if you don’t enjoy cutting around a bone.
As for fat content, you’ll get more fat overall from a T-bone because both the strip steak and tenderloin are somewhat fatty pieces of steak from a not-overly-exercised area of the cow’s body.
T-Bone Steak Pros and Cons
T-bone and New York strip steak have their benefits and flaws, just like any other steak cut on the market. Here are some pros and cons of T-bone.
- Enough meat for two people to share
- Two cuts of steak in one
- Tender texture and balanced flavor
- The bone can restrict the versatility of your steak dishes using T-bone
- High fat content from the combination of strip steak and tenderloin
- Pricey compared to strip steak
- Can be challenging to cook
New York Strip Steak Pros and Cons
Not sure which one’s right for you? Here are a few advantages and drawbacks of New York strip steak.
- Available as bone-in or boneless
- More affordable than T-bone
- Lots of beefy flavor
- Versatile cut to cook with
- Not as lean as other steaks
- Can be easy to overcook
In Summary: T-Bone vs. New York Strip Steak
To sum up, New York strip steak holds its own as a full-of-flavor steak that’s tender when cooked with care. Meanwhile, T-bone steak houses both strip steak and tenderloin, giving consumers two types of steak in one delicious meal. You can’t go wrong with either choice.
There’s good news for people who want to try both: Chicago Steak Company offers high-quality New York strip steak and T-bone steaks delivered to your door. Our USDA Prime dry-aged and wet-aged steaks are among the best of the best, and we take extra steps to ensure that their quality remains intact from our facilities to your door. Order T-bone and strip steaks online today.