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Prime Rib Vs. Ribeye Roast: Which Is Better? [ANSWERED]

Prime Rib Vs. Ribeye Roast: Which Is Better? [ANSWERED]

Although the prime rib and the ribeye may look pretty similar, they are different confusing cuts. The common question that most people ask themselves is which of the two is better.

When comparing the prime rib with the ribeye roast, it is not all about which one is better but about how they are cooked. Prime rib is cooked as a roast and requires searing to create a crust before finalizing the cooking process in the oven, while the ribeye roasts are ideal on the grill. Generally, the prime rib has a superior taste compared to the ribeye roast.

Nonetheless, if you are in a situation where you have to choose between the two, several other factors might come into play. Read on for more about Prime Rib Vs. Ribeye Roast.

prime rib cut

Ribeye Roast vs. Prime Rib

The ribeye roast and prime ribs are beef cuts that look similar but are distinct cuts that need to be cooked differently. So, where do ribeye and prime rib come from?

If you are keen, you must have noticed that they both have the name ‘rib,’ which implies that they come from the rib primal of a cow. To be more precise, they are both derived from the back ribs.

What Is A Prime Rib?

Some people may think that because it is called a prime rib, it is prime and therefore the best. It is essential to understand that the name prime does not necessarily give it a prime rating. Hence, when picking your prime rib, you still need to look at the USDA rating to ensure it is of the right quality.

The prime rib is obtained from the upper rib primal close to the spine of a cow. In other words, the prime rib is located between the short loin and the chuck.

Further, the term prime rib can also refer to how this particular cut is prepared. Its preparation method involves roasting the meat in low heat until it is tender, medium rare, with a crunching crust on the outside.

Notably, the prime rib is often split into two parts to render it cost-effective and convenient for consumers who may be after feeding a smaller group. The first cut is more costly as it is uniform and boasts a better appearance.

The second cut is larger than the prime rib that stretches between the 6th and 9th ribs. While this half is larger with more fat and connective tissue, it tends to be cheaper.

What Is Ribeye Roast?

The ribeye roast, also known as the Delmonico roast, refers to a rib roast with the 6th through the 12th bones missing, leaving just the ribeye muscles. The cut usually is flavorful, tender, and expensive.

The ribeye steak comprises three different muscles: complexus, spinalus, and longissimus dorsi.

Ribeye Roast Vs. Prime Rib: Why Pick One Of The Other?

If the ribeye roast and prime rib are similar, what are the deciding factors that one should use to pick one over the other? Well, you can always decide on the one to buy after considering a few factors. Some of the factors that you will need to consider include;

  1. The Cost – One of the essential factors you will need to consider is the cost. If you are on a tight budget, settling for ribeye steaks might be a good idea because they tend to be cheaper. The prime rib is more expensive because they have more meat on them.
  2. Preference – if you or your guests love steaks, you may want to settle for ribeye. The ribeye cap steaks are the ultimate cut.
  3. Time – How much time do you have to prepare the meal? If you have limited time, you may settle for ribeye steak as they are easy to find, and you can directly grill them within a few minutes.

What Tastes Better Prime Rib Vs. Ribeye?

While prime rib and ribeye are obtained from the same section of a cow, their taste tends to differ slightly. When comparing the taste of the prime rib to that of ribeye, the prime rib takes the lead.

The prime rib has a well-pronounced meat flavor thanks to bone, fat, and connective tissues, making its flavor more powerful than similar cuts that lack the traits above. In addition, the prime rib is best cooked through roasting, which is ideal for preserving flavors compared to grilling.

On the other hand, the ribeye is part of a well-exercised muscle, meaning it has had enough time to develop more taste. Interestingly, you can serve the ribeye with other flavorful foods that complement each other.

The Differences Between The Ribeye And The Prime Rib?

The main differences between the ribeye and the prime rib include;

  • While the ribeye is usually grilled, the prime rib is best when roasted.
  • The ribeye is a smaller part obtained from the 6th and 12th rib, while the prime rib is a larger primal beef cut comprising two cuts.
  • The prime rib features a lot of connective tissues and fat rendering it juicy and tender, while the ribeye has a moderate amount of fats and connective tissue. It is this characteristic that makes the prime rib tastier.
  • While the ribeye is more expensive per pound, the prime rib is cheaper per pound but more expensive per unit.
  • The ribeye is forgiving and can be grilled to medium-well, while the prime rib is best served at rare to medium rare doneness.

What Is Ribeye Roast Vs. Prime Rib?

While the ribeye roast and prime rib have similarities based on their origins and the beefy flavors, they differ. The main differences are based on the cooking method, the cost, and the size.

The ribeye roast and prime ribs form the primal cuts of beef. However, prime recipes require the chef to keep it whole, while on the other hand, a butcher divides the ribeye roast into individual steaks. Additionally, the ribeye roast is a boneless cut, whereas the prime rib contains a bone in it.

What Cut Of Meat Is Prime Rib?

When shopping for a prime rib, ask the butcher to provide you with a standing rib roast. The standing rib roast is the name you will likely see on the butcher counter.

The prime rib is obtained from the rib section of a cow; the cow has thirteen ribs on each side, the last rib is the loin, the middle ribs are the standing rib roast, and the first five are known as the chuck. A whole prime rib weighs about twenty-five pounds, and this explains why butchers divide it into halves; the first and the second half.

steak ribeye

What Is The Best Cut Of The Prime Rib?

If you are looking to feed a limited number of guests, then you do not have to invest in a whole prime rib. So between the first and the second cut of the prime rib, which one is better?

The first cut, sometimes referred to as the loin end or the small end, is generally more expensive, and most pit masters recommend it as the best cut due to its tenderness. In addition, the first cut appears more uniform, making it preferable for many.

Nonetheless, if you slow roast the second cut well, the fat will provide the moisture and the flavor that will render it tasty and flavorful.

Final Thoughts

When comparing Prime Rib Vs. Ribeye Roast, beef lovers will agree that they are perfect cuts that are less likely to disappoint. However, your choice can be influenced by several factors, including the cooking method, preference, and size.

Suppose you want to fire up your z grills vs. pit boss grills. In that case, make the ribeye roast your first option. On the other hand, if you want to put your oven to work, prime ribs are the best for roasting. Generally, as long as you know what you want, you can never go wrong with either of the cuts.