Is Prime Rib The Same As Ribeye?

Is Prime Rib The Same As Ribeye

Whilst prime rib and ribeye sound incredibly similar, these are two entirely different cuts of meat.

In fact, the only similarity that these two cuts have is that they derive from somewhere close to the ribs of the animal.

Ribeye and prime rib also taste entirely different. Therefore, there are notable differences in how both cuts should be prepared, cooked and served.

If you want to know about the difference between these two cuts then continue reading!

What Is Ribeye?

Ribeye steak has adopted many names. Whilst some call it ribeye and some refer to it as rib steak, the cut derives from the rib area of the animal. A ribeye is typically a cut of beef steak that has been extracted from the rib roast. The rib bone is removed prior to cooking.

What Is Prime Rib?

Prime rib derives from the exact same section of the cow. However, the prime rib is only extracted from the rib roast after it has been cooked.

Prime rib is usually larger than ribeye as the vast majority will include the bone as well as the steak itself.

What Is The Difference Between Ribeye And Prime Rib?

Whilst both cuts derive from the rib of a cow, a prime rib is typically far larger and will include a bone. Whereas, a ribeye has the bone completely removed.

Prime rib is only taken from the finest part of the animal’s rib which is often situated in the middle of the rib bones.

This area of meat tends to have a beautifully marbled appearance that’s flavorsome. A prime cut can be sliced into smaller ribeye steaks after it has been extracted from the animal.

The key difference is that ribeye is not a huge chunk of meat. It is a cut of steak that is derived from the same area but in far smaller quantities.

What Is The Difference In Texture?

The difference in texture is determined by the individual cooking methods that are used for both cuts.

However, prior to cooking, the main difference is that prime ribs will contain large quantities of ribeyes including bones as well as any surrounding muscle or fat.

The fat usually moistened the meat more when compared to a standard ribeye steak. If a ribeye has been directly cut from the less prime part of the rib and not from the rib roast, it will be far tougher.

This often occurs because the rib eye has been cut from a part of the cow that was exercised more.

What Is The Difference In Flavor?

Both cuts of meat have a heightened beef-flavor due to their location along the rib of the animal itself.

However, prime rib is undoubtedly more flavorsome than ribeye as it contains a higher quantity of fat. This fat also tends to be distinctly marbled which gives the prime rib a far richer flavor.

However, a seasoned ribeye steak can still be notably flavorsome when it is cooked properly.

What Is The Price Difference?

Because the prime ribs are significantly larger than the ribeye steaks, they cost far more per pound of meat. They also tend to cost more due to the fact that prime ribs contain more marbling.

The vast majority of grocery stores will only sell ribeyes as opposed to larger ribs and thus, you will need to visit a butcher shop in order to purchase a prime rib.

You will also be able to sample a prime rib at most steakhouse restaurants and these are surprisingly often cheaper than a ribeye because it is easier to prepare a larger cut of meat.

What Are The Differences In Cooking Methods?

There are numerous differences between cooking ribeye steaks and prime ribs. Prime ribs are usually cooked as roasts which requires a longer cooking time at a lower temperature.

Conversely, ribeyes are cooked at medium-high temperatures for short periods of time. Ribeyes are perfect for grilling as they cook well under higher heats that sear the beef correctly.

The best way to cook a prime rib roast is to slowly bake it in an oven. The bones contained also make the perfect roasting rack and thus, you should place your prime ribs bone side down in order to roast them with ease and perfection.


To conclude, the main difference between ribeye and prime rib cuts is that prime cuts contain far more fat and are far larger than ribeye steaks.

In short, a prime rib is a larger cut that includes many ribeye steaks whereas a ribeye is a cut that has been extracted directly from the roast.

Prime rib cuts also include a bone whereas most ribeyes will have the bone removed.

In order to cook any kind of meat to perfection, you should ensure that you are seasoning it thoroughly and cooking it at the right temperature.

Prime rib cuts will require slow cooking, and you should check on your cut regularly during the cooking process.

In contrast, rib eye steaks can be cooked within a short period of time, however, you may need to season them more thoroughly in order to bring out their innate flavor.

Prime rib cuts tend to provide more flavor naturally as they contain marbled fat that inherently causes a buttery flavor and soft texture to the meat.

Irrespective of whether you want to cook your favorite cuts yourself or you want to sample the highest quality beef at a restaurant, you can now be confident in your choices.

Annie Plummer
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