Prime Rib vs Ribeye: Choices, Choices

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So many cuts, so little time! Here at Steak University, we know how confusing it can be to learn the differences between the many cuts of steak out there. That’s why we’re dedicated to making the learning process as simple as possible for you by comparing some of the most popular cuts of steak so you don’t have to. This brings us to prime rib vs ribeye: two amazingly delicious cuts that are must-haves on any steak menu.

What is the Difference Between Prime Rib and Ribeye Steak?

One of the things that we get asked often is, “Is prime rib and ribeye the same thing?”. Our answer? Yes and no. Unlike some of the other steak cuts we prepare, these cuts of steaks come from the same primal cut of beef. A ribeye is the section of the rib roast that is cut prior to being cooked, but let’s dig a little deeper to find out more about each cut.
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What is Prime Rib and Where Does It Come From?

Prime rib is also known as a standing rib roast. The roast comes from the same part of the animal that the ribeye does: the primal rib section. If you are at a restaurant and ask for the prime rib you will get a slice of meat from the cooked roast most likely. It is also important to note that although prime rib contains “prime” in its name this does not mean that it is USDA Prime. Be sure to double check the grading of your beef before you purchase it.
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What is Ribeye and Where Does it Come From?

You may see ribeye being referred to in several ways, like ribeye or rib eye and rib steak. Don’t get too hung up on the names; the ribeye has many names but they all generally refer to the same cut. As stated earlier, this cut comes from the rib area of the animal, hence the “rib” portion of its name. The cut is from the rib roast, aka prime rib. To be considered a ribeye the steak must be cut before the roast is cooked. The cuts are then sold as ribeye steaks. Prime rib cuts are larger than ribeye cuts since they include the ribeye and the bone.


Cost of Prime Roast vs Ribeye Steak

Now that you know the difference between the prime rib and ribeye, let’s take a look at pricing. Basically, this comes down to the type of cut, since ribeye and prime rib can be cut a few different ways. Ribeyes can be bone-in or boneless, with boneless cuts generally being more expensive per pound. Prime rib refers to the entire rib roast, which means one can cut desired portions from it. Prime rib will usually be more expensive if ordered at a restaurant.

Prime Rib Verses Ribeye: Cooking Differences

Is ribeye the same as prime rib for cooking’s sake? It can be, but it depends on the way in which the ribeye and prime rib are cut.

Ribeye is generally cooked like a steak. That means you can grill it or pan-fry it to your heart’s content.

A roast is different, though. You’ll want to make sure your roast is completely thawed and seasoned before attempting to roast it in the oven or grill it. Steak University offers easy instructions for roasting or grilling a prime rib roast.
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Wrapping it Up: Difference Between Prime Rib and Ribeye

We hope we’ve answered your questions about the difference between ribeye and prime rib. These particular cuts can be a bit confusing to understand because they’re often spoken about as two completely different cuts. In reality, they come from the same part of the cow. Ribeye gives you the best part of the cut in a smaller portion; the prime roast gives you a larger cut that contains the ribeye area as well. Both are incredible cuts you’ll want in your steak arsenal. Check out Chicago Steak Company’s Ribeyes and Bone-In Heart of Rib Roast.