Gabriel Woods
Published by Gabriel Woods
Last Updated On: August 7, 2023

As a 7-year keto-carnivore dieter, I always say that prime rib is my undisputed king of large beef cuts.

Whether hosting a family dinner or cooking for my friends, I enjoy serving slices or rosy and juicy prime meat over a bed of fresh veggie salad.

Today, I'll go into detail about what prime rib is, how to cook it, and what you need to keep in mind when buying this cut.

Let's get started.

Quick Summary

  • Prime rib is derived from the 6 to 12-rib section of a cow.
  • Prime rib roasts have a greater intramuscular fat degree; hence they have a richer meaty profile than other cuts.
  • Roasting under direct heat is the best way to prepare prime rib to yield crispy and juicy slices.

What Is Prime Rib?

A top view image of prime rib meat with salt and other ingredients on the side

Prime rib is a cut from the cow's primal ribs. A cow has 13 ribs, and ribs 6 to 12 are sold as prime rib meat. And because it's composed of six ribs, it can weigh between 6-12 pounds.

The phrase "prime rib" refers to the meat cut rather than the grade. USDA Prime is the most expensive and has the greatest marbling.

Also Read: What Is Chicken Rib Meat?

What Does Prime Rib Taste Like?

A top view image of cooked prime rib meat with lime slices and knife beside

Prime rib tastes like steak but has a deep rich flavor typical of meat derived from the rib area. The flesh of a prime rib is soft and juicy because the muscles in this animal region are rarely utilized.

The considerable marbling and cap of fat contribute to a rich, flavorful medium-rare meat.

When you taste a perfectly cooked prime rib, you will understand why it is so expensive.

Although not all prime rib is cooked bone-in, the bone adds taste and moisture. The rib bones also simplify cooking the prime rib since they function as a natural slow roast rack.

Also Read: Prime Rib vs Ribeye Steak

The Texture of Prime Rib

As far as prime rib texture is concerned, it varies on how you prepare it and what your cooking methods are.

For example, some cooking methods, like boiling, do not generate the sear, which causes the texture of each mouthful to feel different on your tongue.

Similarly, broiling or slow-roasting will provide a different texture than grilling the primal rib.

What's the Best Way to Cook Prime Rib?

A close up image of roasted prime rib

The best way to cook prime rib is roasting to brown the crust and melt the tasty fat. Because this tender meat contains a good fat content, roasting is a great way to render it down while it cooks to keep the steak tender.

To whole-roast your prime rib:

  1. Begin by salting and spicing the roast and refrigerating it for at least six or 24 hours. The salt seasoning accentuates the meaty taste of the rib while dissolving some of the proteins, resulting in a buttery-tender roast [1]. The salt and air exposure dry up the exterior, allowing for greater browning and crispiness.
  2. Place the same cut in a roasting pan, then roast it at a low heat temperature of 200 degrees for 4 to 5 hours or until it registers an internal temperature of 110 degrees, then turn off the heat.
  3. Leave the rib in the turned-off oven until the carryover cooking raises its temperature to 125 degrees for more tender meat.
  4. If you want a crusty exterior, a brief stint under the broiler for 6-10 minutes will do the trick. The high temperature yields a crispy surface and juicy meat in the center.
  5. Before slicing, the prime rib should rest for 30 minutes to allow the meat to reabsorb all the delectable natural juices. Remove the bones from the flesh and slice against the grain.

Tips For Buying Good Prime Rib Meat

An image of a person buying meat at the butcher shop

When buying prime rib meat, consider these five key things.

1. Quality

For the highest quality, go for a USDA prime-grade roast.

This is the highest quality meat and the most costly one. I recommend it if you want a soft beef cut with the most marbling and richer taste.

2. Marbling Color

Select a rib roast with vibrant color and milky white fat. Avoid dark-colored meat with dull fat. Look for uniform fat distribution and a thick coating of fat around the ends as well.

I wouldn't recommend getting leaner cuts when shopping for prime rib meat.

3. Bone-In or Boneless

An image of hand holding a cooked bone-in prime rib meat

In my experience, a bone-in-standing rib roast has more juice and flavor, but a boneless roast is less expensive.

A typical standing rib roast is served with the bones in the flesh, so if you plan on displaying the roast on a table for all to see, get a bone-in roast.

I always prefer to ask the butcher to remove the flesh and tie it to the bone with a butcher's twine–this eases my preparation and carving steps after cooking it.

4. Size and Quantity

Determine the quantity and size of meat you will require for your guests. My rule of thumb is to go with one pound of boneless prime rib for one person. Each rib should weigh between two and three pounds for a standing roast.

Also, if possible, go with bigger primal ribs in terms of size.

"Bigger prime ribs cook well and absorb spice flavors better than smaller cuts which are prone to drying out and burning."
- Natasha Kravchuk, Executive Chef 

Related Articles:


Are Ribeye and Prime Rib the Same?

No, ribeye and prime rib are not the same, even though they come from the same primal cut. The main difference is in their cooking methods, texture and taste.

Which Is More Expensive, Prime Rib or Ribeye?

Prime rib is more expensive than ribeye because of the large 'eye' of meat at the center of it. This renders prime meat more juicy, tender, and marbled than bone-in ribeye steak.

Is Prime Beef Rib a Good Cut of Meat?

Yes, prime beef rib is a good cut of meat because of its generous marbling degree that enriches its meat flavor profile.

Get the Best Prime Cut for Perfect Cooking Results

The prime rib roast is one of the most luscious cuts of beef. When cooking prime rib, it forms an herbaceous crust that's finger-licking good and instantly melts in your mouth.

Over the years, I’ve realized that making the perfect prime rib begins with getting the right beef quality from an authentic meat company. After ordering from several of the leading meat deliveries, I kept coming back to ButcherBox.

This reliable meat delivery website stands out because it offers GMO and antibiotic-free meat, free-range organic poultry, and sustainably sourced seafood.


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