Skip to Content

Prime Rib v Rib Eye

Prime Rib v Rib Eye

Ah, the age-old debate: Prime RibRib Eye. Both are delicious, juicy cuts of beef steak that have become a regular staple in many households; especially in the past few years when families had to stay home during the holiday’s. But which one is better?

Here’s a quick rundown on the differences between prime rib and ribeye.

Prime rib in a white dish on the stove.

Is Ribeye Roast The Same As Prime Rib

Yes and no. Both come from the same primal cut of beef (rib primal), but they are cut and prepared differently.

Prime rib, also called a standing rib roast, is a large roast comprised of several “steaks” roasted as one piece. When sliced the interior is soft and supple as it hasn’t been touched by direct heat. 

Prime rib is a cut of beef cut from the roast at the front end of the cow. It’s a larger cut than rib eye and includes more fat marbling throughout the meat, giving it an extra juicy flavor. 

Ribeye is a steak sliced from the prime rib roast. It’s cut from the most tender part of the roast, between the 6th and 12th rib, and cooked like a traditional steak. While soft in the middle, the majority of the exterior has a wonderful crust as it receives direct heat.

The largest difference between the two comes into play with the final texture.

Raw prime rib on a black cutting board surrouned by garlic, black pepper, butter, salt and rosemary.

Prime Rib

Prime rib is often seen as a symbol of luxury; the creme de la creme if you will. (Check out how to buy Prime Rib For Sale). This delicious cut of beef is juicy, flavorful, and melts in your mouth when properly prepared. It is no surprise, then, that prime rib is often a featured dish on Christmas dinner menus and at other special occasions.

Recipes

Here are our favorite recipes for standing rib roast:

5-Star Rated Prime Rib Recipe (Oven)
Sous Vide Prime Rib
Smoked Prime Rib

Up close shot of sliced sous vide prime rib, on a black cutting board, with a side of au jus in a white glass cup.

While prime rib recipes may seem complicated  to prepare, the truth is that it is actually quite simple. With a little bit of patience and the right techniques, you can easily achieve restaurant-quality results at home.

The key is to start with a high-quality piece of meat and cook it slowly and evenly. When done right, prime rib is an unforgettable dish that is sure to impress your guests. Plus, you can use leftovers to make a Prime Rib Sandwich.

When shopping, make sure to grab a roast RATED “USDA PRIME”. The term “prime rib” doesn’t actually refer to the grade, just the cut. We highly recommend foregoing the choice and select grades. Going with a “Prime” rated roast makes a massive difference in the “melt in your melt” texture prime rib is known for.

Close up of a boneless prime rib roast.

Prime rib can be prepared in many different ways, including roasted in the oven, grilling, smoking or even preparing via Sous Vide. When cooking prime rib, it is important to cook it slowly to preserve the juiciness of the meat and stick to the Temperature Chart for Prime Rib

Additional Resources

Here are a few more Prime Rib recipes and resources to check out:

Prime Rib Sauce
What To Serve With Prime Rib
How To Reheat Prime Rib
Prime Rib Au Jus
Prime Rib Gravy
Prime Rib Rub
Horseradish Sauce for Prime Rib
Horseradish Aioli

rare ribeye steak

Ribeye

Ribeye steaks are cut from the center of the prime rib roast therefore has mirroring flavor and tenderness when cooked correctly.

Ribeye steaks are typically cooked at a higher temperature and require less time to cook than prime rib, making them the preferred choice for weekend cookouts or holiday meals.

Rare ribeye on a baking sheet.

Prime Ribeye

As with prime rib, grabbing a “USDA prime ribeye” is the superior choice if your wallet can swing it. Ribeye, however is one cut of beef we do purchase choice rated steaks of; the large amount of marbling still allows for a soft and tender bite.

One of our favorite ways to prepare ribeye is Sous Vide Ribeye.

Sous Vide Ribeye Steak in a cast iron pan next to small potatoes and green beans.

Cost Comparison

You will shell out a lot more dough to purchase a prime rib roast, however you’ll pay less per pound as you’re buying a lot of beef. 

Ribeye, on the other hand, costs more per pound, however you’re buying a much smaller slice of beef therefore spending less out of pocket.

Prime Rib Vs Rib Eye

Both prime rib and ribeye make excellent choices for any meal, but when it comes to deciding which one is better, there’s no definite answer. It all depends on your taste preferences and budget.

If you’re hosting a special occasion or looking for something extra juicy and flavorful, then go with the prime rib. However, if you’re looking for something that can be cooked quickly during a weekday dinner rush, then opt for the ribeye.

You could always grab a beautiful tomahawk ribeye! Look at that marbling.

Raw tomahawk steak.

Either way, you can’t go wrong with either of these delicious cuts of beef!

Now you know the difference between prime rib vs. rib eye! Leave a comment below if you have any questions before making a decision or cooking! We are happy to help to ensure your holiday meal is a success!