As the name suggests, prime rib is a premium quality cut of beef and makes an excellent holiday centerpiece for that special lunch or dinner to be shared with family and friends.
So, if you are wondering where the prime rib comes from and how to make it your festive masterpiece, we are going to shed some light on the topic for you.
What Cut of the Cow Is Prime Rib?
The prime rib is, also known as the standing rib roast, comes from the rib section of the cow.
Not all thirteen ribs make up the prime rib, though. The ribs are cut into three popular cuts, which are often prepared very differently.
The first five ribs are commonly known as chuck, and the last rib is the loin.
The middle seven ribs are where your prime rib can be found. It is a massive cut that can weigh up to twenty-five pounds.
The single butcher’s cut is, therefore, often cut into two pieces known as the first and the second cut.
The Difference Between the First Cut and the Second Cut
The first cut is considered the better half of the prime rib roast and is usually the more expensive cut of the two.
It has less connective tissue and is more tender. It is also known as the small end or loin end.
This by no means that the second cut is shoddy in quality. Also, known as the large end or chuck end, it can be juicy and tasty if roasted slow to the perfect temperature.
Why Is Prime Rib Referred to as Prime?
The prime rib is referred to as “prime” because it comes from the primal rib section of the cow and is categorized as one of the nine primal cuts of beef.
It is important to note that because prime rib has the word prime in its name, it does not imply that it is USDA Prime Beef.
You will have to verify this when buying it from your local butchery or supermarket.
Prime grade prime rib is usually more expensive because it comes with dense, evenly spread marbling.
The alternative is a choice grade which is cheaper but has less marbling.
Prime Rib vs. Rib Roast vs. Ribeye Steak
To make things a little bit more confusing, the prime rib is normally roasted low and slow with the bone in, and because of this, it resembles the meat as standing when being roasted, smoked, or grilled with the bone-in.
When the bone is removed, it can be cooked similarly but is more commonly known as just rib roast.
It can also be purchased bone-in or boneless but cut before it is cooked and sold as steak.
This is when it is most often referred to as a ribeye steak. Ribeye steak is best prepared, either pan-fried or grilled.
What Does Prime Rib Cost?
Now that we know which part of the cow the prime rib comes from – let us explore how what determines the price per pound.
It comes down to two main factors, how the meat is cut and where you buy it from.
Prime grade boneless prime rib will be more expensive than bone-in per pound.
This is because you get more meat and also because this takes more time for the butcher to prepare.
While it may not always be the case, specialty stores and butchers will generally be more expensive because they often differentiate themselves based on quality.
Buying prime rib at a restaurant will undoubtedly be the most expensive.
How Much Prime Rib Should You Buy?
This could be the trickiest question of the lot. When you are buying such a delicate, flavorful piece of meat for family and friends, waiting to devour it – too much is never enough must cross your mind.
But generally, one pound of bone-in prime rib per adult and half a pound per kid should make for a generous serving.
If you opt to go boneless, then half a pound per adult with hearty sides should do the trick.
How To Cook Your Prime Rib?
Your prime rib depending on the number of people you are catering for, can range anywhere from four pounds to fourteen pounds.
Because it is such a large cut of meat, it should be seasoned well with salt.
The meat must then be left in the refrigerator uncovered overnight. This will allow the salt to penetrate the meat. Before roasting the meat, additional herbs and spices can be added. For the garlic lover, you can make tiny slits in the meat to add fresh slivers of garlic.
For the best results, the meat must be cooked low and slow. At 225 degrees F, your standing rib roast will need about 20 to 35 minutes per pound.
Once the meat reaches 125 degrees F to 140 degrees F, it should be taken out of the oven and left to rest for a minimum of 30 minutes.
Just before serving your roast, it should be put back into the oven at 550 degrees F for a maximum of eight minutes to get a good sear on the outside.
You can slice it immediately after it comes out of the oven because it had already had time to rest.
Hopefully, this clears up where the prime rib comes from and why other cuts from the same part of the cow are named and prepared differently.
The prime rib is a primal cut of beef that is found between the 6th and 12th rib of the cow.
It is dense in marbling which makes it flavorful and tender when cooked to perfection.
The main difference between a standing roast and a rib roast is the removal of the bones on the latter for easier carving.
The word “prime” does not indicate its USDA Prime Grading, and this must always still be verified if the highest quality is what you are vying for.
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- What Part of the Cow is Ribeye
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I have been smoking and grilling meat from an early age and enjoy sharing my knowledge and expertise through the hundreds of articles I have written about BBQ. I hope to make everyone’s BBQ journey that little bit easier.