Difference between Prime Rib and Ribeye Roast

By: | Updated: May-28, 2019

It can be quite confusing to differentiate between the many cuts of steak out there. We’ll help you out in this article by comparing two of the most popular cuts of steak, which are the prime rib and the ribeye. Even if they both come from the rib part of the cow, these choice cuts have quite a number of differences. Continue reading so you’ll know how to distinguish between the prime rib and the ribeye.

Summary Table

Prime RibRibeye Roast
Larger cutsSmaller cuts
Includes the ribeye and the boneDoes not contain the bone
Is softer in texture and more moist since it contains more fatIs sometimes a little tougher in texture as it contains less fat
More flavorful because of the bone and fatLess flavorful since it doesn’t contain the bone and has less fat
Costs more since it is a larger cut and has more marblingLess expensive because of the size of the cut and less marbling
Cooked at low temperature for a longer period of timeCooked at medium to high temperatures for a shorter period of time

Definitions

Prime rib
Prime rib

A prime rib is a large cut of steak which includes the ribeye and the bone. When cooked, it usually has a softer texture and is moist since it contains a good amount of fat. Moreover, this cut of steak gives out a rich flavor due to the bone and fat content. Hence, it tends to be more on the expensive side. Prime ribs are often cooked at low temperature.

Ribeye roast
Ribeye roast

A ribeye roast is a small cut of steak from the rib roast, not including the bone. Some refer to it plainly as the ribeye, while others call it a rib steak. It can be a little tough in terms of texture since it has less fat. When it comes to cost, the ribeye roast tends to be less expensive. It is usually cooked at medium to high temperatures.

Prime Rib vs Ribeye Roast

The main difference between prime rib and ribeye roast is in the cut of the meat and marbling. Though they are both cut from the rib of the cow, the prime rib is a larger cut of steak and it includes the bone and more fat content. Ribeye roast, on the other hand, is a smaller cut of steak. It does not include the bone and has less fat. So the most basic difference between the two cuts is that the prime rib contains the rib eye, but the ribeye does not have the marbled meat and bone that makes up the prime rib.

Prime rib is taken from the best part of the rib, generally in the middle, containing heavily marbled meat. This is why, when it is cooked, it has a softer texture and is more moist, rich, and flavorful. The ribeye is taken from a muscle part, which is a less prime part of the rib as it is exercised more often. Hence, when cooked, the meat tends to be a little tougher and less flavorful as it has less fat content.

When it comes to cost, the prime rib is generally more expensive due to the larger cut. Even when it comes to price per pound, the prime rib would cost more since it contains more flavor and marbling (fat content) compared to the ribeye.

When you’re planning on cooking these cuts yourself, best if you cook the prime rib on low temperature for a longer period of time, while the ribeye roast on medium to high temperatures for a shorter period of time.

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