Prime Rib Vs Ribeye: Key Differences

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Prime Rib Vs Ribeye



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Some people have sworn by their cast iron that ribeye tastes better than prime rib, whereas others still relish the big slab of prime rib. 

Some say they are different portions of the same steak, while others claim they are two different cuts of steak altogether. 

To settle this debate once and for all, we have created an in-depth and insightful guide that should help you decide which cut of steak you should be ordering next time you find yourself at the steakhouse.

Therefore, we’ll look at their most significant difference in taste, texture, how they are cooked, and where they’re gotten from.

Hopefully, this will give you enough info to fuel your decision. 

Prime Rib Vs Ribeye

Prime rib is a popular roast beef dish from the beef rib primal cut and is renowned for its tenderness.

The steak is usually roasted with the bone and paired with sauces made from natural juices.

Although not every prime rib dish is served with the bone, leaving it during cooking provides more flavor and moisture.

This prime beef is tender, moist, and flavorful because the intramuscular fat, or marbling, contributes to the flavor and moisture of the meat. 

On the other hand, Ribeye steak is a boneless cut that is slightly oval-shaped or a rounded-off rectangle. However, if a bone is attached, that’s a rib steak.

They are also deep red but with an uneven pattern of marbling and some areas where the fat is so deeply entrenched that it’s visible even to the naked eye.

And if you are lucky enough, your butcher might give you a rib eye with the rib cap attached—a very flavorful and tender strip of meat separated from its main section by a wedge of fat.

No doubt the Ribeye steak comes from a cow’s rib section but consists of three different muscle cuts:

First is the Longissimus Dorsi. This is the actual “eye” of the ribeye, and it’s a well-marbled, circular cut surrounded by fat, which sits within two other muscles that make up the rib steak.

Secondly is the Spinalis, which is the rib crown or ribeye cap. This muscle is connected to the eye but separated by a layer of fat.

And lastly, the complexus. Being the third muscle attached to the longissimus dorsi (eye), it completes the muscle seen as rib-eye steak.

Additionally, a ribeye weighs anywhere from 10 ounces and is usually at least 1.5 to 2 inches thick. They are also a famous cut of meat known by all butchers. 

In terms of flavor, since Prime rib and ribeye steak comes from the same primal cut of beef, the difference in their flavors might not be noticeable.

But I believe it boils down to how they’re cooked.

The prime ribs are typically sliced into roasts and cooked at low temperatures for long periods.

Most people prefer to roast prime rib roasts slowly in a low oven. The curved bones of the roast create natural “racks,” making it easy to cook this cut by placing it bone side down in a pan and letting it bake until done.

Meanwhile, ribeyes are cooked at medium to high temperatures for short amounts of time, like pan searing or grilling.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s The Most Flavorful Cut Of Steak?

Every steak cut has its unique flavor, but the ribeye is the most flavorful cut.

They are the epitome of flavors. And that’s because of its deep marbling pattern, which means it’s full of fat—but that fat helps ensure that this steak stays juicy and tender.

What Is A Prime Rib Called At The Grocery Store?

While you must have been familiar with prime rib roast, it can be variously labeled as Rib Roast or standing rib roast in stores.

So when you stumble across these names, know it’s the same prime rib steak you know.

And it’s found in the meat case and is available as boneless cuts with bones intact.

How Many Ribeyes Are In A Cow?

The average cow produces 14 rib-eye steaks, 12 roasts, five sirloin steaks, 14 t-bones, five sirloin tip steaks, and approximately 6 round steaks.

In addition, there are also flank steak, short ribs, stew meat, brisket, and up to 75# of ground beef.

What’s The Most Expensive Steak?

We all have our favorite cuts of steak—the ones we crave when we’re hungry and can’t wait to get home to cook. But what’s the most expensive kind of steak? We did some research and found out it is not even the rib eye or the tenderloin, nor is it the famous porterhouse.

It is no other, but the Wagyu tomahawk ofter called the Papi Steak.

The Wagyu is a type of beef from Japan renowned for its marbleized, fatty composition. The price tag ranges from $1,000 upward and is mainly served in expensive restaurants.

According to our information, the cattle feed on grasses and grains that farmers have carefully prepared to ensure the best possible yield.

What Is The Cheapest Cut Of Steak?

If you’re on a budget and want to buy a relatively cheap steak that is still enjoyable, here are your go-tos: 

  • Strip steak.
  • Flat iron steak
  • Sirloin steak or sirloin cap
  • Flank steak
  • Boneless short rib
  • Chuck eye steaks
  • Pork chops


My final thought about the prime rib vs ribeye is that there’s not much difference. 

Frankly, most differences come down to individual subjective tastes and cooking methods. 

I’ve noticed that the ribeye tends to have a more buttery, caramelized flavor, while prime rib tends to be slightly sweeter with a touch more depth of flavor. 

The two are understandably popular among different crowds. It doesn’t matter, so long as you enjoy what you’re eating!


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