Prime Rib: What Is It?

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  June 4, 2022

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I love a good steak, but there’s something about a prime rib that gets my heart racing. The way the knife slides through the meat, the aroma, the tenderness, and of course, the taste.

All of this combined makes the prime rib one of the most luxurious meals you can have. But what exactly is it?

What is prime rib

What’s the Deal with Prime Rib?

What is Prime Rib?

Ah, prime rib. It’s the king of the beef world, the crème de la crème of steaks. But what makes it so special? Well, the USDA grades beef based on the amount of fat and the age of the cow. The more marbling, the higher the grade. Prime beef is usually from cows aged 9-30 months, and the intramuscular fat gives it that juicy, tender texture and flavor.

Bone-In or Boneless?

When it comes to prime rib, you can go bone-in or boneless. The bone adds flavor and moisture, plus it makes it easier to roast. But a boneless prime rib can be just as delicious if cooked right.

What’s the Best Way to Enjoy Prime Rib?

There’s no wrong way to enjoy prime rib, but here are a few ideas:

  • Slice it up and serve it with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Grill it up and top it with some sautéed mushrooms and onions
  • Roast it in the oven and serve with a side of roasted veggies
  • Make a prime rib sandwich with horseradish mayo and crispy onions

Cooking Prime Rib the Fun Way

The Basics

Cooking prime rib is a lot easier than it looks! All you need to do is give the meat some time to come to room temperature, season it generously, and then roast it in the oven. The key is to start with a high-heat sear and then reduce the temperature to finish cooking.

The Fun Part

Now comes the fun part:

  • Get your oven preheated to a sizzling 450 degrees. This will give you a nice, crispy crust on the outside of the roast.
  • Generously season the roast with salt, pepper, and any other herbs or spices you like.
  • Place the roast in a cooking dish and set it in the oven. Roast for about 30 minutes or until a golden-brown crust forms on all sides.
  • Reduce the oven temperature to 350 and let the roast cook for about 15 minutes per pound.
  • When the roast is done, remove it from the oven and tent it with foil. Allow it to rest for 15-20 minutes so the juices can reabsorb.
  • Slice and enjoy!

Tips and Tricks

To get the best results when cooking prime rib, here are some tips and tricks to keep in mind:

  • Let the meat come to room temperature before cooking. This will ensure that the center is no longer cold.
  • Be generous with the seasoning. You want plenty of flavor on the outside of the roast.
  • Give the roast plenty of time to cook. Low and slow is the way to go.
  • Don’t forget to let the roast rest before slicing. This will help the juices reabsorb into the meat.

What Does Prime Rib Taste Like?

Tender and Juicy

Prime rib is the king of steaks, and it’s easy to see why. This cut of beef is so tender, you could cut it with a butter knife. It’s so juicy, you’ll be licking your fingers for days. Plus, the marbling and fat cap give it a richness that’s hard to beat.

A Flavorful Experience

When it comes to flavor, prime rib is in a league of its own. It’s got a unique flavor that’s hard to describe, but easy to love. The combination of the fat and the marbling give it a unique taste that you won’t find in any other cut of beef.

A Price Tag Worth Paying

Prime rib may come with a hefty price tag, but it’s worth every penny. After all, you get what you pay for. Once you’ve tasted a perfectly cooked prime rib, you’ll understand why it’s so expensive.

The Bottom Line

In the end, prime rib is a cut of beef that’s worth the splurge. It’s tender, juicy, and full of flavor. Plus, it’s a great way to treat yourself to something special. So, if you’re looking for a steak that’s out of this world, prime rib is the way to go.

Where to Get the Juiciest Prime Rib

What is Prime Rib?

If you’re looking for the juiciest prime rib, you’re actually looking for a beef bone-in rib roast. But if you want the USDA-certified prime rib, you may have to do some searching. Prime rib is a special cut of meat that’s not always available in your local grocery store, and it can come with a hefty price tag.

Where to Find Prime Rib

If you’re looking for prime rib, your best bet is to:

  • Talk to the butcher at your local market
  • Visit a specialty meat shop
  • Order prime rib online from a reputable site

Selecting the Perfect Prime Rib

When selecting the perfect prime rib, you want to make sure it has the right balance of fat and meat. The back of the rib section (ribs 6-12) is usually leaner and is often called the “first cut,” “the loin,” or the “small end.” If the labeling isn’t clear, make sure to ask the butcher. As far as size goes, plan for about two people per rib.

The Juiciest Prime Rib

When it comes to the juiciest prime rib, you want to make sure you get the right balance of fat and meat. Don’t settle for a roast that’s mostly fat and not much meat. Ask your butcher for the best cuts, and plan for about two people per rib. With the right prime rib, you can enjoy the juiciest, most flavorful roast around.

What’s the Difference Between Prime Ribs and Ribeyes?

Grading Prime Ribs

It’s easy to get confused when it comes to prime ribs and ribeyes – after all, they sound pretty similar. But don’t worry, we’ve got your back! Here’s the deal:

  • Prime ribs are cuts of beef, not grades. So while a prime rib could be USDA graded prime, it could also be choice or select.
  • Ribeyes, on the other hand, are more straightforward. If it’s a prime ribeye, it’s USDA graded prime. If it’s a choice ribeye, it’s USDA graded choice.

How to Tell the Difference

If you’re still not sure how to tell the difference between prime ribs and ribeyes, don’t sweat it. Here’s a simple trick:

  • Prime ribs are usually served as a roast, while ribeyes are usually served as steaks.
  • Prime ribs are usually cooked with the bone in, while ribeyes are usually boneless.
  • Prime ribs are usually served with the fat cap on, while ribeyes are usually served without.

So there you have it – now you know the difference between prime ribs and ribeyes!

How to Store Your Prime Rib for Later

Storing Before Cooking

If you’re not ready to chow down on your prime rib just yet, you can keep it in the fridge for 3-5 days or the freezer for up to a year. Just make sure you wrap it up tight with no room for air to get in.

Storing After Cooking

If you’ve already cooked your prime rib, you can store it in the fridge for 5-7 days or in the freezer for up to 6 months. If you haven’t sliced it all up, it’s best to store it as a whole. If there’s any au jus left, pour it over the meat before wrapping to keep it nice and moist.

The Best Side Dishes for a Prime Rib Dinner

If you’re looking to make your prime rib dinner extra special, here are some of the best side dishes to pair it with:

  • Roasted potatoes
  • Creamed spinach
  • Sauteed mushrooms
  • Roasted carrots
  • Garlic mashed potatoes
  • Baked mac and cheese
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Baked sweet potatoes
  • Grilled asparagus
  • Baked beans
  • Cornbread
  • Sauteed green beans
  • Roasted Brussels sprouts
  • Baked squash
  • Roasted cauliflower
  • Grilled corn


Prime Rib Vs Ribeye

When it comes to prime rib vs ribeye, it’s easy to get confused. Prime rib is a large roasting joint, while ribeye is a heavily marbled slice of the longissimus dorsi muscle. Prime rib is cut from the primal rib section, while ribeye is cut from the most tender part of the rib, between the 6th and 12th rib. Prime rib isn’t necessarily USDA Prime beef, while ribeye is. Prime rib is great for large gatherings, while ribeye is perfect for a special dinner. So, if you’re looking for a large cut of beef, go with prime rib. But if you’re looking for something more tender and flavorful, ribeye is the way to go.

Prime Rib Vs Cote De Boeuf

Côte de Boeuf and Prime Rib are both delicious cuts of beef, but they are not the same. Prime Rib is a cut of beef taken from the rib section of the cow, while Côte de Boeuf is taken from the front of the back, between the loin and neck. Prime Rib is usually larger, with more fat marbling, while Côte de Boeuf is smaller, with a finer grain and more tender texture. So, if you’re looking for a juicy, flavourful cut of beef, Prime Rib is the way to go. But if you’re after something more delicate and tender, Côte de Boeuf is the perfect choice.


If you’re looking for a delicious cut of beef that’s sure to impress, prime rib is the way to go! It’s tender, juicy, and full of flavor, and with the right cooking techniques, you can have a perfect prime rib every time. Just remember to let it come to room temperature before cooking, and use low heat for the best results.

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.