Prime Rib Vs Ribeye – What’s the difference?

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Mr. Steak cooking prime rib, as featured on the best grilling blog
Mr. Steak breaks it down!

Mr. Steak loves his USDA Prime ribeye steaks. Prime ribeye steaks are one of the most flavorful and juicy cuts of steak and offer a rewarding meal every time. Mr. Steak also loves and often cooks—for large gatherings of friends—prime rib roasts. So what’s the difference between a prime rib and ribeye steak? And which is better? We asked Mr. Steak to answer all of your burning questions for our Prime Rib Vs. Ribeye Grill School Special.

Is Prime Rib The Same As Ribeye?

Yes and no. Prime ribs and ribeye steaks are taken from the exact same primal cut of beef. They both come from a section of the cow called the “primal rib section,” one of the nine primal cuts of beef, but they are cut and prepared differently.

Prime Rib – How is it cut & cooked?

The prime rib, also called a standing rib roast, is one large section of up to seven ribs from the primal rib section. It is roasted whole in the oven, and then after it is cooked, individual slices are cut and served. Here is Mr. Steak’s classic Prime Rib recipe!

Classic Roasted Prime Rib

Ribeye – How is it cut & cooked?

A ribeye steak is cut from the same primal rib section as the prime rib into individual slices before cooking, and then trimmed. One prime rib can be cut into seven ribeye steaks! Unlike a prime rib, ribeye steak is not roasted slowly in the oven. The best way to cook a ribeye steak is to grill it on high heat, preferably using the Mr. Steak infrared grill.

Our Mr. Steak ribeye steaks are USDA Prime and USDA Choice, and come in all shapes and sizes, from 12oz and 16oz boneless ribeyes, to 20oz bone-in ribeyes, to our epic 32oz cowboy ribeye. Mr. Steak’s ribeye steaks are also included in our various curated steak boxes including our Monster Cuts Box, Big Boy’s Bone-In Box, Family Favorites, Grill Master’s and Super Starter Box.

Mr. Steak’s 20oz Prime Bone-in Ribeye Steak

How are prime ribs and ribeyes graded?

It is important to understand that a “prime rib” does not necessarily mean that the meat is USDA graded prime beef. “prime rib” refers to the cut, not the grade. So a “prime rib” may be USDA graded prime, choice or select.

Ribeye steaks are more straightforward. A prime ribeye steak is USDA graded prime. A choice ribeye steak is USDA graded choice. Learn all about USDA grading from Mr. Steak here.

Prime Rib Vs. Ribeye – What About Flavor?

Since prime ribs and ribeye steaks come from the same primal cut of beef, the difference in their flavors comes from the way they are cooked. Prime ribs are seared and then roasted slowly under low heat, making them more tender, while ribeyes are grilled quickly over high heat, making them more charred.

Prime Rib vs Ribeye – What Else Do I need to know?

The ribeye cut also contains the incredibly delicious “rib cap,” or Spinalis Dorsi, which Mr. Steak uses for his famous Mr. Steak’s Steak Dog, which is a Chicago style hot dog that substitutes a hot dog for the rib cap and raw onions for sauteed onions.

Meat Grades: Prime vs Choice

The USDA determines this primarily based on marbling, but there are two factors they use to do this: quality grades for tenderness, juiciness, and flavor; and yield grades for the amount of usable lean meat on the carcass.

Prime beef is produced from young, well-fed beef cattle. It has abundant marbling (the amount of fat interspersed with lean meat), and is generally sold in restaurants and hotels. Prime roasts and steaks are excellent for dry-heat cooking such as broiling, roasting, or grilling.

Choice beef is high quality but has less marbling than Prime. Choice roasts and steaks from the loin and rib will be very tender, juicy, and flavorful and are suited for dry-heat cooking. Many of the less tender cuts can also be cooked with dry heat if not overcooked. Such cuts will be most tender if braised, roasted or simmered with a small amount of liquid in a tightly covered pan.

Read More About Meat Grades

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