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Prime Rib vs Ribeye

The prime rib cut and ribeye steak may sound very similar, but they do have a lot of differences between them. However, they are both cuts from the same portion of the beef carcass. We cut both these types of meat from the rib part of the cow, as you can understand from their names. Prime rib and ribeye are cooked differently, have a very different texture and also cost different. In the following paragraphs, let’s see which beef portion is the best for cooking, eating, and the pocket. In these sections, we will give you a detailed description of prime rib vs. ribeye. We will also answer the question, “Is prime rib and ribeye the same?”

Prime rib vs. ribeye – the major distinction

Which is the best piece of meat when prime rib vs. ribeye roast is the contenders to the competition? The answer depends upon the taste and preferences of the one who devours the meat. Prime rib vs. ribeye roast has been an ongoing debate amidst meat lovers around the world for many years now.

The only similarity between the two types of meat cut from a beef carcass is this – We carve them out from the same portion of the animal’s carcass. Otherwise, they are very different from each other. When you order ribeye steak at a restaurant, what you will get is a meat cut out of the rib before being cooked separately and served, whereas the prime rib is a meat cut that is made out of the rib, after the meat has undergone the cooking process.

Some more differences between prime rib and ribeye

Prime rib is a type of meat cut that we get when we carve out the same from the rib portion. This cut usually contains a large bone. On the other hand, a ribeye steak is a single slice of steak. We cut this type of meat from the same rib portion, but it is usually boneless. Occasionally, it has a small bone attached to it.

If you want a rich, good quality and proper prime rib, you need to cut the meat between the 6th and 12th rib. This is because this is the portion of meat where the meat is juicy, rich and flavorful. We can carve out the slices of meat from the prime rib to prepare ribeye steaks. This is one of the major differences between prime rib and ribeye steak.

Some of the other differences between a prime rib and ribeye stake are the following- how we cook them, what do they taste like, how is their texture, what kind of marbling they have and many more.

Taste and texture of prime rib and ribeye steak

While making a comparison of prime rib vs. ribeye steak, the difference is evident in the texture and taste of these two cuts. This is because when we consider ribeye roast vs. prime rib, we cannot simply answer the question without thinking about the texture and taste of the meat.

Prime rib is a big chunk of meat with large bones, whereas ribeye steak is a slice of the prime rib. There is not much marbling on the ribeye steaks. This is because we usually cut them from the lesser prime parts. On the contrary, we cut the prime rib steak from the part where there is a lot of fat content and muscle strength. This might answer the question, “is prime rib and ribeye the same?”

From the above it is very clear that a prime rib will have a ribeye steak whereas a ribeye steak will never have prime rib in it. As far as taste and texture are concerned, the prime rib has a soft and moist texture. The ribeye steak is tougher in texture.

This difference in texture is because of the fact that, the prime rib portion has a lot of fat content and it also has a bone in the piece of meat. In comparison, the ribeye is a portion of a cow that has a lot of muscle movements making it quite tough in texture. While analyzing ribeye roast vs. prime rib, we cannot deny the fact that if there is a completion in the texture, all our votes would be in favor of the prime rib.

Difference in the cost between a ribeye steak and prime rib

There is yet another major difference between prime rib and ribeye steak, which involves the meat’s pricing structure. If we consider the costing by looking at the size of the meat, then it would only be logical to say that the prime rib is pricier than the ribeye steak. However, prime costs more than a ribeye. This is not just because of the bigger portion size but also because of its increased flavor and taste. If we do an analysis of prime rib vs. ribeye regarding price, it is cost-friendly to buy a ribeye steak.

How to cook a ribeye steak

Another point of discussion in the prime rib vs. ribeye debate is the major way they differ from each other, in terms of the cooking process and timing of cooking. Ribeye steak, being the smaller of the two types of steaks, takes less time to cook when compared to the big chunk of meat like a prime rib. One of the efficient and best ways to cook a ribeye steak is by reverse searing. This is done by first cooking the meat in the oven and then searing the ribeye steak in a skillet.

How to cook a prime rib

The prime rib is a little difficult to cook because it is a big portion of meat and would need a lot of cooking and preparation time. Prime rib is cooked by roasting at a lower temperature than the one used for ribeye steak because it would take a lot of time to cook and a higher temperature could burn the steak.


From the above discussions on prime rib vs. ribeye, it is safe to say that they are very different from each other because of the taste, texture, cost, cooking time and even flavor. Next time, when you see these cuts of meats at the local butcher shop, we are sure you will know the difference, and buy the right kind of meat that you have in mind.