Prime Rib Vs Ribeye – Which Is Better?

Many people are interested to know the differences between ribeye and prime rib. Some people rarely like medium rare prime rib, while others like cast-iron ribeye steak. The fact about them is that both come from the same muscle of a cow. The key difference between prime rib and ribeye is how they are butchered, graded, and cooked.


Prime rib and ribeye are two cuts of beef with confusingly similar names. Though both of these cuts of meat came from the same carcass, the rib, their appearance, taste, and preparation differ significantly. Many points differentiate these cuts, and I am here to tell you all about them. Let’s look and find out which is best for you.

What Is A Prime Rib steak?

Prime rib is two things at the same time. First, it is a beef cut, and second, the meat preparation involves slow roasting unless it becomes crispy on the outside. Prime rib’s name has come from the grading of USDA.

The grading is based on the marbling of the animal that relates to its flavor, juiciness, and tenderness. The same cut would be referred to as a Standing Rib Roast if it were a graded Choice.

The next part of the name is because it has contact with ribs. It is a large roast that consists of seven bones and an eye of muscle weighing 14-20 pounds.

To make it more marketable and cost-effective to retail consumers who feed a smaller group than restaurants, the roast is often divided into two parts.

  • The First Cut is an expensive, smaller half extended between the 10th and 12th ribs. It has a better appearance and is uniform when sliced.
  • The Second Cut is a more significant half of the prime rib extended between the 6th and 9th ribs. It is a cheaper half but contains more fat and connective tissues.

What Is A Ribeye Steak?

There are two types of ribeye steak: boneless or bone-in, where a piece of rib bone remains in the steak. Depending on how far the bone extends beyond the tip of the muscle or if it is trimmed more or less flush with the meat, the bone may extend inches beyond information.


Bone in rib-eye, usually known as rib steak. The bone will add moisture and flavor. However, it can be challenging to cook steak. The meat close to the ribs cooks more slowly, so when it reaches medium rare, the other parts might be near to medium rare. Boneless ribeye steaks are fortunately much the norm.

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Types Of Rib-eye Steak

A ribeye steak has many variations in how it is cut and with different lengths of bone connected. These trims will then get several nicknames and become confusing. They are still ribeye steaks, regardless of what may be written on the packaging or the menu.

There are the following types of Ribeye Steak:

  • Ribeye Cap – It is a widespread exterior muscle on the ribeye bank that can sometimes be sold as an individual. 
  • Beauty Steak – An ornate name for ribeye
  • Scotch Filet – A fat-capped trimmed bone rib-eye
  • Market Steak – Just Another name for ribeye
  • Spencer Steak – It is an amazingly trimmed steak, including the central muscle of the ribeye. 
  • Beef Rib Steak – Another name for bone-in ribeye
  • Delmonico Steak is a different cut from the short loin, but they are sometimes misnamed Delmonico.
  • Tomahawk Ribeye – A thick-cut ribeye attached to the long, frenched rib.
  • Cowboy Steak – A thick-cut ribeye attached to the short, frenched rib. 
  • Saratoga Steak – Thickly trimmed center-cut ribeye

Prime Rib Vs Ribeye Steak: What’s The Difference

The two most famous preparations of beef came from the same cut. It does not matter whether you like roasted prime rib or grilled ribeye. You will eat meat from the same part. 

The ribeye and prime ribs get trimmed from the needed rib primal, which is connected to short ribs and beef ribs. A prime rib and ribeye have the same muscle running along the length. That’s called the longissimus dorsi.

The most significant difference between both of them is how they are cut. Ribeyes are cut into steaks, while the prime rib is left as a roast with ribs. A fatty slice of prime rib and ribeye steak are the same, just cooked differently.

Prime Rib Vs Ribeye Location: What Part Of Crow

Prime rib of beef comes from the top part of the rib, between the spine and the bottom plate? The piece is divided from the chuck between the 5th and 6th ribs and extended to the 12th rib, where it meets the loin. 

Prime Rib Vs Ribeye: Flavor And Texture

Both of these cuts have the same texture and flavor while cooking. Only difference is the USDA grade of beef and their preparation. The higher the grade, the higher fat it has, which means the cut will be favorable and tender. The prime rib should only be prime beef, while ribeyes may be choice graded or selected.

USDA GradingDescription
PrimeReasonably abundant marbling from well-nourished young cattle
ChoiceReasonable marbling from top-quality cattle
SelectSlight marbling from leaner meat cattle
UngradedMany small boutique cattle either cannot be uninterested in paying to get graded beef or cannot afford it. That beef is best in quality, but still, most of the best beef in the country is ungraded.  

Prime Rib Or Ribeye: Which Is More Expensive?

There is no limit to what you can eat. You can buy an individual rib-eye steak which means you can purchase it by spending less money as compared to prime rib. At the same time, a single piece of prime rib is much more expensive and is more if you want to cook it for a few people. 

The price of a ribeye may be less than or more than the prime rib, depending upon the grade. The market demand for ribeyes is much greater than the prime rib. Therefore, restaurants charge more money for it. So, you will have to purchase more than you need, while in the case of ribeyes, you can handle it. 

Prime Rib Vs Ribeye Cost

The price of the select ribeye steak is usually more than the prime ribeye steak. The cut is also essential, such as whether you want a bone-in steak like a Cowboy ribeye or a highly trimmed Spencer steak. In contrast, the per pound cost of prime rib alters with the marketplaces and should be prime grade. 

It is expected that the rates will increase during vacations as the demand rises or if severe cow disease spreads. The prime ribs are divided into two cuts: the first cut is more expensive than the second one. 

Cut Of SteakRetail(Per Pound)Restaurant(Per Ounce)
American Wagyu Ribeye$55-$90$115
Bone-in Choice Ribeye Roast $18-$20$35
Prime Dry-aged Ribeye$25-$60$90
Bone-in Prime Rib$30-$35$53
Choice Ribeye$16-$20$60
Select Ribeye$12-$16$40

Prime Rib Vs Ribeye Taste

As a friend, I prefer that ribeye cooked in a cast-iron pan or on a hot grill tastes much better than prime rib. It has come to a simple scientific phenomenon called Maillard Reaction. Beef jus and horseradish are often served with prime rib because they need a little flavor boost. 

When meat comes into direct contact with a hot pan or grill, amino acids and sugars caramelize, resulting in a flavorful brown exterior. A ribeye gives a much better taste as it has a more browned surface.


As you know, both the ribeye and prime ribs come from the same cut of beef, but the difference in their flavor is due to their different way of cooking. Prime ribs are firstly seared, then roasted slowly over low heat to make them tender, while ribeyes are grilled on high heat so that they become charred. 

Cooking prime rib vs ribeye is almost similar. Before cooking the bone-in prime rib roast, rub your prime rib with a dry rub. As shown above, cook the bone-in ribeye roast in the oven or grill.

The biggest difference between the ribeye and prime ribs is that they are charred on high heat so they can become crispy, while the prime ribs are seared on low heat so they can become tender. They only differ in taste as the cooking methods for both are different. Now, it depends upon your needs.

Because you use so much butter at steakhouses, your steak probably tastes better. Having compound butter is a bonus! Dishes not topped with butter are likely drizzled with clarified butter to give the steak a rich flavor and a glossy sheen.

Final Words

Ultimately, both prime rib and ribeye are cut from the same primal cut of beef. While each is delicious in its own right, they can be thoroughly enjoyed in recipes that take advantage of their qualities. I know you are still wondering about one crucial question: Which tastes better? Well, it depends on the person’s choice.

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