The Difference Between Prime Rib and Ribeye

Oct 6, 2017 | Blog

The difference between prime rib and ribeye will not be like night and day for the most part. At the surface, they both appear similar because they actually come from the same cut of beef. So, it’s not always easy to cite the difference between the two of them, unless you are a butcher by trade. Of course, you may know the price difference between them because it has a direct impact on your wallet. Other than that, most people are strangers to the difference between prime rib and ribeye. If you are ready to spot the difference, then stay glued. There’s a whole bunch of information worth sharing as I am about to unveil the difference between prime rib and ribeye.


As the name suggests, this cut is from the rib area of the creature. Therefore, you will find the word ‘rib’ on the name itself. Basically, this cut of beef does not include the rib bone. The bone is generally removed before boil so that we are left with a boneless version of the meat. That being said, it can be cooked with the bone too, but the inclusion of bone will prolong the cooking process. So, boneless ribeye steaks are the usual norm. It’s often regarded as the crown jewel of the meat steaks. If cooked right, you will have a flavorful brown exterior and a tender and juicy interior.

Image from

Prime Rib

Well, the prime rib stays in the same area where ribeye is. Yes, we are talking about the rib area. So, they may be seen as brothers from the same mother, but they may not always taste the same. Depending on the cooking method, the difference between the two can be extreme. Pound for pound, prime rib is a cut above ribeye because it’s larger in size. Basically, prime rib will include the ribeye and usually the bone too. It’s a cut from the rib roast after it’s been cooked and ribeye is a cut from the rib area before cooking.

Prime Rib vs Ribeye Cost

The price difference between the two actually guns down to the size of the meat. For instance, ribeye can be acquired with or without the bone. Goes without saying, boneless cuts will cost you more. On the other hand, prime rib includes the full roast. So, it’s bound to carry more weight than ribeye cuts. A larger cut means that you will have to pay more because that’s how our butcher charges us. Also, if you get pre-cut prime rib steaks, you will have to shave off a little more money because you would still end up with more meat than ribeye. Overall, prime rib costs more than ribeye steaks. But, you will get more meat on the table.

Prime Rib vs Ribeye Cooking Difference

The actual difference between these beef cousins lies in the cooking method. That’s primarily why they could taste so different despite coming from the same area of the animal. Both can be cooked on a grill. However, prime rib will require more cooking time. While cooking prime rib, you will have to use indirect heat. Also, you will have to keep a close eye on the temperature to ensure that it does not exceed 135 degrees. On the other hand, ribeye can be cooked over direct, high heat. This chunk of meat has graced our dinner table on numerous occasions. If roasted right, you are sure to be lost in its juicy meat and drippings. You will love every inch of it.

If you happen to order any of these at a restaurant, you will come to know one of the differentiating factors right away.  For instance, if you order prime rib, you will get a piece of meat from a cooked roast that is held at serving temperature. Due to the presence of bones in them, prime rib generally has a more greasy and flavorful effect than ribeye. As such, ribeye is generally prepared to serve at the time of order. So, you can ask the cook to prepare the meat in a certain way. Generally speaking, a good chef would know the perfect way to cook ribeye. So, he/she will be able to prepare a delicious steak using ribeye instead of prime rib. It is generally agreed that meat cooked as per order is more preferred compared to an already cooked roast.

Which One is better?

So, are you still wondering which one gets the vote of confidence? As such, both prime rib and ribeye are desirable cuts of meat. Out of the hood, they can come out extremely flavorful and tasty. As a matter of fact, the meat could be so tender that you will be able to use a plastic utensil to cherish the meat. So, how do you choose between the two? Well, it’s quite simple. Prime rib is suitable when you have to feed a group of people. Some families prefer prime rib with the bones. Make no mistake; the bones can also produce a juicy, flavorful taste. So, the bones can also do a great deal of favor on your taste buds. Overall, prime rib is marbled enough to produce a rich, beefy taste with an extremely tender texture. This is why it’s primarily served on weekend parties and similar events.

Because ribeye will cost you more and it’s smaller chunk of meat, it’s better suited for a small family gathering. Also, if you don’t want messy fingers while eating, you are better off with ribeye. Of course, it makes sense to forget about the calories. Just enjoy the exceptional tenderness and taste because these cut of meats may not necessarily be easy on your waistlines. That being said, you will surely love their awesome contribution to the dinner table without any arguments. These meat steaks are a surefire gateway to a wonderful time with friends and family members. After all, they aren’t labeled as the best cut of meat for no reason.

Billy StewartBilly Stewart

Founder of

My dad is a true mans man, and has owned a number of grills. Ranging from gas to charcoal. Growing up with him allowed me to see what different types of rubs, spices, brines, etc went into making the best BBQ. Although my dad was a truck driver, and I had a degree in Information Technology I knew that I wanted to do something about grilling and our recipes.  That’s where Barbeque Smoked comes in.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Us