Prime Rib Vs. Rib Roast: Comparison and Types

Prime Rib and Rib Roast come from the same animal yet it is sold at different prices and has got a bit different flavors. Despite being breathtakingly different from each other, the terms “Prime Rib” and “Rib Roast” have been used interchangeably since the beginning of time. 

For some, it’s the appearance and for others being made from beef is the reason why it’s super hard to distinguish Prime Rib from Rib Roast.

For the record, Prime Rib and Rib Roast are two different things. It’s not fair to keep using the terms interchangeably as you now know. 

How are these two different? And how can you find out what you are eating, Prime Rib or Rib Roast? These two and other such questions would only be answered upon comparing these two heavenly processed forms of beef.

There is a misconception that Prime Rib and the Rib Roast are the same things so comparing these two is useless.

For the record, they are not useless and the meat lovers should know the difference. Just so they do not end up getting what they did not mean.

To be able to compare Prime Rib and Rib Roast, we first need to know what exactly the Prime Rib and Rib Roast are?

Prime Rib

Prime Rib, Beef Rib Roast, or Standing Rib Roast is a processed form of beef bacon cut from a specific part between the 6th to 12th rib.

It can also be defined as the Prime Rib Roast is a processed form of beef cut from the export rib. 

Prime Rib is most commonly known as Standing Rib Roast as it is roasted “standing” on the rib bones.

It contains an “eye” and a “cap” that is not the actual eye or cap.

The portion that has the most fat and got lesser muscles removed is referred to as the “eye” whereas the outer, fat-marbled muscle is known as the cap. 

The Standing or Prime Rib is prepared in two ways; one is the traditional way and the other is the modern way.

prime-rib

Traditionally, Prime Rib is marinated in salt and seasoning then it is roasted on dry heat. Whereas, grilling the salted and seasoned meat is the modern way. 

Prime Rib is rich, tender, and well-marbled. The roasted Prime Rib is immensely flavorful and heavenly juicy.

This skyrockets it’s demand and price. It is served with Horseradish Sauce and Mashed potatoes. 

Rib Roast

The Rib Roast is also a processed form of beef collected from the various parts of an animal’s ribs.

Rib Roast is less tender, juicy, and flavorful as it does not have bones and enough fats to be so.

Since it is comparatively less tender, juicy, and flavorful Rib Roast is cheaper and not so immensely demanded.

Most modern meat lovers prepare Rib Roast more or less the same way as Prime Rib, however, the flavorful, tenderness, and juiciness is still not the same.

Whereas, the old folks prepare it on the grill or in the frying Pan. 

So, we can say the meat used in the Prime Rib and Rib Roast is from the 6th-12th ribs of the same animal.

The meat of the Prime Rib comes from the export rib whereas the meat used in Rib Roast is collected from various parts of the animal’s rib.

What distinguishes the Prime Rib from Rib Roast and Rib Roast from the Prime Rib. 

That’s not the only difference between Prime Rib and Rib Roast. Frankly, it’s super hard to judge a roasted piece of meat that way.

Even if it is presented unroasted, how would you tell if the meat is collected from the export rib or the other part of the animal’s rib? Well, only one person can answer that, a butcher. 

Comparison Between Prime Rib and Rib Roast

How would you find out if you are paying for the Prime Rib or Rib Roast? You might not be able to judge the unroasted piece but finding an answer is not hard when you have got the roasted piece of meat on the plate. No, wait you do not have to find an old folk to get the Prime Rib and Rib Roast compared, here is the difference.

Bones

The Prime Rib contains bones, it is always roasted with bones. When the Prime Rib is being roasted it is standing on the bones, the meat is not even touching the pan.

Whereas, the meat in the case of Rib Roast can or can not have bones. Usually, the Rib Roast is boneless. 

Preparation

The method of bringing the rib meat to a presentable and edible form is also quite different.

The Prime Rib is roasted on dry heat standing on the bones with meat far away from the pan.

The Rib Roast, however, is either grilled or roasted in the pans. The Rib Roast keeps touching the pan during the entire cooking process whereas, in the other case meat does not touch the pan. It only touches the plate when it’s done. 

Tenderness and Juiciness

The Prime Rib has got more fat and bones, it appears more tender and juicy. Even after a prolonged dry heat roasting, the Prime Rib is still super juicy.

Whereas, the grilled or frying pan-roasted Rib Roast neither matches the Prime Rib in tenderness nor juiciness. 

Taste

Prime Rib and Rib Roast both taste different in the mouth.

The Prime Rib has a more intense beef flavor whereas the cheaper option called Rib Roast does not have that rich taste.

It is also flavorful but the Rib Roast can never compete with Prime Rib when it comes to taste. 

Names

The export rib meat that is roasted standing up on the bones is referred to as ” Standing Rib Roast” or ” Prime Roast”.

The cheaper options have several usual names like “Rib Roast” and “Beef Rib Roast”. 

Price

The Prime Rib contains meat collected from the export rib, it is prepared in an elitist way. And the Prime Rib is tender, breathtakingly flavorful, and juiciness.

As it has got all the reasons to not be cheap, so yes it’s quite expensive.

The Rib Roast is another case, it is comparatively cheaper than the Prime Rib for all the right reasons. 

So, we can say Prime Rib is more flavorful, juicy, tender, and expensive. It is a dish that most elites enjoy.

Whereas the Rib Roast is less tender, juicy, and expensive, it is poor people’s Prime Rib.

If you are comparing it to get the best one served, we suggest you go for the Prime Rib. It might be expensive but it’s definitely worth all the money. 

Summary

Prime Rib and Rib Roast are the two meat dishes that are known for their heavenly taste and high prices. These two meat dishes come from the same animal but are roasted, cooked, and priced differently.

If we compare these two, the Prime Rib meat is collected from the export rib whereas the rib roast’s meat can be fetched from several parts of the animal’s rib.

The Prime Rib has bones, is supernaturally tender, juicy, and flavorful whereas the Rib Roast can be boneless and is less tender, and juicy.

The Prime Rib is grilled or roasted on dry heat, the other option is grilled or roasted in the pans. Prime Rib is expensive and for all the fair reasons, Rib Roast is a bit cheaper.

  • Usman Aslam has done his degree in Agronomy and Animal breeding from the CAU (China Agriculture University). He is serving as a livestock expert in local farms.

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