Difference between Prime Rib and Ribeye are cut out from the same area

Difference Between Prime Rib and Ribeye

Prime Rib and Ribeye are parts of beef that are cut out from the same area of the body of the cow that is from the ribs. The primary difference between the two lies in the way the meat is cut and cooked. The same type of meat can be made either into a roast or a steak depending on your own choice. 

Don't forget to read to know about "difference between chuck roast and chuck steak".

The ribeye is a part of the prime rib which is later removed and separated from it and served exclusively. The ribeye is definitely part of the prime rib, but the latter is not part of the former. In other words, the ribeye is a boneless prime rib.


These two types are often talked about as though they are totally different with regard to the part of the body they come from. This is not true. They may seem to be extremely detached but, in fact, the only factor differentiating them is the way they are cut, cooked and served.

Given this fact, the difference between prime rib and ribeye exists also in the prices of these meats, since people generally prefer the former over the latter.

Prime Rib:

The prime rib is the primal cut of beef, meaning it is one of the first cuts made in the beef and includes some of the most tender muscles from the entire animal. It is from the area behind the shoulder but above the lower back.

The easiest way to tell a prime rib steak or roast from a ribeye is to look for the presence of the rib bone. Prime rib delicacies always have the rib bone still attached to them, unlike the ribeye ones. 

Prime Rib

Prime Rib, chunk of meat

The bone is believed to add flavour to the chunk of meat, which is why prime rib steaks are more expensive in high end restaurants compared to other types of beef.

Prime rib is actually roasted in the standing position, which is why it is also called as standing rib roast. A distinct factor is the way the cut is made when preparing prime rib. The bone is still very much intact and runs along the bottom of the meat.

There is also a cap of fat present on the top of the meat which protects it while cooking and also parts considerable flavour to the meat. So therefore, asking for meat with fat cap is a sure way of getting hold of a delicious piece of the prime rib.

In the case of prime rib preparation, however, restaurants are more likely to serve you cooked or roasted meat when asked for it. The chances of having a customized dish made out of the meat are low. There are only a few ways this part of beef can be prepared: full roast or prime rib steak.


The ribeye is naturally beefy, juicy and flavorful. Cut out from the prime rib chunk, it is obtained from the rib between the loin and shoulder. It initially belongs to the prime rib but is separated with only the meat part in it, excluding the bone. 

The bone then belongs to the prime rib and the ribeye becomes boneless. This type of meat has the rib bone removed leaving an eye in the cut, and hence the name ribeye.

Ribeye meat

Cutting ribeye meat

When asked for a ribeye meat at a restaurant, you will be served with a part cut out of the already half roasted prime rib. This piece can then be cooked in accordance with the preference of the customer. Since there is no hard and fast rule of preparing a ribeye, it can be made and served in whichever way the customer chooses.

The absence of the bone makes it better and easier to prepare and consume. No bone is one reason why ribeye dishes are slightly less expensive and affordable when compared with the prime rib ones. With the ribeye meat, you can grill, fry, or roast it. An experienced chef with the right tools can make a variety of delicacies with the meat of choice, unlike when provided with the prime rib.

More calories can be obtained from the ribeye by virtue of high fat content, and also leaves the consumer with a feeling of fullness. This happens because the consumption of ribeye produces a satiety hormone which leaves this feeling of saturation.

Nutrition content:

The best part about rib meat is that it is amazingly rich in protein. Regular physical exercise coupled with a chunk of rib, prime or ribeye, every now and then can prove to be a good way to gain lean muscle mass.

Rib meat is naturally low in sodium but extremely high in unsaturated fat and cholesterol. Its marbly appearance is responsible for its delicious flavor and fat content. The trans-fat content of this food is not yet determined. 

All parts of the prime rib are naturally equal in terms of cholesterol and other nutrients, but may decrease with respect to the cooking methods undertaken and spices and condiments used.

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The sodium content is very important in determining the type of nutrition one needs to take. For somebody who, according to their health conditions, need to consume more of sodium will be required to supplement the rib beef with the same.

Since the fat content in the meat of the rib is too high, it is advisable to consume these dishes as treats and not as everyday meal items. Consumption of the ribeye or prime rib once a fortnight will not do any harm, that done on a regular basis may prove to be extremely hazardous in the long run. A high cholesterol level and clogging of the arteries can be expected otherwise.

A person with a lifestyle of enough physical activity can consume rib beef a little more frequently than someone who does little to no physical exercise. The high fat content causes a while for the beef to digest completely in the body, hence it is important to wait for at least a day after consuming the rib meat before having it again.

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Theresa Lori

Hi, I'm Theresa. My passion for grilling delicacy gradually built during the time I was living with my parents. My family members especially my mother was a great fan of grilled dishes to and from the love of food. I started preparing smoked food with my mom. This bonding helped me to know more and more about to smoke, grill what always I share on SmokeGears.com. So, in two words you can call me a BBQ lover.

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