Ribeye Roast vs Prime Rib: What to Cook for a Crowd

Ribeye Roast vs Prime Rib: What to Cook for a Crowd

So, you’re having a bunch of guests over for a flavorful meal that you’ve pain”steak”ingly slaved over all day (get it?). At least, that’s what you want it to look like.

You know you want to cook steak, but when it comes to cooking for a crowd, it can be a tough choice: ribeye roast vs prime rib? What is even the difference between the two? After all, ribeye and prime rib actually come from the same cut of beef, and from the same part of the animal (the primal rib section).

Let’s take a look at the differences between the two, and which one is best to go with when cooking for a crowd.

What is Prime Rib?

Prime rib or the “standing rib roast” refers to the cooked roast that comes from the primal rib section of the animal. When you make prime rib, you’re going to be cooking an entire roast, and cutting off a slice for all your guests. Prime rib is usually cooked by roasting with the bone in, and served with au jus.

One thing that you may not know about prime rib is that the word “prime” comes from the fact that it has been labelled prime by the USDA, as a legal designation. Prime in this case means that it has been labelled as the highest quality cut of beef when it comes to taste, tenderness and juiciness. Prime meat is of the highest quality, and only 2% of all beef that is produced in the United States will earn this highest honor of labelling.

What is Ribeye Roast?

It doesn’t matter which way you’ve heard ribeye referred to – ribeye roast, ribeye steak, rib eye, ribeye, it’s all the same. So, what is ribeye exactly? Well, as previously mentioned, ribeye comes from the exact same area of the animal, being the primal rib section, and from the exact same cut of beef as the prime rib.

So, what’s the difference? First, a ribeye steak is cooked boneless, unlike the prime rib, which is cooked with the bone in. Second of all, a ribeye steak is cut from the roast before it is even cooked, unlike the prime rib. Therefore, a ribeye steak will appear smaller than the prime rib when served, as the prime rib includes both the ribeye and the bone. As for quality, a ribeye is a tender cut of meat with a delicious flavour.

Is Ribeye Roast More Expensive than Prime Rib?

Is Ribeye Roast More Expensive than Prime Rib

If you are buying ribeye roast or prime rib at your local butcher or grocery store, the price can really depend. It also depends on how many people you are cooking for, if you think any might go to waste, etc.

Generally, due to the USDA grade of the meat, and the fact that a prime rib steak has more meat than a ribeye steak, prime rib will be more expensive per steak. However, you may opt to purchase a roast if you are feeding a large amount of people, which will save you some money over buying individual steaks. It also depends on if you wish to buy a boneless roast, which usually costs more than a roast that has the bone in.

Cooking Differences

If you’re cooking for a crowd, one thing that you may also be looking at is cooking  temperature and time differences. Does it take longer to cook prime rib or ribeye steaks?

When it comes to ribeye, you’re more than likely buying it as individual steaks. Therefore, you’re basically just having to throw them on the BBQ, panfry them, or however you like to cook your steak.

The art of cooking a roast is a little more delicate, however. You’re going to need to make sure your roast is completely thawed and seasoned before you cook it. Then, for an 8-9 pound roast (which should serve anywhere from 8-10 people), you are going to need to allow at least 2 ½ hours for it to cook, and then about 20-30 minutes resting time. Don’t forget to have a meat thermometer on hand. Therefore, there will be a lot more effort that goes into your prime rib roast (but the end result is so worth it!).

Which to Choose for a Crowd

We know, you want us to just give you a straightforward answer, and make up your mind for you. However, it truly comes down to how much money you want to spend, how many people you’re feeding, which flavour you prefer, and how much time and effort you wish to put into this.

If you do have the time and money to spare, we cannot recommend the quality and flavor of prime rib enough. However, remember to check the quality of your beef before purchasing – check for the USDA grading, or ask your grocery store or butcher for further information.

Is There an Alternative?

When it comes to an alternative to buying and cooking an expensive roast, why not take your family somewhere where they can choose prime rib or ribeye for themselves, along with an abundance of other high-quality food?

Golden Corral offers high quality, USDA graded cuts of meat such as prime rib, and offers it all in a low cost, budget friendly buffet. Golden Corral boasts over 150 different foods on its buffet menu, leaving even the pickiest eaters satisfied. As of 2019, there are 498 Golden Corral locations across the United States, making them seriously hard to miss. Check out their unbelievable menu prices here.

We understand that you take pride in cooking for a crowd, and that’s why we want to make sure you fully understand what you’re cooking, how you’re cooking it, and if there are any alternatives. Ribeye roast and prime rib are often mistaken for each other (you know, seeing as they come from the exact same cut of meat and all). We hope we have cleared up any questions you may have, and happy cooking!

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