- Beef Instruction
- Beef Yield Factors
- Cuts of Beef
- Meat Buyers Guide PDF
- Beef Bottom Round
- Beef Brisket
- Beef Chuck Roast
- Hanger Steak
- Prime Rib
- Short Loin, T Bone Steak, Porterhouse Steak
- Beef Tenderloin
- Tri Tip - Beef Tri Tip Culinary Info
- Chuck Steak Varieties and Alternate Names
- Delmonico Steak
- Loin Steaks and Steak Types
- Beef Mock Tender-Petite Fillet
- Rib Steak
- Round Steak Varieties
- Beef Short Ribs
- T-bone Steak
- Cuts of Steak
- How To Cut Beef Videos
- Specialty Beef
- Cuts of Beef Poster
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Prime Rib at a Glance
Primal: beef prime is one of the primary primal cuts
Meat Buyers Guide variations: 104, 107, 107A, 108, 109, 109A, 109B, 109C, 109D, 109E, 110, 111, 112, 112A
Weight Ranges: 3 lb -30 up, see the Fresh Beef IMPS page for specifics
Best Cooking Methods: slow cooking, roasting, grilling, broiling
Cut Variations: roasts, steaks
Ryan Adams has done an excellent series on different cuts of beef and has given permission to re-post his content here, with minor modifications for the Professional Chef audience.
Let's start this series on beef off by going straight to the top, the creme de la creme: the standing rib roast, also known as prime rib. Highly prized, the standing rib roast is synonymous with weddings, all-you-can-eat buffets and holiday dinners. The name "prime rib" actually denotes the USDA grade "prime"; "choice" rib roasts are still excellent quality meat, they merely lack some of the fat marbling found throughout the muscle tissue, and come with a lower price tag. True prime rib roasts can cost upwards of 50% more than choice per pound and usually require a special order from your meat monger.
Before we get ahead of ourselves, though, let's get you up to speed on your basic beef knowledge.
Beef Specific Terms
Aging: A process by which beef is held under controlled temperatures for a period of time. This allows enzymatic activity to break down complex proteins, enhancing the flavor and tenderness of the meat. There are two kinds of aging, dry and wet.
Blade meat: The lean meat overlaying the ribeye and rib portion of the rib primal. Also known as false meat, rib lifter meat, cap meat, or wedge meat.
Chine bone: A part of the backbone that remains after the carcass is split.
Marbling: All of the flecks of fat found within the lean meat. The amount of marbling factors into the quality of meat: lots of marbling will enhance juiciness and flavor.
Beef Grades and Quality
The grades assigned to pieces of beef are based off the sex of the bovine, its maturity, the quality of the lean meat and the amount of marbling present. Interestingly, steers (castrated adult male cattle) and heifers can qualify for all of the below grades while cows can qualify for all grades but Prime. Bullocks (uncastrated young male cattle) can only qualify for Prime, Choice, Select, Standard and Utility. Bulls (uncastrated adult male cattle) are unable to qualify for any grading whatsoever; bull meat is not harvested as their hormones make the meat tough.
Beef grades, from highest to lowest, are: U.S. Prime, U.S. Choice, U.S. Select, U.S. Standard, U.S. Commercial, U.S. Utility, U.S. Cutter, and U.S. Canner.
Cuts of Beef Series: Prime Rib, Standing Rib Roast
The standing rib roast comes from the rib primal, which is the area behind the shoulder, but before the lower back. The muscles included are some of the most tender found on the animal. For example, the Longissimus Dorsi, which runs the length of the cut, is the third most tender muscle on the animal. Add in a luxurious amount of tasty fat and it's easy to see why the rib roast is so coveted.
Meat Buyer's Guide Prime Rib Variations
All meat images from the NAMP Meat Buyer's Guide
Beef Rib, Oven-Prepared NAMP/IMPS 107
This cut is very similar to the primal cut but with the chine bones, blade bones and cartilage removed.
109 Beef Rib, Roast-Ready NAMP/IMPS
More bones have been removed, some of the fat and a few muscles (backstrap, latissimus dorsi, infraspinatus, subscapularis, rhomboideus, and trapezius) removed. It's fairly common to see this cut either tied, or placed in netting.
Beef Rib, Roast-Ready, Special NAMP/IMPS 109A
This cut is basically the same as the Roast-Ready, except the fat layer covering the muscles mentioned above is now put back into place, instead of being removed. This is what you're most likely to find in your local supermarket, and I consider it to be the ideal variation of rib roast.
Beef Rib, Roast-Ready, Cover Off, Short Cut (Export Style) NAMP/IMPS 109
Very similar to the Roast-Ready-Special, except the fat layer I was just crowing about is removed and the roast has been trimmed to be more compact.
Beef Rib, Roast-Ready, Boneless NAMP/IMPS 110
Just like the Roast-Ready, except that all of the bones and the intercostal meat have been removed. While this does make for easier carving, consider buying your roast with the bones in for superior flavor. These are usually placed in netting, or tied.
Beef Rib, Ribeye Roll. Lip-On NAMP/IMPS 112
This is the most common primal cut served as Prime Rib in restaurants and buffets.
Beef Rib, Ribeye Roll NAMP/IMPS 112
Similar to the 112 but with most of the excess fat trimmed as well as intercostal connective meat.
What to look for when buying
For Chefs: Your vendor can help with determining which version of cut of prime rib will best meet your expectations & budget. The Meat Buyer's Guide page also gives the size variances which you can order. Also, consider the differences in flavor and cost with corn feed beef, grass fed beef, dry aged beef, and wet aged beef.
For the Home: When buying prime rib, make sure that you buy from the small end of the primal cut, specifically from the twelfth rib up toward the seventh rib, and the very best meat is found at the first three ribs of the short end, the twelfth to the tenth. A two-rib roast that has been trimmed will weigh roughly five to seven pounds and feed about four people.
Cooking Prime Rib
For the best results for even cooking and the least amount of shrinkage use an Alto-Sham set at about 200 degrees. Next best is a conventional oven, followed by a convection oven with a "low fan" setting and temp of about 185 degrees. The worst way to cook it is in a normal convection oven on high fan (if your oven does not have a setting for high & low fan, than it is high fan.) You will loose about 25% in shrinkage.
Prime Rib Cooking Temperatures
- Rare 110°-115°
- MR 120°-125°
- Medium 130°-135°
- MW 140°-150°
- Well (don't do it!!)
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