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Prime Rib

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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


Beef Grades and Quality

The grades assigned to cuts of beef are based upon the sex of the animal, its maturity, the quality of the meat and the amount of marbling present.

Beef grades, from highest to lowest, are as follows: USDA Prime, USDA Choice, USDA Select, USDA  Standard, USDA Commercial,USDA Utility, USDA Cutter, and USDA Canner.

Cuts of Beef: Prime Rib, Standing Rib Roast

Standing Rib Roast

Photograph by fortinbras

Meat Buyer's Guide Prime Rib Variations

All meat images from the NAMP Meat Buyer's Guide

Beef Rib Oven Prepared NAMP IMPS 107

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.


Beef Rib Roast Ready NAMP 109

109 Beef Rib, Roast-Ready NAMP/IMPS

More bones have been removed, some of the fat has been trimmed, and a few extra muscles (backstrap, infraspinatus, latissimus dorsi, rhomboideus, subscapularis and trapezius) removed.  It's  common to see this cut either tied, or placed in a netting.


Beef Rib Roast Ready Special NAMP 109A

Beef Rib, Roast-Ready, Special NAMP/IMPS 109A

This cut is basically the same as the 109 Roast-Ready, except that the fat layer covering the exposed meat below the ribs has been put back into place, instead of being removed. The addition of the fat helps protect the meat during cooking and adds additional juiciness to the cut. This is what I consider to be the ideal variation of rib roast.


Beef Rib Roast Ready NAMP 109D

Beef Rib, Roast-Ready, Cover Off, Short Cut (Export Style) NAMP/IMPS 109

Very similar to the 109A Roast Ready Special, except the fat layer that I love has been removed and the roast has been trimmed even more to make it more compact.


Beef Rib Roast Ready Boneless NAMP 110

Beef Rib, Roast-Ready, Boneless NAMP/IMPS 110

Just like the 109 Roast Ready, except that all of the bones and intercostal muscle have been removed.  While this does make for easier carving and a shorter cooking time, consider purchasing your roast with the bones in as it makes for a superior flavor.  The 110 is usually tied or placed in netting.


Prime Rib NAMP 112A

Beef Rib, Ribeye Roll Lip-On NAMP/IMPS 112

The Ribeye Lip-on is the most common primal cut served as Prime Rib in restaurants, buffets, banquet and catering events.



Beef Rib, Ribeye Roll NAMP/IMPS 112

Similar to the 112 but with the majority of the excess fat trimmed as well as the intercostal connective meat removed.

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, try to buy one from the small end of the primal cut, specifically from the twelfth rib up towards the seventh rib. The very best meat is found between the first three ribs of the short end, from the twelfth to the tenth rib.  A trimmed two-rib roast will weigh roughly about five to seven pounds and serve 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!!)

Back to Cuts of Beef Index


Did you find the information about Prime Rib useful? Or do you have additional info or questions?
If so, leave a comment!

Leave a Comment [ Add a Comment ]

STEAKEAT [] [ Mar 29 ]

Great review! Here are some more tips on Rib Eye Steak: http://www.steakeat.com/how-to-cook-a-rib-eye-steak-in-a-frying-pan.html

Take a look and good day,


DAVID BUCHANAN [ Sep 23, 2010 ]

Thank-you Magic & City Share.  I'll soon be starting a series on Offal as well.

MAGICOFSPICE [ Sep 19, 2010 ]

Excellent information and a very comprehensive list :)

CITY SHARE [] [ Sep 19, 2010 ]

Thanks for all of the information. Its a great review.