Prime Rib vs Standing Rib Roast

Prime Rib vs Standing Rib Roast: Differences Explained

Prime rib and standing rib roast may sound the same, but they are not. The two cuts of beef are obtained from the same part of the steer, the primal rib section. However, they taste and are cooked differently.

The primal rib section refers to the rib section between the sixth and the twelfth ribs. This area is hardly used by the cow and gets minimal exercise, resulting in good tender meat. The cow also deposits lots of fats in this area. This makes the meat have intramuscular fat that can make your beef moist and juicy. But, what exactly are prim rib and standing rib roast? That’s what we are going to answer shortly.

Prime Rib vs Standing Rib Roast

To Prime Rib vs Standing Rib Roast: Overview

 Prime Rib

The Prime rib is among the nine primal beef cuts, hence the name. This cut comes from the primal rib section, between the 6th and 12th ribs. Prime rib is often roasted bone-in and served with sauce for taste.

The classic way of cooking prime rib is roasting it to medium-rare. However, there are other ways of cooking prime rib, like searing in a pan, cooking in the oven, or a skillet pan. To get the most flavor from this beef cut, start by quickly browning the outer part over high heat, then proceed with your preferred cooking method, preferably low temp.

The browning is often done first, but you may choose to do it last, depending on your recipe. For instance, if you’re slow roasting, you can roast your prime rib and, once done, sear it over the high temperature in the oven. It’s best to wait for the beef cut to come to room temperature before tossing it in the oven. That’s so because the prime rib is a large cut of beef and will therefore need a couple of hours for the center part to be no longer chilly.

Prime rib has good marbling, which improves its flavor and moistness. It’s the beef cut with the most marbling. The flesh is also delicate and constitutes 2.9% of all graded beef. For these reasons, the prices are on the higher end.

 Standing Rib Roast

Standing rib roast is also a beef cut from the primal rib section. This part produces delicate meat that is flavorful yet pricey. A complete rib roast can be divided into two roasts, the first and second cut rib roasts. The first cut rib roast is smaller and closer to tenderloin, making the meat delicate.

The second cut rib roast is larger, next to the chuck. This makes it not as tender as the first cut rib roast. Rib roasts have lots of intramuscular fat or marbling, making them have more flavor and moisture. Standing rib roasts can be cooked bone-in or boneless.

Difference Between Prime Rib And Rib Roast

Different Cuts

Although the two beef cuts are obtained from the same area, they are cut differently. Prime rib is cut with the ribs in. So, the meat is attached to the ribs.

On the other hand, standing rib roast may come with bones or meat without bones, depending on the intended purpose. That’s so because rib roast is considered a steak, and most people cook it as one. And since most people prefer eating their steaks without bones, butchers remove the meat from the bones unless otherwise requested.

Therefore, prime ribs always come with ribs, while standing rib roast may or may not come with ribs.


Both prime rib and standing rib roast are tender and flavorful cuts of meat, but there’s a slight difference.

Prime rib comes with ribs. The rib bones add more flavor to the meat during the cooking process. This results in tender meat with a strong beefy flavor.

Standing rib roast usually doesn’t come with ribs. The only flavor they have is from the meat and seasonings used if any. This makes it have a milder beef flavor than prime rib.


If you have frozen prime rib and standing rib roast and want to cook them, you wouldn’t handle them the same.

Prime rib needs to thaw before you can cook it. Cooking without thawing may prolong the cooking time and negatively affect its quality and flavor. Cooking it straight from the freezer is thus, not recommended.

However, for standing rib roast, that’s not the case. This meat can be cooked straight from the freezer without thawing. And it wouldn’t require prolonged time or have its flavor and quality affected.

Presence Of Rib Cap

A rib cap is a small area in the rib section of a cow. The rib cap is considered the most flavorful part of the rib area and, thus, the most expensive.

Prime rib doesn’t come with the rib cap. In contrast, the standing rib roast comes with the rib cap since the meat is carefully cut from the ribs.


Cost is another crucial aspect worth discussing.

When buying from grocery stores or butchers, prime rib is cheaper. That’s because it comes with bones and doesn’t require much preparation.

Standing rib roast is more expensive when bought from grocery stores or butchers as they require more time and skills to remove all the bones and remain with meat only.

Prime Rib vs Standing Rib Roast

Cooking Methods

Prime rib and standing rib roast have different cooking methods.

Prime rib takes longer and is mostly cooked in the oven or grill. The meat is thawed, seasoned, and placed on a grill or in the oven. It can also be cooked in a pan in its juices until ready.

There are many ways of cooking standing rib roasts. They can be seasoned and cooked as steaks on a pan or grill. This cut of meat takes a shorter time to cook than prime rib.


Prime rib and standing rib roast are two cuts of meat obtained from the primal rib section of the cow. The former comes with rib bones, has more flavor, and takes longer to cook. The latter may be boneless, or bone-in has a milder beef flavor and takes a shorter time to cook.