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What Part of the Cow Is Prime Rib?

Pribe Rib On a plate

Prime rib is a popular and delectable cut of beef that many meat enthusiasts enjoy. But have you ever wondered where it is taken from on the cow? 

This article will explore the specific part of the cow that prime rib is derived from. Understanding its origin will not only deepen your appreciation for this flavorful cut but also empower you with knowledge when purchasing and cooking prime rib.

What Is the Prime Rib Steak?

The prime rib, sometimes known as a standing rib roast, is a highly coveted cut of beef known for its tenderness, rich marbling, and succulent flavor. It is cut from the rib of the animal.

The primal rib section is between the loin and the chuck. It is part of the forequarter and is used to support most of the animal’s weight. This area contains some of the most tender and flavorful muscles. 

When prepared as a roast, prime rib typically consists of several ribs still attached to each other. Essentially, it forms a beautifully marbled slab of meat. Most people prefer to cook it using dry heat methods such as roasting, which helps to retain its tenderness and juiciness.

Wondering what other cuts you can get? Check out this definitive guide to beef cuts for more information. 

Why Is It Called the Prime Rib?

The term "prime rib" is used because this cut of meat is obtained from the rib of the cow. It is also one of the nine primal beef cuts. However, be informed that the inclusion of the word "prime" does not show that it is USDA Prime Beef.

Prime-grade prime rib typically commands a higher price due to its dense and evenly distributed marbling. On the other hand, choice-grade prime rib is a more affordable option but may have less marbling.

How to Cook the Prime Rib

prime rib roast cooked, on a wooden cutting board with a fork

There are many ways to cook prime rib. Perhaps the most popular method is oven-searing. This method results in a beautiful mahogany-colored crust. Essentially, this method involves starting the roast in a very hot oven. You then reduce the heat for the rest of the roasting process.

Here are some tips to help you get the best prime rib roast:

  • Remove the roast from the fridge sometime before you get cooking. We recommend taking it out two or three hours before. This will help take the chill off. Consequently, you will get an evenly cooked roast.
  • For the best result, we recommend that you season it early. By early, we mean right after you get it from the fridge.
  • As you sear the roast in the oven, it will release some fat, and you may get smoke all over the kitchen. Therefore, always turn on your oven’s vent when smoking begins.

Prime Rib Recipe


  • 1 prime rib roast, approximately 4-5 pounds
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped rosemary leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of freshly chopped thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

prime rib uncooked with rosemary parsley and garlic and sea salt on background on table surface

Step-by-Step Directions

  1. Take the prime rib roast out of the fridge. Let it sit at room temperature. Leave it for 2 or 3 hours. 
  2. Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C).
  3. Combine the minced garlic, olive oil, salt, rosemary, thyme, and black paper in a small bowl. Mix well to form a paste.
  4. Rub the entire surface of the prime rib roast with the seasoning paste, making sure to coat it evenly.
  5. Place the seasoned meat on a rack in a pan, with the fat side facing up. The rack helps elevate the roast. Moreover, it enables better air circulation. Roast it in your oven for about 15 minutes. Adjust the cooking time if you prefer it more or less done.
  6. When the prime rib roast reaches your desired level, extract it from the oven and transfer it to a cutting board. Wrap the roast loosely with aluminum foil. Leave it to cool for at least 20 minutes. 
  7. After resting, carve the prime rib into thick slices. Follow the bones as if it's a bone-in roast. Proceed to serve the prime rib immediately.


If you have ever wondered where the prime rib comes from, there you have your answer. In a nutshell, the prime rib is cut from the rib section of the animal. 

There are many ways to cook prime rib. However, we recommend that you oven-sear it. This method may not be the easiest, but it results in perfectly cooked prime rib every time. 

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I cook the prime rib using other methods, such as grilling?

Absolutely! The prime rib is a versatile cut. You can grill it as well as smoke it. In fact, grilling prime rib can impart a smoky flavor. Smoking will add a layer of complexity to the taste. However, ensure that you change the temperature and cooking time when using these alternative methods.

2. What is another name for prime rib?

The prime rib is sometimes referred to as the standing rib roast.

3. What is the best cutting board for slicing prime ribs?

cutting board extra large with rib roast cut up on it, juice of the rib dripping into the juice well from the cutting board

Generally, wood is the preferred material for working with meat. There are many aspects to think about when selecting the best cutting board for meats. If you are looking for the best cutting board for slicing prime rib, we recommend the large cutting board with juice groove. This board stands out with many advantages, such as aesthetic appeal, juice groove, longevity, and perfect size. 

4. What are some popular side dishes to serve with prime rib?

Well, there are many side dishes that you can serve alongside prime rib. In fact, the only thing limiting you is your creativity. Some popular options include creamy horseradish sauce, steamed vegetables, potatoes, Yorkshire pudding, and au jus gravy.

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