Prime rib is a high-quality cut of beef that you can serve for any occasion. If you are fortunate enough to have eaten prime rib in a restaurant, you know how delicious, juicy, and expensive it can be. But did you know that you can make it at home on a grill?
Whether you are planning a holiday meal or a dinner party, serving prime rib is a great way to impress your friends and family. A grilled prime roast makes a stunning centerpiece for your dining room table, and it is easy to make.
In this article, we will tell you all about prime rib. We will tell you how to buy it, how to prepare it, and what makes it special. We will also help you decide how much prime rib per person to buy so no one goes home hungry.
How Much Prime Rib Per Person
The amount of prime rib per person depends on how you serve it. One pound per person is the rule of thumb for bone-in prime rib as the main dish. One-half pound per person is enough if it is served with side dishes or for boneless prime rib.
What Is Prime Rib And Where Does It Come From?
Prime rib is a rosy, succulent, and tender cut of beef usually served au jus (with juice). The prime rib cut comes from the primal rib section of the cow. It is the most desirable part of the rib section.
To be more precise, prime rib roast is located at the top center portion of the steer on both sides of the spine. It lies between the chuck and the short loin and above the beef plate. Ribeye steak also comes from this section of the animal.
This might be the most expensive piece of meat that you will cook, so it is important to know how to buy it, how much to get, and how to prepare it to perfection.
How To Select And Buy Prime Rib
You can buy prime rib from the supermarket, a local butcher, or online. Supermarkets usually have the best prices. Butchers can prepare it according to your requests and help you decide how much to get. Online companies offer the highest quality cuts, but they are expensive and charge extra for shipping.
Most grocery stores carry choice grade prime rib for 11 to 12 dollars a pound. A 10-pound roast might cost 200 dollars from a supermarket or 800 dollars online. While that might sound like a lot of money, it is only a fraction of what you would pay in a restaurant.
You can buy prime rib bone-in or boneless. Bone-in, or “standing” rib roast, has the ribs still attached. It is juicier, more flavorful, and cooks better. Boneless prime rib has the meat cut away from the ribs and spine.
If you buy bone-in prime rib, you can have the bone removed and tied to the roast. This allows you to put the seasonings between the roast and the bones and to cook the bones together with the meat. The bones serve as a rack for the meat to sit on. This also makes the roast easier to carve after cooking.
A full prime rib roast includes the sixth through the twelfth ribs. It weighs between 12 and 16 pounds on average and feeds a large number of guests. For fewer guests, you can buy smaller roasts of fewer ribs. When deciding which ribs to buy, keep in mind that the ribs on the shoulder end tend to have more fat than the ribs on the loin end.
Two Meanings Of The Word “Prime”
The word “prime” in prime rib refers to the prized nature of this special cut of meat. This differs from the use of the word in the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) grading scale for beef. The use of the term prime in prime rib dates back to before the USDA grading system. The USDA took the name prime from the prime rib.
According to the USDA, Certified Prime beef is “produced from young, well-fed beef cattle. It has abundant marbling and is generally sold in restaurants.” It is difficult to find beef that meets these standards.
Any cut of beef, including prime rib, can be USDA Certified Prime, although prime rib is hard to come by. Aged prime rib is also hard to find in supermarkets. The best way to get prime or aged prime rib roast might be to order it online.
The difference between prime and choice prime rib comes down to the amount of fat and the extent of marbling. Marbling refers to the white flecks that make the meat more tender and juicy.
How Much Prime Rib Per Person?
It is important to buy the right amount of prime rib for your guests. But how much is the right amount? How much prime rib each guest will eat depends on a number of factors including how you plan to serve it, whether it is bone-in or boneless, and how hungry your guests are.
If you are planning to serve prime rib as part of a larger meal that includes many side dishes or as part of a large buffet, one-half pound of bone-in prime rib per person should be enough. However, if the prime rib is the main part of the meal, you should plan on having at least 10 ounces to a pound of bone-in meat per person.
As a general rule, we recommend one rib for every two to three guests. A four-bone prime rib, weighing about 8 pounds, will feed eight to ten people and will fit on most grills, but only half of them will get rib bones.
An entire seven-bone roast will serve 12 or more people depending on its weight. There is an app called Roast Perfect that can help you decide how much prime rib you need and how long to cook it.
Once you take into account the weight of the bones, each person might eat about one-half pound of meat. Thus, if you get boneless prime beef, you won’t need as much per person. One-half pound per guest should be enough.
Another factor to consider is how much your guests tend to eat. If your crowd includes small children or light eaters, you likely won’t need as much. If you expect a crowd of hungry adults with good appetites, you might need to get a bit extra.
It’s always better to have too much rather than not enough. Prime rib makes great leftovers, and some say it is even tastier the next day. Leftover prime rib lasts for several days in the refrigerator and even longer in the freezer.
What Makes Prime Rib Special?
The prime rib comes from the most flavorful section of the steer. The center part, called the eye, is the loin muscle. It receives little exercise giving it a fine texture. Surrounding the eye is the fat-marbled muscle called the “cap” or spinalis dorsi.
More Tips For Preparing Your Prime Rib
Tying The Roast
Tying your roast together with butcher string prevents it from separating as it cooks. This keeps the roast looking professional and makes it easier to carve. For a bone-in roast, tie it between the bones. For a boneless roast, tie it at 1.5-inch intervals.
For the elegant French cut, scrape the fat, meat, and cartilage off of the ribs prior to cooking. You can ask the butcher to do this for you.
Smoked Prime Rib
To add a smoky flavor, soak some hardwood chips for thirty minutes, drain them, and toss them on the grill.
Seasoning Prime Rib
Prime rib is a thick cut of beef, so season it generously. Salt is the most essential seasoning. Garlic, dried herbs, and other spices of your choice add additional flavor to the beef.
Grilling a Prime Rib
Barbecuing is one of the best ways to cook a prime rib. We recommend grilling it with indirect heat on a covered barbecue. Be sure the grate is very clean, and put an aluminum pan under the grate for collecting any liquids.
Measure your grill before you buy a roast. The grill surface should be at least twice as large as the roast. A three-bone rib roast will fit comfortably on most grills.
Take the roast out of the refrigerator about an hour before cooking to bring it to room temperature. Season it and cover it with plastic wrap. Marinating is not necessary for a thick cut. It will need to cook for 15 to 20 minutes per pound. Rotate it periodically to ensure even cooking.
The ideal doneness for a prime rib roast is medium-rare or medium. Cooking it too long will result in it becoming tough and dry. Use an instant-read thermometer to determine when it is ready. Remember that it will continue to cook as it sits.
- Rare: 115-120
- Medium rare: 125-130
- Medium: 135-140
After you remove it from the grill, let the roast rest for 10 to 30 minutes depending on the size. Place it on a cutting board and cover it loosely with aluminum foil. A two to four bone rib roast should rest for 10 to 15 minutes. A larger roast should rest for 15 to 30 minutes.
Resting allows the roast to soak up the juices before carving by driving them to the center. You can combine the juices with the drippings from the grill to make a delicious gravy.
Use a sharp, long knife to carve the roast along the bone keeping as much of the meat on the roast section as you can. After you separate the roast section from the ribs, cut it into slices against the grain. Slices can be thick or thin depending on your preference. Place on a warm platter, serve and enjoy.