Prime rib is one of the best cuts of beef, and it is a hit in every barbecue session. It is one of the more expensive cuts of meat, so I ensure enough prime rib per person.
Also, since it is expensive, I try to avoid wasting any and get the right estimate of how much prime rib is needed per person.
I serve prime ribs on special occasions, especially during the holiday season. Again, it is an expensive cut, so I cannot serve it regularly as a simple meal.
As a rule of thumb, the simple answer to how much prime rib per person is – A pound of prime rib per person. This is if the prime rib is the main course on the table.
If there are other recipes and I have prime rib as one of the heavy appetizers, half a pound per person usually satisfies most of my guests.
Then again, there are times when there are children on the table, people with smaller appetites, or maybe I cooked other BBQ recipes.
So considering these factors, let us see how much prime rib you need per person.
What Is Prime Rib?
Also known as standing rib roast, prime rib is a cut of beef from the primal rib. It is one of the nine primal cuts of beef and is usually made up of 6 to 7 rib bones.
That means that prime rib comes from the same part as ribeye steaks. So they have the same flavor profile, although you might notice a difference since they are cooked differently.
Prime rib is seared and roasted over low heat, while ribeye steaks are usually grilled over high heat to create that amazing charred crust on the steaks.
A roast of prime ribs can contain anywhere from two to seven ribs. It has great marbling, and the meat is found in the middle of the ribs and spine, making it even more tender and flavorful.
Throughout the animal’s lifetime, the prime rib meat is not used as much as the other parts, so it develops a nice fat cap and marbling, making it tender, juicy, and tasty when cooked.
How To Buy Prime Rib?
You can buy prime rib in supermarkets, butcher shops, or online. The best place for me is to buy prime rib from butcher shops to specify the cut I want.
You can request if you want to buy boneless prime rib to be tied on the bones again. This makes it easier for carving later on after you have cooked the rib roast.
There are also times when 6 to 7 ribs are too many for me, so if this is the case for you, you can also ask the butcher to cut down some ribs to fit your needs.
Prime ribs can cost anywhere from $11 to $17 a pound in supermarkets, depending on the grade or quality of the meat.
Boneless prime ribs are also more expensive than bone-in prime ribs, so make sure to decide what you will need for your recipe later.
What To Look For And What To Look Out For…
With any cut of meat, fat always translates to flavor. So make sure that you look for a prime rib with decent marbling, and if it has not been trimmed, the fat cap should also be thick enough.
I also prefer the bone-in choice, and I recommend it because it is better for making the prime rib succulent or juicy and is better at making the meat tender.
What you should look out for is the word “prime”. The word “prime” on prime rib has nothing to do with the quality of the meat or the grade that the USDA provides.
The prime grade from the USDA can refer to other cuts, while the prime rib only refers to the cut from the primal rib of the animal.
The prime rib can be choice or prime grade, so others can fool you with a prime-graded rib that is not prime rib. I know, confusing, right?
What I mean is some butcher shops would label ribeye steaks and other rib cuts as “prime rib” because they have prime-grade quality. But the thing is, they are not actual prime rib roasts.
How Much Prime Rib Per Person?
So now that you know how to buy the right prime rib for your next meal, how much prime rib should you get per person?
If prime rib is the main course of the meal, you should plan on getting one pound per person. If there are sides and other recipes, half a pound per person should be enough.
Usually, a rib can feed two people, so if you buy six or seven ribs, that will be enough to feed 12 to 14 guests.
Prime rib is just as great when it is cooked and reheated the next day again, so do not be afraid of buying extra if you think a pound per person is not enough.
That, however, can also depend on whether the prime rib you buy is boneless, boned & tied, or bone-in. They can have different weights and also different meat content.
Here is a chart that estimates how many you can feed with boneless, bone-in, and boned & tied prime ribs.
Since most prime rib cuts are sold with 2 ribs, we will start with 2 ribs, usually weighing 4 pounds raw.
|Servings||Bone-In Prime Ribs||Boned & Tied||Boneless Prime Ribs|
|3 to 4 adults||4 pounds (2 bones)||4 pounds (2 bones)||3 pounds|
|4 to 5 adults||5 pounds (2 to 3 bones)||5 pounds (2 to 3 bones)||4 pounds|
|5 to 6 adults||6 pounds (3 bones)||6 pounds (3 bones)||5 pounds|
|6 to 7 adults||7 pounds (3 to 4 bones)||7 pounds (3 to 4 bones)||6 pounds|
|8 to 10 adults||10 pounds (5 bones)||10 pounds (5 bones)||8 pounds|
|10 to 12 adults||14 pounds (7 bones)||14 pounds (7 bones)||11 pounds|
How Many Does A 10-pound Prime Rib Feed?
A 10-pound prime rib can feed up to 10 people. That is if the prime rib is the centerpiece of the meal and there are no other heavy meals to be served with the prime rib.
If the prime rib is meant as a side or an appetizer, then a 10-pound prime rib will feed up to 20 people along with your other recipes.
So around 2 medium-sized prime rib roasts will be enough for a 10-pounder to feed 10 people.
How Much Prime Rib Do I Need For 8 Adults?
You will need approximately 8 pounds of prime ribs to feed 8 adults. 8 pounds of pure meat will be enough for 8 adults but you can also get 10 pounds of prime ribs bone-in.
What you are looking for here is a pound of meat per person so if you bought bone-in or boned & tied prime rib, you need to consider the weight of the bones as well.
So the total weight you need for 8 adults is 8 pounds of pure meat from the prime rib.
How Much Prime Rib Per Person For A Crowd Of 15 People?
A pound of prime rib per person is enough, meaning you will need 15 pounds of prime rib for a crowd of 15 people.
For bone-in standing roast, 1 rib is enough to feed 2 people. So you will need somewhere between 7 to 8 ribs to feed 15 people.
2 medium-sized prime ribs with 4 ribs each will be enough for 15 people if you do not have any side dishes to serve with the prime ribs.
Again, if you have side dishes and appetizers or if the prime rib is not the main course of the meal, then half a pound per person will do 7.5 pounds for 15 people.
How Many Pounds Of Prime Rib Do I Need For 60 People?
For 60 people, you will need 60 pounds of prime rib as a centerpiece. If there are sides and appetizers to be served with the prime rib, you can get half a pound per person or 30 pounds of prime rib.
That will cost a lot of money, maybe $600 to $1000, to feed 60 people, but that is only a fraction of the price when you get prime ribs from restaurants.
Can You Freeze Leftover Prime Rib?
Yes, you can freeze leftover prime rib after your meal. This is a more likely to happen as you might have ordered too much prime rib, which is a good thing.
If you plan on storing the leftover prime rib in the freezer, wrap each piece of prime rib with plastic wrap and aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.
Put the wrapped prime ribs in an airtight container and then place them in the freezer. The leftover prime rib will taste best the following day, but it can stay in the freezer for a long time.
I leave the leftover prime rib in the fridge since I will most likely eat it within the next four days, which is the maximum number of days for storing cooked food in the fridge.
However, if you wish to store the leftover prime rib for longer, your best bet is to store it properly in the freezer for it to last for up to 6 months.
What Makes Prime Rib So Special?
Prime rib is special because it has a large cut of well-marbled meat positioned between the ribcage and spine, which helps the meat become tender and juicy when cooked.
Prime rib comes from the primal rib, a part of the cattle that do not get much work or stress during the animal’s lifetime, hence creating the well-marbled meat.
Since it is close to the rib and the primal rib is one of the best parts of the animal, prime rib also has this amazing flavor accentuated by the fat cap that comes with it.
The way prime rib is cooked also gives it the perfect flavor. Since it has enough marbling and fat caps, the fats are rendered properly into the meat.
Again, more fat means more delicious flavor, and with the right balance of tenderness that the bones or ribs provide, prime rib is undeniably one of the best cuts on a cow.
Tips On Preparing Your Prime Rib
- Always choose the prime rib with the most marbling.
- Pat dry the prime rib before seasoning it to develop a better crust.
- Generously season the prime rib before cooking it.
- Use simple seasonings such as salt and pepper to avoid overpowering the prime rib flavors with strong seasonings and rubs.
- Season the prime rib 30 minutes before cooking it to let it marinate a little in the seasoning.
- Choose bone-in prime rib to get a more flavorful and tender result.
- Place the prime rib on a roast pan fat side up to cook it from the bones and lock the flavors as the fats render and melt into the meat.
- Sear all sides of the prime rib before removing it from direct heat and finishing the cooking process over indirect and lower heat.
- Always allow the prime rib to rest for at least 20 minutes after cooking to ensure a juicy and tender finish.
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