How Much Prime Rib To Buy For Your Holiday Dinner

For a small dinner or large buffet, prime rib is the way to go when you want to impress your guests.

Prime rib, sometimes called a standing rib roast, is the cut of choice when you want to pull out all the stops for a special occasion. You can't beat serving rosy, juicy meat for an anniversary, birthday, or holiday dinner party. Since prime rib is so delicious, you want to ensure you have enough to serve your guests generously. Here is how to determine how much prime rib to buy, how to select it, and why it is so special.

Prime Rib With Horseradish Dipping Sauce

Alison Miksch; Food Stylist: Karen Rankin; Prop Stylist: Josh Hoggle

How Much Prime Rib To Buy Per Person

Before buying your roast, consider how you plan to serve the meat to your guests. If the roast is part of a holiday buffet, estimate that your guests will eat about half a pound per person. If it is the main course for a sit-down dinner, plan on one pound per person or one rib for every two diners. For example, you can plan on a four-bone roast generously serving eight guests. When in doubt, err on the side of buying too much. Using leftover prime rib is just as tasty when prepared the following day. Plus, no proper Southern hostess wants to run out of the main attraction at her home.

How To Buy Prime Rib

If a six or seven-rib roast in the meat case is too large for your purposes, ask your butcher to cut it down. You can also ask the butcher to cut the meat off the bones and tie it back on, which helps in the carving process after cooking the roast. You can buy prime rib bone-in or boneless, but a bone-in roast is the best choice for guaranteed juicy succulence.

Buyer Beware

When you're shopping, be careful not to confuse the cut of prime rib with the USDA grade of prime — the term prime rib doesn't have anything to do with the quality of meat, only the cut itself. A label that reads USDA prime refers to the actual quality of the meat.

What Is Prime Rib?

A prime rib roast, or standing rib roast, is cut from the back of the steer's upper rib section (sometimes called the primal rib section) and usually comprises six to seven ribs. Rib eyes are steaks cut from the prime rib.

Are you interested in an incredible steak dinner made on a single pan in under 30 minutes? This meal is possible. This restaurant-worthy impressive dinner is not only easy to pull off, but it is also most definitely appropriate for a special occasion.

Why Is Prime Rib So Special?

Prime rib has a large "eye" of meat in the center, which is juicy, tender, and marbled with fat. Surrounded by a thick cap of fat, fat-marbled muscle encircles the "eye." The prime rib, a muscle not heavily used, is tender, juicy, and extremely flavorful.

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