How Much Does Prime Rib Cost?


Written by:  Howmuchisit.org Staff
Last Updated:  August 9, 2018

Prime rib is a juicy, tender and very flavorful rib cut, even though it can be rather pricey when compared to other meats.  It’s, without a doubt, considered to be the best cut on the cow.

Even though the cut has the term “prime,” it doesn’t mean it will always be a prime cut as designated by the USDA.

Prime Rib Roast by TheDeliciousLife, on Flickr
Prime Rib Roast” (CC BY 2.0) by  TheDeliciousLife

How much does prime rib cost?

At a local grocery store or a meat market, prime rib is usually going to cost anywhere from $7 to as much as $27+ per pound.   This price can be much cheaper during the major holidays, usually around $4 to $8 per pound.

Sam’s Club, for example, has a seven-pound bone-in prime rib that retails for close to $120 or $17 per pound.

Whole Foods is known to sells its prime rib for close to $20 to $25 per pound.

At Costco, according to the Costco Insider, the cost of prime rib with the bone in retails for $14.99 per pound, while the seasoned USDA Choice prime rib retails for closer to $10.69 per pound.

Prepared prime rib, on the other hand, can cost upwards of $25 to $35 per pound.  These types of meals are generally already prepared, spiced and ready to be placed on the grill or in the oven.

At Kansas City Steaks, for example, they offer a traditional rubbed prime rib for $160 for a five-pound roast.

Prime rib overview

A prime rib roast will come in a variety of grades, including Prime, Choice and Select, and just because it says it’s “Prime,” it doesn’t mean it’s a guaranteed Prime grade.  To receive a Prime grade, the cut will be better-marbled since the extra fat will offer more flavor.  It was named so because one of the eight primal cuts in the steer, which, this one is from the ribs, received the name “prime rib.” Prime will be the highest grade, followed by Choice and then Select.  Most of your grocery stores will carry the Prime and Choice grade, but with any grade of meat, refer to the label to see the USDA grade.

Prime rib will either have the bone-in, which is often referred to as a bone-in rib roast or standing rib roast, or it won’t have the bone, a cut that’s either referred to as a boneless rib roast or ribeye roast.  A bone-in roast can have anywhere from three to seven ribs, and each rib, on average, can generate enough meat for two larger slices.  As for a boneless cut, FirstTracks.net recommends 16 ounces of uncooked roast per guest.

Typical packages at the local grocery store will range anywhere from 3 to 12 pounds.

Tips to know:

A two rib prime rib, on average, can feed up to five people, while a three-rib prime rib can feed closer to seven.

If using a butcher, see if you can get the first cut, which will be the cut closest to the ribs on the shortest end.  These ribs will be a bit smaller and much leaner than on the chuck end.  If your butcher is able to accommodate this request, don’t be surprised if they charge more per pound.

Depending on the time of year, always play it safe and call a local meat shop several days before you want your cut.  During some busy times of the year, especially during the holiday, you may find many meat markets without any prime rib available for purchase.  While most grocery stores will stock them in the meat cooler if available, it doesn’t mean it will be there when you arrive.

How can I save money?

Prime rib will always be on sale during the holidays such as Christmas, Easter and Thanksgiving.  If you’re in an area with a few grocery stores, be sure to pay attention to the ads to see what kind of deal you can take advantage of.  If buying during the holidays, especially when it’s on sale, don’t be surprised if people line up early to buy.  Christmas time, according to this Huffington Post article, is the greatest time to buy.


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  1. 50.00 (lancaster,  Pennsylvania) paid $ and said:

    for a 6pd cut 0f prime rib

    Was it worth it? Yes

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