We all know that prime ribs are not only just food but a luxury to have. Hence, spending money on the right prime rib is essential. Now, grocery stores can sometimes be confusing when placing their products. And it is easy to get lost. So, “Where to buy prime rib at the grocery store?” is a common question among meat lovers.
For starters, check the meat sections of any grocery stores for prime ribs. Besides, there are always the butchers if it is unavailable. When buying, make sure to order for the right kind, as there can be different kinds of prime rib referring to bone options, cutting, and grading of meat. The best way to buy prime ribs is to get them according to your preferences.
Are you wondering whether there’s more you should know about steaks? Indeed, there is! There are a number of things that go into your prime-rib shopping cart. Like, how to order for the right prime rib? How to pick the best prime rib? How to know what kind you want? In this guide, we will explore this topic in detail and help you understand. So, let us dive into it!
What Is A Prime Rib Called At The Grocery Called?
Many people tend to get lost in the name of prime rib. As you may know, there is a cooking style called “Prime rib”, but most people mix up the meanings of these names. Hence, when you go grocery shopping, make sure you get beef-bone-in-rib-roast or standing-rib-roast as these are the labels for prime rib. You will find it right at the meat section of a grocery store.
These two names and the former name of prime rib indicate different aspects of beef. Here is what the labels of the prime rib refer to:
- Its former name, Prime rib, refers to the piece type and primal cut of steak.
- The latest name, standing-rib-roast, indicates the position of the piece is placed and usually roasted.
- Beef-bone-rib-roast refers to whether you want them with bones or boneless, depending on your preference.
Make sure to tell the person serving at the grocery store what you would like to buy, rib-roast or prime-rib-roast. Also, mention your preference for ribs with or without bones.
Note that not many grocery stores offer prime rib – it is in low demand as it is a bit expensive. Only the high-end grocery stores sell them but you may not always get it, so your next stop should be to the butchers.
Prime ribs at butchers
Just like the names, the prime in “prime rib” also has two different labels on the butchers – the cut and the grade. The cut is the shape or part of the beef, and the grade is the leveling and quality of the beef.
The label, grade, refer to:
- Fatness and thickness of the marbling in the muscle of the meat.
- The kind of tenderness and flavor you want it to have.
- Aging of the meat of the cow
- Texture and color of the meat
- Four levels of grading system from prime, choice, select, and standard.
While the label, cut, refer to:
- Firstly, cows have about thirteen ribs on each of their sides. So, the first five ribs fall on the chuck section, from the first to the fifth rib.
- The next seven, from sixth to twelfth rib, are on the rib section.
- Lastly, the thirteenth rib is the part of the loin.
It can be quite a heartache if you spend everything on your wallet and the meat is not up to the price. So, understand the types of prime and consider your eating experience before you have the talk at the meat counter.
To get a clearer picture of what you want, here are the types of roasts:
Without Bone: As the name suggests, they take out the bones in the rib. Despite popular belief, slicing up and serving without the bones makes things a lot easier.
With bone: This one is as simple as it gets – the rib bones will still be in the roast. In fact, the flavor of roasting with the attached bones enhances the whole dish. You may know the name for this cut as Standing Rib Roast.
Tied and boned: Tied and boned has a bit of both from the ones mentioned above. The separated rib bones are attached back using the butcher’s twine.
Here’s a video to get a detailed idea on Prime Rib tied and boned.
What Is The Best Prime Rib To Buy?
Being a picky customer will always get you to your desirable things, so you must be precise about the choice of roast you want.
Here are some pointers on how you can select the best prime rib:
- Always expect the color of the rib to be brown or darker red if it is in a pack vacuum-sealed. It is because once you open the package and the beef is out in the air, the color will turn red. It will take around fifteen to twenty minutes to get to its original red color after exposure to the open air.
- Look out for a roast with the most marbling and fat wrapped through the muscle, the tenderness, juicy, and flavorful. You must know that not all roasts will have equal marbling or fatty muscle. Some will even vary within a certain range of thickness. Hence, if you see one that suits you best, don’t give it a second thought.
- You must pick a roast that has the meat brightly colored with the fat that must look milky-white. The flesh needs to give off that fresh cherry-red color, anything with dull colors, such as blue or green around the bone, is a big no. Even if you see one with the slightest appearance of dullness, reject it.
How To Buy The Perfect Prime Rib at a Grocery Store
Everything and anything that is best comes with a price. If you are willing to spend your wallet, you can safely join the pay-to-play for the perfect prime rib.
Let the butcher or anyone in the store attend to you, as it is pricey, you must clearly mention exactly what you want. They can’t serve you right unless you specifically mention what prime rib you want.
So, here are some secrets to how you can choose to buy the perfect prime rib:
1. The Nice Trim
You can’t expect to get a perfect rib without the touch of a professional. When it comes to butchering meats, any butcher can cut a piece for you. But, finding the right place to slice and cut is a talent. Not anyone without experience can serve you that. If you want, they can even make it look nicer by giving it a French trim.
Hence, an experienced butcher is a must-net if you want a perfect-looking prime rib.
Keep in mind, to keep all the fat and bone in their places, you want them all in your prime rib. Unless anything is hanging off the meat, don’t trim much. The less touch the meat gets the better, so say no to trim at all costs.
2. Aging Of The Beef
Most stores prefer to clear out their inventory as soon as possible, while some like to age the beef before selling it. If you happen to know any store or butcher that offers aged meat, no need to give it a second thought just go for it.
The aging process takes about three weeks, and the entire time the meat is prepared to improve its tenderness, meatiness, and boost flavor.
You can even try beef aging at home yourself, but that would surely be a risk. As you may end up with a toxic mutant due to bacterial growth in your refrigerator. Hence, your best bet should be at a fine butcher who knows what they are doing and serve you the utmost perfect aged meat.
3. Size Does Matter
Always go for the bigger piece of the meat. The bigger the better, and the tastier your steak. The truth behind cooking a perfect rib is that larger pieces are easier to cook as they fit nicely on your grill, or smoker, or pan.
Smaller pieces may seem easier to cook, but that isn’t the case. Small things can go bad easily within a short time, so even if you cook a perfect small roast, the chances of it getting ruined are high.
Large pieces on the other hand let you have enough time to cook it to perfection even if it is a longer cooking process.
4. The Good Grade
First things first, grading has a few levels of rib where it sets the choice, select, and standard. The grade refers to the quality of the meat.
If you don’t hold back on spending your money, get the prime grade of the prime rib. This gem is hard to find, hence the high price tag, so if you fail to find one, settle with either a select or a choice grade.
Besides, if you are paying a hefty price to get your desired rib, you must be a picky customer. So, try to take make every ounce of your time and money worth it!
5. The Small End Of Rib
Lastly, go for smaller roasts because you will want to slice a cut off the small end from the rib roast. The secret behind it is that the small end is more desired and more tender, as the small end is right there next to the loin.
So, ask your butcher for the chuck end, that part of the meat has more fat around the muscle and in the middle.
6. Always Get Bone-In and Check The Weight
If you really want the heavenly taste of prime rib, settle on meat with bones. Prime ribs with bones make the meat juicier and tastier than meat without bones.
Hence, make sure your butcher leaves the bones in your prime rib. If you plan to buy a full-cut rib roast, you should always get the one that weighs at least 16 lbs. A prime rib of higher than an average weight is of high quality.
What Are The Best Grocery Stores To Buy Prime Rib?
When it comes to meat most grocery stores are sub-par at best. But there are a few that outshine others by providing one of the best quality prime ribs in the industry. Here are some grocery stores that I would recommend if you are looking for a good quality prime Rib.
These are just my personal favorites. But basically, any high-end grocery store will have prime rib cuts in the frozen meats section.
With all said and done, the ribs may not be as available as you want them to be. But, once you do find your perfect prime rib, it will be worth the wait. Remember what you want and how you want the meat of your prime rib, and consider the tips mentioned above. The best will be to pick a well-experienced butcher, so your money does not go to waste.
If you were among the people wondering, “Where to buy prime rib at the grocery store?” We hope this article has been enough to gather everything you need to know about prime rib. Thank you for reading, and good luck shopping!