Find out where you can get prime rib to make and serve at your own dinner table.
Learn where you might get a standing rib roast for Christmas dinner or other special occasions. Also tips on where to look for the best prime rib.
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Nothing is like a nice slab of prime rib hot on your plate with some au jus for dipping.
It's the holy grail of roasts! Known for it's rich flavor that only needs to be enhanced with some salt, pepper, and maybe some fresh herbs.
Most of us save this experience for a night out. But some do venture to do this on their own. Usually around the holiday season.
Christmas is the best time to get a prime rib roast, although it can be bought year round. We will help you find the good stuff any time of year.
🛡️ What is Prime Rib?
We use the word "prime rib" to describe this cut that we also refer to as a standing rib roast. Technically speaking it's only prime rib if it's USDA prime grade beef. In this post we are going to look at where you can get prime graded beef as well as choice beef and ungraded beef.
Look for the USDA grade shields on the packaging to know what you are getting.
Different names for prime rib - Here are some other names you may see : Prime Rib Roost, Standing Rib Roast, Ribeye Roast. They all come from the same primal cut of beef. Some may be with or without bones. These roasts can be cut into ribeye steaks.
The most common name you will see in the grocer store especially around Christmas is standing rib roast.
Trader Joe's sells a USDA Choice Boneless Prime Rib Roast. The name prime is in the roast but its actually choice beef. They aren't hiding that it's not prime beef, but it just showcases you got to read all the packaging and look for the shield if you really want prime beef.
🛒 Where to Buy in Store
Prime graded rib roasts are far less common than choice. For this list we are going to look at where you can get any grade standing rib roast or rib eye roast. You don't need to go to a higher-end grocery stores to find one. Here is a list of the best places to find it for Christmas.
- Big Y
- Central Market
- Food City
- Fresh Thyme
- Hannaford Market
- New Seasons Market
- Sam's Club
- Stater Bros
- Stop & Shop
- Tops Friendly Market
- Trader Joe's
- Whole Foods
Some stores sell already seasoned meat ready to go, although I prefer to do all the seasoning myself especially as typically already seasoned beef comes at an increased cost.
As far as grocery stores actually selling USDA prime beef, Costco is your best option year round. HEB and Central Market stores in Texas have advertised they will carry prime beef. I have heard that Wegmans stores have sold prime beef, but I an not sure about if they do rib roasts. Also look check the Fresh Market if you have one near you.
You could just order your roast online and skip the store altogether.
The source I recommend is Porter Road. Now their meat is not graded. Grading meat is a service that the whoever produced the meat pays for. They can choose to skip the grading, places are still inspected. Just because the meat isn't graded, doesn't mean that it isn't good.
This is a great thing to keep in mind if you are buying form a smaller source. Read up about them. See how they raise their animals. You may find that you don't need that prime graded beef to be happy!
Everything I have tried from them as been excellent. Their pasture raised beef undergoes dry aging for enhanced flavor.
🎄 If you are looking to pick up a rib roast for Christmas and would like one delivered right to your door, I recommend Porter Road. All the meat I have had from them has been top notch. You can preorder a rib roast for Christmas and it will be shipped fresh (not frozen) to your door by December 23rd. No worries about not being able to get what you want in the store.
🥩 Local Butcher
For high quality you might want to consider a local butcher shop. Many will allow you to special order ahead of time so you can be sure to get what you want. Also might be a good option if you are looking for a roast outside the Christmas season where it's harder to find in most grocery stores.
You also might have better luck finding prime beef at a local butcher.
Got a favorite local butcher shop? Leave a comment below and share it with us!
👀 What to Look For?
No matter what you choose to buy, choice, prime, ungraded etc, Here are some things to look for
- Intramuscular fat - inside the meat itself is there nice marbling/good fat development?
- Fat cap - is there large fat cap on the roast, sure you want some fat, but if it's a lot and you plan to cut it off, you are paying for something you are going to toss.
- Bone-in or boneless option - you are going to find both out there. You need to decide whether you want the bone or not. You are paying by the pound so you are paying for that bone, However it some cases the boneless option could be more money, so you are paying them to remove it. Some people say the bone adds flavor but I have read some experiments where removing the bone didn't change the flavor.
Quality of the meat does matter but so does cooking method. If you don't have a good method it won't matter what you buy. I prefer low and slow methods either in the oven or via sous vide. A good meat thermometer is key to making sure it's done to the prefect temperature. Don't just rely on time.
Maybe thinking of doing a beef tenderloin instead? Here is how we like to cook it.
🥕 Favorite Sides
Here is a list of some of our favorite sides to serve with prime rib.
If you need help tracking down a rib roast in your area, leave a comment below with where you live.