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Prime rib..is boneless just as good?

  • r

Hi everyone,

I went to Costco today and could not choose between a boneless whole prime rib roast for 11.99/lb and a boneless for 10.99/lb. The boneless will fit in my fridge instead of needing an ice chest. And its a better deal. Will my guests notice the difference in flavor? I assume I would cook the boneless on a rack and it might not be as juicy?

Thanks for your comments.


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  1. Both will be delicious. Rib-eaters (of whom I am one) will miss the bones but the main part of the roast will be just as juicy if you roast it properly. I routinely buy the Boneless Rib-eyes from Costco and they're great.

    I would think the bone-in would be cheaper on a per-pound basis, as some of the weight you are paying for isn't meat

    Buy it today and age in the fridge for a few days. Slow-roast using the CI method and you will never want it any other way.

    5 Replies
    1. re: acgold7

      how is the flavor without the bones to add to it?

      1. re: ROCKLES

        The bones don't actually add much flavor as it roasts. The meat that was near the bones is naturally more flavorful, but when you roast it, typically the bones are at the bottom, so it's unlikely any flavor migrates "up" to the meat.

        Sear it on all sides ands slow-roast, and it's great. All that being said, if you like it bone-in, by all means do that. Prime Rib is always great unless you overcook it.

      2. re: acgold7

        Hi Aacgold7,

        Thanks for your response and enthusiasm. Should I just roast the boneless roast on any rack that will fit the roast? Should I tie it with string to keep the shape? Thanks again for your advice.


        1. re: Rhee

          String is unnecessary and any rack will do.

          If you go to YouTube and search for "Best Christmas Holiday Prime Rib " there are a series of good videos, and on one of the channels that comes up there is a whole series specifically dealing with whole Costco Rib-Eyes, what to do with them, and how to age them and roast them.

          My local Costco has whole Choice boneless Rib-Eyes for about $7.50 a pound or so. I'll have to swing by today and see if they have Prime and bone-in, and check the prices.

          1. re: acgold7

            Don't agree that string's unnecessary -- there's a layer of fat between 2 layers of meat toward the at the rib end side (i.e, the side away from where the chine bone was) and when it melts and the meat shrinks, the meat layers usually separate and curl up. Looks much better if you tie it every 2 inches or so; also makes for nicer & more even slices. Use whatever rack will elevate the meat above the drippings.

            NB: As much as I like prime beef for steak and am happy to shell out the required $, I think its unnecessary for roast prime rib and actually prefer choice for this cut. Needless to say, the price differential is substantial given the size of the cut.

      3. Just curious what part of the country you live in? I just just bought bone in prime rib at Costco for $8.59/lb. Boneless was $8.99/lb. Last year it was closer to $7/lb!

        I've bought both the bone in and the boneless from Costco. I prefer the bone in because I like to get gnaw on the bone. I was always happy with the boneless when I bought them too.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Rick

          Just got back from Costco. At my local location, Choice was priced as follows, per pound:

          Whole bone-in (Cryo): $7.39

          Whole Boneless Rib-eye (Cryo):$7.99

          Half Bone in (Tray): $8.99

          Half Boneless Rib-eye (Tray): $9.99

          They said they might be getting in some more Prime tomorrow.

          1. re: acgold7

            Glad you brought that up. The "prime" rib at my Costco is all Choice. If the OP is getting Prime prime rib for that price I think that's a great deal.

            1. re: acgold7

              They had Prime grade at my Costco when I bought mine last week.

              1. re: acgold7

                Still no Prime as of 4pm today. They said they didn't have any specifically on order, and neither did any other Costcos in our area, but that it's still an Active item and some could be coming in at any time -- they never know what Corporate is going to send.

                On the Computer, prices were $14.99 for bone-in and $15.99 for boneless, Prime.

            2. I would suggest reading the following for everything you need to know about how to cook Prime Rib. I followed it the first time I made Prime Rib and it turned out delicious:


              An answer to your question from that page:

              I do NOT recommend purchasing a boneless rib roast, as roasting with the bones adds flavor. But, if you do purchase a boneless prime rib roast, cook using the same guidelines as a roast with ribs. Usually the weight is figured without the bones. If in doubt, weight your roast before cooking it.

              1. No. It's wonderful. But it's not *as* good.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Karl S

                  Yes, meat on the bone is always better. That said, I wouldn't turn up my nose at any prime rib.

                2. I prefer with the rib. Bones = flavor.

                    1. I go both ways. My former butcher who has since retired, "Newported" the roast for me. He would cut the bones off and then tie them back onto the roast. That way I got the flavorful bones when I roasted it and when I was ready to serve, I would cut the string off and voila, easy as pie. And I gotta be honest, I love gnawing on the bones.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: TrishUntrapped

                        My FIL who's a butcher does that for me too. He individually frees each bone, places it back on roast and ties it. So you get the best of both worlds - flavorful from bones, yet easy to carve.

                        1. Bones don't impart any flavor to a roast.

                          1. Bones are for making stock after the event. It will be the best beef stock you have ever had.

                            1. Frozen rib roast stock + spring vidalias = the best onion soup you have ever had.

                              1. I thought I would add my humble two- cents-worth of my experience withe prime rib. I have alway's roasted the meat on the bone. The ribs serve several purposes: They impart flavor-enhance the taste-to the meat; they serve as a "rack" to roast your meat on and they can be used to make beef stock (beef stock and or wine are usually used, in many recipes I've seen, to make or add to the juices of the pan for au jus)! As an aside, have your butcher (or do it yourself) remove the meat frome the bone and tie the meat up. When you are ready to prepare your prime rib, and using the method I use, season the meat (I simply use kosher salt and freshly cracked coarse black pepper), brown/sear in a pan on all sides (I use a large cast iron pan to both brown the meat and use it as my roasting pan-it's great for the pan juices I so dearly want!) and tie the roast back onto the ribs and there you go!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: Jak67

                                  Jak, I used a cast iron pan to sear mine, but hesitated to put it in the oven that on the cast iron. I was worried it would cook too fast on the part that is is touching the pan. Do you find that to be a problem or not really? Would've been great to only have one pan to clean afterwards!

                                  1. re: steakrules85

                                    I'm with the bone-in (and high-heat sear) crowd. The main reason, though, is I love devilled beef bones. That is a bone-gnawing carnivore's delight...caveman-ish.

                                    1. re: hazelhurst

                                      How do you make them? Sounds devilish.

                                      1. re: sandylc

                                        Its a recipe from the OLD Gourmet cookbook...I'll dig it out but you might be able to find it online. You soak them (I use some vinegar and garlic and such,) then roll in breadcrumbs, butter on top and broil them. But, obviously, there are a number of ways you can do it. I've put marchard du vin sauce on them as well.

                                        1. re: hazelhurst

                                          I just checked online and found the Gourmet Project has a quick discussion (remarks that they are hard to eat which is a slight exagerration but....) There is a good approximation there. I forot to mention the mustard in the coating. I mentioned vinegar above: you can also use some lemon if you want that slight acidic tang. I'm not sure where I picked that part up Sometimes you don't want it. You will see that it is basic.

                                  2. As a chef, former meat salesman & serious carnivore,here's my 2 cents:

                                    It's mostly about the grade and age of the beef. I think most would be hard pressed in a blind taste test to tell the difference to a bone in versus boneless of the same piece (grade) of beef.
                                    USDA Prime grade prime rib is truly outrageous! Choice is very good too & it is what you get @ most steak houses even high end joints that sell Prime grade steaks. When you buy USDA Select grade the meat is tougher & less flavorful...I avoid this grade. I sear then slow roast my meat in a 275 oven or I sous vide cook it then quickly brown afterwards. Slow cooking keeps more of the "eye" the desired doneness (color) you desire.
                                    I am in the market for a Prime grade rib eye for Xmas dinner. I plan on shopping @ Costco because they won't rip me off as much as my local supermarket will this time of year. Has anyone seen prime grade rib eyes @ Costco recently? What price? Do you have to buy a whole rib eye or do they offer partials? Were they in Cryovac or in styrofoam trays with clear wrap? Thanks & Happy Holidays to all!

                                    6 Replies
                                    1. re: zackly

                                      Availability of Prime rib eye at Costco is uneven and probably depends on location. Last i checked, they had only whole ones (bone in) at about $14/lb. Restaurant Depot (assuming you have a business and can get in) usually carries it (again not everywhere at all times) for about the same +- $1/lb.

                                      1. re: zackly

                                        Costco availability and pricing are discussed at length above. In a nutshell, when they have Prime you can get whole ones in the cryo and partial ones in the tray. Boneless is about $1 more per pound than bone-in, and while partials are usually two dollars or so more expensive than whole when you are dealing with Choice, my store prices partials the same as whole when it's Prime.

                                        But at the moment, in my area (PNW), everyone's out of Prime and they don't know when more will be in. You pretty much have to stop by and check every day.

                                        1. re: acgold7

                                          FYI: I just bought the last Prime grade boneless rib eye the Norwalk, CT Costco had. There were none in the case & the meat manager said they were out & didn't expect any more in before Xmas. He has an assistant check the cooler & he found one. price was $15.99#
                                          choice was $9.99#. The rib eye weighed about 11#. It is in Cryovac. A true Hoilday indulgence!!

                                          1. re: zackly

                                            Today's update from the PNW: A couple of boneless Prime halves in the tray at $15.99 per lb. Lots of blue trays (Prime) in the back room but these were all steaks. No whole, no bone-in.

                                            Spoke to an employee/friend and she said they never know what's going to greet them when they come in in the morning, food wise or otherwise, stockwise.

                                            [I used to shop at the Norwalk store when I lived in the area. Never could figure out why the street level lot was always packed and the lower level lot was always empty. ]

                                            1. re: acgold7

                                              Ha Ha!
                                              Great minds think alike. I rant about this to my wife every time we go shopping there.
                                              I park in the lower level, effortlessly, while others battle it out @ street level blocking the lanes to avoid walking 50' extra feet. Not just Costco it's all over.

                                              1. re: zackly

                                                Egg'zackly, zackly. The irony is that if you go downstairs you're likely to get a spot right by the elevator, so you actually walk *less* than the upstairs folks.