National Prime Rib Day Is Here

National Prime Rib Day is April 27, and it’s the time of year when carnivores celebrate mouth-watering, juicy steak that has been perfectly seasoned and cooked to perfection. No one actually knows why April 27 is Prime Rib Day, and there is nothing that suggests it is a formal, national holiday. However, many people tend to celebrate the day by either preparing prime rib at home for dinner or enjoying an evening at your favorite restaurant where prime rib is on the menu.

If you’ve ever wondered exactly what prime rib is, or what separates it from other beef grades and cuts, you aren’t alone. According the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), prime beef comes from well-fed, younger cows and is recognized by its heavy presence of marbling. Marbling is the amount of white fat that you see on meat in relation to lean beef. Prime rib comes from the cow’s upper rib area, and this meat is revered for its high quality. Most fine restaurants and hotels serve prime beef, including prime rib. Prime is the highest grade of beef determined by the USDA. The amount of juiciness the meat has is a direct reflection of how much marbling is present. Therefore, prime cuts will be the juiciest and most flavorful due to the amount of fat present.

After Prime meat is choice. Choice is also high-quality meat, but is separated from prime due to having less marbling. You can select prime rib or choice rib meat. Prime rib will have more marbling than cuts that are choice.

Following choice cuts is select. Select cuts have considerably less marbling than prime and choice, and therefore tend to not be as juicy or flavorful. Because there is less marbling, it is imperative to properly season and marinate the meat.

You can learn more about meat grades in the videos below.

The different grades of beef combined with your choice of cut will not only impact how your finished steak will taste, but also how it should be cooked. Those who are going to celebrate National Prime Rib Day by going out to eat need only to concern themselves with the best grade of beef and leave the cooking to the experts. Others might opt to prepare their own prime rib and might need the advice of an expert.

Here are some tips for those preparing prime rib at home.

First, determine if you want bone-in, prime rib roast to cut your own steaks or to buy prime rib steaks already cut. Budget and the amount of steaks needed will help you make your decision. There are plenty of recipes for both and those who are serving more than a few people might find that a bone-in prime rib roast is more cost effective. You can cook the prime rib roast whole and then slice it when ready to serve, or you can do like the man in the following video and actually cut your own steaks from the rib roast. Some people purchase the rib roast then ask their butcher to cut it into steaks for them, as this is still cost effective.

Here are tips for cooking a prime rib roast on the bone.

Note: Use your own judgment when letting meat thaw to room temperature before cooking. Many experts believe that bacteria thaw at two hours, but still, others believe that bringing the meat to room temperature first increases the moisture and any bacteria is then subsequently killed. Again, use your own judgement and research safe food handling practices.

Happy National Prime Rib Day!

[Photo by Jim Bowie/Shutterstock]