How Much Prime Rib Per Person (Complete Guide)

Are you planning to make prime rib for your next family gathering but aren’t sure how much you’ll need?

We’ve got you covered!

In this article, you’ll learn:

  • How much prime rib you will need for your next gathering
  • Tips about preparing it
  • And much more!

How Much Prime Rib Per Person?

The amount of prime rib you should purchase for your family gathering will depend on how you plan to serve it. Whether or not you choose to have prime rib as the main entree or as an appetizer, you will need to think about different portion sizes.

As the best advice, you will want about a half pound per person if you are serving it as an appetizer, but a full pound if it is to be the main entree. Of course, there are always variations on this advice since the amount people will eat can vary.

Keep in mind that it is much better to purchase more than what you may need to ensure that everyone gets their fill. The worst thing that can happen after hosting a meal is for your guests to go away hungry.

To prevent this from happening, you will want to consider not only how many people you may be serving, but also how much they typically eat. If you have some that have larger appetites than others, this could be a factor in how much prime rib is needed.

uncooked prime rib with strings tied on it

What If You are Preparing a Boneless Prime Rib?

The biggest difference between getting your prime rib with or without the bones is the amount of meat you will be able to serve. With a boneless prime rib, you are getting just the meat that has typically been trimmed appropriately.

Since you do not have to attempt to cut around the bones, then you typically have more meat to serve your guests. This means that if you purchase a 10-pound prime rib, you will easily be able to serve about 8-10 guests.

It may be important to note that when you are purchasing your prime rib, you will need to consider the weight. This means that since you are purchasing boneless, it will likely weigh less than if the bone were in it. 

You will need to be careful when you are making your purchase to consider whether or not is truly boneless. Then, you can take into consideration the amount you calculated that you will need per person you are serving.

Related >> How To Reheat Prime Rib

cooked prime rib

What If You are Preparing a Bone-In Prime Rib?

When it comes to choosing your prime rib, most people choose to prepare it with the bone-in since it can make it appear more elegant. This, of course, is a personal preference and should be considered carefully.

Depending on the size of the rack of prime rib, you will need to ensure that you have plenty for each person on your guest list. This typically means that you will need to consider that each person may eat between a half to a full pound.

Because of this, you can expect that one bone of the prime rib will usually feed two people at most, three if they eat less. It is also important to consider that because of this, not every person at your table will have a bone to themselves.

When you are purchasing prime rib with the bone-in, you also have the option, if you are buying it from a butcher, for them to remove the bones, but tie them to the rack. This provides a nice rack for your prime rib to sit on and may make it easier to slice along the way.

Related >> Should You Leave the String on When Cooking Prime Rib?

How Much Prime Rib Should You Buy?

Determining how much prime rib you need can be an overwhelming task since you want to ensure that everyone has plenty to eat. It is important that you carefully calculate the number of guests you will have in comparison to how much prime rib you will need.

Since it will vary depending on how you plan to serve it, you will need to also consider this before you purchase your prime rib. If you are going to have prime rib as the main course served with side dishes, then you may not need as much as you think.

The best rule of thumb is to allocate about a pound of prime rib per person since appetites will vary depending on who is at the table. This will typically accommodate children and adults alike with their varying appetites.

If you are planning for more than 8-10 guests, you may want to consider purchasing the full prime rib roast which typically includes seven bones. This size of the prime rib will easily serve upwards of 12 people and will ensure you have enough for everyone.

Keep in mind that if you end up purchasing too much and have quite a bit leftover, this just means that you will be able to enjoy the prime rib for days to come. There are many things you can do with the leftover prime rib that should not go to waste.

Overall, there are many factors that you should consider before purchasing your prime rib including how many guests you will have and whether you want bone-in or boneless. Once these two factors are decided, you should be able to purchase the prime rib that will fit what you need.

Related >> How Long Does Prime Rib Last in the Fridge?

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How to Choose the Best Prime Rib?

When it comes to choosing your prime rib, there are a few factors that you should consider since this cut of meat is more expensive than others. The most important factor is ensuring that you are getting prime rib and not meat from the same area but that is not exactly what you are looking for.

The best way to ensure that you are getting what you want is to go straight to a butcher’s stand and ask for what you want. Doing this will provide you with the best information on which one you should buy to serve your needs best.

Another thing to consider when purchasing your prime rib is whether or not you want to buy boneless or bone-in. Keep in mind that bone-in is the favorite of most people since the bone is what adds more flavor to the meat.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours entirely and should fit your personal preferences. Whichever you choose, you will want to ensure that it has a good amount of marbling of the fat because this will provide the best flavor profile.

Tips on Preparing Your Prime Rib

Whether you are preparing prime rib for the first time or not, you should be aware of a few tips that will help your experience go much smoother. These tips are designed to help you create the best prime rib dinner for your next family gathering.

Season Your Prime Rib

Before you begin to cook your prime rib, you should ensure that you have seasoned it well with various spices including salt. Because prime rib is a thicker cut of meat, it will take quite a bit of seasoning to penetrate the entire slab.

Tie Your Prime Rib

Using butcher’s string, you should take the time to tie your prime rib together so that it does not fall apart during the cooking process. This can easily be done whether you have a bone-in or boneless roast. 

The best way to do this if you are working with a boneless prime rib is to tie the strings about 2 inches apart along the entire length of the slab. If you have a bone-in prime rib, it is recommended that you tie the roast between each of the bones.

Try a French Cut

Depending on the type of presentation you are going for, you may want to try giving your prime rib a French Cut. This is an elegant way of presenting your prime rib by cutting the fat and any other meat off of the bone allowing it easier to handle. 

If you are not quite sure how to do this, you can always as your butcher to take care of it for you before purchasing.

Related >> Simple Smoked Prime Rib Roast Recipe

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Hope Davis

Born in Denver, Colorado as the oldest of 5 children, I learned at a young age that the grill was one of the best ways to prepare food for a crowd. And during the winter storm months, when the snow was likely to knock out the power to our house, the propane grill was a lifesaver! You wouldn’t believe the number of things you can cook on a grill when necessary. With parents who couldn’t tell salt from pepper unless you told them, I spent my late teen years making my own seasoning mixes and marinades to dress the meat before barbecues. It wasn’t long before I developed a secret marinade that people still beg me to make for them today! When I was 21 years old I bought my first smoker. Picked up some cedar chips for making a cedar plank salmon...and well, the rest they say is history! I’ve been grilling and smoking all kinds of creations ever since and I’m always excited to share my passion with others through my favorite medium--writing!

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