For a mouth-watering, unbelievably delicious cut of steak, you have to go with a ribeye. Aptly named, ribeye cuts are taken from the longissimus dorsi muscle that runs along a cow’s ribs. This area of muscle is lightly used and is high in fat, making ribeyes deeply flavorful and perfectly tender.
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What is the right price for a ribeye, though? You can choose from Select Grade, Choice Grade, or Prime Grade when picking out your ribeye. Select Grade tends to be more affordable, whereas Choice Grade and Prime Grade are more expensive. The prices range greatly, from $6.99 per pound all the way up to $50.00 per pound, depending on the quality, size, and seller of the beef.
In this article, we’ll break down the common price ranges for ribeye steaks and offer some tips about finding the best steak for the best price.
Select Grade Ribeye Price
Select Grade Ribeyes are the most affordable ribeye cuts, and they typically cost between $6.99 and $12.99 per pound.
The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) inspects all beef that is intended for human consumption. While all beef is inspected for safety, not all beef is graded. Meat companies can decide whether to have their beef graded or not, and if they do, they have to pay the USDA to grade their meat.
When the USDA grades beef, they consider the level of marbling found within the meat, and the tenderness of the meat, both of which contribute to the quality and flavor of the meat.
Select Grade beef is typically leaner, with less marbling, compared to Choice Grade and Prime Grade beef. Even still, Select Grade ribeyes are high-quality cuts of meat that are perfect to enjoy marinated, sauteed, on the grill, or braised.
Choice Grade Ribeye Price
Choice Grade Ribeyes usually cost between $11.99 and $20.99 per pound, but they can get as expensive as $40.99 per pound. The price will vary based on whether the steak is bone-in or boneless, and another major factor is the source and seller of the beef.
Choice Grade beef will have more marbling than Select Grade but less marbling than Prime Grade. This marbling makes Choice Grade ribeyes juicy, flavorful, and tender. However, Choice Grade beef will lack the full range of moisture, flavor, and tenderness of Prime Grade beef.
Here is a 2022 list of prices for Choice Grade beef from popular sellers.
Costco Boneless $12.99/lb
Walmart Boneless $11.47/lb
Kroger Bone-In $14.29/lb
Kroger Boneless $13.99/lb
Trader Joe’s Boneless $12.99/lb
Trader Joe’s Angus $18.99/lb
Meijer Angus Bone-In $15.99/lb
Whole Foods Bone-In $18.99/lb
Gelson’s Bone-In $39.99/lb
Gelson’s Boneless $40.99/lb
As you can see, the price range can vary, but generally, you can get a good Choice Grade ribeye for around $15.00 per pound.
Prime Grade Ribeye Price
Prime Grade Ribeyes tend to cost between $20.00 and $50.00 per pound. Prime Grade Ribeyes have the highest level of marbling and the most robust flavor, so they are the most expensive option.
If you are in the market for a top-tier cut of steak, a Prime Grade ribeye is an excellent option. Though this grade of beef is more expensive, it is well worth the cost. You’ll find abundant marbling in a Prime Grade ribeye, and the flavor will be out of this world. Prime Grade beef is usually sourced from younger cows, which helps ensure the tenderness of the meat.
Take a look at this quick list of Prime Grade ribeye prices from popular sellers.
Sam’s Club Boneless $19.98/lb
Costco Boneless $22.99/lb
Gelson’s Prime Bone-in $49.99/lb
Gelson’s Prime Boneless $50.99/lb
As you can see, the price is a lot steeper than a Select Grade or a Choice Grade ribeye. However, this price reflects the higher quality of meat that you’ll enjoy by opting for Choice or Prime Grade.
Be Conscious About Where you are Buying Steak From
Whether you are buying steak at a grocery store, a butcher, or a restaurant, it is important to be conscious of where you are buying your steak from. Whole Foods is one of the best grocery stores for purchasing beef. This is because of their high standards for quality and animal welfare.
For meat to be sold at Whole Foods, it has to pass strict standards. These standards ensure that the animals were raised and killed humanely, and along with that, they ensure that the animals are not fed growth hormones or antibiotics.
These higher standards mean higher quality meat, but they also tend to mean higher prices. If you are looking for more affordable steak, you can opt for a local Trader Joe’s, Kroger, Wegmen’s, or Publix.
The perfect steak exists – you just have to find it! Sometimes a Select Grade ribeye is perfect, whereas other occasions call for a Choice Grade or Prime Grade cut. The quality of the meat is dependent on more than just the grade, however. Knowing your meat seller and their standards is an important aspect of buying the right steak.
If you’re not totally sure what you’re looking for, it is well worth it to shop around and try a few different options. This will help you find a meat seller and beef grade that best fits your taste!
This article was written by Robert McCall, the founder of bbqdropout.com. Robert also owns and operates the BBQ dropout YouTube channel where he demonstrates his first-hand experience cooking all kinds of meats and strives to provide helpful, authoritative content for people looking how to barbecue.
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