How to Choose a Ribeye Steak

by Robin Hewitt ; Updated September 28, 2017

When you go to the grocery store, are you bewildered by the vast variety of meats? If you're never quite sure that you've picked the best steaks, follow these simple guidelines to choosing rib-eye steaks. You're next cookout will be a guaranteed success, and you're guests will clamor for your secret.

Learn the method that professional use to grade the meat before it arrives at the store. The three classifications of beef are prime, choice and select. The classifications are based on the amount of marbling, or white flecks of fat, that are in the cut of meat.

Choose "prime" beef rib-eye if you're cooking for a special occasion. The "prime" classification is the cut with the highest amount of marbling, but it is also the most expensive grade so it might not be within your regular grocery budget.

Pick the "choice" steaks for a sure win on the grill. "Choice" cuts are a bit leaner and not as tender as prime, but are still juicy and flavorful. They will make the best pick for your grilled feast.

Avoid buying rib-eye that is rated "select". "Select" is the lowest grade of commercial beef, and while it may look tasty with it's bright red color, you'll notice that it has very little marbling. If all your store offers is "select" beef, you might want to shop elsewhere as this cut will be tough and have much less flavor.


  • "Angus" and "Hereford" are breeds of cattle, not grades of quality. While both are bred especially for flavor, remember to look for the "Choice" label. All beef is required to be "USDA Inspected". Don't let this label trick you into thinking it's a better cut of meat.

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About the Author

Robin Hewitt began her writing career in 2008. She is the coauthor of several books, including "The Joyous Gift of Grandparenting," which covers the nutritional and fitness needs of both grandchildren and grandparents.