One of my favorite things to make for a special occasion is a good, simple Prime Rib. It’s what I always make for Christmas dinner but rarely during the rest of the year because it can be fairly expensive. I’m sure the cost does prohibit most people from making it very often because they’re afraid they’ll mess it up somehow and will have wasted the expense. I understand that! However, it’s not nearly as difficult as you might think. It’s really just like cooking a roast!
Making a gorgeous rib roast can be impressive and can give your inner chef a boost of self-confidence. The two most important things to remember are (1) have a good meat thermometer so that you can watch the temperature closely toward the end of cooking and (2) allow for adequate resting time before serving.
There are lots of recipes out there for seasonings for prime rib but, personally, I prefer just salt and pepper. It really lets the luscious flavor of the prime rib shine. However, if you like other herbs and spices, go for it! If you’ve never cooked a prime rib, be sure to read through the instructions several times to make sure you understand the procedure and then just forge ahead with confidence.
When purchasing prime rib, plan on one rib per each two people. Ask the butcher to separate the roast from the bones and tie them back with butcher’s twine.
Remove the roast from the refrigerator several hours before cooking so that it can come to room temperature.
When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Generously sprinkle all surfaces with salt and ground black pepper. Place the roast in a heavy roasting pan with the rib bones down. You don’t need a rack with a prime rib as the bones act as the roasting rack.
Cook for 15 minutes, then decrease the temperature to 325 degrees and continue cooking approximately 15 minutes per pound for rare, 17 minutes per pound for medium rare, and 20 minutes per pound for medium. The cooking time per pound is merely a guideline – measuring internal temperature is critical for a correctly cooked roast. Start checking the internal temperature in the thickest part of the roast about 45 minutes before the estimated end of cooking time. The temperature should read 120-125 for rare, 130-135 for medium rare, and 140-145 for medium. I don’t recommend cooking a prime rib any further than medium.
When desired temperature is reached, remove the roast from the oven, cover the pan with foil and let it rest for 30 minutes before carving.
When ready to serve, cut and remove the twine. Separate the roast from the bones.
Slice and serve.
More prime rib recipes you might enjoy:
- Prime Rib with Horseradish Crust from Food Network
- Prime Rib Recipe and Video from Martha Stewart
- 13 Rules for Perfect Prime Rib from Serious Eats
- Herbed Prime Rib Roast from Whole Foods Market