Recipes » Main Dish Recipes » Perfect Prime Rib

Perfect Prime Rib

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5 from 1 vote
It may look impressive and complicated, but it's one of the easiest recipes to make! Follow my step-by-step method to make a Perfect Prime Rib roast for any special occasion.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 5 minutes
For Perfect Prime Rib every time, try my easy cooking method. A special occasion meal for everything from Christmas to Valentine's Day. https://www.lanascooking.com/prime-rib/

Prime Rib is always an impressive dish to present to your family and friends. It looks like it takes loads of work but, in truth, it’s one of the simplest recipes you can make. Follow my easy method to make a standing rib roast perfect for any special occasion.

One of my favorite things to make for a special occasion is a good, simply Perfect 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.

Perfect prime rib sliced and presented on a cutting board.

Because of the cost of prime rib, many people are afraid they’ll mess it up somehow and I totally get 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 beef shine. But 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.

Ingredient Notes

All you need are a rib roast, salt, and pepper. That’s it.

COOK’S TIP 
When purchasing prime rib, you should plan on one rib per each two people you’ll be serving. Look for a roast with consistent marbling. “Marbling” is simply fat and it’s what gives the beef tenderness and excellent flavor!

Ask the butcher to separate the roast from the bones and tie them back with butcher’s twine. That step will make slicing and serving so much easier!

How to Cook Perfect Prime Rib

Let’s Go Step-by-Step

I always like to show you the photos and step-by-step instructions for my recipes to help you picture how to make them in your own kitchen. If you just want to print out a copy, you can skip to the bottom of the post where you’ll find the recipe card.

COOK’S TIP
Remove the roast from the refrigerator several hours before cooking so that it can come to room temperature.

When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Season the Roast

Prime rib generously sprinkled with salt and pepper sitting in a roasting pan.

Remove any packaging from the roast and pat it dry with paper towels. Generously sprinkle all surfaces with salt and ground black pepper. Place the roast in a heavy roasting pan with the rib bones down.

COOK’S TIP 
You don’t need a rack as the rib bones act as the roasting rack.

Cook to Desired Doneness

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.

COOK’S TIP 
The cooking time per pound is merely a guideline and 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. However, if you like yours more on the well done side, go ahead and cook it to suit your preference!

Let it Rest

When the desired temperature is reached, remove the roast from the oven, cover the pan with foil and let it rest for a minimum of 30 minutes before carving.

Carve and Serve

Photo collage showing the ties and ribs being removed from the cooked prime rib.

When ready to serve, cut and remove the twine. Lift the roast off of the bones and place it on a cutting board.

Slicing the finished prime rib for serving.

Use a very sharp knife to slice as thick or thin as you like. Serve with some of the pan juices drizzled over each slice.

COOK’S TIP 
About those bones you removed… well, that’s the cook’s treat you know. Save those and reheat them later to enjoy by yourself or with someone who doesn’t mind eating with their fingers, too :-)

Serving Suggestions

Serve with baked potatoes, potatoes au gratin, or crispy roasted potatoes and a green vegetable like roasted asparagus. A fresh green salad with a classic vinaigrette dressing is always good as a starter and a loaf of honey wheat bread goes perfectly!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is prime rib the same thing as ribeye?

Prime rib (or rib roast) and ribeye steaks do come from the same cut of meat. The difference is in how they are cooked. A prime rib is usually cooked low and slow after an initial burst of heat to sear the outside. A ribeye steak is normally cooked very quickly on a hot grill or pan.

How do I know how large a roast to purchase?

Count the number of rib bones in the roast. You’ll want to purchase a roast with one rib bone for every two people you plan to serve. For example, if you’re serving six people, purchase a prime rib with three bones.

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Recipe

For Perfect Prime Rib every time, try my easy cooking method. A special occasion meal for everything from Christmas to Valentine's Day. https://www.lanascooking.com/prime-rib/

Perfect Prime Rib

It may look impressive and complicated, but it's one of the easiest recipes to make! Follow my step-by-step method to make a Perfect Prime Rib roast for any special occasion.
5 from 1 vote
Print It Rate It
Course: Main Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 3 hours 5 minutes
Resting Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 3 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 1691kcal
Author: Lana Stuart

Ingredients

  • 10 lb Prime Rib or oven roast (4 ribs for serving 8 people)
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Instructions

  • 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. *See more cooking time information in the notes below.*
  • 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.

Notes

Purchasing Info:
  • When purchasing prime rib, you should plan on one rib per each two people you’ll be serving. Look for a roast with consistent marbling. “Marbling” is simply fat and it’s what gives the beef tenderness and excellent flavor!
  • Ask the butcher to separate the roast from the bones and tie them back with butcher’s twine. That step will make slicing and serving so much easier!
Cooking Time:
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. However, if you like yours more on the well done side, go ahead and cook it to suit your preference!

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1 | Calories: 1691kcal | Protein: 77g | Fat: 151g | Saturated Fat: 63g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 66g | Cholesterol: 343mg | Sodium: 252mg | Potassium: 1253mg | Calcium: 43mg | Iron: 8mg

Nutrition information is calculated by software based on the ingredients in each recipe. It is an estimate only and is provided for informational purposes. You should consult your health care provider or a registered dietitian if precise nutrition calculations are needed for health reasons.

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— This post was originally published on February 19, 2015.

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19 Comments

  1. Why do you advise not cooking Prime Rib to more than medium done? My entire immediate family prefers med Well. In my humble opinion, med well is still tender and Juicey. There are lots of us who prefer med well and we are not using a 800 degree grill to cook our beef with. I agree with keeping the seasonings simple and everything else you said, just can’t take raw (in my view) beef of any kind. Liked-minded people and I are simply ignored. Why?

    1. Not really sure why you’ve left two comments on the same post, but I’ll respond to the last one here. The reason you don’t cook a prime rib to well done is because it is a very large piece of meat and by the time the interior is well done, the outside will be burned. Very burned. When cooking to medium, there are always more done areas on the end. It’s not possible to cook a roast that size to the same temperature throughout. Those who like theirs done can always take a portion from the ends. After slicing the roast, if you want yours cooked more, you can still return the individual portions to the oven to cook them some more.

      Of course, if you want to cook your prime rib until it’s well done in the center, go right ahead. It’s not like I’m making up unbreakable rules for cooking roasts here. You cook anything you want in any way you want in your own kitchen.

  2. Why is your recommendation to never cook a Prime Rib beyond medium doneness. My immediate family prefers medium Well and that is still very juicey and tender. I was of the impression that practice came from restaurant chefs who were concerned with timing. The faster it cooks the more customers you can service. I used to always ask for well done beef in restaurants, but it always came out tough with a burnt crust and no taste. It was always overcooked and then someone suggested I try med well and it worked. I even tried Med. but that was a bit too red and raw in the middle for me. My question is why do most Steak houses grill with such high tempertures?

  3. great advise but would add a clove of garlic crushed to a paste with salt and rubbed on roast with a sprinkle of rosemary—over the top

  4. Great tip about letting the roast come to room temperature before cooking. Makes all the difference. Lovely prime rib, Lana. Now I’m starving!

    1. That’s my preference, Ashley. In my opinion, all a prime rib really needs is salt and pepper. It’s such an expensive cut that I like to let it’s natural flavor shine.

    1. I went back and clarified that sentence. The butcher separates the roast from the bones and then ties it all back together with twine. It’s the standard way of preparing a prime rib so any butcher will understand what you’re asking for.

  5. We did exactly the same thing for Valentines! Much better dinner at home than most restaurants. Prime Rib, cooked to 125 Deg., Baked stuffed potatoes with cheddar, sour cream, scallions, butter, and green beans with almonds. Topped off with a nice Chardonnary (J Lohr), and Carrot Cake..Bon Appetit!!