Perfect prime rib, seasoned with a delicious garlic marinade and cooked in the oven. A secret trick will give you the most tender and juicy meat you’ve ever made!
At most of our big dinners, especially holiday dinners, we usually have a meaty main dish—whether it’s a turkey, a ham, or even a roast chicken. This prime rib is another option that makes a great main dish for “fancy” holiday dinners. 😉
Is Prime Rib a roast?
Prime Rib, also known as Standing Rib Roast, is cut from the primal rib section of the animal. A prime rib roast consists of anywhere between 2 and 7 ribs. When the meat from this section is cut into smaller single servings it is considered to be a rib-eye steak.
When purchasing a prime rib roast, plan on one pound per person, or two people per rib bone. Look for well marbled meat as the fat will ensure a juicy flavorful roast. Also, consider having the butcher tie the rib bones to create a rack for the meat to stand on when cooking.
You can also buy boneless prime rib roast which is also referred to as an Eye of the Rib Roast (or sometimes Ribeye Roast). Keep in mind this will change the cook time in most recipes and the lack of bones may affect the overall depth of flavor.
How to Cook Prime Rib
The way this delicious cut of meat is cooked can make or break the dish. Since this cut is usually reserved for special occasions, you want to make it worth your time and money.
REST: The first step happens before you even put it in the oven! You are going to want to allow the roast to rest on the counter for 1-2 hours, depending on the size. You can also add the seasoning at this point. This will allow time for the seasoning to draw moisture out of the meat which gives it a better sear in the oven.
OVEN SEAR: Many recipes will already have the directions listed on how to oven sear the prime rib. Basically you want to cook the roast at a very high temperature, about 450-500°F for 15-20 minutes before turning down the heat and allowing it to finish cooking.
Oven searing gives a nice beautiful brown color and outer texture. Be aware the roast may produce some smoke so go ahead and turn the vent on and open a window or two. Once the roast has been seared, reduce the oven temperature to 325°F.
3 ways to cook the roast:
The easiest way and most precise way is to use a meat thermometer, but you can also set a timer and be pretty accurate. There are 3 main ways to cook your roast.
- Rare: internal temp of 120-125°F or 10-12 min per pound for rare prime rib. The center is bright red then fades to pink
- Medium: internal temp of 140-145°F or 13-14 min per pound for medium. The center has a band of pink and fades to brown towards the outer portion. This cook is the perfect choice when serving a crowd as it will please the majority of dinner guests.
- Medium Well: internal temp of 150°F or 14-15 min per pound. The center may have a light pink band, but is mostly brown throughout.
IMPORTANT TIP: Remove the roast 5-10° under the desired cook temperature. Loosely tent aluminum foil over the roast and allow the roast to rest for 10 minutes. The roast will continue to cook and the internal temp will rise leaving you with a perfectly cooked Prime Rib Roast.
For a quick calculation reference the following times are for a nice medium cook:
- 2 ribs (4 to 5 pounds) – 55 to 70 minutes
- 3 ribs (7 to 8.5 pounds) – 1-½ to 1-¾ hours
- 4 ribs (9 to 10.5 pounds) – 1-¾ to 2-¼ hours
- 5 ribs (11 to 15 pounds) – 2-¼ to 3 hours
- 6 ribs (15 to 16 pounds) – 3 to 3-¼ hours
- 7 ribs (16 to `8.5 pounds) – 3-¼ to 4 hours
Best Seasonings + Sauces for prime rib
Prime Rib is a cut of meat that doesn’t need to be marinated. Adding herb seasoning to the outside is all you really need. Some common herbs include:
- lemon zest
- light brown sugar
- sweet or smoked paprika
If you’re one who likes to add sauces and dips to your prime rib, a very popular choice would be horseradish sauce. You can also make a nice gravy or au jus.
How to store + freeze prime rib
You can either store the roast raw or cooked in the fridge to be eaten soon or freezer to be enjoyed later.
- Raw Roast Refrigerated: You can keep the roast in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days before cooking it. You can even rub the seasoning on the roast a day or two in advance giving it ample time to infuse the crust with flavor.
- Raw Roast Freezer: Wrap the roast in plastic wrap and again with foil. Label and freeze for about 6 months. Thaw in the fridge.
- Leftover in the Fridge: Place the leftover prime rib in an airtight container. Include any leftover drippings. Store in the fridge for up to 5 days
- Leftovers in the Freezer: Wrap the roast in plastic wrap and again with foil. Label and freeze for about 6 months. Thaw in the fridge.
How to Reheat Prime Rib
When reheating the Prime Rib, be sure to include a few tablespoons of drippings. This will help keep the meat juicy and delicious. If didn’t save dripping/juices you can just use beef broth.
- Steamer: place the prime rib on a piece of foil and fold over the sides to create a pouch. Before closing it completely add a couple tablespoons of the saved juices, then close the pouch. Place the pouch in the steamer, cover with a lid and heat for only about 3-6 minutes depending on the size.
- Oven: preheat the oven to 250°F. Place the meat in a small pan along with a few tablespoons of juices, cover the plan with foil and heat for about 8-10 minutes or until hot. Next add a little butter to a skillet and brown the outside of the roast on the stove top.
- Microwave: If you are in a pinch you can use the microwave. Place the meat and a few tablespoons of juice to a microwave safe bowl, cover and heat for only 1-2 minutes.
- Cold: You can even skip the reheating altogether. Just thinly slice the roast and prepare a delicious beef sandwich.
What to serve with prime rib:
The sides are endless with this pieces of meat but here are some of our favorites that go with this:
Honestly, any veggies, salads and breads are delicious with this and you can’t go wrong pairing it with your favorite side. 😉
More Meaty Main Dishes:
Prime Rib Recipe
- 1 10 lb Prime Rib Roast (you can use more or less meat and adjust the cook time according to the notes)
- 10 cloves garlic minced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp ground black pepper
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- Place the roast in a roasting pan with the fatty side up. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Spread the mixture over the fatty layer of the roast.
- Allow the roast to rest on the counter for 1-2 hours, depending on the size, until it comes to room temperature.
- Oven sear the prime rib. Preheat your oven to a high temperature, between 450-500°F and cook your prime rib for 15-20 minutes. Be aware the roast may produce some smoke so go ahead and turn the vent on and maybe open a window.
- Once the roast has been seared, reduce the oven temperature to 325°F and finish cooking the roast.
- For a Rare Cook: Use a meat thermometer to indicate an internal temperature of 120-125°F. OR simply cook 10-12 min per pound for rare prime rib. The center will be bright red then fade to pink.
- For a Medium Cook: Reach an internal temperature of 140-145°F. OR cook for 13-14 min per pound for medium. The center will have a band of pink and fade to brown towards the outer portion.
- Medium Well: Your meat will reach an internal temperature of 150°F. OR cook for 14-15 min per pound. The center may have a light pink band, but will be mostly brown throughout.
- Remove the roast 5-10° under the desired cook temperature. Loosely tent aluminum foil over the roast and allow the roast to rest for 10 minutes. The roast will continue to cook and the internal temp will rise leaving you with a perfectly cooked Prime Rib Roast.
- 2 ribs (4 to 5 pounds) – 55 to 70 minutes
- 3 ribs (7 to 8.5 pounds) – 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours
- 4 ribs (9 to 10.5 pounds) – 1-3/4 to 2-1/4 hours
- 5 ribs (11 to 15 pounds) – 2-1/4 to 3 hours
- 6 ribs (15 to 16 pounds) – 3 to 3-1/4 hours
- 7 ribs (16 to `8.5 pounds) – 3-1/4 to 4 hours