This Perfect Prime Rib Recipe is tender, juicy and delicious every time! Step-by-step tips for the best prime rib, perfect to serve on holidays, special occasions and more!
Prime rib is one of those dishes that takes center stage no matter when you serve it. Rightfully so, too. Also referred to as standing rib roast, it is beautiful served throughout the holiday season, at parties, or for special occasions. Luckily, it couldn’t be much easier to prepare!
I have a few tips for making your prime rib absolutely perfect every single time.
How to Cook the Best Prime Rib
How to Buy
I prefer to buy a bone-in prime rib as the bones serve as a natural rack for the meat when baking, insulate the meat while cooking and allows for it to be even more tender.
A quick way to determine the size that you need to purchase is generally, you will have two servings per bone, depending on the thickness you plan to serve. If serving as the main entree, generally a thicker cut is desired, if as part of a buffet, thinly carved pieces are usually fine.
Salt It for the Juiciest Prime Rib
About four to five days before you plan to cook it, you’ll want to salt it. The salt when left on the meat for an extended period (from about an hour to days), seeps into the meat and provides for better seasoned, juicy meat. This is a dry brining method.
If for some reason you aren’t able to salt it that far in advance, do so at least an hour prior to roasting. Anything shorter than an hour will work against you and result in a tougher exterior to your meat.
Wrap and Refrigerate to Lock in Flavors
Once you’ve salted the meat, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. Then store in the refrigerator until an hour prior to cooking.
Bring to Room Temperature
Remove your prime rib from the refrigerator an hour prior to cooking, then unwrap and place, bone side down, on a roasting pan fitted with a roasting rack, and allow to reach room temperature. At this point, add any additional seasonings you want to use. I like to serve it pepper encrusted for extra flair.
Roast Your Prime Rib
Preheat your oven to 450º F for about 30 minutes. Then roast at 450º F for 15 minutes and then reduce to 325º until it reaches the desired internal temperature, usually about 11 – 12 minutes per pound.
Note that you’ll need to use an internal meat thermometer to ensure it’s cooked to the exact temperature you desire. Allow for carryover cooking, meaning you’ll want to remove from the oven about 2-4 degrees less than the temperature you desire. We prefer ours rare, at 120º F, so we remove from the oven at 118º F and tent with foil.
Allow to Rest Again Before Slicing
Allow it to rest about 20 minutes. This allows for the most tender, juicy prime rib! Then move to the carving board for slicing.
At this point, you can remove the bones for serving and then slice as you serve or leave the bone in if serving very generous portions.
Serve at the Perfect Temperature
If your guests prefer a more well-done slice of beef, I normally have a rimmed roasting pan standing by to place the beef on and return to the oven for a few minutes to cook it to their desired temperature. That way, everyone is able to have their own version of perfect prime rib!
Save any Leftovers to Preserve Tenderness
If you have any remaining, (and that’s a major if!) you can easily save it for later serving. It is amazing with biscuits and a mustard or horsey sauce as an appetizer! You’ll be glad that you sliced your prime rib as you served it so that the meat is easier to reheat without losing any of the tenderness and juiciness you took such care to get!
My prime rib recipe is the centerpiece of my Make-Ahead Christmas Dinner Menu that I think you’ll love as well! 🙂
Perfect Prime Rib Recipe
- 1 (3 - 4 bone) bone-in prime rib, about (10 - 10.5 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- Salt prime rib from one hour to up to five days prior to cooking and serving your prime rib. Once salted, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until an hour prior to cooking.
- An hour prior to cooking, remove prime rib from refrigerator, unwrap and place, bone side down, on a roasting pan fitted with a roasting rack and allow to reach room temperature. At this point add pepper or other seasonings, if using.
- Preheat oven to 450º F. Then, roast your prime rib for 15 minutes and reduce to 325º F until your prime rib reaches the desired internal temperature, usually 11 - 12 minutes per pound, about 1 hour and 10 minutes. Using an internal meat thermometer, remove your prime rib from the oven about 2 - 4 degrees less than the desired serving final temperature you desire. The temperature of the prime rib will continue to rise due to carryover cooking. Tent prime rib with foil and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
- Place on a carving board for slicing and serve.
From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published 2014.