This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This Prime Rib Recipe is tender, juicy and delicious! Step-by-step tips for the best prime rib, makes the perfect standing rib roast to serve on holidays!

Juicy slice of prime rib on white tray on a stone counter

Prime rib is one of those dishes that takes center stage when you serve it. This salt and pepper crusted prime rib is so easy to make and always tender, juicy and delicious. I love to prepare my slow roasted prime rib throughout the holidays or when I am having a special, celebratory meal, especially at Christmas. It is so delicious and a meal that my whole family and guests always love.

It can also be a bit intimidating to make since prime rib is such a large rib roast, not to mention that it can be a rather expensive cut of meat. Luckily, with just a few simple tips, it is so easy to prepare!

Prime Rib
Prime Rib Recipe from

What Cut of Meat is Prime Rib?

Prime rib roast, also known as standing rib roast, is the cut of beef from the back of the upper ribs portion of the cow. This cut comes from the same primal rib section of the cow that a rib eye steak does. To be considered a rib eye steak, the meat must be cut before the rib roast is cooked. Prime rib is a larger cut of meat that typically includes the bone.

The full cut prime rib is made up of seven ribs and will generally weigh from 16 to 18 pounds, and feeds about fourteen guests. 

How to Buy Prime Rib

When buying prime rib from the grocery store, you’ll want to make sure to ask the butcher for a standing rib roast and let them know how many people you will be serving. 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.

I prefer to buy a bone-in prime rib, or standing rib roast, as the bones serve as a natural rack for the meat when baking, insulate the meat while cooking, and makes for a juicier more tender prime rib when cooked.

Ask the butcher to prep the meat for you by cutting away the bones from the bottom of the meat. But, do ask them to go ahead and tie the bones back onto the meat for you. This way, you have the benefit of cooking the beef with the bones for a tender prime rib while still being able to easily cut away the tied bones to make carving for serving easier.

Prep for the Most Tender Prime Rib

Salt. Besides the bones making for a juicy prime rib, using salt on the standing rib roast makes for the most tender meat. 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. Once you’ve salted the roast, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap and store it in the refrigerator until an hour prior to cooking.

Place on Roasting Pan. Remove your beef 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.

Season. At this point, add any additional seasonings you want to use. I like to serve it pepper encrusted for extra flair, but you can use a blend of herbs in garlic butter is also amazing. These optional seasonings are included below so you can use based on your preference.

How Long to Cook Prime Rib

The amount of time that you cook the beef depends on how well done you prefer your roast.

Preheat. Preheat your oven to 475º F for about 15 minutes.

Roast. Then roast for 15 minutes and then reduce to 325º until it reaches the desired internal temperature, usually about 11 – 12 minutes per pound for rare prime rib, 12 – 13 minutes for medium-rare prime rib, and 14 – 15 minutes for medium well prime rib.

Note that you’ll need to use an internal meat thermometer to ensure it’s cooked to the exact temperature you desire. You will also want to allow for any carryover cooking, meaning you’ll want to remove from the oven about 2-4 degrees less than the temperature you desire.

What Temperature Should I Roast the Prime Rib to Reach?

You will want to roast your prime rib until the meat thermometer registers the following:

  • 115º F – 120º F for rare
  • 125º F – 130º F for medium rare
  • 135º F – 140º F for medium
  • 145º F – 150º F for medium well

To roast your prime rib for medium rare, you will want to remove it from the oven when the temperature reaches 125º F and let it rest for about 20 to 30 minutes 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 and serving.

Tip: Be sure to use a meat thermometer to make certain that the roast has reached the desired temperature. You will want to check various areas of the meat with the meat thermometer to be certain that you have cooked it perfectly. The worst thing is overcooking.

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 prime rib as they prefer it!

Store 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 roast 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!

What to Serve with Prime Rib

We love to serve our prime with a bit of Horseradish Sauce on the side. It is creamy and a bit spicy from the horseradish and goes perfectly with the beef! As side dishes, I love to serve Baked Potatoes or Twice Baked Potatoes. You just can’t go wrong with either of those! And for a salad, we always love my Apple Pear Salad with Pomegranate Dressing. If you are serving your standing rib roast throughout the holidays, you absolutely need to make Bart’s Cinnamon Rolls. They are perfection!

These recipes, along with others, are all included in my Make-Ahead Christmas Dinner Menu that I think you’ll love as well!

Seasoning Options

Herb and Garlic Prime Rib

Mix together 4 tablespoons softened butter, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh rosemary, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme and 4 large minced garlic cloves. Spread generously on the outside of the standing rib roast before cooking. Spoon the pan juices over the roast before serving.

Pepper Encrusted Prime Rib

Press 3 tablespoons of crushed black pepper onto the outside of the roast before cooking.

Coffee Encrusted Prime Rib

Mix together 2 tablespoons ground coffee, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, and ¼ teaspoon cayenne. Spread generously on the outside of the standing rib roast before cooking. Spoon the pan juices over the roast before serving.

Here’s my Perfect Prime Rib recipe. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

4.92 from 24 votes

Perfect Prime Rib Recipe

Dinner 3 hrs

Prep Time 1 hr
Cook Time 2 hrs
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Author Robyn Stone | Add a Pinch
Perfect Prime Rib Recipe – 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! 


  • 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 and allow to reach room temperature. If cooking a boneless roast, place onto a roasting rack inside the roasting pan. At this point add pepper or other seasonings, if using.
  • Preheat oven to 475º 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 50 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.
    Note: Here are the temperatures you'll allow to reach depending on the doneness desired:
    115º F – 120º F for rare
    125º F – 130º F for medium rare
    135º F – 140º F for medium
    145º F – 150º F for medium well
  • Place on a carving board for slicing and serve.

Nutritional Information

Serving: 3ounces | Calories: 340kcal | Protein: 19g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 72mg | Sodium: 55mg | Potassium: 258mg

Shout Out

Did you make this recipe?

Mention @addapinch or tag #addapinch!

Share it with the world!

Robyn xo

Perfect Prime Rib Recipe - This prime rib recipe results in the perfect prime rib every time. Perfect for the holidays or special occasions. With step by step tips! //

From the Add a Pinch recipe archives. Originally published 2014.

Beef Recipes

Robyn Stone

..where I share sweet, savory and southern recipes, as well as home and garden tips and tidbits of travel.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Review


    1. I roast it without a lid. I do move my oven rack down below the middle so that the top of the roast is not too close to the top of the oven. If you notice that it is getting too dark on the top as it roasts while still not being cooked through inside, you could tent it with foil as it finishes up.

    1. I think that salting the meat ahead of time yields a more tender and flavorful prime rib if you are roasting, smoking or using the rotisserie.

  1. 5 stars
    Been making prime rib for several years now. You have give good direction for a potentially daunting meat to roast! Linda

  2. A trick I learned years ago working in restaurants, was if you need to cook up a serving of prime rib, hold it over a kettle of hot Au Jus or seasoned beef broth and ladle the hot liquid over the beef letting the excess run back into the kettle. After a few applications, the beef will cook up without drying out. But I try to talk people out of well-down prime rib. What a waste!

  3. 5 stars
    I had a 5lb rib roast, and I followed your recipe. The roast sat out for 2 hours, and I followed your directions. I used my VERY expensive Therma Pen , and I’m done. I roast a 10 lb. standing rib every Christmas Eve, and I sweat bullets that it will turn out delicious. I’m done! It is FABULOUS!


    1. Hi Aisie,
      I’ve updated the recipe based on requests for it to serve 6 – 8 people (about a 10 – 10.5 pound bone-in roast). For that amount, I use about 1 tablespoon of Kosher salt. I do not rinse it off, it forms a crust on the prime rib. I hope you enjoy it!

    1. I’m so sorry I missed your question earlier, Dianne. For my pepper encrusted, I mix together 1 1/2 tablespoons of crushed peppercorns, 3 cloves minced garlic, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil and press onto my prime rib and then bake as directed. I hope you enjoy it! xo

    2. 5 stars
      Thank you I was a little concerned about the higher temp in the beginning but that seals in the juices. Makes sense!

  4. When I cook my rib roast I cook it in a rotisserie that is enclosed and has oven settings. Would you cook it at the same temps; 450 and 325?

    1. Hi Virginia,
      I would. We’ve even used our smoker and always use the same temps for our prime rib. The method of temperatures and cooking time per pound work for me everytime. I hope you enjoy it!

    1. Hi Sara,
      You can! We have used our smoker at times following the same temperatures and cooking times per pound with really good success! We love it! I hope you do!

  5. 5 stars
    I’m am looking forward to serving this prime rib. At present my taste bubs are jumping and have not started Thank you.

  6. Hi Robyn!
    I recently discovered your website and I am thrilled! I picked up my prime rib yesterday and I am going to get started on this recipe today for my Christmas dinner. I CAN’T WAIT!!!

    I searched your website for a popover recipe but the dutch baby was it. Do you know of or have any suggestions? Maybe not a popover but what else might work for our dinner instead?


  7. 5 stars
    Hi Robyn! I am looking forward to trying your recipe. I brought a 6 pound prime rib and used corse sea salt to salt it . is this ok ok do I need to wash it off and use kosher. Thanks

  8. I cook prime rib often and never have good luck with the timing. It always takes longer. Tonight I am cooking a 6 1/4 pound one. How long would you think it would take? Thank you.

  9. 5 stars
    I made this last Christmas and it was a major hit! Thank you so much for the tips and the recipe. I seriously cannot wait for Christmas this year because I’ll definitely make this again.

    1. I’m so glad you loved it, Mari! It is one of our favorites for Christmas celebrations, too! xo

  10. 5 stars
    Can you go into detail regarding salting the meat 5 days prior to cooking? I have been making prime rib for years now every Christmas and I usually just rub the roast with an herb butter + kosher salt 2-3 hours before cooking. Do you think I should salt and add the herb better 5 days before or just salt and add the herb butter like I usually do. Thanks so much!

    1. Just salt the prime rib 5 days prior and rub on the herb butter prior to cooking like you usually do. Thanks!

    1. Hi Jan,
      You’ll want to make sure that you purchase a prime rib with a sell by date from your butcher that would cover that date and then some. I hope you enjoy it! xo

  11. 5 stars
    I’ve been making prime rib for our family Christmas Eve dinner for several years. Each year I try to get the latest and greatest recipe. This one sounds like a winner so I’m choosing add a pinch’s recipe for this year. Thank you!

    My favorite movie is White Christmas . I watch it every holiday season. Love Bing Crosby’s voice. I get goose bumps every time when he sings.. I’m such a sucker for all the old musicals!

  12. 5 stars
    My favorite Christmas movie is Eloise at Christmastime. My girls and I have watched it every Christmas for years.

  13. White Christmas is to me the best Christmas movie! The wonderful finale with the barn doors opening, the tree, the snow and the wonderful red dresses. Such a nostalgic movie! Love it!

  14. 5 stars
    My favorite is White Christmas – love the sister act both with the sisters performing it and with the guys doing it! So many funny and poignant touches in it!

  15. 5 stars
    This roast beef recipe seems like one to definitely try! I’d love to win the blender and your cookbook for my daughter (one of four!). She recently was involved in an accident and has a concussion. Though a new employee, the company she works for has been very understanding. She cannot work until she can again look at LCD screens. Her ‘on’ time is in the morning, and cannot be to demanding, until she recovers. I’ve been reading to her, and sometimes it’s from cookbooks. It’s inspiring both of us to try making some different dishes. This girl LOVES smoothies, so a blender would be awesome for her! My favorite Christmas movie has to be ‘White Christmas’. My family usually watches it together before Christmas, but the concussed daughter can only listen, not watch the screen. Next year will be better for her!

  16. 4 stars
    I always follow your baking recipes. Because of that, felt confident to try this for our gourmet group’s Christmas party. We had 12 people for dinner last night. We followed the recipe’s directions. Unfortunately, the meat wasn’t near done as we followed the instructions. It took 35 minutes longer for us, and it was barely medium rare. I was disappointed. Will raise the oven temp, if I do it again.

    1. Hi Deb,

      So sorry your cooking time took a little longer. I don’t recommend raising the oven temps from that listed in the recipe as it will cook the exterior of the prime rib faster than it cooks the inside.

      How many pounds was your prime rib? I’m thinking since you say it served 12, that you must have had about a 15 – 15.75 pound bone-in prime rib roast. If so, at 11-12 minutes per pound, your roasting time would have needed to be about 204 minutes (including the 15 minutes at higher temp), or 3.4 hours.

      Was your prime rib at room temperature before you placed in the oven? If not, that would extend your cooking time as well.

      I’ve included the information from the post about the cooking times per pound (after allowing to reach room temperature). The keys to great prime rib are really the preparation beforehand, allowing to reach room temperature, preheating the oven to 450 for 30 minutes, then roasting at 450 for 15, reducing the oven temp and roasting for about 11-12 minutes per pound until it reaches desired internal temp and then the resting stage before carving. It can seem a bit much, but each of these steps are so important.

      Preheat your oven to 450º F for about 30 minutes. Then roast your prime rib 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 for prime rib cooked to the exact temperature you desire. Allow for carryover cooking, meaning you’ll want to remove your prime rib from the oven about 2-4 degrees less than the temperature you desire. We prefer our prime rib rare, at 120º F, so we remove from the oven at 118º F and tent with foil.

      Robyn xo

    2. 5 stars
      You must get a thermometer for meat! It will make your life much easier and you will not have to guess if it is the right temperature..WE do beef medium rate at 130-135. Always perfect. Good luck.

    1. Hi Bette,
      It may not be as easy to tell from the photos, but I rub the salt all over the prime rib except for the cut ends. I hope that helps! xo

  17. A little late, but, favorite Christmas movie is “One Magic Christmas”, and/or “Love Actually”….and then there is always “Elf”. Making your Prime Rib recipe tonight for my 97 year old father’s birthday….hoping it is fabulous!

  18. Hey im trying my first-time ever pirme rib but i have a electric stove i need to know how hot and long do i cook my 5lb roast please help😭

  19. Hi Robyn,
    My son wants us to deep fry our Prime Rub this year. We are a bit hesitant, what do yo think?
    Happy Holidays

    1. I’ve never tried that, Kathleen. I am interested to hear how it turns out if you do it. Thanks!

  20. Can’t wait to try this recipe for Christmas. What can you tell me about the salad in the picture? What yumminess is in it?

  21. This will be my FIRST try at this, so keep your fingers crossed for me! Making it for small gathering on Christmas, crazy huh?! It sure sounds good.

  22. 5 stars
    I have a 10.47lb standing rib roast I’m cooking Christmas. I’m using an antique gas oven where the heat only comes from the bottom of the oven. There’s only 2 choices for rack positions. The lower rack position is very close to where the heat generates. I feel as though I need to roast with the rack in the higher position. I’m hoping this will work ok and the end result will be a delicious medium rare. If you think I should use lower level, please let me know. 

    1. Hi Marsha,
      I’d suggest getting the roast as close to possible to the middle of the oven so that it won’t be too well done on the bottom or not done enough on the top. Even if you have to use a roasting pan with an insert to get the roast up toward the middle – or something of that nature. Hope this helps. Thanks!

  23. Do you use an au jus with this prime rib ? Also would you make any adjustments for cooking a larger (12-14lb) boneless prime rib ? 

    1. Hi Julie,
      Yes, I use pan juices for aus jus. Make certain to follow the step by step instructions and cooking time per pound of the beef. Boneless will be same temp and time per pound.
      Enjoy it! xo

  24. 5 stars
    I will be roasting a 19 pound prime rib tomorrow.  I’ve read your instructions and have salted, wrapped tightly as directed. 

    I followed your instructions for  the turkey which I cooked today and will reheat tomorrow.  Amazing done to perfection.  Thank you.  Now I hope I have the same results with my prime rib.

  25. After 25 years of marriage, I have only made Prime Rib twice. Today for Christmas was the best. I am so glad I followed your easy  recipe. Thank you 

  26. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing the perfect prime rib recipe.  I have always cooked a prime rib at Christmas.  It was always very good but this time I must say everyone commented that this time  I had out done myself that it was absolutely the best they had ever had. And they have eaten it top places.    A 19 lb prime rib following your way created a prime rib to PERFECTION!   Thank you thank you!   This recipe is absolutely a keeper.  Five star.

  27. 5 stars
    Hi Robyn ! I have used this recipe and the meat was perfect! I am cooking a small roast for my husband, son and myself. What is a good internal temp for mid rare. My roast is 4.91 pounds.


  28. 5 stars
    Thank you for this recipe!  I made it last night for our NYE’s dinner.  The prime rib came out perfectly cooked throughout, which did not require me to stick it back in the oven. Except for the ends, it was cooked medium rare up to medium. So everyone had their choice of cut. I was surprised though that we could barely taste any salt or pepper (I used your pepper crusted recipe) which is a good thing.  Will definitely be using this recipe from now on. 

    1. You are so welcome, Gale! I’m so glad to hear that you and your family/guests enjoyed it! It’s one of my family favorites too! Thanks so much! xo

  29. I have a standing rib roast in the freezer that I’m planning to fix. Should I go ahead and salt it when I put it in the refrigerator to thaw? I don’t think I’d want to thaw several days AND THEN salt for 5 more before cooking. Thanks!

    1. It would be preferable to salt the meat after it has thawed. You can salt it anywhere from an hour to 5 days prior to roasting. I hope this helps, Amy.

  30. Thank you Robyn for this recipe. Prime Rib for some reason has always been intimidating for me. But I really love your detailed step-by-step approach. I’m definitely going to try this for my next holiday party. BTW – I love your photos this looks like something from a gourmet restaurant =)

    1. Thank you, Lynn. Don’t let prime rib intimidate you. I’m sure you will do fine with this recipe. Hope you enjoy!

  31. I am one of those that is intimated by Prime Rib Roasts
    Do you cover it while roasting the duration of time desired or uncovered?

    1. Mary, I roast my prime rib uncovered. You will also want to allow for any carryover cooking, meaning you’ll want to remove from the oven about 2-4 degrees less than the temperature you desire. Tent with foil loosely and let meat rest for about 20 minutes before serving. In my post, I list internal temperatures for each of the degrees of doneness for the meat. Hope this helps.

    1. It would be preferable to salt the meat after it has thawed. You can salt it anywhere from an hour to 5 days prior to roasting. I hope this helps,

  32. I salted the cut end!! Then i read your older comments and found I shouldn’t have. Should I unwrap it and try and remove it? Thanks

    1. Those pieces are going to be really salty, Leslie. You may want to remove the salt from that end.

  33. The timing in the recipe doesn’t sound right, if you have a 10 lb roast at apx. 12 min per lb, it would be closer to two hours. I have an 18.65 lb standing rib roast and calculated apx. 4 hrs (which includes the 15 min. @ 475). This seems excessive if your 10 lb rib roast only requires 1 hr and 10 min. Please advise.

    1. Keri,
      I’m sorry, my recipe should have stated 1 hour 50 minutes instead of 1 hour 10 minutes calculating time for 11 minutes per pound. Your calculations for your 18.65 pound rib roast is accurate. Thank you for letting me know.

  34. This turned out spectacular! I always fear cooking the Christmas prime rib, but this recipe is my new love. The meat was very tender and flavorful. My fear of overdone, underdone and/or tough meat is a thing of the past. Robin, this recipe is perfect. Thank you for sharing.

  35. I am traveling about an hour over the holiday break and I am in charge of bringing the prime rib. What is the best way to prepare it (partially cooked, fully cooked, etc.) to get it there without ruining it? I know, ideally, it would be to just make it AT the location of the gathering, but that isn’t an option this time.


  36. Hi Robyn, I am thawing my roast today and will salt as soon as it’s thawed. Do I just salt the top and bottom? I saw where not to salt the sides. Thanks, looking forward to cooking with your suggestions. I’m going with the garlic herb seasoning. Happy Holidays!

    1. Melinda, it may not be as easy to tell from the photos, but I rub the salt all over the prime rib except for the cut ends. I hope that helps! xo

    1. I use kosher salt, Anand. I would start with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of kosher salt and add more, if needed, to coat the meat.