There’s a lot of misconceptions about the difficulty level of a cooking a succulent prime rib. Since a Prime Rib (also called a Standing Rib Roast) is usually a large cut of meat it tends to scare many people. The truth of the matter is, these cuts of beef are not difficult to prepare and with a few simple tricks, you can be cooking them perfectly every time. Once you see how easy they are you will wonder why you didn’t try it sooner.
My first absolute must have is a good digital thermometer. I have a remote digital thermometer with a cord that goes directly into the meat and into the oven. For me, this is the best thermometer for this application. You can use a traditional meat thermometer but this type is not as accurate as the newer digital thermometers so if you opt for the second variety, you may still want to check it with hand held digital thermometer. A perfectly cooked Prime Rib is a perfect medium rare. Cooked to medium or beyond, this cut looses flavor and tenderness. If you are not a fan of rare to medium rare steaks and beef, this cut is not worth the expense for you. I would try instead a roast crown of pork or a bottom round pot roast.
The second thing I recommend is talking to the butcher at your local market. I find often only a few Prime Rib roasts are on display at a time – and generally only during the holidays. If you need a larger (or smaller) cut, they can be either specialty order one or cut one to order. My butcher precuts the ribs off the meat for me, either fully or partially, and then ties the ribs and the roast back together with butchers string. This is completely safe for the oven and won’t burn. Leave it in place. You just snip the strings when the roast is done and the ribs remove easily off the roast. We set these aside for later. There’s always one person willing to enjoy these later. They are also good for making beef bone broth.
Letting the roast rest is key to Perfect Prime Rib. This allows the juices to redistribute and believe it or not, the roast will continue to cook for the next 20 minutes while it’s out of the oven and resting. Many a Perfect Prime Rib is lost during those last 20 minutes. The resting time is crucial. So be patient; let it rest.
To determine how large a roast you need for your guests, calculate 3/4 to 1-pound per person for a bone-in roast. This will also depend on the number of sides being served, the number or courses being served, and if you are serving two main dishes (like Turkey and Prime Rib). For 8 people, I bought an 8-pound bone-in roast for our main course. We will serve this with loaded baked potatoes, au jus, creamy horseradish sauce,creamed spinach, and oven roasted broccoli and cauliflower.
- 1 Prime Rib (Standing Rib) Roast; 4-9 pounds
- ¼ cup black pepper
- ¼ cup kosher salt, large crystals for a better crust
- 2 tablespoons herbes de Provence (optional)
- 2 large minced garlic cloves
- Optional Serving Suggestions:
- Au jus beef stock sauce
- creamy horseradish sauce
- Cooking times will vary depending on the size of the roast you select. As a rule of thumb, figure on 15 minutes per pound to calculate the average cooking time for your roast. However, when it comes time to cook the roast, don't just follow your nose or rely on time alone to judge when the meat is cooked properly. Use a digital thermometer for optimal results.
- To cook: Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F for at least 30 minutes while the prime rib comes to room temperature.
- Place the roast in a roasting pan bone-side down. The bones create its own roasting rack for the meat. If you prefer, you may also place the roast up on a roasting rack.
- Cook the roast for 15 minutes at 450 degrees F, then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Remember to estimate about 15 minutes of cooking time per pound of prime rib.
- Continue to cook the roast until your meat thermometer reads 110 degrees F.
- Once the thermometer hits 110 degrees F, remove the roast from the oven and allow it rest for 20 minutes.You can tent the roast if you like, but it is not necessary. During the resting time, the roast will continue to cook using the heat inside the roast, raising the internal temperature to 130 degrees for a perfect medium-rare prime rib.
- Once the meat has rested fully and come to 130 degrees F, snip the butcher's string and remove the bones from the roast. Slice and serve.
For example: A 7.89 pound roast x 15 mins per pound = 118.35 minutes / 60 minutes per hour = 1.97 hours. According to our formula, an 8-pound roast will take about 2 hours to cook.
Again. Do NOT rely solely on smell or this cooking formula to roast your Prime rib to perfection. Instead, invest in an internal meat thermometer and roast based on temperature. This is the only way to ensure the Perfect Prime Rib each and every time.