The Perfect Prime Rib Roast

Prime rib is my favorite! If I go out to eat and it’s on the menu, I order it! It is the top of the beef food chain, the king of beefs! Did you know it’s really easy to make at home? And that it will come out perfectly in your own oven? Well, it will. I’ll show you the steps in making that happen. Although popular during the holidays, you can, and probably should, make it any time of year!

You want to start with a great cut of beef. It should be at least Choice Beef. If you want actual PRIME, you may need to order it. Even the butcher at your local grocery store would be happy to order it for you. Keep in mind, actual prime beef will cost you more, maybe twice as much, but it really is the best way to go. It has the most marbling and is the most tender. In fact, only 2% of all beef can be labeled “Prime”. Note that if the words Prime or Choice aren’t attached to the USDA Shield, it’s probably a marketing scheme and you’re not getting what you think you are. Look for this:


Ok, let’s get cooking. Now you have your nice cut of beef. I like to do at least 2 bones. The reason is, the outside edges will be more cooked than the inside. I like my prime rib to be, at most, medium rare. Prime rib is meant to be pretty red (not raw). However, not everyone likes their meat that color. If you get at least 2 bones, you will generally have a selection of doneness that will be able to please most. It’s pretty good re-heated so don’t be afraid to have some extra left over 😀

This is Choice Grade

Your roast should sit at room temperature for a couple hours. The more even the roast temperature is when you start, the more even it will cook.

Preheat the oven to 500 F. You will not cook the roast at this temperature the entire time but it’s the starting temperature.

Start by lightly rubbing the beef with olive oil, then season all sides with salt & pepper. I also add rosemary because it’s my favorite spice. Place in a roasting pan with a rack. If you don’t have a rack, place the beef bone-side down. The bones will act as the rack. Insert an oven safe meat thermometer.


Place your roast in the preheated oven and cook for 15 minutes. This high temp “sears” the outside of the beef, helping to hold the juices inside. After 15 minutes, lower heat to 325 F and cook until you reach your desired doneness. As an estimate, it will take about 12 minutes per pound for rare and 15 minutes per pound for medium rare. This is just to give you an idea for timing. Meats are different shapes, density, fat content, bone sizes, starting temperature, etc. and will take different times to cook. Watch your thermometer for best results.

When it reaches the desired internal temperature, let the roast sit, covered in a foil tent, for about 20 minutes. Don’t skip this step. Why not? This step will not only complete the cooking process but, as the meat relaxes, it pulls the juices back into the meat. In the end, you’ll end up with a juicier cut of beef.

Your meat thermometer should read:

  • 115°F for rare
  • 120° for medium rare
  • 130° for medium

The internal temperature will continue to rise after you take the roast out of the oven to rest. Once rested, cut to size desired. 2 ribs can feed 3 people. 4 ribs can feed 6 or 7.



  • Prime or Choice Rib Roast, bone-in
  • Olive oil
  • Rosemary
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Let roast sit at room temperature for a couple hours (time depends on size). The roast should be brought close to room temperature to ensure even cooking. 
  2. Preheat oven to 500F
  3. Lightly rub roast with oil then season with rosemary, salt, and pepper.
  4. Place roast in a roasting pan rack, fat side up and bone down. If you don’t have a roasting rack the bones will act as one. Insert meat thermometer.
  5. Cook roast at 500F for 15 minutes to sear the beef, then reduce temperature to 325F.
  6. Based in the temperature chart above in this post, start checking the thermometer around an hour before you expect it to be done. This is because of the variations I mentioned earlier. You don’t want to overcook it.
  7. When you reach your desired temperature, remove roast from oven and let sit for about 20 minutes before cutting.
  8. Using a sharp carving knife, cut to desired thickness.
  9. Serve with favorite sides.



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