Gourmet Made Deliciously Simple

How to Roast a Perfect Prime Rib

Let me show you how to roast a perfect prime rib, step by step, with proven, fool-proof method using reverse sear technique as seen on Serious Eats.

Let me show you how to roast a perfect prime rib, step by step, with proven, fool-proof method using reverse sear technique as seen on Serious Eats.

Let me show you how to roast a perfect prime rib, step by step, with proven, fool-proof method using reverse sear technique as seen on Serious Eats.

Oh my gosh, do I love me some prime rib!! Thick, juicy and melt-in-your-mouth tender, there is nothing better than perfectly cooked prime rib.

If you’d asked me “How would you like your steak?” like 10 years ago, when I just landed in the U.S., I’d tell you firmly, “Well done.” Cringe, cringe, I know!! Though we eat a lot of beef in Mongolia, steak isn’t common there. And we’re just not accustomed to pink meat. In fact, it took me good 2 years to start ordering medium done steaks. That’s when I met my rancher husband, who wouldn’t let me order well done (aka ruined) steaks.

Fast forward 8 years, I now cook medium and sometimes even medium rare steaks for myself. Oh how things change!

Let me show you how to roast a perfect prime rib, step by step, with proven, fool-proof method using reverse sear technique as seen on Serious Eats.

When you have this beautifully marbled, perfectly frenched prime rib, you don’t want to mess up, especially if you’re making it for a special occasion. But don’t let the fear stop you from serving this masterpiece for a holiday meal. I’m going to show you a fool-proof, proven method to roast a perfect prime rib!

Now, listen read closely…

You’ve probably heard of searing the meat before roasting to lock in the juices, right? And no doubt, there’s place and time for that trusty technique, but when it comes to roasting a prime rib, that’s not really an ideal method. And I’m not just a crazy lady talking crazy things on the internet. Read this! (Go on, I’ll wait for ya.)

In that article, J. KENJI LÓPEZ-ALT did all the testing and perfecting the art of roasting a perfect prime rib for us. There are 3 things he was looking for in perfect prime rib:

  1. Deep brown, crispy exterior.
  2. Minimum overcooked layer between the crust and interior, aka gray zone.
  3. Maximum juiciness.

He achieved all three criteria by reverse searing method. What is reverse searing, you ask?

Well, that’s when you cook the prime rib at the very low temperature until it reaches 120°F for medium rare, and then you roast it at the very high temperature for a short period of time. But here’s the important part: before searing at high temp, you’ll need to take the roast out of the oven and let it rest while oven is preheating to 500°F. This way, the roast won’t overcook, because as you know, it takes at least 20 minutes to heat an oven to that high temp, plenty of time to ruin a good roast!

How to cook a perfect prime rib, step by step, using reverse sear technique.

And here’s another tip: for perfectly crispy crust, make sure to dry out the roast by resting it uncovered in the fridge overnight. And while at it, go ahead and salt it too, so that it has plenty of time to penetrate the meat all the way inside.

Let me show you how to roast a perfect prime rib, step by step, with proven, fool-proof method using reverse sear technique as seen on Serious Eats.

Let me know if you try this method. I know you won’t regret it.

Thank you for reading!

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How to Roast a Perfect Prime Rib

Let me show you how to roast a perfect prime rib, step by step, with proven, fool-proof method using reverse sear technique as seen on Serious Eats.

Ingredients:

  • 4 ribs (5-10lb) prime rib
  • 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • A head of garlic, cherry tomatoes and asparagus, optional

Directions:

  1. Place an unwrapped prime rib on a tray. Generously salt all over and refrigerate overnight to air-dry the outside of the prime rib.
  2. Bring the prime rib to room temperature before roasting. It usually takes about 2 hours out on the counter.
  3. Mix the cumin, black pepper and garlic powder and evenly spread all over the meat.
  4. If roasting garlic, slice the top off, drizzle some olive oil and wrap in a foil.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200°F (95°C).
  6. Place the prime rib on a roasting pan bone side down (fat side up). (Since I wrote this post, I bought this beautiful roaster, and highly recommend it.) Roast the meat in the oven until the center of the roast reads 120°F (50°C) on a meat thermometer for medium-rare, or 130°F (55°C) for medium doneness, about 3.5-4 hours.
  7. Remove the prime rib from the oven, cover with a foil and rest for about 30 minutes.
  8. Increase the oven temperature to 500°F (260°C).
  9. 10 minutes before serving, pop the prime rib into the oven, uncovered, and cook it until it’s nice and brown, and crisp on the outside, about 6-10 minutes. If desired, roast the cherry tomatoes and asparagus together. Serve immediately.
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62 comments

  1. What a fantastic recipe!  After many past failed attempts at making prime rib, last night’s with this recipe was an absolute winner!  Thanks SO much for sharing your method!!

  2. I’m making a 6 lb prime rib for New Year’s Eve tonight! Mine is in the fridge uncovered and salted as we speak, I went with boneless but I’m sure following your method and using the thermometer will ensure a great result. I can’t wait to fill the house with the smell of roasting prime rib!

  3. I used the method you recommend and it turned out beautifully! I have never have had a rib roast that tasted like that. It was just beautiful and delicious. It was yummy! Thank you for a perfect way to cook large roasts beautifully and tastefully! Yum!

  4. Hey Shinee – I made this tonight and it was EXCELLENT! I was out of cumin so I used Italian seasoning (which went better with my sides anyways) but I followed your cooking directions exactly. My roast was 5.92 lb and I let it sit at room temp for 2 hours before putting it in the oven. I cooked it for 3.5 hours at 200 degrees and it was 125 degrees when I took it out. After sitting out of the oven for 30 minutes, I cooked it at 500 degrees for 8 minutes. It was 133 degrees when I took it out, I let it sit for 10-15 minutes before cutting and it was PERFECT. Nice and red, just how I like it. Seriously the best prime rib I’ve ever had – my husband agreed. My 4 year old requested to have it every night ???? This will be my go-to cooking method from now on!

    • Sharon, yay! So glad to hear you made a perfect prime rib! I made one too this year, and my baby (just 11 months) has been loving it too. 🙂 Thanks for your feedback!

  5. Very good recipe. Used different seasonings, but followed the instructions on cooking. I was worried it wasn’t cooked enough because when I checked the temp a lot of blood came out. When I sliced it open it was a perfect medium well. My first rib roast was perfect. My husband got on one knee and asked me to marry him again.

  6. My 9.6 lb prime rib took 5.5 hours @ 200 degrees and another 10 mins @ 500 degrees to get to medium-rare. I did rest it for 30 mins before putting back in the oven for 10 mins @ 500 degrees. The outside of the roast had lots of flavor but the middle was a little bland. Next time I will rub the salt on at least 2-3 days in advance instead of overnight so the salt can penetrate more deeply inside the meat. I would definitely make this recipe again with the changes.

  7. How long at 500?

  8. Does this method produce sufficient pan drippings to make Yorkshire pudding?  

  9. I am making my first prime rib tomorrow using your method. Can you please suggest some nice sides to go with this for Christmas dinner?

  10. This cooking method makes sooo much sense! I’m cooking a 5 lb for tonight. I’m so excited i found your blog!! I do have one question though. I want to add Fresh Rosemary to the technique any suggestions on how to add it to the process? Also how do we seeve roasted garlic? Just spread on bread or roast? Thank you for all you do!

    • Hi, Susan. So happy you found my blog! Fresh rosemary sounds awesome. I’d chop it finely and mix it with the seasoning. And the rub it all over the roast, per direction. Roasted garlic is fantastic on bread. You can also add it in mashed potatoes, if you’re serving it. I don’t spread it on a roast though. Hope you all enjoy perfect prime rib. And let me know how it turns out, and share a pic if you get a chance. 🙂 Merry Christmas, Susan!

  11. Where did you place your rack in the oven?

    • I placed the rack on 2 second rack from the bottom, otherwise it won’t fit in my oven. Hope this helps, Josh. Let me know your prime rib turns out, if you try it. Happy Holidays!

  12. Do the asparagus and tomatoes go in to roast the entire time or just at the 500 degree time? Can’t wait to do this on a Christmas Eve!

  13. Would cooking times & temp be the same if I used an electric turkey roaster instead of my regular oven?

  14. Hi!  

    How long should I cook a 14lb bone in roast?  My first time making one this large for Christmas this year.

    Thanks!!

  15. Just one question do you need to cover the roast when baking at 200. 

  16. I used this methid last year fir a small group and LOVED it!! I will be making 2 10lb prime ribs for 21 people this year. How would it need to be in oven for this method? Also, I have a convection oven, would I use it in regular mode or convection mode.

    • Hi, Christine! So glad you loved this method! As for 2 prime ribs, I’ll be honest and admit that I’ve never roasted 2 roast at once. But there are a few things to keep in mind… 1. Make sure to position the prime ribs with enough space in between, so air can circulate. 2. Convection settings helps circulate air, which in return expedites the cooking time, BUT since you have 2 roasts, it may just mean that cooking time won’t change much. (Again, no experience with convection oven or roasting 2 roast at once, so these are all just my theory.) Thermometer would be your best friend. Hope it all turns out great again this year. I’d love to hear how it turns out. 🙂 Merry Christmas!

      • Thanks for the reply!! Since it is 10lbs, should I extend time a bit or just use thermometer?

        • I don’t think you’ll need to extend time, if you use convection settings. But thermometer would be the best guide. I’d suggest to plan for an extra time to cook, but keep a close eye on thermometer. Whenever it reaches the right temp, you can take it out and rest until almost ready to serve. Hope this makes sense.

    • Was again a huge success!! Used same timing for 2 10lbs at same time. Merry Christmas again

  17. I’m cooking a two bone prime rib for my family for dinner tonight, how long should I cook on 200 for? Unfortunately I can’t find my thermometer and I don’t want to mess it up!

    • Ah, it’s so hard to say exactly how long it will take, Amber. Every oven is different and it’s just difficult to throw exact number. It shouldn’t be too much different from 4-bone prime rib though. Sorry not being very helpful here. Hope it turns out good.

  18. I will be making a prime rib roast for our Christmas party on Saturday. This will be my first time making prime rib. So it will be interesting! I am so glad I found your website! I do have a question, how long should I bake a 7-8 lbs. roast at 200 degrees for? Same question for baking at 500 degrees? Thank you so much for your help!

    • Also, I will be making a boneless roast. How does this change the instructions?

      • Hi, Erika! So excited you’re going to roast your first prime rib!! 3.5-4 hours of cook time at low temp will still apply to 7-8lb prime rib. I highly suggest having a meat thermometer for accuracy though. As for boneless prime rib, unfortunately I have no advice. But it shouldn’t be much different, again with meat thermometer you can keep close eye on it. 😉 Hope you’ll love it and let me know how it turns out.

      • Me too, Erika! My first! My son asked me
        1. Do I know a good Butcher? My reply: “What? You think I’m Alice from the Brady Brunch and have my own Sam?”
        2. Do you know how to cook a Rib Roast?

        Needless to say, I came to Pinterest and this was my fav. Wish me luck! I want my son, (who is coming in from California) to really think I know what I’m doing!

        • Hi, Cheryl! So glad you liked this recipe. You’ll do great! Hope your son will be impressed with your perfect prime rib on Christmas. Please do report back how it turned out. Wish you all Merry Christmas!

  19. Great timing Shinee! We are planning that for Christmas and I have not made for awhile. Thanks. 

  20. Shinee I am using this recipe for thanksgiving. However I am givin an extended rest period to allow cooking other dishes in the oven before the 500 degree final part. I hope it works out okay!

    • Hi, Kevin! Thanks for making it part of your holiday! I’m sure it’d be fine, just make sure to keep it covered and warm. Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

    • Hi Kevin! That’s my plan for new years. I need my oven for other dishes. How did your Roast turn out with the long rest period?

  21. Prime rib is one of our favorites. Your recipe looks amazing. Thanks for sharing at the Inspiration Spotlight party. Pinned & shared. our  previous recipe was featured at the party. Have a happy Easter. 

  22. I love prime rib but didn’t do well my first attempt at cooking it. Thanks so much for sharing your recipe on the perfect prime rib! Maybe mine will work out better next time!

  23. I got Kenji Lopez-Alt’s book for a present, but admit that I haven’t gotten into it in any detail. This is an incredible post – a dreamy looking prime rib that you make look so easy. If I ever cook one, I’m definitely using this as my guide. 

    • Ohmygosh, Laura, I’ve been wanting to buy that book. I love his approach and how he explains everything! Gotta go buy the book now, while I remember. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  24. It looks delicious! And this is vey true about Mongolians that we eat brown meet, not red. And couple of weeks ago i’ve ordered a medium steak that tasted exactely like a Mongolian barbeque! Seared outside and juicy inside! 

  25. Gorgeous prime rib Shinee. I have never heard of this method and I really must try it because yours is absolute perfection. 

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