Best Prime Rib Roast (Bone-In)

4.94 from 115 votes

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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!

This is the Best Prime Rib recipe!

Every year at Christmas, my family serves a perfectly cooked standing rib roast with a deep brown crust and a bright red center. It’s a thing of beauty, with ooh’s and aah’s all around.

It’s intimidating to cook this expensive cut but fear not! I’m here to share a foolproof method to cook a perfect prime rib roast no matter your level of cooking expertise (or lack thereof). It’s thick, juicy, and melt-in-your-mouth tender!

  • Reverse-searing method ensures even cooking
  • Customize with your favorite seasoning
  • Make it ahead: cook it couple of hours early and then sear it right before serving!
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.

Prime Rib Roast Ingredients

  • Prime rib: Prime rib is a cut from the primal rib section of the cow (hence the name). It’s also referred to as a standing rib roast, rolled rib roast, or rib-eye roast. I recommend purchasing bone-in prime rib for the best flavor and melt-in-your-mouth texture. Look for a 4-rib roast that weighs around 5 to 10 pounds. Each rib will feed 2 to 3 people, depending on the number of sides you plan to serve.
  • Kosher salt: A tablespoon of salt may seem hefty but trust me on this. Salt equals flavor! And you want plenty of salt on your gorgeously crisp crust. It also ensures the interior will be succulent and not dry or tough.
  • Spices: Cumin, black pepper, and garlic powder are a tasty trio, but you can use whatever spices you love! Herbs de Provence, rosemary, thyme, and sage are good options too. Or omit the spices altogether and just go with salt.

What’s reverse searing method?

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.

J. KENJI LÓPEZ-ALT of Serious Eats did all the testing and perfecting the art of roasting a perfect prime rib in this article.

There are 3 things he was looking for in a 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 Prime Rib

  1. The night before:
    • Unwrap the prime rib and place it on a tray that will fit in your fridge. Generously salt all over the roast and refrigerate it, uncovered, overnight to air-dry the outside of the prime rib. This is crucial step for 2 reasons: salt will penetrate deep into the roast during this time and the roast will dry out and develop a nice crust.
  2. Prepare:
    • Preheat the oven to 200°F (95°C).
    • Mix the cumin, black pepper and garlic powder and evenly spread all over the meat.
    • If roasting garlic, slice the top off, drizzle some olive oil and wrap in foil.
  3. Roast:
    • Place the prime rib on a roasting pan, bone-side down.
    • 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. It’s crucial to temp your roast! If you simply go by length of time in the oven, you may overcook it.
  4. Rest:
    • Remove the prime rib from the oven, cover with foil, and let it rest for at least 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  5. Sear:
    • Increase the oven temperature to 500°F (260°C).
    • Uncover the prime rib and put it back into the oven. Cook it until it’s deep brown, and crisp on the outside, about 6-10 minutes. If desired, roast the cherry tomatoes and asparagus together.
How to cook a perfect prime rib, step by step, using reverse sear technique.


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.

Should you salt prime rib before cooking?

It’s crucial to liberally salt the prime rib before you plan to cook it. It does more than just add flavor. It draws moisture to the surface of the meat which dissolves the salt. Why does this matter? It ensures the center will be juicy and not dry! It acts like a brining liquid without sacrificing the crispy exterior. The moisture reabsorbs into the meat and leaves you with a flavorful, tender roast.

What is the best temperature to cook a prime rib roast?

I highly recommend medium-rare for the best prime rib! It will be tender and juicy at this stage. If it’s overcooked, it will taste dry, tough, and chewy. I wouldn’t recommend cooking it past medium. For a medium-rare roast, cook to an internal temperature of 120 degrees. The roast’s temperature will continue to rise as you pull it out of the oven, and you don’t want it to overcook.

Should prime rib be cooked covered or uncovered?

Prime rib should be cooked uncovered. In this reverse-sear method, the roast is cooked at a low oven temperature, then “seared” at 500 degrees until crisp and deep brown. You don’t want to hinder the hot heat from crisping the crust.

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.

How to serve Bone in Prime Rib

The table is set, the roast is done, and your guests are salivating! Now what? It’s time to cut the roast into slices and serve. You can estimate 2 people per pound for a large portion, or 3 people per pound for a small portion.

I like to err on the side of caution and guestimate 2 people per pound. However, if you have enough sides to feed an army, you may be fine with more.

How to carve the roast

  1. Find a stable and large cutting board that fits the entire roast. If your cutting board slides around, place a towel underneath it to stabilize it.
  2. First use a boning knife to remove the bones. Hold the roast by the bones with one hand and carefully slide the boning knife directly behind the bones. Cut all the way done until the bones release from the meat.
  3. Lay the roast on the cutting board and use a sharp chef’s knife or santoku to slice the roast into ½ inch thick slices.
  4. Transfer the slices onto a serving platter and enjoy!

How to store Prime Rib of Beef

Wrap leftover prime rib in plastic wrap and refrigerate for up to 5 days. If possible, leave the leftover roast unsliced and slice before you plan to serve it.

Reheat the roast in the oven at 250 degrees. Place the roast in a baking dish, add a splash of beef broth, and cover. Cook until the roast or slices are reheated through.

If you don’t mind losing the rosy interior, you can microwave the prime rib until hot.

Watch How to Make This Below!

Cooking Prime Rib FAQ

How many hours does it take to cook a prime rib?

It depends on the size of your roast and the accuracy of your oven! It’s best to temp the roast so you don’t accidentally overcook it. A 4-rib roast took approximately 3.5 to 4 hours to come to an internal temperature of 120 degrees Fahrenheit (medium-rare). It will take even longer to reach medium.

What’s the difference between a rib roast and a prime?

Prime rib and a rib roast are both cut from the primal rib section, specifically the 6th through 12th ribs. Prime rib has the bones intact and in a rib roast they are removed. The rib roast is often cut into ribeye steaks for grilling.

How much prime rib do you need per person?

You can count on one pound of bone-in prime rib roast serving two adults. That’s about one bone per two adults, so a 4-rib prime rib serves about 8 people. If you have plenty of side dishes or light eaters, you can stretch it to 3 people per pound of meat.

Which is better prime rib bone-in or out?

Both are delicious! I recommend bone-in prime rib though because it’s harder to overcook. The bones insulate the meat for a juicy and tender finish. The main benefit to a boneless prime rib is it’s easy to carve.

Is bone-in prime rib the same as ribeye?

They are both from the primal rib section of the cow, but a prime rib is a large roast made up of 4 to 7 ribs. If you cut the roast into steaks, then you would have ribeye’s! A prime rib is roasted whole in the oven, typically on low heat, then sliced. A ribeye is already cut into an individual steak and is grilled or seared over high heat.

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

Thank you for reading!

More Recipes You’ll Love

4.94 from 115 votes

Best Prime Rib of Beef

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.
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 4 hours
Total: 5 hours
Servings: 10 – 15 servings


  • 5-10 lbs (or 4-rib) prime rib
  • 1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Optional Add-Ins:

  • A head of garlic
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Asparagus



  • Place an unwrapped prime rib on a tray. Generously salt all over and refrigerate overnight to air-dry the outside of the prime rib.
  • Bring the prime rib to room temperature before roasting. It usually takes about 2 hours out on the counter.
  • Mix the cumin, black pepper and garlic powder and evenly spread all over the meat.
  • If roasting garlic, slice the top off, drizzle some olive oil and wrap in a foil.  (Here's my detailed roasted garlic recipe.)


  • Preheat the oven to 200°F (95°C).
  • Place the prime rib on a roasting pan bone side down (fat side up). (Since I wrote this post, I bought this roasting pan, 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. (This Thermapen Mk4 meat thermometer is my favorite! Super quick and reliable! <- affiliate link)


  • Remove the prime rib from the oven, cover with a foil and rest for about 30 minutes.


  • Increase the oven temperature to 500°F (260°C).
  • 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.


Calories: 679kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 31g, Fat: 60g, Saturated Fat: 25g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 26g, Cholesterol: 137mg, Sodium: 800mg, Potassium: 515mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 6IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 22mg, Iron: 4mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American

If you have have a boneless prime rib, check out this post:

You've been cooking prime rib all wrong! Try this reverse-searing method to cook your next boneless prime rib and enjoy evenly cooked juicy slice of roast!

Hi, I’m Shinee!

Welcome! I’m so happy you’re here! I believe anyone can cook restaurant-quality food at home! And my goal is to help you to become a confident cook with my easy-to-follow recipes with lots of tips and step-by-step photos.

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  1. 5 stars
    I cooked my first prime rib following this recipe to the letter and it was as good as I’ve ever had!

    Thank you so very much!
    Scott C.

  2. My butcher is preparing 2 5-bone roasts for me because apparently they don’t come larger than 7-bones and I need to feed 20 people. I’m assuming that each roast will be approximately 10lbs. How would you position the two roasts and does the amount of time change if I’m cooking two? Very nervous as this is my first time cooking a prime rib…let alone this amount on Christmas Eve!

    1. Did you get a response?  I’m cooking two 4-bone (24.5 pd total) prime rib roasts tomorrow. Do I use timing for total weight or two different roasts.  

    2. Hi, Jessica! I personally never cooked 2 roasts at the same time, but there shouldn’t be any difference. I remember reading a comment on one of my prime rib recipes last year that someone cooked 2 roasts and it worked great. I would position them end to end as one big roast, maybe with a little space in between. I’d estimate it’ll take about 5 hours at 200°F. Hope this helps. Please let us know how it turns out.

      1. Hi Shinee,
        It turned out perfect!! I ended up having to put the 2 roasts side-by-side instead of end to end because my pan wasn’t long enough, but your recipe is spot on! 200 degrees and it took about 5.5 hours. The only thing I would say (and this has nothing to do with your recipe) is that my butcher told me 1 pound per person and that was WAY too much. I didn’t even cut into the second roast. Very bummed about that as I now have 10 pounds of cooked prime rib leftover. I’ll definitely be using your recipe again though! Thank you and Happy New Year!

        1. Jessica, I’m so happy your first prime rib was a success!! Yay!! And thank you for sharing your feedback! And bummer you have so much leftover prime rib, but you can slice and freeze it. I’d pan-fry it like a steak for reheating and it’d be delicious! Thank you again!!

  3. I did the following; I washed and dried the 5-6 pound prime rib. I did not season the meat at all and put it uncovered in the refrigerator for four days. The meat dried and had a somewhat ‘glazed’ look but was alright and smelled fresh to the smell. Then I removed the roast and seasoned it all over with dried onions, minced garlic, paprika, Italian seasoning, fresh rosemary (from my garden), dried thyme leaves, black pepper, and kosher salt. I let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours. Then I roasted the prime rib roast at 250* oven temperature for 4 1/2 hours (preheated the oven). Then I took out the roast and covered it with foil until it was absolutely cool that way. Note: …to my surprise very little juice and oil was in the roasting pan. I was a bit nervous that I didn’t cook the roast long enough. But I kept my patience. Then I started my WEBER grill with thermometer…..’fired’ it up and let the coals get white hot and stablize; then roasted “indirectly”…500*….for 20 minutes at this temperature. Took it off the fire, covered with foil again, then it was ready for the Thanksgiving Day dinner with its ‘sisters’…the Turkey, the ‘sides’, and the rest. Results: melt in your mouth tender, delicate delicious flavor, medium-rare to medium..(color was ‘red’but the roast tasted ‘medium’)…and the guests and even the children ate it like candy before anyone began to eat the turkey… the prime rib was all gone! I’m not lying nor exaggerating.

    1. Oh my gosh, Joel, I love that you finished the roast on the grill! Sounds absolutely amazing. Thank you so much for sharing your experience!

  4. 5 stars
    Is it that much better at 200 than 250? We tried one yesterday in our new oven as a practice run for Christmas. Basically, the same method but at 250. Is it noticeably better at 200? Also, the recipe I used had 130 for medium rare. Why 120? We had used the high temp/ turn the oven off method for years, but like the reverse sear method now. The meat is hotter when you serve it. We’ve got 5 and 7 lb bone cut roasts for the Holidays.

    1. Hi, Steve. Sorry for my late response. I don’t think 50°F difference makes much difference. If your roast came out great at 250°F, then it’s totally fine. The main idea with this low and slow method is to cook the roast evenly, from the crust all the way to the center.
      As for the internal temp, you’re correct, 130°F internal temperature is for medium rare roast. However, I’m instructing to cook the roast till it reaches 120°F internal temperature at 200°F if you want medium rare roast, because the internal temperature is going to continue to rise during last high temp searing/broiling and resting. If you were to cook the roast till 130°F, then it’ll be more medium doneness by the time you serve it. Hope this makes sense. Let me know if you have any questions.

  5. I have a 15.39 pound Angus Beef Rib Eye R/W …without the visible ribs. Can I use this cut for Prime Rib Roast?  If so, how long do I roast?

  6. Miss Shinee,  
    Can you please tell me how long to roast my 5.5 lb. prime rib at medium rare….thank you very much for your valuable time….I’m doing this for the first time on Thanksgiving!

    1. Hi, Dara. It’ll take about 3.5 hours for your roast to reach 120°F internal temp, which is perfect for medium rare after the final broiling and resting. But since every oven is different, I highly recommend to have a meat thermometer at check after about 3 hours. Hope you’ll enjoy, and please let us know how it turns out.

  7. Hi Shinee, I’ve made a roast for Christmas, Easter for 30 years, and this year for Thankgiving dinner. One thing I noticed that wasn’t mentioned is to make the roasting time work, never open the oven door for anything until reaching the preferred temperature. Use a remote style thermometer with just the probe inside the oven, placed in the meat in the middle of the roast inserted half the diameter of the roast. Opening the door will release the captured heat and require the oven to reheat… lengthening the cook time. I do plan this year to try your recipe over mine, which is cooking at 300 degrees. Thanks, Dave

    1. Hi, Dave! Great points and tips! Thank you for sharing that. And hope you’ll like this new method, and please let us know how it compares to your method. Happy Holidays!!