Perfect Prime Rib Roast Recipe - How To Cook Prime Rib Roast:
Definition of Prime Rib: A tender cut of beef taken from the rib primal. A Prime Rib Roast is also often
referred to as Standing Rib Roast. It is very tender, flavorful, and
Beef Au Jus - Au Jus Beef Juice
Yields: serves many
Prep time: 15 min
Bake time: 3 hr
Prime Rib Roast (standing rib roast), at room
temperature (very important)
2 tablespoons butter, room
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Pat the room-temperature standing rib roast (prime
rib roast) dry with paper towels or napkins. Smear the cut ends only of
the roast with the butter.
Do NOT salt the
outside of your prime rib roast, as salt draws out moisture from the meat while
cooking. You can use other seasonings, if desired, but I find it is not
necessary. I know that some people do salt their prime rib roast before cooking,
but trust me and don't salt - the result will be a juicy, delicious roast to
serve your family and guests!
Place the roast, ribs down or fat side up,
in a heavy stainless-steel Roasting Pan or other metal roasting pan.
Select a roasting pan that has
sides at least 3-inches deep. (I do not recommend using nonstick pans, as
these pans yield fewer of the cooked-on bits that make the tasty au jus
juice or gravy.) The rib bones are a natural rack; you will not need a metal
Sear the rib roast (prime rib) for 15 minutes
at the higher oven temperature (450 degrees F.), then turn the oven to the
lower temperature (325 degrees F.) for the rest of the cooking time.
Every 1/2 hour, baste the cut ends of the roast with the fat accumulated in
the roasting pan. Do Not Cover the roast.
About 45 minutes before the estimated end of
the roasting (bake) time, begin checking the
internal temperature (use a good instant-read digital
Play it safe and start checking early, as you don't want anything to go
wrong. This is even more important if you are adjusting for High Altitude Baking.
NOTE: If you ignore every other bit of
advice I've given, please pay attention to this - For a perfectly cooked rib
roast, invest in a good meat thermometer.
Internal temperature, not time, is the best test for doneness and you don't want to blow this meal!
When checking the temperature of your prime rib roast, insert meat thermometer so tip is in
thickest part of beef, not resting in fat or touching bone. Cook until rib roast reaches an internal temperature of 120 degrees F. (or
your desired temperature). Remove from oven, cover loosely with aluminum
foil, and let sit approximately 15 to 20 minutes.
Cutting into the meat too early will cause a
significant loss of juice.
Do not skip the resting stage.
Residual Heat or Carry-Over Cooking:
Residual Heat or Carry-Over Cooking: Remember, the rib roast will continue to cook as it sets. The
internal temperature will rise to 125 degrees F. to 130 degrees F. (medium rare) in approximately 15 to 20 minutes. If allowed to rest as long as an
hour, the internal temperature will rise even higher. So,
pay attention to how long you let the cooked prime rib roast sit.
Using a Convection Oven: Using a convection oven can cut as much as 25% off the cooking times
listed for the regular oven.
It is also easier for your roast to dry out and cook too much in
the convection oven. Watch the roast carefully and please use a
cooking thermometer to know when the roast is done and should be
taken out of the oven.
Holding Cooked Rib Roast:
To hold cooked roast until serving
time, immediately turn off the oven and leave door ajar after
Let roast sit 15 minutes on
counter and then return roast to the oven, door closed, for
up to an hour or even 2 hours for the biggest roasts.
Check the temperature every 15
minutes. If will rise approximately 10° F at first, then
What Size of Prime Rib/Standing Rib Roast to Buy?
A full prime rib/standing rib roast is seven
(7) ribs, close to 15 to 18 pounds, and enough to feed a crowd of 14 or more
people (depending on how big of eaters they are). The term "standing" means
the bones are included in the roast, thus the roast can stand by itself. A
rib roast comprises of seven ribs starting from the shoulder (chuck) down
the back to the loin.
For a generous serving of roast, figure on
two people per rib. That means if you plan to serve:
six (6) people - three (3) rib roast
eight (8) people - four (4) rib roast
ten (10) people - five (5) rib roast
twelve (12) people - six (6) rib roast
fourteen (14) people - seven (7) rib roast
Don't even bother with less than a three-rib roast, any less than that is
not a roast but rather a thick steak and would be better treated as such.
How To Purchase A Prime Rib Roast:
Elijah, Brooklyn NY
Jeff Altzner,Melbourne, FL
First of all, let’s dispel a common myth: The term
prime rib does not necessarily indicate a rib roast is prime grade, and
in most cases, it probably is not. Prime is an official USDA designation
of grade and few supermarkets display this elite grade of beef because of its
high cost relative to other grades. Prime Rib has become more a style of
cooking the meat than of the quality of the cut. This is also why you rarely see
this cut labeled as Prime Rib at the supermarket but rather as Beef Bone-In
Rib Roast because the USDA requires that a cut of beef must be officially
graded as Prime before it can be so labeled.
you get a rib roast that is actually Prime grade is well worth the effort. Less
than 2% of all industry beef merits this designation from the USDA. You will
likely have to ask your butcher to special order a true Prime grade rib roast
for your occasion, but when the forks hit the plate, your family and guests will
notice the difference and then some!
One universal truth of the meat world is that fat means flavor! But of course,
many prefer a leaner cut, and the whole beef rib (where rib roasts are
portioned) was kind enough to offer both. The whole piece is divided roughly in
half, a large end and a small end. The large end is defined by the
presence of more fat pockets throughout the meat, while small end rib roasts
contain a single, intact muscle and are leaner. Whether one is better than the
other is really never more than a matter of personal taste and how much fat your
diet will tolerate. In choosing between them and determining which will better
suit your palate, it may help some of you to know that the small end is where a
butcher produces boneless rib eye steaks, and the large end yields Delmonico
Fat Cap or Lid:
Some rib roasts are sold with the thick fat cap on top of the
meat intact, and some are trimmed. I prefer to have most of the
fat cap intact and trimmed to an even layer approximately
1/4-inch to 1/2-inch thickness. Most butchers will trim the fat
down for you. You could trim the trim the fat yourself by using
a sharp thin knife to trim the fat on the top of the roast to
So - it is up to you if you want the fat cap left on your prime
rib or if you want it removed.
Photo show fat cap intact on
uncooked prime rib roast. Photo by the Barkers in West
Photo shows fat cap intact on this cooked prime rib roast. Photo
by Perrin Kliot, Berkerley, CA.
A whole standing rib roast (prime rib roast)
consists of ribs 6 through 12. Most GOOD butchers recommend that you request
a rib roast from the small end toward the back of the rib section,
which is leaner and gives you more meat for your dollar. This cut is
referred to as the first cut, the loin end, or sometimes the
small end, because the meat and ribs get larger as they move up
toward the shoulder.
I do NOT recommend purchasing a boneless rib roast, as roasting with the
bones adds flavor. But, if you do purchase a boneless prime rib roast, cook
using the same guidelines as a roast with ribs. Usually the weight is
figured without the bones. If in doubt, weight your roast before cooking it.
Be sure and check the date the prime rib was packaged. This is an indicator
as to how long it has been sitting around in the store. Look at the color of
the prime rib; it should have a bright red color and no dry or brown edges.
Check for any damage to the packaging and wrapping.
The Bones: Have the butcher cut off the chine bones
from the bottom of the roast and the rib bones from the meat just along the bone
line but do not discard them. They can be cut off in separate pieces
or the chine bones can be cut off as one piece with the rib bones. Have the meat
placed back on the rib bones and wrap them along with the chine bones to take
home to cook along with the roast. Your butcher will also tie the bones back on
the roast, if you ask. Having the bones cut away from the meat before
cooking will make carving the finished prime rib a lot easier. See How To
Prepare Prime Rib Roast below.
Back to the top
Optional - Dry Aging the
Aging is optional, but if you have the time and the space in your
refrigerator, you can dry age the rib roast for several days to bring out
additional flavor and produce a more buttery texture in prime rib roast
(aging allows the natural enzymes to break down some of protein in the
Dry-aged beef can be expensive to purchase and
hard to come by. Some top-quality butchers will offer already dry-aged
roasts for sell. If you can find one and can afford one (as they are
pricey), purchase the roast.
safety note: Home refrigerators aren’t as
consistent or as cold as commercial meat lockers. Before
aging meat at home, get a Refrigerator Thermometer and be sure your refrigerator is set below 40°F.
How to dry-age beef at home - The good news is that you
can dry-age beef at home:
Only the top grades of
beef can be dry aged successfully. Use USDA Prime or
USDA Choice from the best meat source in your area. Buy
a whole prime rib roast, rib-eye roast, or loin strip.
You cannot age individual steaks. Unwrap the beef (do
not trim), rinse it well with cold water, allow the meat
to drain, and pat then pat the meat dry with paper
Wrap the roast loosely in
a triple layer of immaculately clean cheesecloth or
plain white cotton dish towels (this will help to draw
moisture away from the meat) and set it on a rack over a
rimmed baking sheet or other tray. Place the wrapped
roast on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator (which is
the coldest spot in your refrigerator). Refrigerate for
7 to 10 days (the longer the beef ages, the tastier it
gets). After the first day, carefully unwrap and then
rewrap with the same cheesecloth to keep the cloth
fibers from sticking to the meat.
When ready to roast,
unwrap the meat and, with a sharp knife, shave off and
discard the hard, dried outer layer of the meat. Shave
away any dried areas of fat, too, but leave behind as
much of the good fat as possible.
NOTE: There can be much waste as the dried and sometimes
moldy meat needs to be trimmed away before cooking and
Back to the top
Beef Recipes using various cuts of
Prime Rib Roast with Balsamic Glaze
Standing Rib Roast with Rosemary-Thyme Crust
Prime Rib Dinner Menu Ideas:
Prime Rib Dinner (seven-course dinner)
Prime Rib Dinner (Thanksgiving Dinner
and/or Christmas Dinner)
Definition of Prime Rib:
A tender cut of beef taken from the rib primal. A Prime Rib Roast is also often
referred to as "Standing Rib Roast." It is very tender, flavorful, and
Does the grade of the meat make much of a difference?
You bet it does - The better the grade of
beef, the less you have to do to it! The higher the USDA grade, the more you'll
Grading Cuts of Beef:
Many people have the mistaken idea that the term
"Prime Rib" refers to a roast that is graded "Prime" when actually the name has
nothing to do with the grade or quality. Most of the roasts sold in supermarkets
that are named "Prime Rib" are graded "Choice". Prime rib roasts that are graded
"Prime" are usually available only to restaurants or through a special order
with a butcher.
The USDA's grading system gives a good way to assess quality. The grading
designations are largely determined by the amount of visible fat that's streaked
throughout the muscle tissue, called marbling. Beef that's richly marbled gets a
higher grade; it's more tender, juicy, and flavorful because the intramuscular
fat melts and bastes the flesh during cooking.
Prime - The highest grade in the U.S. meat grading system. Prime has the
most marbling and is produced in limited quantities. Prime beef is most commonly
sold in fine restaurants, specialty meat markets and is exported to upscale
restaurants in foreign countries.
Choice - Choice has less marbling than Prime but more than Select. It is
typically found in the service meat case at your local grocery store.
Select - Select has the least amount of marbling of the top three grades,
making it leaner but possibly less tender, juicy or flavorful than Prime or
Choice. Select is most commonly found in the self-service meat case at your
local grocery store.
Beware of marketing deceptions where some grocery stores or supermarkets may try
to fool an unsuspecting consumer by using the words
without being attached with the official
Unless prime and choice carries the USDA label,
what you are buying may not be the real thing.
How To Make Prime Rib Gravy:
Remember - Gravy is different than Au Jus Juice (see Au Jus Juice below).
After the prime rib roast (standing rib) is done roasting, remove from the oven
and remove from the roasting pan. Place the cooked prime rib on a large Meat Cutting Board with a well at one end to hold the juice.
Place roasting pan over two (2) burners on stove over medium heat
(always make the gravy in the same pan you used to roast
the prime rib roast).
Skim and discard any excess fat from the juices in the roasting pan. Using a
heavy spoon, scrape all the dark drippings and any crunchy bits from the sides
and bottom of roasting pan.
FOR EACH 2 CUPS OF GRAVY DESIRED:
Use 3 tablespoons liquid fat (fat
is in the drippings left in the bottom of your roasting
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups of liquid
(meat juices/drippings, or broth,
vegetable juice, bouillon, wine, and/or water)
In a separate container with a lid, shake together all-purpose flour and about 2
cups cool water.
This is called a slurry. Adding the thickener (flour) in
this way helps to prevent lumps from forming.
Once the drippings in the pan are lightly bubbling, slowly add the slurry
mixture to the gravy pan, stirring constantly with a wire whisk.
If it starts to thicken, immediately stop adding the remaining slurry. You may
not need to use all the slurry, depending on how much or little drippings were
left in the roasting pan.
If lumps do develop, you should be able to use a wire whisk to remove them.
If all else fails and you can't remove the lumps, just
place mixture in your
blender or food processor and process until smooth.
If you gravy is to thick, add additional liquid, stirring constantly. Season to
taste with salt and pepper.
Gravy is greasy
- A Fat Separator should eliminate this problem. If
you discover that your gravy is oily toward the end of its preparation, skim off
as much fat as possible with a wide-bowled spoon or a Fat Separator.
Gravy is doughy
- Make sure the flour in the gravy has been cooked long enough.
When the flour is added to the pan drippings, whisk constantly while the mixture
cooks until it turns a deep golden brown and smells nutty.
If the gravy tastes floury when you’re almost finished, turn up the heat to
maintain a rapid simmer for several minutes; then thin it again with more stock
or water if necessary.
How To Prepare Prime Rib
Photos in this section by Perrin Kliot, Berkerley, CA.
If your prime rib roast is frozen,
let it thaw completely in the refrigerator. Remove the roast from the
refrigerator about 2 to 4 hours before cooking to let it come to room
temperature. Depending on the size of your roast, the time to come to room
temperature may vary. I can't give you an exact time on this. Use your best
To cook evenly, the roast must
not be cold -
let it stand at room temperature, loosely covered, for about 2 to 4 hours.
This time can vary depending on how big or small your roast is. I can't give you
an exact time on this. If you don't let the roast come to room temperature, if
will take longer to cook your roast, your roast won't cook evenly, and you'll
end up with well-done slices on the end and raw meat in the center. Use your
best judgment on room temperature times!
Tying Up Prime
It is important to tie the prime rib before roasting. If left
untied, the outer layer of meat will pull away from the rib-eye muscle and
overcook. To prevent this problem, tie the roast a both ends, running the
cooking twine parallel to the bone.
Most butchers will tie your rib roast for you - so ask the butcher!
Trim roast of excess fat,
but not the thin layer of fat (the fat cap or lid) the
butcher leaves on the roast to protect and baste it
while it cooks. Excess fat means any fat more than one
(1) inch thick.
The fat provides the flavor and
what you are paying for with prime rib, so leave it on.
It is important to tie
the prime rib before roasting. If
left untied, the outer layer of meat will pull away from
the rib-eye muscle and overcook. You can cut the
ribs away from the meat leaving only the bottom portion
connected before tying, this makes it much easier to
remove the strings after cooking.
Most butchers will cut and tie your rib roast for you.
Tie the roast at both ends, running
the cooking twine parallel to the bone.
Tie the meat to the rib bones and include the chine bones at the
bottom of the prime rib roast. Tie around the meat and ribs in
between the bones on each end, making sure to tie the chine bones to
the meat also. Also tie around the meat and bones in the center of
the prime rib.
Back to the top
Prime Rib Cooking Internal Temperature Chart:
The chart below is only a guide. You must rely
on an accurate
Meat Thermometer and start
taking temperatures about 45 minutes before the end of the estimated roast
Reminder: Instant read
thermometers are not meant to be left in the roast during the cooking
What constitutes rare and
medium-rare cooked meat?
To satisfy government home
economists, the Beef Council says rare beef means an internal
temperature of 140 degrees F. Well, that is ok if you like
well-done and dry meat. If you like moist, rosy meat (like I
do), rare begins at an
internal temperature of 120 degrees F. and starts to become medium
rare at 125 to 130 degrees F. To cook your meat properly, you
must purchase and use a good instant-read digital
is the type of cooking and meat thermometer that I prefer and use in my cooking.
I get many readers asking what cooking/meat thermometer that I prefer and use in
my cooking and baking. I, personally, use the
Thermapen Thermometer shown in the photo on the
right. To learn more about this excellent thermometer and to
also purchase one (if you desire), just click on the underlined:
How To Test and Calibrate a Cooking or
Meat Thermometer Reading (Rare)
4 to 5 pounds
450 deg/325 deg F
60 to 70 minutes
120 degrees F
7 to 8.5 pounds
450 deg/325 deg F
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours
120 degrees F
9 to 10.5 pounds
450 deg/325 deg F
1 3/4 to 2 1/4 hours
120 degrees F
11 to 13.5 pounds
450 deg/325 deg F
2 1/4 to 2 3/4 hours
120 degrees F
14 to 16 pounds
450 deg/325 deg F
3 to 3 1/4 hours
120 degrees F
16 to 18.5 pounds
450 deg/325 deg F
3 1/4 to 4 hours
120 degrees F
Check Oven Temperature -
temperatures are not always correct. In fact, they can
often be off by 25°F to 50°F. The will seriously affect
the baking time of your prime rib (standing rib roast).
the temperature of your oven, place an oven thermometer
on the center rack and heat the oven for 15 minutes at
350°F. If, after 15 minutes, the oven temperature reads
higher or lower than your oven setting, adjust your oven
setting for your prime rib baking and for all your
Beef Roast Cooking
120 to 125 degrees F
center is bright red,
pinkish toward the exterior portion
130 to 135 degrees F
center is very pink,
slightly brown toward the exterior portion
140 to 145 degrees F
center is light pink,
outer portion is brown
150 to 155 degrees F
160 degrees F and above