Cooking an expensive cut of meat like prime rib can be intimidating but knowing the proper cooking temperature and amount of time needed gives you the expertise required to produce a tender, juicy roast. Since oven temperatures vary, a meat thermometer is a must-have when cooking prime rib.
Cooking Prime Rib
The U.S. Department of Agriculture safe food handling guidelines recommend heating meat to a minimum interior temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. To achieve this with prime rib, allow about 10 to 20 minutes per pound, depending on the size of the roast and the desired level of doneness. Begin by searing the roast at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, then continue cooking at 325 degrees until the meat thermometer registers the desired temperature. Smaller roasts cook faster while thicker roasts take longer.
For a rare roast, cook to 120 to 125 degrees. For medium rare, cook to 130 to 135 degrees. Medium-well is reached at 150 to 155 degrees and well done is 160 degrees. Remember that the roast will continue to cook a few more degrees after it has been removed from the heat, so take it out of the oven about 20 to 30 minutes prior to reaching the desired temperature.
References and ResourcesFoodSafety.gov: Safe Minimum Cooking Temperatures
VillageMeats.com: Chart for Roasting Prime Rib
Prime Steakhouses: How to Cook a Prime Rib Roast