How to Cook Prime Rib

By Francis Keaveney

Start to finish: 5 Hours Servings: 5 to 6 Difficulty level: Easy

prime rib
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Carve the prime rib before it overcooks.

Prime rib, as the name suggests, is one of the primal cuts of beef. For this reason, preparing this juicy and tender cut of meat can be intimidating for a novice. However, this meat is easy to cook and prepare. All you need is an oven and your favorite seasonings for flavoring. A meat thermometer is also useful to prevent overcooking.


  • 1 Prime Rib
  • 5 garlic cloves, halved
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped rosemary or thyme
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil


Using a knife, poke five 1/2-inch holes into the meat. Pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil over the meat and insert two garlic clove halves into each hole. Combine the remaining seasoning and rub it over the meat with your hands.

Leave the prime rib at room temperature for about an hour.

Preheat your oven to 450 F for about 20 minutes, and put the prime rib in the middle of the oven.

Cook the prime rib for 30 minutes, and then reduce the temperature to 325 F, which is about 15 minutes per pound of prime rib for a medium-rare roast.

Remove the meat from the oven and use a spoon to pour the meat drippings over the prime rib.

Return the roast to the oven until the internal temperature of the meat is about 125 F for medium rare. Use a meat thermometer to get an accurate measurement.

Once the prime rib reaches the target temperature, remove the roast from the oven and let it rest for about 25 minutes. This allows the juice to further cook the meat and retain its tenderness.


Buy bone-in prime rib. The insulating effect of the bone will make the meat around it more tender and juicy as it cook at a lower temperature.

Season the meat ahead of time. Let it sit in the refrigerator overnight. The salt will initially absorb some of the moisture in the meat. As the prime rib draws the salt liquid, it helps break down the protein, which tenderizes the meat. This also lets the seasoning absorb into more places in the meat.

Use a Thermometer

A thermometer is the only way to ensure your meat is cooked to the temperature you desire. Some ovens cycle above or below the desired temperature, so timing is not always accurate or reliable. Cooking a bone-in prime rib and the percentage of fat on the meat also affect the cooking time. Instant-read thermometers are more accurate than a leave-in models, which can be about 5 degrees higher, according to