If you like meat, this Prime Rib Roast is the best of the best meats that you could choose to make at home, and perfect for the fall and winter. We’re going to show you how to prepare and cook the perfect prime rib roast.
Prime Rib may be something that you think about having at a restaurant because you don’t know how to cook it or maybe it’s a once a year treat because when you go out to eat it’s a more expensive dinner. Or maybe you wait until your whole family is together so someone else can cook it!
But it doesn’t have to be expensive or hard to make, in fact I make it a few times a year. My family loves it, so I wait until I see it on sale and then buy up a few of them and put them in my freezer. Now we can show you how easy it is to make at home for your family too.
What is Prime Rib?
Prime rib is a glorified roast beef. It’s from the primal rib area of the cow and because it has some fat running through it, it has a lot of flavors and is also a more tender cut of meat. It’s a very good cut of meat and can be very tender if cooked properly.
Usually you think of going out to eat, but you can also have an equally yummy prime rib right at home.
Is Prime Rib and Rib Eye the Same?
When you hear Prime Rib, you might wonder if it’s the same meat as that delicious Rib Eye Steak that we all love to cook on the grill. Prime Rib and Rib-eye are very similar but different.
The rib-eye steaks are cut from the ribs before it’s made into a roast. Instead, prime rib cuts are larger than ribeye cuts since they include both the ribeye and the bone.
Why is Prime Rib so Good?
What makes prime rib so good is that it has a large eye of the meat in the center. It’s juicy, tender and marbled with fat. It’s so tender because the muscles aren’t used a lot and because of the fat, it stays juicy. When prime rib doesn’t have too much fat that’s what makes it dry out. Plus the fat makes it extremely flavorful.
Boneless vs. Bone-in Prime Rib
There are prime ribs that you can buy that are boneless and some have bones. Some people say that there is no taste difference, which is true as far as the meat goes. But when a prime rib has the bones attached to the meat, that’s what makes it slightly better.
During the cooking process, the bones make the meat a little more tender. The juices and fat around the bone will give the meat a little more flavor because the meat around the bones cooks slower, and as a result be more juicy and extra tender. And in our family, we all fight over who gets the bones.
If you buy a boneless prime roast then you will probably be able to serve 2 people per pound of meat. If you make a bone-in roast you will probably get 1-1 ½ servings per pound, but this is just an estimate.
Like I said before, as the hostess you know your guests and the rest of your menu better than anyone. Some people don’t want to be bothered with the bones, some people love the bones. Our family fights over the bones because of the juiciness and extra flavor on them.
If you are not too good at slicing meat, then a boneless version might be a little easier to slice.
How Much Prime Rib Per Person?
That’s going to depend on a couple of factors. They say to plan on 1 pound per person. A bone-in rib roast will feed about 2 people per bone. It also depends on how many side dishes you will be serving with your prime rib roast, and also what kind of eaters you are having for your dinner.
If I have some big eaters, usually men who have a bigger appetite, or I have some people who are small eaters, usually women or kids then you have to plan the meat accordingly.
For example, a 7lb roast with 3 ribs will feed 6-8 people
A 9 lb roast with 4 ribs, will feed 8-10 people depending on those same factors (if you have big eaters or small eaters, big meat eaters or small meat eaters, how many side dishes you will be serving,…etc).
But it’s ok to make extra so you’re sure you have enough just in case, and if there are leftovers…yeah!
Chart of Typical Prime Rib Roast Weights and Feeding Chart
2 Rib Roast 4-5 pounds – serves 4-5 people
3 Rib Roast 5-6 pounds – serves 5-6 people
4 Rib Roast 6-7 pounds – serves 6-7 people
5 Rib Roast 7-8 pounds – serves 7-8 people
6 Rib Roast 8-9 pounds – serves 8-9 people
7 Rib Roast 9-10 pounds – serves 9-10 people
Shopping for a Prime Rib
Here are some tips when you go shopping for a Prime Rib:
When you go to the store to buy your meat, ask for or look for a prime rib roast or a standing rib roast. It usually is comprised of a total of 2-7 ribs. Look for or ask for a roast that has about 3 bones and is cut from either the chuck end of the roast or the loin end of the rib section.
Remember that the fat makes your Prime Rib Roast tender and juicy so choose a well-marbled piece of meat.
Choose a “Dry-aged” piece of meat if available. This will have much more flavor and be more tender.
Always opt for a bone-in Prime Rib when given the chance as it will be more flavorful than boneless.
Properly Thawing Prime Rib
It’s never a good idea to thaw meat at room temperature because of bacteria. The best way to properly thaw prime rib is to take your meat out of the freezer and place it into the refrigerator to thaw slowly.
It can take anywhere from 1-3 days depending on the size of your roast. When the meat is thawing out juices are released but if it thaws out slowly the juices are reabsorbed back into the meat.
The second best way to thaw your roast is to submerge it into cold water for 2-3 hours. Replace the water every 30 minutes with more cold water. Even though this is a faster way to that your rib roast, it requires more of your attention. It may cause your roast to lose some of its moisture.
It’s not a good idea to thaw your prime rib roast in the microwave. It will start cooking the meat around the edges and cause them to become hard and you can ruin your Prime Rib.
What Ingredients do you Need to Make a Prime Rib Roast?
There aren’t too many ingredients involved in cooking prime rib, just the meat and the seasoning is all you need.
Prime Rib Roast
Montreal Steak Seasoning
Best Temperature and Cooking Time for Prime Rib
Figuring out how long to cook a prime rib roast, is one of the most difficult parts of the process. Thankfully we will show you exactly how long it takes to perfectly cook one..
Prime Rib Cooking Temperature
Figuring out what temperature to cook prime rib at is a good question and probably the most difficult thing to measure because it can vary based on your oven.
What we have found the absolute perfect temperature to cook prime rib is 500 degrees for the first 30 minutes and then 325 degrees for the rest of the cooking time.
Prime Rib Cooking Time
Cooking time will depend on 3 things:
Prime Rib Size
The temperature of the prime rib before cooking
With this entire subject, you are going to get a lot of differing opinions on what temperature to use and how many minutes per pound to cook the roast. I’ve heard 13 minutes per pound, 15 minutes per pound, and even 20 minutes per pound.
Here’s the problem I’ve found, is that you don’t want to overcook it. If you undercook it you can easily rectify that problem by cooking it longer but if you overcook it there is no turning back.
Based on our experience, we’ve found that 15 minutes per pound is the perfect time to cook prime rib. Plus we as a family do not like meat that’s medium or more. We like it to be rare to medium-rare. Trust me, there’s nothing worse than overcooking a prime rib roast.
A quick way to estimate how long it takes to cook the prime rib, is how cold the meat is when you place it in the oven. The colder the roast is the longer it will take to cook, so make sure it’s thawed properly before putting in the oven.
Also once it is cooking in the oven, make sure you check the roast before the suggested cooking time to see how it’s progressing. If you have a window in your oven door that’s a good way to check the thermometer so you don’t have to open the oven door unnecessarily which you want to avoid.
Prime Rib Cooking Time Per Pound Chart
A general rule of thumb for how long you need to cook a prime rib roast is 15 minutes per pound. This will give you medium-rare doneness which is the perfect temperature for prime rib.
Here is a quick time chart for roasting a prime rib: This chart is based on cooking the prime rib for the first 30 minutes cooked at 450-500 degrees, then turning it down to 325 degrees for the remaining time.
Multiply the weight of the prime rib roast by 15 minutes per pound:
4 lb prime rib roast would take about 60 minutes, or 1hour
5 lb prime rib roast would take about 75 minutes, or 1 hour 15 minutes
6 lb prime rib roast would take about 90 minutes, or 1hour 30 minutes
7 lb prime rib roast would take about 105 minutes, or 1 hour 45 minutes
8 lb prime rib roast would take about 120 minutes, or2 hours
9 lb prime rib roast would take about 135 minutes or 2 hours 15 minutes
10 lb prime rib roast would take about 150 minutes of 2 hours 30 minutes
Again we like eating prime rib at medium-rare doneness. If you like your prime rib cooked at a different temperature, change the cooking time based on these guidelines:
Rare Doneness – Cook 10 minutes less than the above indicated time.
Medium – Add 10 minutes to cooking time above
Medium-Well – Add 20 minutes to cooking time above
Well Done – Add 30 minutes to cooking time above
*Results will vary depending on your oven. Using a meat thermometer can help to make sure it’s cooked to the right temperature.
How to Cook the Best Prime Rib Roast – Step By Step
In case you are a little nervous about making your first prime rib at home, we were too. We are going to share with you how to make the best prime rib roast. So relax and look forward to eating the finished product!
Then we are going to share with you how to season your prime rib, discuss if you should cook your Rib Roast in a baking dish or use a rack, how to use a meat thermometer and it’s important place in cooking your Prime Rib, and what it means to let your roast rest after it’s cooked.
Seasoning the Prime Rib
The first thing is to make sure that your meat is not frozen at all. If it is it will be harder to control how long to cook it and it won’t cook evenly. So if you froze it make sure to thaw it completely ahead of time.
The next step you need to do before cooking it is to season it.
Rub a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil all over the roast. Then rub it all over on all sides with the spices, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and Montreal steak seasoning.
It’s great to have all the spices on all sides of the meat, but at the same time keep your spices on the simple side. You want to taste the meat with just a touch of spice on the outside of the meat. You want the spices to enhance the meat not overpower the meat.
I like to place fresh mushrooms and sliced onions around the roast. It’s just for garnishing but can also be eaten. It’s not a necessary step, especially if you don’t like mushrooms or onions.
Do You Cook Prime Rib on a Rack?
For this prime rib, we did not cook it on a rack because it was not a very big one. It was only a 2 rib roast and it easily fit into a small pan. But yes when we have made larger ones we do use a roasting pan with a rack.
With a smaller roast, there are not as many drippings as there are with a larger one. When you have a large one, as one with 4 or more ribs, there are a lot more drippings that end up making a good amount of au jus ( the drippings from the meat). In that case, it’s best to lift the roast up onto a rack so it doesn’t sit in its juice.
Cooking the Prime Rib
After you have seasoned your roast, the next step in cooking your Prime Rib Roast is to preheat your oven to 500 degrees. Be sure you have inserted your meat thermometer in your prime rib roast so that you can read what the internal temperature of the meat is.
Put your roast in the middle of your oven and cook at 500 degrees for 30 min. When you do this step it traps the juices inside your meat by making the outside crispier.
For the duration of the cooking process (see the chart a few subheadings above), lower your oven to 325 degrees.
Keep your oven door shut the whole time, if possible, to keep your oven temperature the same. If you have a window in your oven door it gives you a chance to look in at the thermometer periodically.
Use a Meat Thermometer
It’s always a good idea to use a meat thermometer when cooking your Prime Rib Roast. It helps to assure that your meat will not overcook or undercook. Of course, if it was undercooked you could always stick it back in the oven but if it overcooks there is nothing you can do to go backward. So a meat thermometer is crucial. Leave it in the meat the entire time it’s cooking.
The meat thermometers have not only degrees on them, but also they tell you which degrees match rare, medium, well done doneness, and anything in between.
Make sure that the tip of the thermometer is not touching the bone. You want it to test the inside of the meat only.
Make sure it’s facing the window of your oven so that you can read it periodically during the cooking process to avoid opening the oven.
Prime Rib Internal Temperatures:
To understand the doneness of prime rib you can use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat. Here are the temperatures to tell how much your prime rib is done:
Rare: 120 degrees
Medium-Rare: 130 degrees
Medium: 140 degrees
Medium-Well: 150 degrees
Well Done: 160 degrees
Let the Prime Rib Rest
With beef, in general, it’s good to let it rest before serving, and that’s the same for prime rib. This resting period allows the juices to settle into the meat, making it juicier and more tender.
If you don’t let your meat rest then when you cut into it the juices will run out and cause your Rib Roast to go from tender to tough and chewy.
Once you take the prime rib out of the oven it needs to rest for about 30 minutes and as a result, will continue to cook even though it has come out of the oven. So my suggestion would be to undercook your meat a little so that when you go to serve it, the meat will be the way that you like it.
Other Tips for Making Prime Rib
When you pick out a roast get one that has a lot of marbled fat running through the meat. It will be more tender and flavorful, which is always a great thing!
A good rule of thumb with so many things that you bake, Prime Rib Roast included, is not to open the oven if you don’t have to during the cooking process. Every time that you open the oven door, the more you alter the temperature of the oven which can affect the cooking time.
How to Carve Prime Rib Roast
When slicing your Prime Rib make sure you use a sharp knife, one without teeth. If you use a knife with teeth it will act as a saw and it will rip through your meat instead of giving you clean, straight slices.
You need to cut it across the grain which means to notice the direction that the lines of the meat are going and slice across them. If you were to cut with the lines or grain then your meat would be chewy or tough to eat.
Slice the meat in the thickness that you and your guests like it, thin or thick.
How to Make Au Jux
Au Jus is just a fancy word for the juice that comes from the meat, the drippings. Some of the seasonings sprinkled on the prime rib roast have also dropped into the pan and mixed with the meat juice have created an amazing liquid to pour over your meat.
We don’t thicken au jus because we don’t want the gravy to cover over the juicy and delicious prime rib, we want just the juices to complement the meat when we eat it.
What Diets is Prime Rib Good for?
Low Carb/Keto – What better meat could we ask for having to eat a low carb diet. Meat is one thing that does not have carbs in it.
Gluten-Free – Yay! another thing for a gluten-free diet. Meats are safe for a person that has to stay away from gluten.
Nut-Free – You’re ok with Prime rib…no nuts
Dairy-Free – No dairy in the preparation of this wonderful piece of meat so enjoy!
Sugar-Free – There is no sugar in our prime rib, inside or out
What to Serve with Prime Rib?
You can serve with any side dishes of your choice. We have some really delicious ones on our website that are all low carb and goes well with prime rib roast. Here is a list of some possibilities:
Yes, you can always make things a day ahead but in my opinion, it’s better right after you take it out of the oven. Plus by heating it up the next day it will logically cook longer in the reheating process, so if you cooked it to your perfect doneness the first day, you will have overcooked meat the second day.
If for the sake of time you have to cook it the day before, then undercook it so that when you heat it up it will hopefully come out at the doneness you prefer.
How to Store it
The best way to store your leftover Prime Rib is to wrap it well before putting it into the refrigerator. I like to put the leftover slices into a Ziploc bag and make it as airtight as possible. Or you could always put it in a plastic container too if you have one that’s big enough for the leftovers.
Your meat will keep 4 or 5 days in the refrigerator, that is to say, if no one has eaten it all up by that point. In our house, we usually serve it the next night for dinner along with the leftover side dishes. I love leftovers after coming home from work the next day. How delicious that your leftovers are Prime Rib!!
The Best Way to Reheat Prime Rib
The best way to reheat your prime rib is in the oven at a low temperature, like around 325 or 350 degrees. This is where that yummy au jus comes in.
To reheat prime rib without it overcooking, place your meat single layer in a pan or cookie sheet and pour the au jus over it and cover it with foil. That way the juices will be caught inside with your meat, making it super tender!
What Can You Do with Leftover Prime Rib?
Besides having your prime rib heat up in the oven along with exactly the same leftover side dishes you enjoyed the day before, you could also slice it thin and have it on top of a green salad.
You could also slice your meat thin and make a yummy sandwich, cold along with lettuce and tomato or however you like your sandwiches.
Or you can have an open face sandwich, heated up with onions or melted cheese, etc
Other Low Carb Main Courses:
If you’re in the mood for some other recipes that are oven-roasted then try our:
The best way to cook a perfect prime rib roast at home. This delicious recipe is a lot cheaper than going out to eat for it. It’s certainly a lot cheaper than taking the whole family out to a restaurant and treating them all to a prime rib dinner.
Prime Rib Roast
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbsp Garlic Powder
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Pepper
2 Tbsp Montreal Steak Seasoning
The first thing you do is preheat your oven to 450- 500 degrees, depending on how hot your oven runs.
Next place your meat in a roasting pan and coat all over with olive oil.
Season your meat with the spices all over. The olive oil will help the spices to stick to the meat.
Put meat thermometer into the roast at the thickest point in the middle of the meat being careful not to touch the bones with the thermometer.
Cook on 500 degrees for 30 minutes.
Lower temp to 325 degrees for the duration of the cooking time.
Prime Rib has 0 NET CARBS*the only carbs will come from garlic powder or a few other seasonings so check first to see how many carbs they have.
Make sure that your meat is thawed out completely if it was frozen.
One thing to keep in mind with the thermometer is to put it in the center of the meat and not touching the bone. Also important is to make sure that when you take it out of the meat to use a potholder so that you don’t burn your hand.
Try to keep the oven closed during the cooking process to maintain the temperature in the oven.
When your roast comes out of the oven, let it rest for 30 minutes which will keep the juices in your meat.
Use a very sharp knife to carve your meat, one without teeth, which would rip up your meat while carving.
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