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yes, you too can make a perfect Prime Rib Roast!

My husband asked me what I wanted to do for a special holiday dinner this weekend and I thought hmmmmmmmm. Sick of turkey, all the fish and crab is frozen, had enough pork lately to start oinking and chicken didn't seem very festive. How about a standing Prime rib roast then he says??? Horrors!!!!! I thought, I have never done one of those before. Would hate to ruin a perfectly good $30.00 dollar piece of meat. So I just smiled a weak somewhat convincing smile and simply said "ok". Then the race was on, quick, an exhaustive internet search comparing recipes from all the well known TV chefs for the "Perfect - Guaranteed Prime Rib Roast" became a battle inside my head of "No Pick me!!" as recipes swirled around on the screen. "Stop!, I said to myself, this can't be that difficult, I am up to the challenge. It is time I get the semantics of this one under my belt."

So off the grocery I go to talk to my friendly butcher behind the meat counter. He recognizes me immediately, standing over the various packages of prime rib roasts with what I am sure was "the dear in the headlight look" , winks at me and says "special dinner tonight?" "Yessss!!" escaped me almost like a sigh of relief and he was my knight in shining armor. How many people? I robotically say "two" He hands me a beautiful three rib 4 lb roast and then says, "let me go get you the dry rub packet that goes with that. " Three seconds later he returns and gives me a baggy with the dry rub. "You have a recipe picked out?" he inquires "Yes, I think so." "Good he responds, it really is as easy as they say. But don't go out and buy a fancy roasting pan with a rack, the back bones will serve as a nature rack."

Eagerly anticipating using my brand new wireless meat thermometer, I prep the roast per the instructions of the recipe, rub all the spices over the meat, my husband peels garlic and shoves the cloves into the nature holes at the ends where the meat meets the bones and into the oven it goes. An hour later the smell is driving us INSANE and I go to insert the probe of the thermostat, only to find it is not getting a signal. I rifle through the little instruction book, no help. So I get my trusty 20 year old instant dial face thermometer out and plunge it into the roast, my timing was perfect , a steady 130 degrees! Out of the oven it comes to rest ( 20 to 30 minutes of resting time is recommended) I finish with the side dishes, fresh asparagus and potatoes algroten. Then the timer goes off. This is the moment when one almost needs a drum roll, my carving knife posed......... I slice off the first piece.......

Need I say the heavens opened up and the angels sang!! OMG, it was perfect!! The flavor was beyond my wildest dreams, ( and I am not that much of a beef fan anymore mind you) I think I can honestly say it was better than any prime rib I have ever had at a restaurant, I was sooooo proud!
So go ahead all you aspiring chefs out there, dive into a Prime Rib roast, what they say is true, it really isn't that hard to do at all and TRULY worth the effort. Merry Christmas all and a Happy New Year!

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  1. I'm ready to try a rib roast too. How hot was your oven? Four-lb roast done in one hour, really?

    1. Sarah, Yes after searing in oven (i cranked my oven up to 500 for the searing part) then follow this link and the recipe, perfection on a plate! http://whatscookingamerica.net/Beef/C...


      1. LOL! (And I rarely ever type that, but I am really sitting here laughing.) Your entire post could've been written by me yesterday. My 4 lb rib roast for two (my first one ever!) will go into the oven around 4:30 p.m. tonight (to be eaten around 6ish), sides to follow, and I have been agonizing all morning, scanning posts online and recipes in various books. Glad to hear another roast newbie report back successfully.

        God bless Chowhounds, every one!

        1. My 2 ribs roast came out to 5.75 lbs. cost $80 but what the heck it is Christmas. I know it is going to take a lot longer than an hour to cook. It is coming to room temp. right now. I am figuring about 16 minutes per lb. to get to 130 F. So an hour and a half anyway. I am using Julia's steady 325 F. oven method.

          Glad you had good success. Rib roast is one of the easiest to do.

          Merry Christmas!

          2 Replies
          1. re: Candy

            Just wondering where in the country you are located. We are in Montreal and on Saturday paid $67.00 for a just over 6 pound roast ( 3 ribs). What a great meal we had on Christmas and today we will have leftovers.

            1. re: BJE

              Bloomington, IN (used to live near you in Plattsburgh) but my roast which was very good cme from a small independent butcher. It was $13.99/lb. I got mine last year from him too. Sure I could pay less in the supermarket but...

          2. Carving help please? Mine should come out in an hour - hub doesn't know how to carve it!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Annabelicious

              I run the carving or boning knife between the rib bones and the meat to reveal a boneless roast. Cut slices with a carving knife parallel to the flat sides. For those liking med-well, the outler slices ar e perfect and usually coated in extra congealed juices.

              here are two methods, the second being more showy for tableside carving:


              Med rare lovers get the inner slices.

            2. I am assuming it is on the bone in some fashion and not a rolled rib orast? Did the butcher remove it from the bones and then tie it back on? If so it is simple, just clip the string and remove it to a cutting board. Some people dind it easier to stand it on one end and slice horizontally. If it was not remoppved from the bone and tied back on then remove to a cutting board and you can slice it from the bones first and then proceed. If you want to leave it on the bones place it bones down and slice down to the bone and then across to release the slices. I prefer thinner slices than a big slab but whatever thickness you like is fine. Those bones are 24 kt. gold too. Deviled beef bones are great or just heat them back up tomorrow and gnaw!

              1. Sounds awesome. For the first time, my brother, dad and I opted for prime rib for Christmas Eve this year (Mom's not much of a prime rib person and likes her steak medium well anyway). It was also my first time cooking a whole prime rib roast. I used the epicurious recipe which called for 30 cloves of fresh roasted garlic and horseradish cream as a rub left on overnight. After letting the 8.5 lb choice roast sit for 1.5 hours or so to come closer to room temp, we blasted the beast for 30 minutes at 450F to make a nice crust. Then we slow roasted it at 250F for about 3.5 hours and pulled the thing when the internal temp was about 120F. We let it rest covered in foil to bring the temp up some to a nice red rare. Here are a couple of pictures.

                Pre-wrap and rest


                Post carving off the ribs.


                1. Thanks all. Our guests were very late so we ended up with a less than stellar cook. It was slightly overdone. We cut it off the bone and it was fine but not stellar. My awesome popovers made up for it (I hope ). Merry Christmas!

                  1. Thanks for the post. I have one sitting in the fridge right now waiting to be cooked tomorrow night.

                    1. i was able to cook one this past Xmas afternoon...it was pretty simple. my brother bought just got it from the butcher shop at bristol farms. - a beautiful marblized 4 bone aged, prime cut.

                      first i seared all sides on the stovetop for about 5-6 minutes and then transferred it in the oven at 275 for 3.5hrs

                      basted it once after 1.5 hrs of cooking with lawrys seasoning, freshly ground pepper, rock salt, and olive oil...

                      i had a pretty good thermometer that was connected to the prime rib for accurate heat measurement. so once it read 125....it was beautiful to say the least =)

                      1. I see a chowhound trend here. We also had semiboneless rib roast (6.75 lb for an amazing $35.00) for Xmas eve. The beef was rubbed with adobo, fresh pepper and dark soy, warmed to room temp and seared at 550 in le cruset and roasted for 1.5 hours at 325. It worked out great and fed five with 1/2 the meat leftover including the three small ribs ribs for the chef. We served it with pan gravy from the drippings, beets, mashed potatoes, succotash and a green salad. Cheese fondue for appetizer and plum pudding with grand marnier hard sauce for dessert. Heavy but delicious! Happy holidays to all.

                        1. Mine came out perfectly and it was delicious. I started it at 450 for about 20 minutes, reduced it to 325 to finish. It was almost 8 pounds with ribs. I had a red wine/beef stock reduction with it that was stellar. Thankfully there were leftovers, but what can you do with them that matches the culinary perfection of a perfectly cooked prime rib roast?? I might just admire it, gnaw the bones to the marrow and call it a day.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: cooknKate

                            I was involved in my daughter's rib roast adventure yesterday; the beast weighed 17 pounds. I bought the probe thermometer and we relied on the temperature, took it out at 120F, as many have suggested. It was just beautiful and equally delicious. It was very rosey, but not too rare at all. I was grateful to be able to add Chowhound suggestions to the rest of the reference material. Happy New Year to one and all!

                          2. I perused dozens of prime rib recipes, half of which started out "have your butcher remove the ribs and tie them back on". Well I don't have a butcher..I buy my meat from Costco or Safeway, both of which had good prices on choice rib roast. I could have spent twice as much $$ and twice as much time locating, ordering and driving to a specialty butcher but I decided instead to tackle this apparently difficult chore myself.

                            So I cut off the bones myself. It took about 30 seconds. Then I put my seasonings ( mashed raw garlic, roasted garlic, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, salt and pepper) on the cut surfaces and tied it back together with string. Total time: ten minutes for two roasts. Why do a need a butcher to do this?

                            The imbedded seasonings did make a subtle positive difference acording to my xmas guests..who did not know about my new technique.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: Rhee

                              The flavor's better if you roast bone-in.

                              All I needed to do to my Costco roast was tie it. They'd already removed the chine bone and trimmed the fat.