This year’s holiday gatherings will be a bit of a departure from years past, and many may find themselves responsible for cooking prime rib for the first time. For those in this position, have no fear! We’re here to dish up everything you need to know in our Guide to the Perfect Prime Rib.
Prime Rib Roast is a well-loved holiday standard for a variety of reasons, but the incredible flavor and quality of the cut itself are two reasons we love it best. It’s juicy, tender and full of flavor when cooked properly. That being said, it is possible to detract from the flavor of the dish, or even ruin it if it is prepared poorly.
The best way to get the perfect prime rib is by baking your prime rib roast at a lower temperature in a shallow roasting pan, on the rack. We recommend thawing your prime rib roast on a plate in the refrigerator for three days prior to cooking. Immediately prior to cooking your prime rib roast, remove it from the refrigerator and set on the counter for about an hour (no more than two hours) to allow the roast to reach room temperature.
Next, season your roast. You can add great flavor to your roast by covering it with butter, then adding the seasoning, but the butter is not required. Some prime rib roasts are already seasoned, while others include optional seasoning packets. Whichever prime rib roast you select, the key to a great prime rib roast is complimentary seasoning, rather than overpowering flavors. At this point, you may be tempted to remove the netting on your prime roast, but it’s important to leave your prime rib in the netting so it remains intact throughout the cooking process.
Next, you’ll place your roast on the rack of the roasting pan and place it in the oven to begin cooking. We do not recommend adding water or covering your roast while cooking.
Cooking times for prime rib will vary depending upon the size of the prime rib roast you are preparing, but you’ll want to allow approximately 1.5 – 2 hours for a 5 lb roast cooked to medium rare. For a more in depth overview, view our complete chart of prime rib cook times here.
Prime Rib Roast is unique in that it should be removed from the oven or heat source for a little while before carving. This is because the roast will continue “carryover cooking” for an additional 10 minutes or so after it is removed from the heat. Upon removing your roast from the oven, transfer it to the carving board and place an aluminum foil “tent” over the top to help it reach the desired temperature. For the perfect prime rib temperature, follow these guidelines:
For a rare prime rib roast, cook at 375 until the internal temperature reaches 115. After carryover cooking, the roast should be at 125.
For a medium rare prime rib roast, cook at 375 until the internal temperature reaches 125. After carryover cooking, the roast should reach 135.
For a medium prime rib roast, cook at 375 until the internal temperature reaches 135. After carryover cooking, the roast should reach 145.
For a medium well prime rib roast, cook at 375 until the internal temperature reaches 145. After carryover cooking, the roast should reach 155.
Prime Rib Au Jus is a “must have” when it comes to the perfect prime rib. To make your prime rib au jus, simply skim fat from the drippings in your roasting pan, then pour remaining drippings into a pan on the stovetop and bring to simmer. Whisk in two tablespoons of flour and one quart of beef broth, then adjust heat to high and continue to whisk/stir for about ten minutes, or until the au jus reaches the desired consistency. Serve alongside your prime rib roast.
You’re ready to serve up the perfect prime rib! Share with your friends who will be serving holiday dinner this year, then tell us your favorite prime rib roast side dish in the comments below!