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Classic Prime Rib | Perfect roasting technique for rare prime rib

Classic Prime Rib Roast

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This Classic Prime Rib Roast is a popular holiday dinner request. Using my tips for roasting the perfect prime rib makes sure this expensive cut of beef comes out perfectly every time!

My easy, foolproof recipe results in a tender prime rib that will have your family swooning.

Classic Prime Rib slices next to the roast on a white platter with rosemary and persimmon garnishes

Classic Prime Rib Roast Recipe

I served a prime rib for last year’s Christmas dinner and again when the family gathered this year on the weekend after Thanksgiving. It’s a perfect celebratory entree.

Some years, I whip up Yorkshire puddings to accompany them, but simple mashed potatoes sufficed in 2014. My family loves their beef quite rare, so a meat thermometer is imperative for proper cooking.

Prime beef is too expensive to accidentally overcook it. This classic prime rib recipe also requires a little advance prep—nothing challenging, but you need to have your roast defrosted at least 48 hours ahead of your serving time. The top layer of fat must be scored and the whole slab of meat rubbed with kosher salt and left to air age in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. But most important is to buy a really good piece of beef. You cannot go wrong with a Certified Angus Beef Beef® Prime Rib. Between having the top of the line brand of beef and their new,  free Roast Perfect App, you’ll be able to create a restaurant-worthy meal at home!

Overhead view of a Classic Prime Rib, partially sliced, garnished with fresh herbs and fruit

How to Cook Prime Rib in the Oven

The low and slow method of cooking prime rib ensures a nice rare middle and very little grayish perimeter that comes from higher heat. A short broiling time at the end takes care of crisping and browning the top layer of fat.

  • For the best flavor, dry brine your roast 2-3 days ahead of when you plan to serve it.
  • Dry brining involves seasoning your roast with salt, and leaving it open to the air in the refrigerator. The salt will penetrate and flavor the beef by osmosis.
  • Before roasting, sear the exterior in hot oil to bring some color to the exterior. No one wants a gray roast!
  • Start your roast at 200º and cook for 3-4 hours until a meat thermometer registers 110º.
  • After the roast reaches 11oº, turn off the oven and let the roast slowly come up to 120º for rare.
  • Then remove the roast from the oven, cover with foil and let the juices redistribute for about 30 minutes.
  • Then turn on the broiler and give your roast some time, watching carefully, to brown.
  • Never leave the roast unattended under the broiler as you don’t want this classic prime rib to burn.

Once again, the family gave their seal of approval to this spectacular holiday entree. Thanks, Certified Angus Beef® Brand for a picture-perfect roast and the technology to answer all my questions.

Classic Prime Rib roast on a cutting board

You’ll want to download the Roast Perfect iPhone App ASAP. It is the most comprehensive and user-friendly roasting app available—and you’ll love having it at your fingertips when you’re planning your holiday menu, calculating cooking times, hunting for recipes, looking for the nearest location to purchase Certified Angus Beef® Brand and a whole lot more.

I can never remember the exact temperatures for rare beef (how my husband and sons want theirs) compared with medium-rare (for me). Having this app right on my phone made it a breeze to check while standing at the oven.

Slice of rare Classic Prime Rib on a white plate

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Yield: 8

Classic Prime Rib

Classic Prime Rib

A simple yet, outstanding recipe for prime rib adapted from Cook's Illustrated

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Total Time 4 hours 10 minutes


  • 6-pound Certified Angus Beef® Brand prime rib roast (ribs removed)
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Oil, to sear roast


  1. One to 3 days before serving, cut slits into fat on top of roast in a crosshatch pattern. Rub salt all over roast, and refrigerate uncovered.
  2. On serving day, preheat oven to 200º. Sear roast in a roaster in a small amount of oil, a couple minutes on each side. Place rack into roaster, and set beef on rack. Place in oven and insert meat thermometer into center of roast. Cook for 3-4 hours till meat thermometer registers 110º. Turn oven off and let rest for about 30 minutes without opening oven door. Remove when internal temperature reaches about 120º for rare.
  3. Cover roast with foil and wait at least 10 and up to 30 minutes to let juices redistribute.
  4. Uncover, and place under broiler and broil till top is browned and crispy, watching carefully to prevent burning.
  5. To serve, cut meat into slices. Season with additional salt if necessary.


Feel free to cut some slits in the top of the roast and insert some slices of garlic before roasting. Or sprinkle with garlic powder.

Note that total time does not include dry brining time.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1074 Total Fat: 74g Saturated Fat: 29g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 35g Cholesterol: 318mg Sodium: 1813mg Carbohydrates: 0g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 0g Sugar: 0g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 96g
Calories include all visible fat.


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32 comments on “Classic Prime Rib Roast”

  1. What a gorgeous roast! Perfectly cooked!

  2. Truly a perfectly cooked roast!

  3. I haven’t made a roast beef in a really long time! When it’s just the two of us it makes too much food and although I do love leftovers, beef is not something I want to eat for 3-4 days in a row! I love dry aging the meat too, creates such a succulent piece of meat (I’ve done it with steaks). Beautiful Sunday supper, Liz.

  4. Now that’s a perfect beef roast!

  5. Liz, this roast is absolutely stunning and would be a great addition to my holiday table!

  6. You can’t beat a classic Prime Rib Roast!

  7. Looks so mouthwatering!

  8. Now that is a special occasion entree!

  9. This roast looks stunning and perfectly cooked! I love that the #RoastPerfect app makes it so easy to prepare a perfectly cooked roast. Thanks for sharing.

  10. That’s the perfect color of slice for me! I’ll take two please!!

  11. Your prime rib looks wonderful. We eat ours medium rare, but otherwise I’d eat yours in a heartbeat!

  12. I’ll second that, low and slow is the only way to go.

  13. You prime rib is making me salivate, it looks amazing. Cooking red meat is my biggest challenge (may have mentioned it) I will just wait for the invite to come over rather than try myself lol.

  14. I have not perfected the prime rib roast – this will be my go to recipe – thank you so much for sharing it. Can’t wait to try this. Yours looks absolutely perfect!

  15. Liz, this is one of the most perfect Classiic Rrime Ribs that I have ever seen – I am in awe and although it is morning around here I believe I am getting quite hungry at this early hour. And the decoration with the lovely orange persimmons and herbs is outstanding as well! Bravo!
    P.S.: If I remember correctly, your eldest son is called Nicholas, so please wish him a Happy Name Day from us if you get the chance (even if we are a day late)

  16. What a perfect holiday dinner!!!!

  17. This is so gorgeous and I love all of your tips!

  18. Low and slow. ALWAYS. Such a beautiful cut of meat 🙂

  19. That is one heck of an impressive hunk of meat. I also love the festive touch the persimmons bring. GREG

  20. Lizzy,
    I love prime rib and the rarer the better. Your roast looks perfectly done. Wish I lived next door so I could get some leftovers.

  21. That is one beautiful rib roast!! Cooked to perfection. We forwent the turkey this year at TG, and grilled a rib roast for the first time. A new tradition for us!

  22. I am always up for a classic meal like this, and the recipe looks perfect!

  23. Good lord that looks good!! So simple too!

  24. Gorgeous! I want a big ol’ slice right now!!

  25. I’ve always wanted to try making a Yorkshire pudding. I bet that would go fabulously with this roast, too!

  26. I’ve had Prime Rib once (maybe twice) and it was a very long time ago. My family may revolt if I didn’t prepare a turkey for Christmas but I think with one taste they’d get over it!

  27. That roast is perfectly cooked and looks so tender and inviting. I want some right now. (and maybe a sandwich tomorrow)

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