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Perfect for Christmas, this Prime Rib Roast couldn’t be easier. Slathered with butter, garlic and herbs and baked to perfection. All you need is a thermometer for perfect prime rib every time. So so delicious with Fondant Potatoes and Buttery Corn Casserole.
But First, What is Prime Rib?
Prime Rib is generally known as a special and expensive cut of beef that is prepared and roasted for special occasions and holidays. Prime Rib is known for its beautiful exterior and rich, tender meat. Traditionally it is cooked rare or medium rare.
What Cut of Meat is Prime Rib?
Prime Rib is a Standing Rib Roast. When you’re at the grocery store, ask your butcher for a standing rib roast: a big roast with bones (ribs) and fat layer still attached.
When you buy rib-eye steaks, this is where they are coming from, just with the ribs and fat layer removed.
This cut is usually more expensive because it has a big “eye” of meat in its center (technically the rib-eye) and is well marbled. Also, because of its location in the cow, it isn’t a highly used muscle, leaving it extremely tender.
Despite the price, it is so worth it for the holidays.
How to Cook a Prime Rib Roast
After spending $50+ on a beautiful roast, the last thing you want to do with a Prime Rib is mess up the cooking. Lucky for you, I’ve got you covered! Here are the easiest directions ever for baking this big beautiful standing rib roast. As long as you have a thermometer, you can totally cook this like a pro. For full recipe details, see the printable recipe card below. Here are step by step directions on how to cook a Prime Rib Roast:
Bring Roast to Room Temperature
Remove standing rib roast from refrigerator and bring to room temperature, 2-3 hours. This will help relax the roast and keep it tender.
Preheat Oven + Spread Butter and Herbs Over the Roast
Preheat oven. Chop garlic, rosemary and thyme together until finely minced. Stir together with olive oil and butter to create a paste. Sprinkle salt and pepper all over roast. (You may need more or less salt and pepper, depending how large your roast is.)
Spread garlic and herb butter all over roast in a thin, even layer.
Roast to Desired Doneness
Bake 15 minutes at 450° F. Then reduce oven temperature to 325° F and cook 15-20 minutes per pound for medium rare. Use a thermometer to check for desired doneness. Here is an inexpensive thermometer if you don’t have one. If you’re looking to invest in a really good thermometer that you’ll have forever, this is the one I have and love. Great Christmas present too (hint, hint)!
Remove From Oven + Let Rest
Remove from oven, cover prime rib with foil gently for 30 minutes to rest. Carve off the bone and serve.
How Long to Cook Prime Rib
The cooking times will vary based on the temperature you’re cooking your prime rib to. Most experts will say cut of meat is too nice to cook to well done. Most people cook theirs to rare or medium-rare. I prefer all my Prime Rib Roasts and beef steaks to be cooked to medium, but it’s all personal preference.
Prime Rib Doneness | Internal Temperatures
- Rare: 130° F (pull when thermometer reaches 125°)
- Medium Rare: 140° F (pull when thermometer reaches 135°)
- Medium: 150° F (pull when thermometer reaches 145°)
- Medium Well: 160° F (pull when thermometer reaches 155°)
- Well Done: 170° F (pull when thermometer reaches 165°)
What About the Au Jus Gravy?
Depending on personal preference, you can serve your Prime Rib with or without Au Jus! Prime Rib is certainly tender and flavorful enough to not require any sauce, but certainly makes a delicious addition. Here’s how to make a quick au jus:
Remove the fat from the drippings by pouring into a fat separator cup. I own this one and it works perfectly. Add enough beef consomme or beef stock to equal 1 1/2 cups. If you have enough drippings, no need to add the beef consomme. Don’t have enough beef drippings? Make up the difference using beef consomme. Simmer in a saucepan until desired thickness is achieved. Feel free to add Worcestershire Sauce or even Red Wine to the Au Jus for an extra kick of flavor!
If you want a thicker actually gravy, simply add a roux:
- Melt 1/4 cup butter into a medium saucepan. Alternately, you can use the skimmed beef fat drippings, or a combination of the two.
- Sprinkle over 2 tablespoons all purpose flour. Whisk to create a paste and cook 1 minute.
- Slowly whisk in the beef drippings and consomme/stock. Bring to simmer to thicken, then turn off. Taste and adjust seasonings.
- Serve hot with prime rib.
How much Prime Rib Per Person? | Planning for a Crowd
Since your standing rib roast comes with big rib bones, you will use these as a guide for meal planning. Account for 1 rib bone for every two people.
If you’re serving younger children (under 10), you can account 1 rib bone for every three children. If your family happens to be big meat eaters, plan for 1 rib per person (but expect that to be a generous portion).
What to Serve with Prime Rib
- Vegetables – Roasted Brussels Sprouts or Oven Roasted Asparagus go perfectly with this recipe. Another classic are Maple Glazed Carrots.
- Potatoes – I love a creamy potato casserole like these Scalloped Potatoes best with Prime Rib, though Buttery Mashed Potatoes are a classic choice!
- Rolls – Homemade Crescent Rolls are easy and my Mom’s Potato Rolls are so good!
More Meaty Main Dishes!
Consider making this prime rib recipe this Christmas, you won’t be sorry! The printable recipe card is down below, enjoy! 🙂
- 6 pound standing rib roast
- 3 cloves fresh garlic minced
- 6 sprigs fresh rosemary stems removed, about 1 tablespoon chopped
- 10 sprigs fresh thyme leaves about 1 tablespoon chopped
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 tablespoons butter very soft
- 2 tablespoons kosher salt or 1 tablespoon table salt
- 1 tablespoon ground black pepper
- Remove standing rib roast from refrigerator and bring to room temperature, 2-3 hours.
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
- Chop garlic, rosemary and thyme together until finely minced.
- Stir garlic and herbs together with olive oil and butter to create a paste.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper all over roast. (You may need more or less salt and pepper, depending how large your roast is.)
- Spread garlic and herb butter all over roast in a thin, even layer.
- Bake 15 minutes at 450 degrees. Then reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F and cook 15-20 minutes per pound for medium rare. Use a thermometer to check for desired doneness.
- Remove from oven, cover prime rib with foil gently for 30 minutes to rest.
- Carve off the bone and serve.