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How to cook Perfect Prime Rib - We share tips and tricks learned in culinary school so you can make perfectly cooked Prime Rib at home!

My husband Jack is here today with his recipe and tutorial for making a Perfect Prime Rib. His approach is actually a little different than most recipes you see online these days – but it is what he learned in culinary school and it has always resulted in a perfect prime rib roast at work or at home! Here is Jack in his own words:

Hi everyone – this is Jack. Let’s start off by forgetting everything you know about roasting a prime rib of beef.

Two of the very first lessons I learned years ago when I interned with a decorated chef were these rules:

  1. First, NEVER salt the rib roast just before roasting,
  2. Second, ALWAYS cook the roast low and slow – and wait until the end to brown.

(I know – this is completely counter to what most chefs teach these days where they have you start off with a very high heat.)

How to cook Perfect Prime Rib - We share tips and tricks learned in culinary school so you can make perfectly cooked Prime Rib at home!

For my first lesson with that chef, we roasted four very large steam ship rounds of beef. These are those giant pieces of beef you see a chef carving at a restaurant buffet line with a large bone sticking out the top. The same principals told here apply to those large cuts of beef as well as a smaller prime rib roast you would make at home – or for that matter, any roasted muscle meat.


What I was taught was to salt and season the roast the night before and allow the roast to sit overnight uncovered under refrigeration. The salt draws out the moisture and then – only with time – it grabs the seasonings and infuses it back into the meat. (If you salt just before you roast, the same chemical reaction will happen, except the juices will be at the bottom of the pan, instead of in the roast where they belong.)

How to cook Perfect Prime Rib - We share tips and tricks learned in culinary school so you can make perfectly cooked Prime Rib at home!

Secondly, roasting low and slow and browning at the end will guarantee that the roast will be the same doneness throughout, instead of red in the center and over cooked towards the outer edge. If the prime rib is truly done right – only about 1/16 of an inch from the outer edge will be cooked more than the rest.

A few more comments: In the below recipe, I include a step to roast off beef bones prior to cooking the roast. I do this for a few reasons. Cooking the roast as I described above will leave you zero drippings for an Au Jus or for Yorkshire Pudding, because the juices stay in the roast where they belong.  So cooking the bones down in our recipe is solely for the Au Jus we serve with this, as well as to get some nice beef fat for Yorkshire Pudding (you can see that recipe here). However if you want just the beef, feel free to omit that step.


I know this is a lot of information – but the resulting Perfect Prime Rib roast will be superb! P.S. We like to serve our prime rib with a Creamy Horseradish Sauce and Yorkshire Pudding.

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Perfect Prime Rib

  • Prep Time: 12 hours 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 5 hours 30 mins
  • Total Time: 17 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings


  • 1 3-rib bone-in Prime rib roast (about to 7 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 pounds beef bones including meat and fat, such as necks, chuck bones, etc. I found neck bones on sale as well as some fatty rib pieces
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
  • 1/3 cup red wine such as merlot
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • ½ teaspoon gravy color and seasoning sauce such as Kitchen Bouquette


  1. Place the beef on a platter and coat with oil, salt and pepper and refrigerate uncovered overnight fat side up.
  2. Five hours before serving, heat the oven to 450 degrees F.
  3. Pull roast from refrigeration and let sit at room temperature while you roast the bones and fat.
  4. In roasting pan place beef bones and fat, salt, pepper and oil and roast 30 minutes.
  5. Turn the bones and fat and roast 30 more minutes.
  6. Reduce the oven to 250 degrees F and leave oven door open so the oven cools down to this new setting.
  7. Remove pan from oven and place the garlic over the top of the bones then place the roast over that, fat side up.
  8. Insert a probe thermometer into the fattest part of the roast and set alarm temperature to 125 degrees F for medium rare.
  9. Our 6 ¼ pound roast took exactly 3½ hours to cook to an internal temperature of 125 degrees F. It will continue to cook outside of the oven to the proper medium rare doneness.
  10. Remove beef to a platter and cover loosely with foil for 20 minutes to rest, no less.
  11. Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees F.
  12. Place roasting pan with bones on stove top and add wine to deglaze.
  13. When wine has almost evaporated, add water, Worcestershire sauce and gravy color and simmer until liquid has reduced to about a cup to a cup and a half. Strain out solids and pour Au Jus into sauce pan to heat when needed.
  14. After the roast has rested for 20 minutes, remove probe and place roast back on roasting pan and into hot oven and brown for 15-20 minutes or until desired crispiness.
  15. Remove from oven, let sit five more minutes and carve.
  16. Heat Au Jus to hot and serve on the side or over the slices.
  17. Serve Horseradish sauce on the side; recipe coming this week
  18. With a three bone rib roast, three slices will have meat only and three will have bone in.
  19. One last note; your roast may or may not have the end of the rib bones protruding out of the end. Either way, no change to cooking method, just wanted to point out that it is sold both ways.

You may also like:

Creamy Horseradish Sauce

Creamy Horseradish Sauce - A Family Feast

Yorkshire Pudding

Yorkshire Pudding - A Family Feast

Top of the Round Roast

Top of the Round Roast - A Family Feast


How to cook Perfect Prime Rib - We share tips and tricks learned in culinary school so you can make perfectly cooked Prime Rib at home!

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  • Jean Morse wrote:

    Doesn’t putting it back in the oven at a high temperature for 30-40 minutes cook the roast which will no longer be medium rare?

    • Jack wrote:

      Hi, first it’s 15-20 minutes to brown, not 30-40. And for that short short high temp browning session, the meat will not cook further. Instead it will stay medium rare and get a nice crust. Good luck.

  • Kathy wrote:

    I want to give this a test run prior to cooking for Christmas. I have what may be a dumb question. In step 4, you mention roasting the bones and fat – what fat are you talking about? Don’t you leave the fat cap on the prime rib for roasting? Also, exactly how do you roast the fat and bones (I know that is something that sounds simple, but I have never done it.) Thanks.

    • Jack wrote:

      Hi Kathy, this is Jack. There is no such thing as a dumb question, so no worries. If you look at the fifth ingredient in the ingredient list, it suggests that you purchase meat and bones “5 pounds beef bones including meat and fat, such as necks, chuck bones, etc. I found neck bones on sale as well as some fatty rib pieces”. This is what you roast first before placing the roast in the pan.

  • Vicky wrote:

    I serve standing rib every Christmas Eve and am never happy with the results because it doesn’t taste like a restaurant prime rib dinner. Every CE I threaten to never do this again, so, I’m going to do a trial run with a small one and see how it turns out. I usually make a 10lb roast, and I’m wondering if I have to make any adjustments other than roasting time? Thanks.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Vicky – The process will be exactly the same. The only difference with the prime rib that we cooked and the standing rib roast that you serve is that our roast has that end piece/bone cut off which requires us to roast it on a rack. And yes – the roasting time may be different (also based on the size of your roast). Hope that helps – and we hope you enjoy our recipe! Please let us know if you have any other questions.

  • Shannan wrote:

    Thank you so much for this recipe. This is how several of the restaurants I’ve worked for made theirs as well. Quick question though. After refrigeration overnight, do you bring it to room temp before placing on the bones and fat in the pan or go direct from chilled?

    • Jack wrote:

      Wow, excellent question. Shannan, this is Jack. I can’t believe I forgot to mention that in the recipe. Yes, you need to pull the meat out and let it sit at room temperature while you roast the bones, which would be an hour at room temperature. I’m going in right now and edit the cooking instructions. Good catch and thank you!

  • Barbara wrote:

    Roasted my first prime rib a couple of years ago. I was TERRIFIED. The method was similar to what you’ve described, low and slow with the high heat at the end. The exception being seasoning and letting sit overnight in refrigerator (a dry aging of sorts, yes?). I’m going to try that this year. Thanks for the cooking lesson!!!!

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Barbara – we hope you enjoy the recipe!

  • Lisa wrote:

    I usually have turkey for Thanksgiving, Ham for Christmas and I hate to admit it but I don’t usually celebrate New Years but I think this year I will throw a dinner party and serve prime rib. My husband and I love it but I have never made it. So… Thank you so much for the recipe and instructions. I will follow them faithfully and expect a WONDERFUL result.

    • Martha wrote:

      We hope you enjoy the recipe Lisa and it’s a great menu addition to your party!

  • Nancy | The Bitter Side of Sweet wrote:

    I am somewhat shy of cooking prime rib but you have done a great job in teaching us! Thanks!

  • Angie | Big Bear’s Wife wrote:

    We actually have Prime Rib on our bucket list! We were going to make one the other weekend and time slipped away. Yours (Jack’s) turned out perfectly. Loving the color that you got on it!

  • Nutmeg Nanny wrote:

    Prime rib is my favorite! We always make it on Christmas but never think to make it any other time of the year. Of course now I’m craving it like something fierce!

  • Kim Beaulieu wrote:

    I love prime rib and this one is beyond perfect. Nothing better in the world. And kudos on working with Wolf . That’s my dream oven one day. I covet it and have photos of it on my dream board. One day I will own one.

  • Angie wrote:

    This prime rib looks so wonderful! I’ve never made it at home, but you make it look easy. I want to try t!

  • Erin @ Texanerin Baking wrote:

    Hi, Jack! What a great tutorial. So nice of you to share your tips with us. I haven’t had prime rib in ages but when I see one next, I’m getting it and trying this!

  • Renee – Kudos Kitchen wrote:

    Oh. My. Goodness! You’re driving me crazy with this prime rib. This certainly would be a show stopper on any special occasion table!

  • Paula – bell’alimento wrote:

    I’ve got my horseradish ready! Pass the plate.

  • Heather | All Roads Lead to the Kitchen wrote:

    I learned to cook them the exact same way when I was in culinary school. I did part of my apprenticeship in a fine dining restaurant on campus and we salted and peppered our roasts a day in advance and cooked them slow and low the following day. This looks so good…drizzle it with a little Bearnaise and you have one of my favorite meals!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Heather! Yes to the Bernaise sauce! 🙂 It is interesting that most other prime rib recipes start with a very hot oven but the low and slow technique works at home too! Thanks for stopping by today!

  • Jessica (Savory Experiments) wrote:

    I’m drooling, Martha! This looks fantastic and making me so hungry. A huge scoop of horseradish and I’d be ready to go!

  • Kimberly @ The Daring Gourmet wrote:

    This does look perfect! Even though I just had lunch I’m craving this!

  • Lana | Never Enough Thyme wrote:

    That is one fine looking prime rib! And an interesting cooking method as well. I definitely intend to try the overnight standing with salt for our next prime rib.

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you Lana! Please let us know how our seasoning technique works out for you!

  • Terry wrote:

    We served Steamship Rounds of Beef all the time when I worked as a Catering Manager for a large hotel. I always roast my Prime Rib by cooking it on high heat for 45 minutes and then turning off the oven for several hours with the meat still inside the oven. Then turn it on again for 30 minutes. It always turns out perfect. But…this time, I am going to take your advice and season the meat the night before. Thanks and now I’m looking forward to your creamy horseradish sauce.

    • Martha wrote:

      Please let us know what you think of seasoning the meat the night before! Thanks for taking the time to write to us today – and look for that sauce recipe on Friday!

  • Krayl @ An AppealingPlan wrote:

    I’ve never heard the term, steamship size, but I love it. It’s exactly what it is and yours is perfectly cooked! The class was well worth it!

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