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.


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

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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!

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  • Michael wrote:

    How do you remove the bones from the total piece of meat to cook them separately? Seems like it would be a big chore

    • Jack wrote:

      Hi, this is Jack. Removing and roasting the bones is certainly optional and the only reason you would do that is to make a perfect au jus as well as having fat for Yorkshire pudding. In fact I did all of this over the weekend for our family Christmas party.
      If you chose to remove the bones, it’s actually quite simple. Describing it in text will be a little difficult but I will try. You may be better off watching a YouTube video. I just searched and found several. But basically, with a really sharp knife that is a little flexible, start by laying the roast down so the curve of the rib faces down. At the top part facing you, run the tip of the knife down next to that bone about a half inch deep running it from one side to the other between the bone and the meat. Then tilt the knife so that the tip is pointing towards the bone and the handle away from the bone and run the knife again from one side to the other keeping the tip against the bone. Keep making passes keeping the tip against the bone until you have enough exposed bone to grab. Pull the bone back a bit with your hands so you can see what you are doing and keep running the knife all the way down keeping it flat against the bone until you have reached the end of the rib tips. Once the ribs are off, trim up the roast of any sinew or gristle.
      At this point, you could cut off the flap of fat and some meat that was attached to the bone or tuck it around the remaining roast and tie it off by making several loops of string to tie it all the way down.
      Again, difficult to describe without a visual so I highly recommend searching the internet for videos. Try searching “How to remove bones from a prime rib”.
      Good luck, Jack

  • Nicole wrote:

    Followed this method with a boneless ribeye roast and skipped the Au Jus step. I cooked it to 135 and it was perfect! Seasoning the night before definitely makes a difference!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Nicole! Glad the recipe was a success!

  • Steph wrote:

    Hi Jack and Martha, Happy Holidays! We are hoping to give this recipe a go today here in the UK. We are wondering if the cooking temperatures are based on Conventional ovens or Fan/Convection ovens? At the moment we have it in on Conventional and are hoping this is correct or it may take a bit longer to cook 🙈 then our late lunch might be dinner! 😂 ours is a 9lb 3bone in roast we have it set for 4hrs with a 125f alert on the thermometer 🎄

    • Martha wrote:

      Merry Christmas Steph! The cooking times are based on a conventional oven (non-convection) – unless stated we assume conventional oven since many readers don’t have the extra convection feature. Either way – if you are using a probe thermometer it won’t over cook, and it won’t hurt the roast to rest a bit before slicing if it gets done sooner. Hope you love the recipe!

  • Marie Gunderman wrote:

    Made this in place of fish for our holy supper tonight , it was fabulous !! Made the horseradish sauce also .

    • Martha wrote:

      Thanks Marie! So glad the recipe was a success! Thank you for taking the time to write to us tonight. Merry Christmas!

  • Jim wrote:

    I have a 13 pound roast. How long do you recommend cooking it for. Going for at least medium. Also using a gas stove that is vented.

    • Jack wrote:

      If it is bone in and you are following our recipe, a 13 pound roast is not going to take much longer than the 7 pound roast we list in our recipe. It is all the same thickness, just longer. The cooking time may be a slight bit more just due to the fact that your oven heat is being dissipated over a larger surface and the oven is working a bit harder, but not by much. I would follow our recipe but leave yourself an additional 60 minutes.
      If your roast is boneless, that is a whole other story. We don’t have a boneless roast recipe on our site but I just roasted a 17 pound boneless ribeye roast this past weekend for a family gathering and it took about five hours at 250 degrees F with some browning time at the end at a higher temperature. Plus I let it rest for 30 minutes.
      Good luck Jim

  • Lissa wrote:

    This is probably sacrilegious but what temperature should we cook it to if we want medium as opposed to medium rare, please?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Lissa – We have some family members who love well-done prime rib so no judgements from us! 🙂 You’ll cook the prime rib at the same temperature in the oven – but you’ll cook it for longer. For a Medium level of doneness you’ll want the internal temp to be at 135-140°F when served so I’d take it out of the oven when your probe thermometer reaches between 130-135°F. As it rests before slicing, the internal temp will continue to rise/cook to your preferred level of doneness. Enjoy!

  • MMadigan wrote:

    Could you give time and directions for a whole prime rib on the rack still attached?

    • Jack wrote:

      Hi, this is Jack
      Bone in or boneless, you still want to pull the roast at 125 degrees F. The low and slow method we describe took 3 1/2 hours for a 6 1/4 pound roast which is 33.6 minutes per pound. So take your total weight and multiply times 33.6. Then take that total and divide by 60 and the result will be the total number of hours. That said, as the weight gets higher, the total times doesn’t always mean longer cooking time because we are talking about something that is the same width just longer. So the minutes per pound decreases a bit as the roast gets larger. I know that sounds confusing so depending on the size of your roast, it will take somewhere between three and five hours. Again, an internal temperature of 125 F is what you are looking for. Hope this helps, if not feel free to write again.

  • Elizabeth wrote:

    I made this prime rib recipe, plus your Yorkshire pudding and horseradish sauce, for Christmas. Prime rib was excellent – – perfect! So many compliments that it was “the best PR ever eaten,” and I have to agree – perfectly seasoned and cooked. Juicy, tender and delicious! I’ll never roast at high temp first again! Love it all! Thanks for the wonderful recipes and tips. (AND my Yorkie Pudding was tremendous, too – puffed up like a charm! 🙂 <3

    • Martha wrote:

      You’re very welcome Elizabeth! I’m so glad your holiday meal was a success! Thank you for taking the time to write to us! Happy New Year!

  • Laura wrote:

    I had a terrible time cooking this through no fault of you. I took the roast out on Christmas eve and did the first step of seasoning it the night before. On Christmas day, I took it out for an hour before putting it in the oven. (I was skipping a lot of the instructions. I am all about the horseradish sauce so I was just following the instructions for the roast and not the added bones etc.). When it came time to put it in the oven, I found my meat thermometer was no longer in my kitchen. ANYWHERE! *sigh* I put it back in the fridge because I wasn’t going to cook it without one. Today I managed to cook it. I placed the thermometer probe, placed it in the oven at 250 degrees and cooked it until 125 degrees in the middle. I still removed it from the oven at that point and gave it a rest for 20 minutes before crisping the outside. It only remained in the oven for a total of 13 minutes before my smoke alarms went off. Again, not the recipe but my stupid oven and smoke alarms. =/ Upon removing it (and frantically turning off my oven) and waiting until the alarms stopped going off, we carved it up.

    We served it with your horseradish sauce. I had high hopes for it since many recipes I have tried never seemed to be enough horseradish and I figured a full cup should be awesome. First the meat. Oh the meat! I’m not a complete novice with cooking prime rib. I have done the route with cooking it on high heat at the beginning. That is good. I’m also good enough to KNOW that it needs to cook on a low heat. I am SOLD on crisping at high heat at the end.

    I’ve looked at other recipes and one commented that there was something for everyone, being well done on the ends and more rare in the middle. Following your recipe, the meat was medium rare all the way through. It was so tender I could use a butter knife to cut it and if I had no teeth, I could’ve probably gummed it. My husband even loved it and he isn’t a prime rib fan. It was amazing. The very best I have tried anywhere, including restaurants.

    Now the sauce. It was sinus clearing and creamy. Probably a little bit too strong for me but it just meant that I used less of it and saved on a few calories. I will be making it again and I probably won’t change the amount. It pared perfectly with the prime rib.

    Thank you Thank you Thank you for sharing this recipe. I loved it with all of my heart. 🙂

    • Martha wrote:

      Wow Laura – thank you so much for your very high praise! Sounds like you had quite the adventure making your prime rib – but I’m so glad it worked out in the end! Thank you for taking the time to write to us today. Happy New Year!

  • janelle feldmeyer wrote:

    OMGoodness, this is THE BEST Prime Rib recipe ever. May I thank you for sharing this, and absolutely making our family Christmas dinner stellar. I used this recipe last year and thought I’d made errors following your instructions, but got super lucky and had a wonderful outcome. This year, I planned, memorized, and printed, hoping I would do ok. Our dinner was remarkable. The Prime Rib is PERFECT!! You deserve all the credit and thanks for taking your time and effort to help average home cooks like me succeed in the kitchen, especially during the holidays. My family, friends and I THANK YOU!

    • Martha wrote:

      Thank you so much Janelle! We’re so glad you enjoyed the recipe and saw great results. 🙂 Merry Christmas!

  • Nicole wrote:

    If I cut the bones from my roast and then tie back, should I roast those bones at 450 then after an hour place the boneless roast back on the bones? Or should the roast bones be cooked with the roast at same time and temp?

    • Jack wrote:

      Hi Nicole, this is Jack. If you are trimming the bones from the roast instead of purchasing separate bones, yes, roast them according to the recipe at the high heat, then place the garlic and the tied boneless roast over the top of the roasted bones and roast them all together at the lower temperature. Hope this answered the question.

    • Jack wrote:

      Hi Nicole, this is Jack. If you are trimming the bones from your bone in roast instead of buying separate bones, then yes, roast them at the higher temperature for the amount of time indicated in our recipe, then place the garlic and the now tied roast over the top of the roasted bones, lower the temp and roast as indicated. Good luck.

  • Angela wrote:

    What if your doing a 12 lb prime rib? How do u change time and ingredients.

    • Jack wrote:

      Hi Angela, this is Jack. I would leave the ingredients the same however the roast may take longer to roast, but not much. If it is bone-in, follow the steps outlined in the recipe and you will be fine. If it is boneless, there would be a whole different easier method which just amounts to oil, salt and pepper. Is your roast bone in or boneless?

  • Vaughan Brown wrote:

    Would you send your recipe for prime rib the best one thanks

    • Martha wrote:

      Hello – You can find and print the recipe right on our website!

  • dave wrote:

    Will this recipe work with a boneless ribeye roast.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Dave – It will work with a boneless roast. The cook time will be different but if you are using a probe thermometer, the finished internal temp will be the same. Enjoy!

  • Nancy wrote:

    I was considering roasting a boneless leg of Lamb to serve Christmas Day. After reading this recipe for Prime Rib I may change the planned menu.

    • Martha wrote:

      We hope you love the recipe Nancy! (I think either lamb or prime rib are great options for a special holiday meal!) Merry Christmas!

  • Marilyn wrote:

    How big of a roast should I buy ,there is only 2 of us and my husband loves prime rib and I would love to try making it for him,,and I would love to get the horseradish sauce recipe also cause he would love it also,,,,this looks so good cant wait to give it a try.

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Marilyn – A one-bone roast would probably be enough for just two people. They are usually sold in larger cuts so you might need to ask the butcher at your supermarket to cut one down to size for you. Hope you enjoy the recipe! And the horseradish sauce can be found here:

  • Melissa wrote:

    Good evening, we are cooking a prime rib and don’t have a meat thermometer to insert while cooking, just a digital one to poke and check soy question is about how long would you think for a 10 bone in roast? Thank you and Merry Christmas to you and your family!

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Melissa – Merry Christmas! Are you planning to follow our ‘low and slow’ method as we described in our recipe (we roast our prime rib about 75 degrees lower than most recipes out there on the internet)? Assuming so – please read through our recipe to account for resting time before and after roasting…and the hour to cook the bones as we described in our recipe (if you plan to do that so you have extra drippings). Then – for the roasting itself – we’d suggest 30 – 33 minutes per pound (so around 5 hours to roast – 6 1/2 hours from the time it comes out of the fridge to the time you serve to allow for resting.) This is a conservative baking time (our 6 1/4 pound roast took 3.5 hours which is closer to 33 minutes per pound…but since ovens vary it could be more or less.) I hope this helps and good luck with your roast!

      • Zulmira spina wrote:

        Good morning I first want to thank you for your patience with me. I did exactly how you explain went to the store bought the Meat probe and then cooked It like you explain and the prime rib came out perfect thank you,thank you.

        • Martha wrote:

          We’re so glad Zulmira! Happy to help! Thank you for letting us know about our success. 🙂

  • Janet wrote:

    If I’m not cooking the bones do I roast the beef at 250? for 3 1/2 hours? Thank you

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi Janet – Yes – if your roast is the exact same size as ours in the recipe, that should be the approximate time. Ideally, you will want to use a probe thermometer and cook based on the internal temperate versus timing since every oven is different. (See the comments just before yours where we just talked about using a probe thermometer). Hope that helps!

  • zulmira Spina wrote:

    Do I have to remove the bones or can I just have the butcher separated it and then tie it back to the meat ?

    • Martha wrote:

      Hi – You can cook it with or without the bones removed, and if you do have your butcher tie them back to the meat, the bones will serve as the rack underneath the roast and it will add great flavor. (A boneless roast without the retied bones should have a rack underneath.) A boneless roast will cook faster so ideally you want to use a probe thermometer so you know when it reaches the correct internal temperature. Hope that helps!

      • zulmira Spina wrote:

        Good morning Thank you For your replay I am very very nervous cooking this 9 bone prime rib. If I leave the bone tied to the meat will it take longer to cook ? And which way do you do yours ? Sorry to be a pest but I so want to make your receipt . Thank you. Zulmira

        • Martha wrote:

          Hi – I certainly understand – prime rib is expensive! The photos you see here in our post are bone-in, but this past weekend we cooked a boneless roast – so both are delicious! The bone tied to the meat will probably take a little longer than boneless and a little less than bone-in. If you aren’t sure about timing, my best suggestion would be to buy a probe thermometer – it’s a thermometer with a long cord that attaches to a digital temperature gauge and timer. You set the temperature on the gauge to whatever level of doneness you want and then the device will set off an alarm when the internal temperature of the meat reaches that temperature. (This way you are basing your cook time on temperature rather than time.) The thermometers are around $20 and we’ve found them at Bed Bath and Beyond or other stores with a good selection of cooking gadgets. Hope that helps!

  • Tony Gee wrote:

    i will try your recipe with a grass fed organic rib roast, twice the sixe of yours…

    • Martha wrote:

      Sounds fantastic Tony! We hope you enjoy the recipe!

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