There’s nothing tastier than succulent, juicy, and flavorful roasted prime rib. The perfect roast beef for holidays and special occasions, follow my tried-and-true method for making the best Prime Rib recipe you’ve ever had!

The Best Prime Rib Recipe

          

Don’t be intimidated by cooking a prime rib roast! Sure, this cut of roast beef is pricy, but with my tried-and-true method, you’ll end up with perfectly delicious beef every time

The Best Prime Rib Recipe

There’s nothing quite as spectacular or as delicious as this king of roasts, and when I put it out in front of my guests, they’re always delighted. I love serving this roast at Christmas, Thanksgiving, birthdays, and other special occasions. 

sliced best prime rib

What’s A Prime Rib?

Prime usually refers to the quality of the meat. In the US, there are 3 primary grades of meat: select, choice, and prime. Prime is restaurant-quality meat that you can usually get at butcher shops, and sometimes it’s marked as prime at grocery stores. Most beef you buy at the supermarket is select. Costco carries choice-grade beef.

Called prime, even though the roast doesn’t need to be prime quality, this roast goes by other names, including rib roast, standing rib roast, or sometimes beef bone-in rib roast. The cut itself is cut from the 7 ribs immediately before the loin, and the roasts can be bought in various sizes.

serving of prime rib

Why I love this recipe

  • Prime rib – or standing rib roasts – are juicy, meaty, beefy, and delicious! 
  • This recipe and method of cooking turns out perfectly every time, regardless of how big the roast is!
  • There’s so much flavor in this roast – from the deep caramelization of the crust to the bold pepper and garlic-infused meat. yum!
  • This pepper-crusted prime rib roast can be prepped ahead of time!

ingredients rib roast

Gather these ingredients

    • Prime rib roast – About 8 pounds, cut off the bone. See my tips below.
    • Mayonnaise – To slather all sides of the standing rib roast.
    • Sea salt 
    • Garlic cloves – 24 cloves or more; pressed. 
    • Coarsely ground black pepper
  •  

ingredients for best prime rib

How to make the best Prime Rib Roast

  1. Cover the roast – all sides – with mayonnaise.
  2. Generously season the roast with salt and pepper (you don’t need to season the bottom of the bones).
  3. Gently press the garlic into the mayonnaise (avoid the bottom of the bones).
  4. Wrap the beef prime rib in plastic wrap and then refrigerate it until ready to cook – and follow my cooking formula!

how to prepare prime rib

The cooking formula for the easiest beef prime rib

  1. Prepare the roast as indicated, wrap it in plastic, and pop it into the fridge.
  2. Count backward from when you want to serve the roast. If serving at 6:30 PM, put the roast on the counter at 10:45 AM to warm up for 3 hours.
  3. At 1:45 PM, cook the roast for 30 minutes at 450-F.
  4. At 2:15 PM, lower the oven temperature to 200-F and cook the roast for 30 minutes per pound (an 8lb roast would take 4 hours).
  5. 6:15 PM remove the roast from the oven and let it rest covered with foil for 15 minutes.

roasted rib roast

Tips & suggestions

  • To make slicing easy, ask the butcher to cut the meat off the bone and then retie the roast.
  • To ensure your roast is perfectly cooked, use a probe thermometer or check the roast’s internal temperature with a digital meat thermometer.
  • Use fresh garlic, not pre-minced jarred, for the best flavor. 
  • Use my tried-and-true cooking formula for the best and tastiest results! 
  • For medium-rare roast, cook it to an internal temperature of 120-F, then rest it on the counter covered with foil, and it’ll rise to 130-F, which is perfect.

close up roasted prime rib

What to do if your rib roast is undercooked

If you use this method without a meat thermometer and your beef comes out undercooked, you can:

  • Ask your guests who like rare, medium, etc., then slice the outer sides of the beef for more cooked slices, and serve from the middle of the roast for those who like it rare.
  • Pop the roast back into the oven for 20-30 minutes.
  • Slice it and finish the beef in the microwave just be careful not to overcook it!
  • Don’t apologize! Most of the time, your guests won’t care – just serve it and enjoy it!

a plate of prime rib

Serving suggestions

Storage

Serve any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-4 days. 

sliced rib roast

Check out these awesome beef recipes while you’re here

woman serving a plate of prime rib
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The Best Prime Rib Recipe

When you buy the meat, ask someone in the meat department to cut the meat off the bone and retie the roast for you. This will help make carving and serving easier. It will be dark on the outside, but delicious on the inside (will not taste burnt).
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Yield: 8
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Ingredients
 

  • 1 8 lb. prime rib, rib roast, cut off the bone
  • 1 cup mayonnaise, plus more, if needed, to slather all sides of the prime rib
  • Sea salt, use a lot
  • 24 + cloves garlic, pressed (A LOT)
  • Coarse-ground black pepper, use a lot

Instructions
 

  • When you buy the meat, ask someone in the meat department to cut the meat off the bone and retie the roast for you. This will help make carving and serving easier.
  • Cover the roast with mayonnaise. Generously season the coating on all sides with salt. Pat the pressed garlic onto the outside and heavily cover with pepper. (No need to add garlic and pepper to the bone side.)
  • Rewrap the roast with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator one to three days before serving.
  • Three hours before baking, remove the roast from the refrigerator and let sit on the counter.
  • Unwrap the roast and lay on the bottom of a roasting pan (on the rack).
  • Preheat the oven to 450F and roast for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 200F and roast for 30 minutes per pound. If desired, use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature (130F).
  • Remove from the oven and cover with foil. Let stand for 15 minutes before serving.
  • Remove the twine and set the roast on a cutting board to slice. Serve with horseradish sauce.

Count-it-backkwards Method – Sample formula for cooking an 8 lb. roast, to be served at 6:30 PM:

  • 10:45 am – Put roast on the counter for 3 hours
  • 1:45 pm – Cook roast 30 minutes at 450 degrees
  • 2:15 pm – 8 lbs. x 30 minutes per lb. = 4 hours at 200F
  • 6:15 pm – Remove roast from oven; let stand for 15 minutes
  • 6:30 pm – Ready to serve
  • (Always check your roast with a meat thermometer for doneness.)

Notes

Originally posted November 2012.
When you buy the meat, ask someone in the meat department to cut the meat off the bone and retie the roast for you. This will help make carving and serving easier. It will be dark on the outside, but delicious on the inside (will not taste burnt).
Count-it-backkwards Method – formula for cooking an 8 lb. roast, to be served at 6:30 PM:
10:45 am – Put roast on the counter for 3 hours
1:45 pm – Cook roast 30 minutes at 450 degrees2:15 pm – 8 lbs. x 30 minutes per lb. = 4 hours at 200F
6:15 pm – Remove roast from oven; let stand for 15 minutes
6:30 pm – Ready to serve (If you want an actual temp, cook until temperature of 120°F)
 Remove from oven, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let sit approximately 20 minutes. The roast will continue to cook as it sits and reaches 130°F.
Cuisine: American
Course: Main Course
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Best Prime Rib Recipe