How to Cook Prime Rib

When you learn a few of the basics on how to cook prime rib, one of the most intimidating cuts of beef will become your new “go to” entre when you want to impress your guests. No question, cooking prime rib roast can be daunting. It is a formidable piece of meat with a hefty price tag. But really, the only big challenge is understanding the prime rib cooking time and the proper oven temperature. Let’s get started.


Your best bet for finding quality prime rib is at the butcher shop or at a gourmet grocery. A common mistake made when shopping for prime rib is looking for a lean cut. When you remove the fat you lose much of the natural beef flavor. Look for a bright red cut of meat with thin white marbling throughout and a thick jacket of fat. Don’t be afraid to talk to the butcher. The butcher can be your best friend when it comes to selecting the best and most flavorful cut of meat. He can even offer tips on how to cook prime rib.


Remove meat from the refrigerator two hours before cooking. Roasts should be close to room temperature before going in the oven. Choose your favorite seasoning rub and season the roast on all sides. Place in a large open roasting pan with a rack, fat side up and rib side down. We recommend using a large stainless steel roasting pan about 12” x 16” with a v-rack. Pour about a cup of red wine in the bottom of the roast pan.

Cooking In the Oven

Preheat the oven to 450. Place the rack on the lowest level. Cook for 10 minutes and then reduce the heat to 325. Allow about 15 to 17 minutes per pound for medium rare. Continue cooking until the temperature shown on an instant-read thermometer reads 125 to 130. For rare, allow about 13 to 15 minutes per pound until the thermometer reads 115 to 120. Prime rib cooking time will vary depending on the shape of the roast and the size and precision of your oven so keep checking the temperature starting at 30 minutes before you expect the roast to be done.

Let the prime rib roast rest for 15 minutes to allow it to finish cooking and for the juices to redistribute throughout the roast then carve. Slice across the grain – we recommend using an electric knife sharpener to get that knife really sharp.