How To Cook The Perfect Prime Rib

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Couldn’t be simpler — low & slow always wins. You need a prime rib roast, a meat thermometer (preferably a remote monitoring one so you don’t have to keep opening the oven & poking) and an oven.

Put the oven to 200F or less. You can even do it at 150. The less temperature, the more time and the more tender. 200 is a good balance.

Bring internal temperature to 125, remove from oven, and leave the probe in. Let rest as temperature continues to climb. When it tops out and begins to decrease, let rest another 10 minutes or so, cut & serve with a high-quality beef stock slightly seasoned & reduced, and horseradish.

Here was my Christmas dinner roast, photo courtesy of my dad with his new digital SLR (click on the image for the larger, high-resolution version). As you’ll note, there’s no gray band around the outside, the telltale sign that a roast has been cooked too rapidly.

Prime Rib
Perfect Prime Rib

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  1. Mike Gruber says:

    I have done Prime Rib both ways. Barbara Kafka, in her book “Roasting: A Simple Art” espouses a 500 degree oven, fast roasting, and a crispy skin with rare meat. This does produce a delicious outside crust, but I don’t like the large variation in internal doneness. She refers derisively to the low temp method as “baking”, but I like the results of that method pretty well myself.

    Have you ever done it low and slow with 15-20 minutes at the start or end at elevated temp? I think I may do this next time … most of the roasting time at 250 or less, and a short burst at 500 to crisp the outside… see if I can get the best of both worlds.

    • I think you can accomplish the same thing under the broiler without introducing too much heat for two long. On the other hand, I do not like prime rib with the intenser herb rub on the outside, especially rosemary.

  2. That looks great. Now I’m thinking about buying some more meat.

    Out of curiosity, what is your normal serving size with beef?

    • Whatever I’m hungry for, No limits either way, ever (except subject to quantities available). I am totally against counting anything, measuring anything, holding back or being overly gluttonous. Eat real food, eat it when you’re hungry, until you’re not, stop, wait until hungry again, repeat.

  3. TXCHLInstructor says:

    Dr. Eades has introduced a sous vide cooker for about $500, which got me interested in that type of cooking. However, I balked at the price (even though it’s a lot less than competing commercial units), so I’ve been experimenting with a homebrew sous vide system ($150), and I will eventually be trying a prime rib in it. Meanwhile, I’ve done a couple of briskets, and a brisket cooked at 130F for 3 days turns out almost as tender as a prime rib, with a texture similar to a ham. Which means that I probably don’t want to do a prime rib that long; it would probably turn to mush.

    According to the food safety guidelines in my sous vide manual, I can do pork at temperatures between 135F and 140F, which is sufficient for pasteurization, but I can’t quite bring myself to eat pork that hasn’t been at 160F for at least 15 minutes, so I did a boneless pork shoulder roast at 160F for 2.5 days, and it was very tender (and delicious).

    All in all, I think sous vide is a much less labor-intensive way to get the sort of results that you describe in your post. If you have ever been to a high-dollar fancy restaurant, and had a really thick steak that was evenly medium rare from edge to edge, it was done in a sous vide, and probably finished with a torch (or maybe a REALLY hot grill for 30 seconds).

    • I actually have Mike’s device, which I immediately ordered once he invited me to one of the demo shows (the one in SF). I have a number of posts on it. Just search sous vide. I do pork chops at 146 for a couple of hours and I must say that those alone are worth the price of the unit for me. It’s my favorite thing. Also, use the cheapest bone-in chops or steaks you can find, not the thick white meat ones. No comparison. If you’re ever had braised pork bellies, that’s what this is like. The fat is delicious.

  4. Janice H says:

    Richard, thank you so much for posting these recipes. I’m learning so much about cooking and sauces since most of my meals used to center around carbs.
    Last night I made pork chops, cooked slowly in a pan then in the pan with the drippings I added red wine and cooked it down a bit and then added beef stock and some cream. My husband said afterwards that it was one of the best things I’ve made. I took this from one of your postings on here and I have to say those sauces make the meal.

    • Good for you. Also for pork chops, try while wine and chicken broth. I also like about 1/4 cube of butter per serving, then some creme fraiche to thicken.

    • A good way to get the reduction just right is to taste it as it reduces. At first, you’ll taste the water but it will gradually concentrate. When yummy, then add butter and cream, creme fraiche, or sour cream — or, if you don’t want the color washed out, a little potato starch woks well and the carbs are minimal.


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