This garlic-crusted Prime Rib Recipe was one of the first prime rib roast recipes posted online – I posted it WAY BACK in 2013 and have received countless 5-star reviews. Readers come back year after year to make this Christmas dinner favorite! Make sure to watch our “how to cook prime rib” video in the recipe card.
Actual Reader Comment and 5-Star Rating – “I have never made a prime rib roast before this evening! But I had heard good reviews about this recipe from my mom and sister. They were right, it’s a great recipe and an easy recipe to follow and make. Thank you for sharing this recipe with us all! Will definitely use again. This is a keeper.” Hannah, Sept. 2022
The Best Prime Rib Recipe
This is one of the most popular standing rib roast recipes for good reason- the buttery soft interior melts in your mouth while the garlic-crusted exterior provides a flavorful contrast.
As mentioned, this has been the best prime rib recipe for 10 years straight and was used as a basis to develop a ton of other recipes you see online. I’ve personally cooked close to 50 prime ribs in this time period to ensure your holiday dinner is a success. In fact, all of the various photos in this post were taken by me over the years during testing.
Tip – when looking online for a good prime rib recipe, make sure the author has actually cooked it! Any prime rib recipe using AI photos should be avoided.
Bone-in or Boneless Prime Rib
This prime rib recipe works for both a bone-in prime rib and boneless prime rib. In addition, it works for a whole prime rib or smaller roasts (7 bones vs 4 bones). I’ve done all the testing and calculations for you to create a perfectly cooked prime rib – no matter the size!
Bone-in Prime Rib – I prefer bone-in prime rib as the bones protect the meat when cooking. Also, I like using the leftover bones to make bone broth, which is a huge plus.
Boneless Prime Rib – If using a boneless prime rib, you’ll need to set it on a rack to roast. If you don’t have a roasting pan, you don’t have to run out to buy one. I’ve had success using a wire cooling rack on top of a rimmed baking sheet.
When shopping for prime rib for sale, keep in mind you want to pick a well-marbled prime rib. Look for a “prime” rated roast vs a “choice” cuts. It’s absolutely worth the money to upgrade. The fat marbling is what gives the steak the “melt in your mouth” buttery texture.
How to Cut and Tie
If you opt for a bone-in prime rib roast, you have two options to prepare the roast before cooking:
Butcher – Ask your butcher to cut and tie it for you. More butches will do this free of charge and it only takes a few minutes. The upside is less work for you! The downside? There is none.
Cut and Tie At Home – To cut, run your knife along the bones (where they connect to the meat) and use kitchen string to tie it back up. Here’s a great video showing detail if you’re new to the practice and would like a visual.
How Much Prime Rib Per Person
The rule of thumb is to estimate .75 lb. – 1 lb. pound of prime rib per person. I always go with 1 pound per person to ensure everyone grubs down and leaves full. Of course if you’re watching the budget or are serving a ton of side dishes, .75 lb. works just fine.
Only a few ingredients are needed to make this standing rib roast:
- Prime Rib Roast – Bone in Prime Rib or Boneless Prime Rib
- Prime Rib Rub – Kosher Salt, Dried or Fresh Herbs (Thyme and Rosemary), Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Black Pepper
- Garlic – slices of fresh garlic are stuffed in the roast to help infuse the meat with flavor.
- Olive Oil – creates the delightful crust and helps the seasoning stick to the meat.
- Optional: Ingredients to make a Prime Rib Sauce, including horseradish.
How To Cook Prime Rib
Cooking prime rib is easier than it sounds. The perfect prime rib roast combines flavorful prime rib seasonings with the best cooking practices to help you nail your prime rib recipe.
This standing rib roast recipe uses an easy method to “char” and then “cook” the prime rib. The very high heat, in the beginning, starts the cooking process and heats the oven to a high enough temperature to slow cook the roast. All while providing a nice char on the outside of the roast.
Here are some step by step instructions to help you make this delicious prime rib recipe:
Dry Season – Liberally sprinkle the entire roast with salt, cover loosely with aluminum foil or plastic wrap and let rest on the kitchen counter for 4 hours. Removing it from the refrigerator early is key to an evenly cooked roast.
Pre-heat The Oven – When ready to cook, pre-heat the oven to 500°F (260°C).
Add The Prime Rib Seasonings – Pat dry the roast. Using a small knife, create small slits all over the top of the roast and insert slices of fresh garlic cloves. Coat with olive oil followed by the prime rib rub. Place in a roasting pan, bones side down (fat side up).
Roast – Insert a digital thermometer into the thickest part of the roast and cook according to the Temperature Chart list below. Once the initial cook time is finished, turn off the oven and cook until your desired internal temperature is reached.
Rest – Transfer the cooked prime rib to a cutting board and loosely cover with aluminum foil then rest. Do not skip this important step as all the juice will run out.
Prime Rib Cooking Time
Calculate your initial cook time by allowing 5 minutes per pound of meat. For example, a 9 lb. prime rib roast would cook at 500°F for 45 minutes while a 6 lb. cut of meat would cook for 30 minutes. Keep in mind, the oven is at a super high temperature so you may experience some smoke when you open the door to put the roast in. That’s okay! It will dissipate soon.
After your initial cooking time of prime rib is finished, turn off the oven and let the garlic-crusted prime rib sit for 2 hours. It’s imperative that you DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR. This will let the heat escape and your oven will be a lower temperature than needed. After 2 hours, the center of your prime rib roast should be around 135°F, which is medium-rare. If you prefer a higher finished temperature, just keep the oven door closed until your desired “pull/remove from heat” temperature is reached.
HUGE THING TO KEEP IN MIND – New model ovens cool down faster than older models due to the internal fan. If you find your oven is too cool after the 2 hour wait time (and the roast isn’t quite at 135°F), or the temperature on your roast has stalled, turn the oven back on to 500°F. Only keep it on until the oven gets back up to 500°F, then turn it off. Again – keep the OVEN DOOR closed to keep the heat in. As long as you have a digital thermometer you have nothing to fear!
Prime Rib Roast Temperature
This Prime rib recipe, and all other prime rib roasts, are measured by internal temperature vs. time to reach your desired doneness. Below are the “final doneness temperatures”. Your “pull/remove from the heat” temperature will be below the final temperatures, as the carry over heat when resting will bring it up to your desired final temperature.
My family prefers a perfect medium-rare prime rib, but it’s definitely a personal preference. Most folks we speak to prefer a rare prime rib roast.
- Rare Prime Rib: 120-129°F
- Medium Rare Prime Rib: 130-134°F
- Medium Prime Rib: 135-144°F
- Medium Well Prime Rib: 145-154°F
- Well Done Prime Rib: 155-164°F
Tip- Download our free Temperature Chart For Prime Rib printable for quick access while cooking.
How Long To Let Steak Rest
The prime rib will increase in temperature the longer it rests, so you’ll want to adjust your “pull time” accordingly. Here’s a guideline to reference:
- Resting 10-15 minutes – The pull temp will be 5-7°F below the final temp you’re aiming for.
- Resting 20-25 minutes – The pull temp will be 20°F below the final temp you’re aiming for.
Make sure to rest for a minimum of 10 minutes before serving. 10 minutes is the absolute minimum – I actually recommend at least 20 minutes, but sometimes the guests can’t wait.
You only need a few kitchen supplies, on top of the prime rib ingredients, to successfully make this prime rib recipe:
- Roasting Pan or Tray – We use a large roasting pan however, you can use a wire cooling rack on a baking sheet, if needed.
- Large Cutting Board- Large slabs of meat require large cutting boards. Now is the time to upgrade if you’re using a small one.
- Meat Thermometer – Using a digital meat thermometer is A MUST to not only see the internal temperature but the oven temperature. Make sure the one you use can withstand 500°F.
- Optional: If you bone and tie your prime rib, you’ll also need butchers twine.
- Using a digital meat thermometer is A MUST when making any prime rib recipe! Part of cooking a prime rib includes leaving the oven door shut for hours. Unless you’re able to position your manual thermometer so it’s still in view through a closed oven door, spend an extra few bucks and go digital. You won’t regret it.
- Take the meat out of the refrigerator at least 4 hours before cooking, so it comes to room temperature (or close to it). This allows the meat to evenly cook inside and out.
- Plan out your cooking schedule so you leave ample time to cook your prime rib roast to your preferred doneness. Also, the side dishes we cook usually take 30 minutes. While our meat is resting we have the side dishes prepped and ready to pop in the oven the minute the meat is removed.
- Beef Drippings – prime rib doesn’t put out a ton of pan drippings or excess fat, so if you’re making homemade beef gravy or au jus, you’ll need to supplement with beef broth or stock. The picture above represents what I get after cooking. If you like, start with a few cups of beef broth or stock in the pan to collect the little it does put off.
Side Dish Ideas
Wondering What to serve with prime rib? You can’t go wrong with any of these prime rib side dish ideas:
- Potatoes – Potatoes pair perfectly with this prime rib recipe. Garlic mashed potatoes or horseradish mashed potatoes would be amazing.
- Mushrooms – Roast Beef and mushrooms are a match made in heaven: Creamy mushroom sauce, sautéed mushrooms in red wine sauce and roasted mushrooms in garlic butter sauce.
- Vegetables – brussels sprouts, stuffed artichokes or smoked asparagus.
- Bread – Yorkshire Pudding or garlic bread.
Leftover Prime Rib
How to Store
Leftover prime rib is easy to store and grub down on at a later date. Transfer the roast to a Ziploc bag, or other air-tight container, after it’s cooled. Place in the refrigerator and store for up to 5 days. Ideally, you only want to slice off the beef you’ll be enjoying immediately and leave the rest as one whole roast vs. individual slices. It’s easier to re-heat and keep the desired texture when stored as a whole.
How To Re-heat
There’s a science to re-heating prime rib and I’ve done all the testing. Check out our ‘How To Reheat Prime Rib‘ post for 7 different options and tips!
Use the leftovers to make a killer Prime Rib Sandwich! This is our favorite way to use up leftover standing rib roast, however there’s a whole slew of ideas to consider in our ‘Recipes With Leftover Prime Rib” article.
Wondering what the best wine with prime rib is? There are a ton of options:
Wine- Bordeaux, Riojo, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec
Beer- Brown Ale, Porter, Stout, Amber Ale
5-Star Reader Reviews
Here are some actual reader comments and reviews on this exact prime rib recipe (you can read all of them first hand in the comments below):
- Learn the difference between prime rib v rib eye
- Temperature Chart For Steak
- Horseradish for Beef Tenderloin
- Horseradish Aioli
Still, have questions? We want to make your holiday season or special occasions meal as stress-free and successful as possible! After all, prime rib isn’t a cheap cut. Feel free to leave a comment or question below as we’re happy to answer them.
Check out this HORRID original photo. Thank you to those who saw it and cooked it anyway.
This prime rib recipe was originally posted in December 2013, but has been updated with new photos and additional text.
- 1 2-6 Bone Prime Rib Roast (Boned and Tied)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3-4 clove garlic (Sliced or Minced)
Prime Rib Rub
- 1 tbsp Dried Thyme
- 1 tbsp Dried Rosemary
- 1 tbsp Black Pepper
- 1 tbsp Onion Powder
- 1 tbsp Garlic Powder
- 2 tbsp Kosher Salt
- Remove the prime rib from the refrigerator 4 hours before cooking.
- OPTIONAL: Minutes before cooking, bone and tie the roast.
- Cut 1/2" slits on the top of the roast and insert minced or sliced garlic.
- Rub the outside of the roast with high quality olive oil.
- Combine the rosemary, thyme, kosher salt, black pepper, onion powder and garlic powder and spread evenly over the roast.
- Let rest while the oven pre-heats to 500 degree F (260 degree C).
- Transfer the roast to a roasting pan, bone side down.
- Insert the thermometer into the center of the roast and place in the oven (2nd rack from the bottom).
- Calculate your initial cooking time by allowing 5 minutes per pound of meat (a 9 lb roast would cook for 45 minutes while a 6 lb roast would cook for 30).
- This will provide a nice crunch on the exterior. The seasoning rub will get charred but that’s what creates the deeply savory crust.
- After your calculated cooking time is up, turn the oven off but DON’T OPEN THE OVEN DOOR.
- After 2 hours the center of your roast will be 135 degrees F, which is medium-rare.
- If you prefer medium just keep it in the oven until it reaches 150 degrees F.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 10 minutes.