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How to Roast Prime Rib

Four Basic Recipes for Cooking a Perfect Prime Rib Roast

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How to roast prime rib

Bone-in prime rib roast

Annabelle Breakey / Getty Images

How to Roast Prime Rib

Prime rib is a classic holiday recipe and one of the most popular roast beef preparations in the culinary arts. Prime rib is a roast cut from the beef rib primal cut, traditionally (but not exclusively) with the rib bones still attached.

The perfect prime rib is juicy, medium rare and has a flavorful, brown crust on the outside. Also, when you slice it, you don't want to see very much gray meat near the edges. Ideally you'll see just lovely pink meat all the way across. Below we'll offer four different methods for cooking a perfect prime rib roast.

It's natural to be a bit intimidated by a big piece of meat. After all, it's expensive, and the holidays are already stressful. But fortunately, the procedure for roasting a perfect prime rib is actually pretty simple.

In general you'll need a big roasting pan, a probe thermometer and some cooking twine for tying the roast. Although you could certainly just have your butcher tie the roast for you.

Boneless or Bone-in Prime Rib?

You can roast a prime rib with the rib bones still attached or you can have your butcher remove the ribs. Note that if you do this, he's going to weigh the roast first and then take the ribs off. In other words, you're paying for the ribs either way. So be sure to take them home with you as they are great for making stock or sauce.

And speaking of sauce, here's a basic Au Jus Recipe that's a classic accompaniment for a roasted prime rib. You might also like this creamy Horseradish Sauce.

Any of the techniques below will work for either a bone-in or boneless prime rib. In each case you're going to need a meat thermometer, preferably a digital one that lets you set a temperature alert. If you're roasting a boneless prime rib, you'll need a roasting pan with a rack.

You won't need a rack for roasting the bone-in kind because the rib bones actually serve as a natural roasting rack. Here are four variations on how to roast a prime rib:

Four Prime Rib Recipes

  1. Probably the most typical way of roasting a prime rib. We start the roast at 450°F, then lower it to 325°F to finish cooking: The Traditional Prime Rib

  2. With this method, we first brown the prime rib on the stovetop before cooking it in the oven at a low temperature: The Slow-Roast Prime Rib

  3. A variation on the slow roast method in which we slow roast the rib, let it rest, and then stick it back in the oven at a high temperature immediately before serving: The Sear-Last Prime Rib

  4. This method uses a little bit of math to calculate the roasting time, but it's really simple: The Closed-Oven Prime Rib
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