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Prime Rib Roast: The Sear-Last Method


Prime Rib Roast: The Sear-Last Method

Roast prime rib of beef.

Photo © Flickr4Jazz

Prime Rib Roast: The Sear-Last Method

This prime rib recipe is somewhat of a departure from the standard technique of cooking it at a high temperature at the beginning and then finishing at a lower temperature.

Instead, we slowly roast it until it's medium rare, let it rest, and THEN we brown it at very high temperature right before serving it. In addition to producing a perfectly pink and juicy prime rib, this method the added advantage of being able to serve the roast straight from the oven.

This technique will work for either a bone-in or boneless prime rib of beef of between 4 and 10 pounds. For a bone-in prime rib, figure two servings per rib, while a boneless roast will yield two servings per pound.

Also see: How to Roast Prime Rib

Prep Time: 24 hours

Cook Time: 5 hours

Total Time: 29 hours


  • 1 boneless or bone-in beef rib roast, trimmed and tied
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. The night before you're going to do the cooking, unwrap the prime rib and let the meat sit on a sheet pan with a rack, uncovered, in the refrigerator. The reason we do this is so that the surface is drier, making it easier to get a beautiful brown crust when you sear it at the end.

  2. Three hours before you're going to roast it, take the prime rib out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature.

  3. Finally, 30 minutes before you start roasting, pre-heat your oven to 200°F.

  4. When the oven is heated, season the meat generously with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. For a boneless prime rib, set the roast in a roasting pan with a rack, fat-side-up for a boneless prime rib. For a bone-in roast, just set the meat bone-side-down directly in the roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer or a digital probe thermometer (compare prices) into the deepest part of the meat, being careful not to hit bone. If you're using a digital probe thermometer, set it to alert you when the meat hits 128°F (see note below).

  5. Roast until the meat's internal temperature reaches 128°F, which will be another two and a half to five hours, depending on the size of your roast.

  6. When the temperature hits 128°F, take the meat out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board and cover it with foil. Leave the thermometer in!

  7. Immediately turn your oven up to 500°F.

  8. Because we roasted the prime rib at 200°, there won't be much carryover cooking and you don't need to rest it for very long. Once you take the roast out of the oven, the temperature should rise to 130°F, which is perfect medium-rare, and within 20 minutes or so it will drop back down to 120°. Here's a simple Au Jus Recipe you can make while the meat is resting. Or try this creamy Horseradish Sauce.

  9. By which time, your oven will have fully reached 500°. Now, put the meat back in the oven and let it roast on super-high for 6 to 10 minutes or until you have a lovely brown crust on the outside. Then take it out, carve and serve right away.
Serves 4 to 8 people depending on the size of the roast.

Note: For medium-rare prime rib, we want to take the roast out of the oven at 128°F, and it will continue cooking until it reaches 130°F. If you prefer a medium prime rib, take it out at 135°F with a target temperature of around 140°. Either way, you'll still want to rest the meat until it comes back down to 120° before you put it back in the oven to do the browning.
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