Impressive, succulent, and downright mouthwatering, this Classic Prime Rib Roast recipe is a show-stopping meal fit for the holidays! It’s dressed in herb garlic butter to take the flavors over the top before it’s roasted to a perfect medium.
Looking for a show-stopping meal that’s a better fit for weeknights? Check out this family-favorite Classic Pot Roast while you’re here.
Table of Contents
The holidays are a time for celebration and indulgence, and what meal is more worthy of celebrating than Classic Prime Rib Roast? This downright impressive cut of meat will outshine the turkey or ham on Christmas, Thanksgiving, or Easter. It’s marbled with fat and layered with beefy juices, making every bite more succulent than the next.
To start, the standing rib roast is dressed in an easy garlic herb butter made from oil, butter, fresh rosemary, and garlic cloves. It’s then placed in the oven to cook low and slow until the fat melts into the meat while the outside forms a perfect golden sear. Enjoy a slice or two with garlic butter mushrooms and roasted potatoes on the side, and you have the perfect holiday meal!
What is prime rib roast?
Prime rib, also called standing rib roast, is one of the best cuts of meat money can buy. It’s a large hunk of beef cut from the rib section, which means it’s naturally flavorful and marbled with fat. All of these prime qualities make this cut of beef incredibly tender and succulent.
- Prime rib roast – When you’re shopping, look for a bone-in and boneless rib roast with a USDA prime rating. This will not only be the best quality meat but will also have the most fat marbled throughout. Prime rib is expensive, but well worth the price tag if you’re serving this naturally impressive cut for holidays and special occasions.
- Olive oil – This is one half of the base of the herb dressing. It helps create a golden brown sear on the outside of the meat while melted butter provides the flavor.
- Butter – The second part of the garlic herb butter dressing! Try not to leave it out because the melted butter adds another layer of richness when it melts into the meat.
- Garlic – Fresh cloves, preferably.
- Rosemary – Fresh rosemary is best here.
- Salt and pepper
How to cook a prime rib roast in the oven
Follow the step-by-step instructions to learn how to cook standing rib roast in the oven:
Step 1: As the roast is coming down to room temperature on the kitchen counter, tie it with kitchen twine (if it isn’t tied already) to secure the folds in place.
Step 2: Stir the oil, melted butter, garlic, salt, pepper, and rosemary together in a small bowl. Use a silicone brush to brush it all over the meat.
Step 3: Transfer the garlic herb-coated beef to a rack on top of a roasting pan.
Step 4: Place the roast in the oven and let it cook until it reaches an internal temperature of 140ºF to 145ºF (medium to medium-well).
Step 5: Once it’s done, take the roast out of the oven and let it rest on a cutting board tented in foil for 10 to 15 minutes. Slice when it’s done resting, then enjoy!
How long it takes to roast prime rib in the oven will depend on the thickness of your roast, whether it’s boneless or bone-in, and the functionality of your oven. For the best results, make this recipe with a 5-pound rib roast cooked low and slow in the oven. You can also use the prime rib temperature chart below to achieve your perfect level of doneness:
- Rare: 120ºF
- Medium: 140ºF
- Medium-well: 145ºF
- Well done: 160ºF
Pro tip: Use a meat thermometer to measure the internal temperature!
Remember that the meat will continue to come up to temperature even when it’s out of the oven. For this reason, I recommend taking it out when it’s about 5 degrees away from your perfect temperature.
Tips for success
- Remember to let the meat sit on the kitchen counter for 30 minutes to 1 hour before roasting. Allowing it to come down to room temperature first will ensure that it cooks more evenly.
- Use kitchen twine to secure the meat in 3 places: on both ends and in the middle.
- Always let the meat rest off of the heat for 10 to 15 minutes after cooking. This will give the juices time to settle and absorb back into the meat, leaving you with all-around tastier slices of beef.
This particularly impressive cut of beef is best when it isn’t overwhelmed with sauces and side dishes. I recommend serving it with a red wine sauce drizzled over each slice with simple, steakhouse-inspired sides, like oven roasted potatoes, cauliflower mashed potatoes, roasted vegetables, or asparagus.
Frequently asked questions
Think of that layer of fat as integral to the flavor and quality of the meat. As it cooks, the fat melts into the meat, giving each bite an extra layer of rich, beef flavor. It just won’t be as tender without it!
This recipe makes enough to serve about 5 people. When deciding how much to serve, remember that one rib is enough for 2 to 3 people.
No, not if you cook it in the oven at 500ºF for the first 15 minutes! Searing, in general, gives the meat a crispy brown exterior while maintaining the tenderness and natural juices on the inside. It also adds another layer of flavor and improves the texture of the meat.
Looking for more impressive meals?
- Oven Roasted Turkey Breast
- Pan Seared Lamb Chops
- Oven Roasted Brisket
- Chicken Jambalaya
- Balsamic Braised Short Ribs
Classic Prime Rib Roast
- 5 lb prime rib roast tied
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp butter melted
- 1 small head of garlic minced or pressed
- 1 tbsp rosemary chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Remove roast from fridge about 30minutes to 1 hour before cooking. If the roast isn't tied, use kitchen twine to secure that the meat is folded evenly and tied in 3 places, on both ends and in the middle.
- Season rib roast with mixture of oil, melted butter, garlic, salt, pepper and rosemary. Be sure to season meat on all sides.
- Allow the roast to rest on your kitchen counter for about 30 minutes to an hour to reach room temperature.
- Place meat on a roasting pan with a rack. Alternatively you can use your instant pot rack over a cast iron skillet (that's what I did!).
- Cook the prime rib at 500F degrees for 15 minutes then turn down the heat to 325F degrees and cook for about 15 minutes per pound. My roast was about 5lb so in addition to the 15 minutes at 500F, I cooked for 1 hour and 15 minutes for medium to medium-well. (see notes for temperature)
- Don’t skip the searing at 500F degrees for 15 minutes. This step is an alternative to stove top searing which is important to create a crispy brown exterior while maintaining the tenderness and moisture of the meat. Searing also adds another layer of flavor and improves the texture of the meat.
- Use a meat thermometer or probe – aim for 120F for rare meat, 140F for medium and 160F for well done, or anywhere in between!
- Allow meat to rest – for 10-15 minutes to improve moisture and texture. Slicing a roast hot out of the oven will cause all the juices to be released. As you allow the meat for proper resting, it will retain the moisture and better flavor.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.