How to Cook a Perfect Prime Rib

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One of our holiday traditions is to cook a prime rib (from a healthy source). At first I was a little nervous about cooking such a fancy cut of beef, but I figured I’d give it a shot.

I did a little research and found a simple, hands-off cooking method that sounded perfect. And it was! It was perfect, and juicy, and delicious.

Read on to find out how I did it.

Perfecting Prime Rib

My first step was to figure out the lingo. I learned that prime rib is also called a rib roast and can have bones or be boneless. If it has bones, it’s also called a standing rib roast. You can buy a whole prime rib, which contains seven rib bones and weighs about 13 pounds, or ask for a smaller portion.

Both boneless and standing rib roast are flavorful, tender, and delicious, but I decided to go with the roast with bones. I liked the fanciness of the look, the easier cooking method, and the idea of using the bones to make bone broth later.

Finally, I needed to figure out how much meat I would need. Fortunately, there’s a pretty universal formula for determining that. The general consensus when buying a bone-in roast  is to buy one pound of meat per adult. Usually, there’s around two pounds of meat per bone in a rib roast. So a three rib roast will weigh five to six pounds.

You’ll probably have some extra, especially if you’re serving tasty sides as well, but who doesn’t like leftovers?

Hands-Off Cooking Method

After I figured out what kind of roast to buy and how much of it, I needed to decide on my cooking method. After extensive research, I decided that I would try this simple hands-off method.

First, I let the roast rest at room temperature for an hour or so. Then, I rubbed my roast all over with olive oil, and seasoned it liberally with salt, pepper, and herbes de Provence. Then I placed it rib side down in my largest cast iron skillet. Because I was using a roast with ribs, the ribs acted as their own cooking rack! If you choose a boneless roast, you’ll need to place it on a rack.

Then, I put the roast in my 475°F oven for 30 minutes then turned the oven off and left the roast in there for another two hours and ten minutes. And that’s it!

When the time was up my roast was beautifully browned and caramelized on the outside from the original high temperature, cooked to a perfect medium-rare on the inside, and didn’t need a long additional resting time because it had already done that as the oven cooled.

Pro tip: The secret roasting formula is to roast the meat for five minutes per pound with the oven on, then turn it off and leave it in there for another two hours.


Perfect Prime Rib Recipe

Learn to make a perfectly cooked prime rib for special occasions with this easy-to-follow recipe.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Time to Come to Room Temperature 2 hours
Calories 954kcal
Author Katie Wells


6 people



  • Defrost the rib roast in the refrigerator if frozen.
  • Let the roast come to room temperature in a covered container before cooking.
  • Preheat the oven to 475°F.
  • Coat the roast with butter or olive oil and then sprinkle with pepper, herbs, and salt.
  • Place the roast in a pan with the bones down or on a rack in a pan if using a boneless roast.
  • Roast for 30 minutes in the oven, then turn the oven off and leave the roast in the oven with the door closed for 2 hours 10 minutes.
  • Remove roast, let sit for 5 minutes.
  • Slice and serve!


Nutrition Facts
Perfect Prime Rib Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 954 Calories from Fat 774
% Daily Value*
Fat 86g132%
Saturated Fat 37g231%
Cholesterol 198mg66%
Sodium 717mg31%
Potassium 677mg19%
Carbohydrates 1g0%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 41g82%
Vitamin A 184IU4%
Calcium 32mg3%
Iron 5mg28%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


Make a simple au jus by whisking together the juice and drippings left in the pan with 2 cups of water, and heating on the stove. Taste, and if it’s still too concentrated, add more water.

Sides to Serve With Prime Rib

The only tricky part of making a rib roast with this method is that it ties up your oven for the two hours prior to dinner time. That can make preparing the side dishes a little tricky. Here are some oven-less side suggestions:

Have you ever made a prime rib? What’s your tried-and-true method?

Katie Wells Avatar

About Katie Wells

Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.


3 responses to “How to Cook a Perfect Prime Rib”

  1. Silva Avatar

    5 stars
    This is what I did for Christmas dinner this year with a choice (as opposed to prime) rib roast. It comes out perfectly every time. It’s so perfect it’s the only way I’ll ever cook a rib roast anymore. You do need to accommodate with no-bake or pre-baked sides, as the oven will be tied up all day. We made green beans in butter and garlic and mashed potatoes and gravy on the cooktop. You also won’t have any pan drippings as all of the juices are sealed in the meat! SO good!

  2. Sharron Powers Avatar
    Sharron Powers

    I got an immersion circulator for Christmas and my first cook was a Prime Rib. Scary, having never used it before but it turned out absolutely perfect… I salivate thinking about how delicious it was. If you have tried sous vide cooking, I highly recommend it.

  3. John Avatar

    5 stars
    I’ve used this method, or some variation of it, for my last 3 rub roast, and it comes out great every time. I’m about to do a small, 2.75 lb single bone trust, and I’m wondering if you think it is still a good method to go with, it do you think the roast is too small? If not this method, what way would you suggest!?

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