Fool-Proof Medium-Rare Oven Prime Rib with Creamy Horseradish Sauce

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Slice of prime rib resting on a platter beside the standing rib. This picture shows the medium-rare interior of the roast.

This is the best recipe for Fool-Proof Medium-Rare Prime Rib that you’ll ever find. As in…..You won’t ever make it any other way! And let’s just face it – making prime rib is pretty scary and overwhelming until you get a few of them under your belt.  So rest assured, this recipe is nearly fool proof! #StandingRibRoast #beef #primerib #BestPrimeRibRecipeEver #BestPrimeRibRecipeInTheWorld

A whole bone-in standing rib roast on a platter with fresh herbs, ready to be sliced and served.

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Howdy.  Chef Alli here.  Let’s Get You Cookin’ Some Prime Rib!

Do the words PRIME RIB strike fear in your heart??

I sure remember the first time I used this method to make prime rib, I was really apprehensive about it. A rib roast is definitely NOT an inexpensive piece of meat, so I was super worried that I’d ruin the dang thing, wasting my hard-earned  money AND my precious time. Finally, I took the plunge and tried this recipe, following the instructions to the letter. It works perfectly! I’ve never looked back.

This is the Best Prime Recipe in the World!

Whenever you’re in a position to feed a group of people, whether that’s Christmas dinner or a special Sunday family gathering, this prime rib recipe really needs to be your go-to method. It has made us the perfect prime rib every single, time that we’ve dont it, helping us create a holiday tradition that makes special memories for our family and guests.

WHY Should I Cook Prime Rib, Anyway?

Well, because who wants to stand around grilling steaks  (even the most beautiful filet!) when you’ve got special guests to tend to? Prime rib is not only special and delicious, it’s great to be able to do the entire roast in the oven, all in one fell swoop. And don’t for a minute think that prime rib is a cop-out, or a less-impressive piece of meat because it’s a roast. Prime rib is actually a huge RIB-EYE roast, the same cut that rib eye steaks are cut from, and it’s magnificent.

What Ingredients Will I Need to Make Prime Rib?

  • Prime Rib Roast

There are a few things to consider when purchasing your rib roast to make prime – what to purchase, how much to purchase, how you’ll be cooking it, how to slice and serve it, and what side dishes you’ll need.  I’ve addressed all of these in this Prime Rib post – see below!

  • Seasoned Salt, Granulated Garlic, Granulated Onions

These are the ingredients that you’ll season the exterior of your standing rib roast with.  This is what makes the exterior nice and crusty when you roast it in the oven.

  • Creamy Horseradish Sauce and Beef Au Jus

See the recipe below for the ingredients you’ll need for each of these parts of the prime rib recipe – they are all basic ingredients that you’ll likely have on hand.


Should I Have a Talk With My Butcher When I Purchase a Standing Rib Roast for Making Prime Rib?

If you’re investing in this “prime” cut of beef, then you want to make sure you’re using the best roast! A good butcher will be able to answer any questions you may have about pricing, how much you need per person, cooking, etc.  Always remember this – a good butcher is one who really wants you to be successful in your cooking endeavors, because they want you to return as a customer again and again.

Tell your butcher the full story. Let him know what you’re trying to accomplish, how many people you’re serving, and that you’re nervous about the whole prime-rib process, if that’s the case.  They can’t help if they don’t have all the details. And, butchers are very accustomed to their customers feeling apprehensive when it comes to purchasing and cooking their first standing rib roast, aka prime rib.

Why Are There so Many Options When it Comes to Purchasing a Prime Rib Roast?  Holy COW.

I know, I know.  It can be a bit confusing when purchasing a prime rib roast due to all the different names for the same cut of beef:  rib roast, rib eye roast, standing rib roast, eye of rib roast, prime rib roast…….good grief! Your butcher can help you understand this situation more fully, but just know they are all one and the same roast, though the quality of meat does vary so make sure you’re working with a reputable butcher shop, which most totally are.

How Much Prime Rib Should I Purchase?

Most butchers recommend that you purchase one pound of boneless rib eye roast for each person at the meal, as a general rule of thumb. If you are going the route of an in-bone rib eye roast, you should purchase 1 rib for every 2 people.

Prime rib roasts are sold two ways: bone-in or boneless.  Boneless rib eye roasts are typically cheaper and easier to manage your first time, but a bone-in rib eye roast tends to provide more flavor and a juicer, richer eating experience.

Each rib of a bone-in rib eye roast will carry between 2-3 lbs. of meat.  Therefore, if you are serving prime rib to a group of 7-8 people, you’d need a 4-rib roast.  When going the route of a bone-in rib eye roast for prime rib, it’s also recommended that you never buy a roast with less than 3 ribs since a smaller roast can often cook too quickly, providing you with prime rib that’s over cooked…..ewwwww. (There’s nothing worse than over cooked prime rib!)

I like to purchase a bone-in rib eye roast, asking my butcher to cut the bones off, but to TIE them back on.  This way, I still get the advantage of cooking the prime rib with the bones, giving it so much more flavor, but can also cut the string that holds them to the meat in one, quick snip.  Removing those bones let’s me easily slice the prime for my guests!

Whole prime rib roast on a platter with herbs, one slice cut away from the roast, laying on the platter so the medium-rare center is exposed.

The Closed-Oven Door Method for Prime Rib??  Say What?? Does This Crazy-Sounding Method REALLY Work??

Yep, it sure does. When you’re cooking prime rib, this method is ultra-easy and pretty much fool proof; I love how it allows for roasting and resting of the beef at the same time within this one cooking method… both of which are very important for producing medium-rare, tender and juicy, perfectly-cooked slabs of prime rib.

Why Do I need to Know Exactly How Much My Prime Rib Weighs When I get Ready to Make it?

The KEY to making sure this method works is to know the exact weight of your prime rib roast. That said, when you open up that parcel of meat, be sure you keep the label that has the weight on it! Stick this somewhere safe because you are definitely going to need to refer to it when you get ready to prepare your prime rib since you’ll be cooking it a certain amount of time per pound. (See below for the roasting formula per pound.)

Is it True That Prime Rib is Supposed to be Served Medium-Rare?

Trust me. Prime rib is definitely supposed to be served medium rare for the best dining experience. After roasting the rib eye roast at 500 degrees, then letting it continue to cook and rest for exactly two hours, in that closed (and locked) oven, you will have the most succulent, juicy, amazing prime rib…..perfectly medium-rare. Perfectly cooked. Ready to serve and enjoy!

Sliced prime rib showing the pink center.

How Long Should I Cook Prime Rib??

Here’s the formula for cooking standing rib roast for prime rib:

  • For Medium-Rare Prime – Go For the Gold!

When you need to figure out how much roasting time your standing rib roast needs as the first part of the process (at 500 degrees F.) here is a simple calculation to obtain MEDIUM-RARE prime rib: Take the weight of your prime rib and multiply it x 6 minutes. As an example, a 6 lb. rib eye roast multiplied x 6 minutes = 36 minutes in the oven at 500 degrees F. Once you’ve done this part, you’ll turn off the oven and let the prime rib remain in the oven to cook and rest for two hours, NEVER OPENING THE DOOR until it’s time to remove the prime rib – this is KEY!!!

  • For Medium Prime Rib

When you need to figure out how much roasting time your standing rib roast needs as the first part of the process (at 500 degrees F.) here is a simple calculation to obtain MEDIUM prime rib: Take the weight of your prime rib and multiply it x 7 minutes. As an example, a 6 lb. roast multiplied x 7 minutes = 42 minutes in the oven at 500 degrees F. Once you’ve done this part, you’ll turn off the oven and let the prime rib remain in the oven to cook and rest for two hours, NEVER OPENING THE DOOR until it’s time to remove the prime rib – this is KEY!!!

There’s Always THAT ONE in Every Crowd, Folks, So Be Ready.

Just accept the fact that you ARE going to have THAT ONE guest who will insist that “they only eat their prime rib WELL DONE”. (Ewwww….but whatever, right??)

If you have guests (I refer to them as “Problem Children”) who think their medium-rare prime rib slice isn’t cooked enough, here’s a hack that will keep the well-done-weirdos in hand:  Keep a skillet of simmering beef au jus on your stove top! Simply slide their prime rib slice into the simmering broth and let it cook for a few seconds. The prime rib slice will cook very quickly and you can then remove it from the broth to their plate. Still moist. Still delicious. And how they want it – everybody’s happy!!

Whole prime rib roast, just out of the oven, showing the nicely browned exterior.

Do I Need Fancy Tools to Successfully Cook Prime Rib? Nope.

  • What Cooking Tools Will I Need For Making Prime Rib? 

A good heavy large skillet (I use my trusty 12″ cast iron skillet), or large roasting pan, a KEEP OUT sign for your oven door (see the picture below to learn what I’m talking about), and some duct tape to MAKE SURE everybody knows you mean business: no opening of the oven door! Also, it’s a good idea to have a instant-read meat thermometer on hand, for checking the internal temperature at the end of the cooking/resting time.

  •  What Serving Tools Will I Need for Prime Rib? 

A large cutting board with a channel around the edge (for meat juices to gather in), heavy-duty meat or grilling forks for lifting the prime rib from the pan to the cutting board, a sharp carving knife, and a platter for serving.


This is the best recipe for fool-proof medium rare prime rib. You won't make it another way!

Remember. Absolutely NO PEEKING if You Want Perfect Prime Rib!

Like I mentioned above, at first I was apprehensive about this method for cooking prime rib. I like to feel like I’m in control over what I’m cooking, and I don’t always trust my appliances to behave. Plus, everyone loves a little peek in the oven to see how things are going, right?? But for this recipe, there is one VERY VERY important rule that you MUST follow: DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR FOR TWO HOURS following the initial roasting process at 500 degrees F.

Impossible, right? Yep, it’s a test in self control. Put that rib eye roast in the oven then duct tape the door shut and go make some dessert or clean the house or set the table. Whatever you do, DO NOT open that oven door for ANY reason.and Helpful Tips for Prime Rib Success

  • Should I purchase a boneless or a bone-in standing rib roast when I make prime rib the first time?

You may want to purchase a boneless prime rib roast the very first time you make one, as not having to deal with the bones can make this process feel less intimidating. And, boneless standing rib roasts are much easier to slice when you serve your first Prime Rib for dinner.

  • Is there anything special I need to do to prepare before making my standing rib roast to make prime rib?

Uncover your rib eye roast the night before and let it sit naked in the fridge. This will really help with that beautiful browning we want on our prime rib, and it helps ensure we can get that good exterior crust, too.

  • I’ve heard that I shouldn’t try to cook a fully chilled standing rib roast, straight from refrigeration.  Is this true?

Remove your rib eye roast from refrigeration and the packaging at least 2-3 hours (depending on the size) before you begin the roasting process. This is the beauty rest your prime rib needs BEFORE you roast it so that all the juices that coagulate in the center when it’s chilled can come to the outer edges of the roast. Removing the chill before roasting the roast, really helps to make sure it cooks more evenly, too. This is a very important step in the prime rib process.

  • And does the prime rib need beauty rest AFTER it’s done roasting, as well?

In this recipe, the roast is actually cooking from residual heat and resting at the same time, once you turn off the oven and let the roast stay in the oven for the remaining 2 hours.  Make sure you don’t let anyone (including yourself, out of habit) open that oven door during this time as that will ruin the process of this recipe! I always put a sign AND use duct tape so that nobody can open that door.

  • What should I do with the leftover ribs from the prime rib roast?

You can use the bones to make a delicious beef broth or if that’s not something you feel like taking on, give the bones to your dogs – they will absolutely go crazy for these!

  • Do I have to serve the prime rib with the au just or can I skip that step? Also, I’ve heard I can just use beef broth for au jus, is this true?

Actually, you can skip the au jus, if preferred.  Especially if your prime rib is served medium-rare, it will be super-juicy and tender.  However, don’t ever skip the creamy horseradish sauce – this is just essential to prime rib. And yes, many people substitute beef broth in place of the au jus – it’s totally acceptable. You will need one or the other simmering on the stove so you have the option of cooking that slice of prime that somebody in your group wants to be cooked to medium-well done.

A full standing rib roast on a platter with herbs, one slice of prime rib cut away at one end of the roast, laying on the platter, exposing the medium-rare center of the roast.

How Should I Slice and Serve the Prime Rib?

If you’ve asked your butcher for a standing rib roast that’s had bones removed and then tied back on, this is the time to place the roast onto a large cutting board and cut the strings that hold the bones to the roast.  Lift the roast off of the bones that it’s resting on and place it onto another section of the cutting board where you have room for slicing. Cut the prime rib in thick slices and place it onto plates.  Pour a bit of the warm au just over the slice, then add a dollop of the creamy horseradish on the side.

What Are Good Side Dishes to Serve with Prime Rib?

Everybody has a preference for their favorite side dishes since they are often traditional and what your family expects for a holiday meal.

Here are a few of our favorite side dishes:

Printable Directions for Making for Fool-Proof Medium-Rare Oven Prime Rib:

Slice of prime rib resting on a platter beside the standing rib. This picture shows the medium-rare interior of the roast.
5 from 1 vote

Fool-Proof Medium-Rare Prime Rib

This is the best recipe for Fool-Proof Medium-Rare Prime Rib that you'll ever find. As in.....You won't ever make it any other way! And let's just face it - making prime rib is pretty scary and overwhelming until you get a few of them under your belt.  So rest assured, this recipe is nearly fool proof! #StandingRibRoast #beef #primerib #BestPrimeRibRecipeEver #BestPrimeRibRecipeInTheWorld

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword beef, best recipe, easy, fool-proof, holiday, oven-baked, prime rib, standing rib roast
Servings 8 servings
Author Chef Alli


For the Prime Rib

  • 1 In-Bone 4-rib standing rib roast, bones cut off and tied back on by the butcher
  • 1 Tbs. each: seasoned salt, granulated onion, and granulated garlic
  • 1 batch Creamy Horseradish Sauce (see below)

For the Creamy Horseradish Sauce

  • 1 cup Highland Dairy sour cream
  • 1/2 cup Highland Dairy heavy whipping cream
  • dash or two of hot pepper sauce, if desired
  • 1-2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 2-3 Tbs. (or more!) prepared horseradish (this is the refrigerated fresh-grated horseradish, not the creamy-style found in the condiment section of the grocer)
  • 1 Tbs. spicy brown mustard
  • 2 tsp. white wine vinegar
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed

For the Au Jus

  • 3 cups water
  • 4 tsp. Better Than Bouillon concentrate, Beef Flavor (or use beef bouillon cubes)
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed


Prime Rib

  1. 3-4 hours prior to cooking the prime rib roast, remove it from refrigeration; unwrap roast from all packaging. Let rib roast rest on the counter to remove the chill from the meat. (This helps the roast to cook much more evenly and is a very important step of this recipe's success!)

  2. Meanwhile, combine spices with salt in a small bowl; using your fingertips, rub spice blend over every area of the roast.
  3. Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees F.
  4. Place the seasoned roast onto a roasting rack (even if it's just ribs of celery and carrots!), with fat-side up. Place the rack into a roasting pan, cast iron skillet, or onto a baking sheet.
  5. Place the roast into the preheated 500 degree F oven, uncovered, and cook for 5-7 minutes per pound. (My roast was 4 lbs. so I cooked it exactly 20 minutes, keeping in mind that I could always add additional cooking time, if needed.)
  6. When the timer sounds, immediately shut the oven off completely.
  7. Here's the super important part!! After turning the oven off, DO NOT OPEN OVEN DOOR FOR TWO HOURS. (If this means taping it shut with duct tape and adding a DO NOT OPEN SIGN, then DO IT!!!)
  8. When the timer sounds at the full 2 hour mark, open the oven door to check the internal temperature of the meat. If your Instant-read thermometer reads 135 -140 degrees F., it’s perfectly medium rare.
  9. **If your roast temps a bit cooler than 130 degrees F, simply preheat your oven to 375 degrees F and return roast to oven until the internal temp reaches 135 - 140 degrees, or even more done, if preferred.

Creamy Horseradish Sauce

  1. Combine all sauce ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.
  2. To serve prime rib, slice rib roast into slices and drizzle with au jus; place a dollop of Horseradish Sauce on the side.

Au Jus

  1. Place the water into a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, then whisk in the bouillon concentrate, as well as the soy sauce, and garlic.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  

Recipe Notes

**What to do if someone thinks their prime rib slice is too rare? I keep a skillet of simmering beef broth on my stove top for this very reason. Simply place their prime rib slice into the simmering broth and let it cook for a few seconds. It will cook very quickly and you can then remove it from the broth to their plate. Everybody's happy!!

We love hearing from our readers and followers, so please leave us a comment if you’d like.  And, if you don’t hear back from us shortly, know that we may not have seen your comment.  You can always reach us by email:

Let’s Get You Cookin’,
Chef Alli

This recipe was happily shared on The Country Cook’s Weekend Potluck and Southern Bite’s Meal Plan Monday. 





Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

Blog Comments

Marilyn Griggs-Kozlofd

Can’t wait to try this recipe. Looks easy enough for even me!!!

Alli, I’m trying this today!!. Sid

Around the bone did not cook

[…] and cook up a delectable piece of meat from the Manhattan Meat Market – Prime Rib! You can GET THAT RECIPE HERE and watch the video at Chef Alli’s Facebook […]

Trying this right now! Not exactly sure you’d call it “prime”, but I will! My grandsons raised the beef!! I don’t “do” butcher shops, even, most of the time. Almost ready to turn off the oven! Can’t wait to see how it turns out!! 🙂

Hi Debbie – I hope it was a huge hit. We love this recipe for Prime Rib – my guys just go crazy for it. Please let me know how it turned out for you. Your fan,
Chef Alli

Hi! We are planning to make this recipe for Valentine’s Day and looking so forward to it because the pictures are beautiful! However I was not able to find the Knorr au jour packet in our store. I did find a little bottle of au jour concentrate to use. It sounds like you mix the spices and press them into the meet, but do you also add the Packet mixed with water/or in my case the concentrate and rub that all on? Just worried may be to liquidy or I’m not understanding? Thank you got your work! Appreciate your instant pot recipes also😊

Hi Kim – just seeing your comment and questions. I will check this recipe and get right back with you!! Chef Alli

Hi Kim – So I looked over that recipe to see what in the world I did wrong! After studying it, I realized what happened. That Knorr item is not available in all markets (if at all anymore!) so I decided that I need to update the recipe with another way to make au jus, which I did. But THEN, I forgot to delete that product from the recipe ingredients. I’ve corrected the recipe and all is good now!! So sorry for the confusion and that it took me a bit longer to get back to you than I intended. Happy Cooking!
Chef Alli

Makes perfect sense and we made it just like you just described, and are making it again tomorrow! It’s a winner! Thanks so much for your reply.
Kim Miller (Marilyn Domer sister in law😊) Grenville New Mexico

5 stars
The BEST ever, and right on point! Thank u

Hi Jill –
So glad you enjoyed the prime rib!! We love that recipe – perfection every time.
Chef Alli

Hi Chef Alli, thanks for this easy sounding recipe. Would this method work with other cuts of beef like a NY strip roast. Thanks.

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