Making tender and juicy perfect prime rib roast in the oven is easy using the 500 rule. How to Cook Perfect Fool-Proof Prime Rib is the best, most detailed recipe.
Just follow my step-by-step directions below….you do not need to be afraid! You can conquer, and I’m here to show you how.
We love making prime rib roast or roasted beef tenderloin in the oven for Sunday gatherings and Christmas, New Year’s Day, and Easter holiday dinners.
Best Prime Rib Roast Recipe
If the words prime rib at home put fear in your heart, you’ve come to the right place!
I remember the first time I used this 500 degree method to cook a prime rib. I was apprehensive about it.
A prime rib is an expensive hunk of meat. I was worried I’d ruin it, wasting my hard-earned money AND precious time.
If you are brand new at cooking a prime rib roast, read this entire recipe before purchasing or preparing your prime rib. There are a lot of great tips and tricks.
Whenever you’re able to feed a group of people, this prime rib recipe that uses the 500 Degree rule will become your go-to method.
It makes perfect prime rib roast in the oven and creates a holiday tradition that makes special memories for our family and guests.
No-Peek 500 Degree Rule for Perfect Prime Rib
When you’re cooking prime rib roast in the oven, this method is ultra-easy and pretty much foolproof. It allows for roasting and rest of the beef simultaneously within this one cooking method.
Roasting and resting are both very important steps for producing medium-rare, tender and juicy, perfectly-cooked slabs of prime rib.
Instruction Summary for Prime Rib in The Oven
- 4-5 hours prior to cooking the prime rib roast, remove it from refrigeration and unwrap the roast from all packaging. Save your label!
- Season the prime rib with my favorite rub. Keep reading for my favorite rub recipe.
- Pre-heat your over to 500 degrees.
- Cook the rib roast for 6 minutes per pound at 500 degrees.
- Turn oven down to 170 degrees for 2 hours.
- Check your internal temperature. For medium rare prime rib, you’ll want the internal temperature to be 130-135°F.
- Slice, serve and enjoy.
For full instructions, keep reading and read my recipe instructions at the bottom of this post.
How long should I cook my prime rib using the 500 degree rule?
Here’s the formula for cooking medium-rare prime rib:
Take the weight of your prime rib roast and multiply it x 6 minutes. For example, a 6 lb. rib eye roast multiplied x 6 minutes = 36 minutes in the oven at 500 degrees F.
Here’s the formula for cooking 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.
Please Note: I don’t typically recommend that prime rib should be cooked to medium as an internal temperature. Once you’ve over-cooked a piece of meat, there’s no going back.
If you’ve cooked a piece of meat to a medium-rare state, you can always cook it longer to raise the internal temperature to what you prefer.
The 500 Degree Rule Means NO PEEKING
Once the prime rib roast is finished roasting at 500 degrees F., DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR. Even though you’ll be dying to see what your prime rib looks like now.
Turn your oven to its lowest temperature setting (usually 170 degrees F. for most ovens. Then set your timer FOR TWO HOURS following the initial roasting process at 500 degrees F. This is where the duct tape and signage are essential. You don’t want anybody opening the door, including yourself.
DO NOT open that oven door for ANY reason!
How long to cook prime rib depends on the size of the prime rib roast
The KEY to making sure this no-peek closed-oven-door method works is to know the weight of your roast. Then you can cook it according to the formula above.
When you open up that parcel of prime rib, be sure you keep the label that has the weight!
Stick the label somewhere safe because. You will need it when you get ready to prepare your prime rib.
What is the ideal internal temperature for a medium-rare prime rib?
The internal temperature for a medium-rare prime rib is 130-135 degrees F. at the center of the roast. You will need an instant-read meat thermometer to determine the internal temperature of the prime rib.
Most feel that prime rib should be served medium rare for the best dining experience.
After roasting the rib eye roast, let it continue to rest for exactly two hours inside the closed oven. You will have the most succulent, juicy, amazing prime rib…..perfectly medium-rare and perfectly cooked, all ready to serve and enjoy!
Why Cook Prime Rib Roast in the Oven?
Who wants to stand around grilling steaks when you’ve got special guests to tend to? This recipe will provide you with thick-cut, steak cuts that will be ready all at the same time.
Prime rib roast in the oven is a huge RIB-EYE roast, the same cut that rib-eye steaks are cut from, and it’s magnificent.
What To Consider When Cooking a Prime Rib Roast
There are a few things to consider when purchasing your rib roast to make prime:
- what rib roast to purchase
- how much roast to purchase
- how you’ll be cooking
- how to slice and serve
- what side dishes you’ll need
Common Questions When Making Standing Rib Roast
Is it okay to purchase the prime rib from the meat case at my local grocery store?
Yes! This recipe will still be perfect! The primary difference in a PRIME prime rib (what you would typically purchase from a good butcher shop) and a CHOICE prime rib (what you’ll typically find at your local grocer) is basically this: the amount of marbling within the roast.
Prime rib is a very fatty cut of beef. Many people feel that cooking a CHOICE prime rib from the grocery store is delicious!
I seek out a butcher shop to purchase my standing rib roast to make prime rib
Since I only cook prime rib at the holidays, I have always purchased prime rib from a butcher. I want it to provide the best eating experience available to me and my family.
I want that rich, buttery flavor and texture, plus lots of juiciness, too.
Marbling contributes to the level of flavor and juiciness in the eating experience of the prime rib.
The best grade of rib eye roast will have a lot of marbling. A good butcher shop will know this too.
They can also answer any questions about pricing, how much you need per person, cooking, etc.
A good butcher wants you to be successful cooking and wants you to return as a customer.
Also, tell your butcher the full story so he gets the big picture. Let them know what you’re trying to accomplish. Share how many people you’re serving and that you’re nervous about the prime-rib process if that’s the case.
A butcher can’t help if they don’t have all the details! Butchers are very accustomed to their customers feeling apprehensive when purchasing and cooking their first standing rib roast.
Should I ask the butcher to cut off the bones?
Yes! I know it may sound weird, but hear me out. Once the bones are cut from the prime rib roast, ask the butcher to tie the bones back onto the roast.
Cooking with the bones will give it a lot of additional flavor due to the bone marrow.
Snip the strings when the prime rib roast is cooked and ready to slice. Lift the roast right off the rack of bones and onto your cutting board. You can now very easily slice that prime rib roast.
If I purchase a CHOICE prime rib roast instead of a PRIME prime rib roast, do I need to cook it differently?
If you purchase choice prime rib from the grocery store, it will most likely be boneless and cook much more quickly than a prime, bone-in prime rib.
The choice cut of the prime rib has less marbling.
When cooking choice prime rib, opt to undercook it since there is less marbling in the meat. You can always cook a prime rib more (longer), but once it’s overcooked, you can’t go back!
Why are there so many names for prime rib?
It can be very confusing when purchasing a prime rib roast for the first time. There are many different names for the same cut of beef, including:
- rib roast
- rib eye roast
- standing rib roast
- eye of rib roast
- prime rib roast
Your butcher can help you understand the names but know they are all the same roast.
Choice prime rib from a grocery store has prominent prime rib labeling to help customers easily identify the cut.
How MUCH prime rib should I purchase for my gathering?
Most butchers recommend purchasing one pound of boneless rib eye roast for each person at the meal.
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. A bone-in rib eye roast provides more flavor and a juicer, richer eating experience.
Each rib of a bone-in rib eye roast has up to 2 lbs. of meat. Therefore, if you serve prime rib to a group of 8 people, you’d need a 4-rib roast.
For a bone-in rib eye roast for prime rib never buy a roast with less than 3 ribs.
When cooking prime rib to serve several people, is it better to cook one large prime rib roast or two smaller rib roasts instead?
I’m so glad you asked – this is a great question! Let’s say you’re feeding 10 people. Instead of getting one large 5-bone prime rib roast, opt for two 3-bone rib roasts, instead.
When using this specific cooking method (the closed-oven method), I’ve found that two smaller rib roasts work best.
The 500 degree method doesn’t work well with prime rib roasts smaller than 2 ribs. They easily overcook.
Is it true that you shouldn’t cook prime rib while it’s still cold from being in refrigeration? Why?
YES! This is called BEAUTY REST for your beef, and it is so very essential. Cooking any meat without letting it rest at room temperature is not a good idea, in my opinion.
When a hunk of meat has been in refrigeration, all the juices and fats are coagulated at the very center.
Resting at room temperature allows juices and fats to move from the center to the outer areas of the roast.
During this, the roast and all of its protein fibers can relax in preparation for the cooking process.
Adequate rest ensures that your prime rib roast can cook much more evenly and consistently. This provides a far better eating experience later. Just what we long for!!
Don’t be afraid to remove your prime rib roast from refrigeration at least 4-5 hours before the cooking process.
Is there a special technique for cooking a prime rib with a crust and nicely charred exterior?
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 long for.
Where should I insert an instant-read meat thermometer into the prime rib to take the correct internal temperature?
Insert the thermometer into the center of the roast. Go straight in from the side where the meat is the thickest.
Coming in from the side helps ensure you don’t touch any bones or the bottom of the roasting pan. This can give a false temperature reading.
Watch the dial once you insert the instant-read meat thermometer into the prime rib. Once the temperature stops rising, that is the internal temperature of the roast. This will take 30-60 seconds.
And does the prime rib need beauty rest AFTER it’s finished cooking as well?
YES!!! And this recipe makes it super easy – you won’t even have a chance to do otherwise!
What is the best way to slice and serve my prime rib roast?
If you have a standing rib roast that’s had the bones removed and then tied back on, cut the strings while it’s still in the roasting pan.
Lift the roast up and off the bone rack that it’s resting on. Place the prime rib onto a large cutting board where you have ample room for slicing.
Cut the prime rib into thick slices and place it onto dinner plates.
Pour a bit of the warm au jus over each slice and add a dollop of the creamy horseradish on the side. Ta-dah!!!
Medium Well Done or Well Done Prime Rib Tips
You may have THAT ONE GUEST who will insist that “they only eat their prime rib WELL DONE.” Ewwww….but whatever, right??
If you have guests who think that medium-rare prime rib slice isn’t cooked enough, here’s a hack. Keep a skillet of simmering beef broth on your stove top!
Simply slide their slice of 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. It will be moist and delicious. Just what they want….and everybody’s happy!!
Best Prime Rib Rub
Seasoned Salt, Granulated Garlic, Granulated Onion, and Freshly Ground Black Pepper make the crust of your standing rib roast. You’ll season the exterior of your standing prime rib roast with and use it for your prime rib rub. This makes the exterior nice and flavorful as you roast it in the oven, then enjoy it for dinner.
The Best Creamy Horseradish Sauce
Prime rib just isn’t prime rib if there’s no creamy horseradish sauce to accompany it. The main ingredient in horseradish sauce is sour cream, but the most important ingredient is the horseradish, hands down.
You’ll need what’s called prepared horseradish, which is freshly grated horseradish root. Don’t make the mistake of getting cream-style horseradish that’s located in the condiment aisle of the grocery store.
The remaining ingredients needed for making horseradish sauce are things you’ll likely already have on hand including:
- whipping cream
- spicy brown mustard
- Worcestershire sauce
- red or white wine vinegar
- crushed garlic
You can make the horseradish sauce ahead of time and store it in the fridge until ready to serve.
Au Jus Sauce for Ribeye Roast
Au jus (pronounced ah-zhoo) refers to thickened juices from a roast or other meat. The term translates literally to “with the juice.”
Traditional prime roast has always been served with an au jus. Typically it is drizzled over an individual slab of prime rib, accompanied by a dollop of horseradish sauce.
Many people use a basic simmering beef broth as their au jus to keep it simple.
Do I have to serve the prime rib with the au jus or can I skip that?
You can skip the au jus, if preferred. If your prime rib is served medium-rare, it will be super-juicy and tender. Nobody will miss au jus too much.
And yes, many people substitute plain beef broth instead of homemade au jus – it’s acceptable.
Keep a simmering pan of broth or au just on the stove. This will give you the option of cooking a slice of prime for somebody who wants it done more. There’s always THAT ONE, as we discussed above.
But please don’t ever skip the creamy horseradish sauce – this is just essential to prime rib!
Side dishes to serve with prime rib
Everybody has a preference for their favorite side dishes for prime rib roast in the oven. Here are a few of my family’s favorite side dishes:
- Creamy Mashed Potatoes Supreme with French Fried Onions and Bacon
- Sweet Potato Crumble or Sweet Potato Balls with Crispy Cornflakes
- Cheesy Pull-Apart Pesto Bread
- Saucy Beans with Beef and Bacon
- Delta Cornbread Salad
Do I need fancy tools to cook prime rib successfully?
The tools needed to make prime rib roast in the oven are minimal, truly. You’ll need a large roasting pan, a roasting rack, a sign for your oven door, and some duct tape.
It’s a good idea to have a couple of instant-read meat thermometers on hand, for checking the internal temperature. (I like having two on hand so that I’ve got a second one as a back-up for temping my roast.)
Don’t forget to have a large cutting board with a channel around the edge, heavy-duty meat or grilling forks for lifting the prime rib from the rack of bones to the cutting board, a sharp carving knife, and a platter for serving.
How to Cook Perfect Fool-Proof Prime Rib in the Oven
For the Prime Rib
- 8-10 lb. bone-in 4-rib standing rib roast, bones cut off and tied back on by the butcher, room temperature
- 1 Tbs. granulated garlic
- 1 Tbs. granulated onion
- 1 Tbs. freshly ground black pepper may add some peppercorns
- 1 Tbs. seasoned salt
For the Creamy Horseradish Sauce
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup whipping cream or heavy cream
- 1-2 dashes hot pepper sauce, as desired
- 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce
- 1-2 Tbs. prepared horseradish **Note: this is the refrigerated fresh-grated horseradish, not the creamy-style found in the condiment section of the grocer
- 1 Tbs. spicy brown mustard
- 1 Tbs. red or white wine vinegar
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
For the Au Jus
- 3 cups water
- 5 tsp. Better Than Bouillon Concentrate, Beef Flavor (or use beef bouillon cubes)
- 1 Tbs. soy sauce
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 4-5 hours prior to cooking the prime rib roast, remove it from refrigeration; unwrap the roast from all packaging. Note the exact weight of the roast.
- Combine the granulated garlic, granulated onion, and black pepper with the seasoned salt in a small bowl. Using your fingertips, rub spice blend over every area of the roast.
- When you are ready to cook the prime rib roast, pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees F.. Placing your oven rack in the lower third of the oven.
- Place the seasoned roast, fat side up, onto a roasting rack in your roasting pan.
- Place the prepared rib roast into the preheated 500 degree F. oven, uncovered, and cook for 6 minutes per pound for medium rare.
- When the timer sounds, immediately turn your oven temperature down to the lowest setting, which for most ovens is 170 degrees F. NO MATTER WHAT, DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR! Set your timer for 2 hours at this point.
- When the timer sounds at the full 2 hour mark, open the oven door, using an instant-read meat thermometer to check the internal temperature of the meat. For medium rare prime rib, you'll want the internal temperature to be 130-135°F.
- If your roast temps a bit cooler than 130-135 °F, simply preheat your oven to 375 °F., returning the roast to the oven until the internal temp reaches 130-135 °F, checking the internal temperature every 10 minutes or so until the prime rib raises a few more degrees to the desired temperature.
- Snip the strings that are holding the bone rack to the prime rib roast.
- Using big forks, lift the prime rib roast from the rib rack and the roasting pan, placing it onto a large cutting board.
- Slice the prime rib into thick slices, placing them onto dinner plates. Pour a bit of the warm au jus over the prime rib, then add a dollop of horseradish sauce alongside. Serve at once.
Creamy Horseradish Sauce
- Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small bowl until smooth; store in the fridge until ready to serve.
- Place the water into a skillet and bring to a boil; reduce the heat to low, then add the bouillon concentrate, as well as the soy sauce, and garlic, whisking until well blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper; keep warm.
More Delicious Meat Recipes to Enjoy –
- How to Make Tender and Juicy Smoked Beef Tri-Tip….That Slices into Slabs of Steak!
- Instant Pot Beef Barbacoa with Fresh Corn Salsa
- Maple Pecan Glazed Ham
- Country-Fried Steak Fingers with Cream Gravy
- Instant Pot Hot Beef Sandwiches with Brown Gravy….Just Like Grandma Made
- Instant Pot Easy Swiss Steak
- How to Cook Eye of Round Roast Beef