Prep & Cook Time:25-35 min.

Cook Within:3 days

Cook Within:3 days

Spice Level:Not Spicy

A tender slow roasted prime rib is the perfect centerpiece for your holiday meal, but you don’t have to save a hearty roast for special occasions like Christmas dinner. Though it takes some time to cook, preparing a delicious prime rib is easy enough that you can treat yourself anytime.

Though often served in restaurants and fancy catered events, a perfectly cooked prime rib roast is just the thing to make any dinner at home seem special. There’s no need to be intimidated by this large cut of meat, which can be expensive. With some tips and tricks, you can make your prime rib taste just as good as any restaurant.

Simple and Delicious Slow Roasted Prime Rib Recipe Secrets


What is Prime Rib?

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Prime rib, also known as “standing rib roast” when sold on the bone, is beef cut from the rib section of the cow and is meaty, well-marbled and tender. You can buy boneless prime rib, which is easier to serve, as it doesn’t need to be cut from the bone, but arguably has less flavor. We recommend cooking it on the bone and cutting it off before serving. The prime rib is cut from the ‘primal’ rib section of the cow (ribs 6-12) and is also the area where ribeye steaks originate.

A full rib roast is a massive hunk of meat and is usually divided into three or four rib sections – the small end and the long end. The meat on the small end of the ribs comes from the last three ribs on the back end of the rib cage and contains the least amount of fat. Typically, this end of the rib cage is the most lean and tender. The meat from the long end of the rib cage (the first 4 ribs) contains more fat than the short end. Although there is more fat at the long end of the rib cage, the meat will still be very tender and flavorful.

Despite being known as “prime” rib, that doesn’t mean that the cut carries a USDA prime grade. You can buy prime rib as USDA prime or choice. Only about 2% of beef sold in the U.S. is designated prime, and most of it goes to restaurants and specialty butchers. A prime-grade rib roast will be more marbled than choice, and will also be more expensive. Both grades can be delicious. If you prefer to buy prime, be sure to order it in advance from your butcher.

Still have questions? Check out this primer from Serious Eats.

How Much Should You Buy?

In general, you should plan on about one pound of bone-in standing rib roast per guest, which translates to about one rib section for every two people.

How to Cook a Standing Rib roast

One of the most important steps of the preparation process is letting the prime rib roast come to room temperature before you put it in the oven. Remove the roast from the refrigerator a few hours before roasting to assure the center is no longer cold. It is, after all, a large cut of meat and will take some time to adjust. Waiting for the roast to come to room temperature will allow it to roast better and cook properly.

While you are waiting, you can prepare your rub and season the roast, which is the easiest part. The rib roast really doesn’t need much more than some salt and pepper and fresh herbs to season it. We’ve included the perfect rub in the attached recipe and video.

The traditional way of preparing prime rib is to roast it to medium rare by cooking it at high heat in a hot oven for a short period of time followed by roasting at a lower temperature to finish cooking. The high temp will help it develop a flavorful brown crust on the exterior, and the low temp keeps it from drying out. Tent the roast with foil and let stand for about 30 minutes before removing the bone, carving, and serving.