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It’s the ultimate guide to perfect prime rib roast! Just in time for the holidays, I’m sharing all of the details for this perfect garlic butter prime rib recipe, including:
- How to cook prime rib
- The best prime rib roast recipe – hint: you need garlic butter! 😉
- What to serve it with
- How to carve prime rib
- …And SO much more!
What Is Prime Rib?
Prime rib is a standing roast beef made from the primal cut of the beef rib. It’s typically roasted and served with a pan sauce.
The “prime” in prime rib is a grade that is given to meat. The USDA inspectors give grades (prime, choice, select) based on the amount of fat (marbling) and the age of the cow.
A prime grade means that perfect prime rib recipes will be tender, moist, and flavorful. The more marbling a cut has, the higher rating it will get. And cattle must be 9-30 months to be considered prime.
HOWEVER, often times people still call it prime rib even if it isn’t technically a prime grade of meat, as long as it’s the same part of the cow – read more on the cut of meat for prime rib below.
Is prime rib ribeye?
This is a common question and there is definitely some confusion around it!
Ribeye steaks come from a prime cut, but they are cut into steaks BEFORE cooking. They are also a little smaller because they don’t include the bone. They do have the prized marbling found in prime rib.
Is prime rib steak?
Prime rib is technically a roast, which means the bone is left in-tact and it is roasted, before slicing and serving it.
If it is sliced BEFORE cooking, it would be considered a rib eye steak. (See above!)
What Cut Of Meat Is Prime Rib?
Trying to figure out what cut of beef is prime rib? It’s a standing rib roast.
Standing prime rib roast is cut from the back of the upper rib section. It’s typically comprised of seven ribs total, but you can usually buy them in smaller sections (for this recipe, mine had four, which is a common number).
Where To Buy Prime Rib?
Typically, your local butcher is the best place to find prime rib!
During the holidays, it is a “seasonal” item, but if it isn’t the holidays you may need to put in a special request with your butcher. Many other stores (local grocery stores, Costco, etc.) carry prime rib roasts, but sometimes only during the holidays.
How To Season Prime Rib?
It’s important to properly season your perfect prime rib. The best prime rib seasoning? Salt and pepper!
(You’ll use garlic herb butter to flavor it further after the initial seasoning.)
- Season with salt and pepper. First, liberally season your prime rib with salt and pepper. While you’re mixing up the prime rib butter rub, you can let the prime rib come to room temperature.
How To Make Garlic Butter Prime Rib Rub
It’s time to make garlic butter prime rib! This garlic butter herb prime rib recipe sounds fancy (and definitely tastes fancy!), but it’s surprisingly pretty simple to make.
- Make herb butter. Mix together butter, Italian seasoning, and garlic.
- Brush prime rib with herb butter. Pour the herb butter over the prime rib, using a basting brush to spread it out evenly.
How To Cook Prime Rib Roast In The Oven
Once you’ve applied your prime rib rub with butter, it’s time to roast it!
- Roast your prime rib. Start your prime rib with garlic herb butter uncovered, and when the garlic is golden brown, tent the top of the roast with foil.
- Continue to roast. Cook the prime rib roast in the oven until it reaches your desired internal temperature, which will vary depending on personal preference. (More on cooking times below.)
- Rest. Let your prime rib rest for at least 20 minutes before carving.
TIP: Resting the meat is crucial (NOT optional!), not only to make the meat juicy but also to allow the internal temperature to rise sufficiently!
Key Tips For Perfect Prime Rib
Baking perfect prime rib is easy! When cooking bone-in prime rib, you want to pay attention to two things:
- Don’t let your garlic burn! After the garlic is golden brown, it’s time to tent the prime rib. This is the best way to cook prime rib as it allows the meat to get nice and browned, but not burnt.
- When cooking prime rib roast in the oven, use a probe meat thermometer to track the internal temperature of the meat. This will vary based on oven temps and prime rib size, so it’s important to use a meat thermometer.
Prime Rib Cooking Temperatures
We use two different temperatures to cook prime rib in this recipe:
- We start cooking prime rib at 450 degrees F, for about 20-30 minutes.
- Once the garlic is golden brown and the meat has browned, lower the temperature to 350 degrees F for the remaining cooking time.
How Long To Cook Prime Rib: Cooking Time Per Pound Chart
Prime rib cooking time will vary depending on the size of the roast. And it’s vital, especially when cooking a special cut of meat like perfect prime rib to not overcook the meat!
TIP: A high-accuracy probe thermometer like this one works best.
When factoring in how long to cook prime rib, the best approach is to brown the exterior of the garlic butter prime rib at high heat, then lower the heat, cover, and roast until you reach the right internal temperature.
Even though cooking time for a perfect prime rib will depend on the weight and size of the prime rib roast, as well as how done you want your meat, I have some estimates here for you.
For an 8 lb. roast, the approximate cooking times are:
- 110 F (43 C) in the oven for Rare – 20 minutes at 450 F, then 55-65 minutes at 350 F.
- 115 F (46 C) in the oven for Medium Rare – 20 minutes at 450 F, then 60-70 minutes at 350 F.
- 125 F (51 C) in the oven for Medium – 20 minutes at 450 F, then 65-80 minutes at 350 F.
Important: The above meat temperatures are not final temperatures, just the temperature to reach in the oven. Internal temperature will rise another 20 degrees while the meat rests!
How To Carve Prime Rib
I’ll admit, carving this bone-in prime rib recipe was a bit intimidating. BUT, it’s actually not that difficult!
- Remove the bones. Stand the roast upright and cut between the bones and the meat.
- Slice. Slice the meat into thin, even slices. Saw back and forth as LITTLE as possible, so that the meat isn’t torn. Admittedly, I am NOT an expert at thinly slicing prime rib, but I promise it will still be delicious, thanks to the cooking method. 🙂
TIP: Only carve what you will eat right away! If you have leftovers, keep the roast in-tact.
Advantages Of Cooking Bone-In Beef Rib Roast
Whenever possible, a bone-in rib roast is preferred over a boneless one. Unlike some other cuts of meat, the bones are extremely easy to remove and result in a much tastier, juicier prime rib recipe for the following reasons:
- The prime rib roast is less likely to dry out. The fat and connective tissue around the bones will break down as the roast cooks, locking in moisture.
- Additional flavor from the bone marrow. Some of the flavor from the bones can actually transfer to the meat as it cooks.
- Bones allow the meat to cook more evenly. Large cuts of meat, such as rib roast, are prone to cooking unevenly since the outside will reach a given temperature sooner than the inside. Bones slow down this process so that it cooks more evenly.
Prime Rib Nutrition
This garlic butter prime rib recipe is high in fat, making it perfect for holiday tables – keto or not. Everyone loves prime rib!
Prime rib is low carb but not low calorie. A 6.5-ounce serving of prime rib has:
- 575 calories
- 51 grams fat
- 24 grams protein
- 0 grams carbs
How Much Prime Rib Per Person?
How many pounds of prime rib per person can be a tricky question!
Generally speaking, a USDA-defined serving of meat is 3-4 oz, but since preparing prime rib is usually saved for the holidays, people tend to have more and it’s safer to err on the side of having more than enough!
Most suggestions are to plan on 1 lb. of meat per person, which would include the bone weight.
I think it’s important to consider your guests and the entire meal in this calculation, but if you want to be sure to have enough, and have plenty of leftovers, you can plan on 1 lb. meat per person.
We calculated the servings and nutrition facts using 6.5 oz meat/serving so an 8 lb. roast will have about 20 servings of 6.5 oz each.
What To Serve With Prime Rib (Sides)
Now that you know how to make prime rib, it’s time to decide what to serve with prime rib. Think hearty vegetable sides and mashed cauliflower!
I served mine with some oven roasted vegetables (recipe coming soon!) and some horseradish sauce (mayo mixed with prepared horseradish).
Here are a few of my other favorites:
- Perfect Mashed Cauliflower – For the ultimate holiday meal, pair this easy prime rib recipe with creamy mashed cauliflower.
- Oven Roasted Mushrooms – Mushrooms and this perfect prime rib recipe make the best duo!
- Roasted Asparagus – This easy asparagus side is a lighter addition to perfect prime rib roast.
- Creamed Spinach – Another classic steak side, this rich dish will stand up to prime rib.
What To Do With Leftover Prime Rib
There are so many delicious ways to eat leftover prime rib! Here are a few ideas:
- 90 Second Keto Bread – Make yourself a delicious prime rib sandwiches on this quick and easy low carb bread – or your bread of choice!
- Spicy Thai Beef Salad – Top this salad with thinly sliced perfect prime rib.
- Rainbow Salad – Serve this colorful salad with leftover prime rib for a satisfying and beautiful meal.
How To Reheat Prime Rib
The best way to reheat prime rib is low and slow, so that you don’t dry out the meat. Place the meat in a roasting pan with some of the jus or beef broth and cover with foil. This will keep the meat juicy while heating it.
You have two options for oven temperature:
- For slices of prime rib, reheat at 250 degrees F.
- For the whole roast, reheat at 350 degrees F.
Tools To Make Garlic Butter Prime Rib Roast:
Click the links below to see the items used to make this recipe.
- Cooking Alarm Thermometer – The perfect prime rib is easy with this thermometer that will let you know exactly when it’s done cooking.
- Roasting Rack – This roasting rack will fit a garlic prime rib or a turkey.
Reader Favorite Recipes
The recipe card is below! Readers also made these similar recipes after making this one.
Perfect Garlic Butter Prime Rib Roast Recipe
The ultimate guide to perfect prime rib roast! Includes how to cook prime rib (with cooking time per pound chart), my delicious garlic butter prime rib recipe, how much to serve, and more.
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Get RECIPE TIPS in the post above, nutrition info + recipe notes below!
Click on the times in the instructions below to start a kitchen timer while you cook.
Place the prime rib, fatty side up, onto a roasting pan fitted with a roasting rack. Season liberally with sea salt and black pepper. Let it rest come to room temperature for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F (232 degrees C).
In a small bowl, stir together the butter, Italian seasoning, and minced garlic. Pour the mixture over the prime rib and use a basting brush to spread evenly.
Roast the prime rib in the oven, uncovered, for 20 to 30 minutes, until the garlic on top is dark golden brown, but not burnt. Tent the top of the prime rib with foil. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C) and continue roasting until the prime rib reaches your desired internal temperature:
* 110 F (43 C) for rare - approximately 55 to 65 minutes
* 115 F (46 C) for medium rare - approximately 60 to 70 minutes
* 125 F (51 C) for medium - approximately 65 to 80 minutes
For medium rare, it will take approximately an additional 8 to 9 minutes per pound of meat, at 350 degrees F (176 degrees C), after the initial high-temp roast at 450 degrees F (232 degrees C). The above meat temperatures are not final temperatures, just the temperature to reach in the oven. Internal temperature will rise another 20 degrees in the next step.
Remove the prime rib from the oven. Let it rest for an additional 20 minutes before carving, to come up to the right temperature and finish cooking.
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Serving size: ~6.5 ounces, or approximately 1/20 of entire roast
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Nutrition Information Per Serving
Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database. You can find individual ingredient carb counts we use in the Low Carb & Keto Food List. Net carb count excludes fiber, erythritol, and allulose, because these do not affect blood sugar in most people. (Learn about net carbs here.) We try to be accurate, but feel free to make your own calculations.
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