Prime Rib is a special cut of meat that is the highlight of many holiday meals. Prepared properly, you will be asked to make this Butter and Garlic Crusted Prime Rib year after year, so be prepared😉. For another mouth-watering beef recipe, try my Pepper Crusted Beef Tenderloin.

Bite of Prime Rib
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Prime Rib

Prime Rib, also known as Standing Rib Roast, is a tender cut of meat that is very flavorful and often served during the holidays. It is more expensive than other cuts of meat, so that is why it is sometimes saved for a special day of the year. You can get prime rib bone-in or boneless. I ended up using a boneless cut of meat for this recipe.

Prime Rib raw and coated with butter

Ingredients & Substitutions

Meat: When you ask for prime rib at the store, it is actually a rib roast. Prime rib, also known as standing rib roast or ribeye roast, is the marbled portion from the cow’s rib section. If you are getting bone-in rib roast, ask the butcher to cut the bones off and tie them back on. In my case, the bones were already out, so I did not have the option to have them tied on. Don’t be confused by a prime-rated cut of beef; that is simply the USDA’s grading of the quality of meat. But, you could certainly choose a prime-grade prime rib!

Herbs: I used fresh rosemary and fresh thyme. However, you could also use dried herbs. If using dried rosemary and dried thyme, you will only need about 2 teaspoons of each to replace the fresh herbs.

Butter Crusted Prime Rib

Oven-Roasted Prime Rib

There are plenty of experts out there letting you know exactly what to do (and what not to do) when cooking prime rib. I think people get picky because it is an expensive cut of meat, and usually it is being served to a lot of guests! This recipe is not very complicated; you will also have gravy to go with the prime rib once it’s cooked. (If you want some horseradish to go with the prime rib, I have a recipe for that on my Beef Tenderloin Baguettes recipe.)

In this recipe, you are cooking the meat at a high temperature (500°F) for just 25 minutes. After 25 minutes, turn off the oven, but keep the roast in there to cook for another couple of hours. Yes, it will continue to cook with the oven off, but you have to make sure to keep the oven door closed! I’ve had many questions about this, but it will cook the roast to your desired doneness.

Internal Temperatures

Always trust your meat thermometer when checking if your prime rib is cooked to your liking. Since you are not opening the oven door, be sure to use a meat thermometer that has an external wire probe that allows you to see the temperature of the meat throughout the cooking process. These numbers I am giving you are just a guide…you should be checking the temperature regularly so the prime rib won’t be overcooked.

Rare = 120°F to 125°F (bright red center)

Medium Rare = 130°F to 135°F (very pink center, but starting to brown towards the outer edge)

Medium = 140°F to 145°F (pink center with a brown edge)

Medium Well = 150°F to 155°F (no pink)

Well Done = 160°F and higher

PRO TIP: After you take the prime rib out of the oven (once it’s at your desired doneness), cover it loosely with aluminum foil for about 15-20 minutes before cutting into it. This will keep the juices in, but remember that the internal temperature will go up about 5 degrees while resting. In addition, begin checking the temperature of the meat about 1 hour into cooking.

Cut into Prime Rib

How Much Prime Rib will I Need?

Generally, you should estimate about one pound of prime rib per person, especially if you are not serving any other main course. I set this recipe as 1/2 pound of prime rib per person. That is plenty if it is part of a large meal with many sides and other goodies. Serve it with Skins on Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Carrots.

Prime Rib and Gravy Being Poured

How to Cut

If the bones have already been removed, as in this recipe, it’s pretty simple to slice prime rib. It is up to you if you decide to trim the fat. I don’t bother with that since some people actually prefer eating the fat. If your guests don’t want the fat, they can easily cut it off their piece. Anyway, when slicing the roast, try not to ‘saw’ through the meat. Just a few clean slices should do it, and you will have beautiful slices of prime rib to serve! Oh, and don’t cut all the pieces at once. Leaving part of the roast intact will keep it warm longer.

Can I Make this in a Smoker?

Yes! Using a smoker is a low and slow way to cook prime rib. Generally, the recommended temperature to smoke meat is 225°F. Once the smoker has been preheated, place the prime rib on the grate (bone-side down if you kept the bones). With the lid closed, cook for 35-40 minutes per pound. Use a meat thermometer to check for your desired doneness.

Prime Rib on a White Plate

Dinner Ideas

4.97 from 31 votes

Prime Rib

Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Rest 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours
Prime Rib is a special cut of meat that is the highlight of many holiday meals!


  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 5 pounds boneless ribeye roast, trimmed
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 7 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups (480 g) beef stock


  • Place the roast in a roasting pan.
  • Coat the prime rib with salt, and let it rest for at least 30 minutes. Make sure the roast is at room temperature before transferring it to the oven.
  • Preheat the oven to 500°F.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together the butter, garlic, rosemary, thyme, and pepper.
  • Spread the butter mixture evenly over the ribeye roast.
  • Bake for 25 minutes.
  • Turn off the oven heat, but leave the ribeye roast in the oven for 2 hours. Be sure to leave the oven door shut so that no heat can escape. I recommend beginning to check the internal temperature after about an hour. (Use a meat thermometer that has an external wire probe that allows you to see the temperature of the meat throughout the cooking process.)
  • Remove the roast from the oven. Transfer it to a carving board, covering it loosely with aluminum foil for about 20 minutes before cutting into it, and pour the pan drippings into a medium saucepan to make the gravy.
  • To make the gravy, heat the drippings over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and beef stock until thickened.
  • Remove from the heat and strain out any clumps.
  • Slice the prime rib and serve with gravy.

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Reader Comments

  1. Eliza, this is a similar recipe I’ve used in the past but decided I needed to use garlic powder as the fresh garlic ended up burnt after the initial high temperature. Does yours do that?

4.97 from 31 votes (7 ratings without comment)

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