The Best Prime Rib2017-12-20T17:26:04+00:00

Project Description

Best Prime Rib

Serves 4-6


  • Prime Rib Seasoning

  • 1 cup coarse sea salt

  • 2 tablespoons rosemary leaves, coarsely cut  *use scissors

  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorn, coarsely chopped

  • Roast Prime Rib

  • 3-4 bone section, rib roast (bone-in prime rib)

  • To coat – use prime rib seasoning (above)

  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil for cooking

  • To taste – Clif Family Kitchen Zinfandel infused Jacobsen sea salt

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil to garnish

  • 2 lemons, cut in half with seeds removed


Remove the prime rib from fridge 1-1.5 hours before you would like to begin cooking. During this time, prepare the prime rib seasoning. After seasoning mixture is made, season the prime rib liberally and set aside for about an hour. The key here is that you allow the beef to approach room temperature gradually instead of cooking the beef straight from the fridge of which takes significantly longer and you run the risk of over cooking the beef before the center of the beef is at the perfect doneness. By allowing the beef to rest at room temp for this period of time, you increase your window of nailing the perfect doneness as the beef cooks more evenly. Preheat your oven to 250F and set up a roasting pan or baking tray lined with an oven rack.

Next, preheat a large heatproof pan, preferably an iron skillet. Once pan is over the fire, keep the pan dry and do not add any oil until after the beef has been added. The goal is to achieve caramelization of the prime rib by “searing” all sides to desired color. Since we are roasting at a low temperature, the prime rib will take on it’s roasted appearance by searing it off on all sides of the pan. Once the pan is very hot, add the prime rib fat cap side down first to render some of the fat. Let the meat sizzle in the pan for 5 seconds before adding olive oil for cooking. Continue browning the beef in the pan moving frequently to prevent burning. Once the meat has taken on desired color transfer the beef from the pan onto roasting pan or baking dish lined with roasting rack and then directly into the oven. Please note cooking time will vary depending on how large or small the prime rib is. My general rule of thumb, for 3-4 bone section of prime rib, at 250F cook for 50-65 minutes.

Here’s another tip straight from the finest of restaurant kitchens – the cheapest thermometer you’ll ever need is an Ateco brand “cake tester” (retail $1-3) is a very thin stainless steel rod that is used to check baked goods to see if batter is set or cooked. Given its thin shape, the long rod easily pierces larger cuts of protein from Prime Rib, to pork chops, cuts of fish to checking the doneness of your roasted chicken, this is one of the most useful tools in our kitchen and I hope you find it equally as valuable. By using other probe thermometers, you pierce the proteins several times with a wide gauge rod that lets those vital juices escape during the cooking process, not to mention how expensive they are or how frequently you need to replace their batteries. Cook like a pro for a fraction of the price.  

Here’s how the cake tester works, look for the center of the prime rib, pierce the prime rib with the cake tester, let the cake tester rest inside for at least ten seconds and then quickly remove and touch to the bottom of your lip. How hot or cold the tip of the cake tester is gives you an indication of the internal temperature of the prime rib. After about 30-40 minutes of cooking time, take a test of internal temperature using the cake tester. If the temperature you feel on your bottom lip is cool or less than room temperature, your prime rib will require more cooking. For the rare to medium-rare cooked prime rib, you want the tip of the cake tester to be warm like your body temperature. If the cake tester is hot, then you are in trouble and your beautiful prime rib make be overcooked. Once the temperature is taken and the prime rib is warm, remove from the oven and let rest. One of the fatal flaws we make in the kitchen is not letting our meat rest after cooking. This resting process allows those delicious and vital juices to remain distributed inside the cut of meat. Have you ever sliced into a steak that came directly off the grill or  out of the pan? Notice how much juice escaped onto your plate or how bland the steak seemed to taste? Well this is what happens when we do not allow time for the meat  to “rest”. That said, allow the prime rib to rest for at least 15-20 minutes before carving into your prime rib. If you need more time to prepare the rest of the meal, set your oven temperature to 185-190 and allow the meat to rest for as long as needed.

Now that the meat has rested, it’s time to carve the prime rib. If you are serving larger portions, you may slice with the bone left in. If you are slicing more pieces or thinner servings, then I recommend trimming the bones away from the prime rib. Reserve the bones for later use, such as stock, braising for a sugo or shredding for a sandwich. Now that bones are removed, begin to slice
prime rib to desired thickness.  

To serve, garnish with a liberal amount of great quality extra virgin olive oil, additional coarse sea salt to interior of prime rib and a half of a lemon. Please note the addition of coarse salt to the slice of prime rib helps season the entire cut. When the liberal amount of seasoning was applied to prime rib before cooking, it is only on the outside of the prime rib, not on the interior of the slice. This is another restaurant tip that will help convince your guests that you are a natural.

Happy cooking!
Chef John

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