Prime Rib Roast Photo
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How To Cook A Prime Rib Roast

If you really want to impress your dinner guests, ask your butcher for USDA Prime. It is the absolute superior grade of beef usually reserved for upscale restaurants. In fact, only 2% of all beef is graded by the USDA as Prime. If USDA Prime, Prime Rib is within your budget, go for it. The difference in tenderness and flavor is very distinguishable.

USDA Prime. The Most Tender & Flavorful. Prime rib is a delectable main course suitable for any special occasion. When you want an excellent, mouth-watering prime rib roast, you have two choices: go to an award-winning steak house or pay a visit to a high-quality butcher and roast it yourself. While many people are intimidated at the thought of cooking, and carving, their own prime rib, it’s not as difficult as it may seem. Below find a Prime Rib Recipe with step-by-step details.

USDA Choice is the next best grade and can be found at most markets and butcher shops. You may need to ask for it. USDA Choice is an excellent grade of beef with slightly less marbling than Prime. The typical grade found in most food markets is graded USDA Select which is much less costly than Prime and Choice but will not be nearly as tender, flavorful or juicy.

Have your butcher trim some of the excess fat, leaving a layer of fat to protect and baste your roast as it cooks.

See How Beef is USDA Graded
What is Prime Rib Roast?
Cuts of Beef Diagram

When choosing a prime rib roast select at least a three rib bone portion. Anything smaller is less forgiving to cook. A three-rib roast will weigh in at about seven to eight and a half pounds and feed about six people. Count on feeding two people per rib.

Cooking A Delicious Prime Rib Roast. A Recipe For Success

While you are shopping, pick up a good digital instant-read meat thermometer if you don’t already have one. It's the only sure way to tell when you're roast has achieved a desirable cooked temperature.

It is crucial that you allow the roast to come to room temperature to ensure even-cooking. This means leaving it out for up to two full hours right before roasting.

  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
  • Use a paper towel to pat the roast dry.
  • Rub butter on the cut ends of the roast.
  • Create a seasoning rub or paste with ingredients such as pepper, coarse salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Make a series of ½ inch deep slits all over the top of the roast as well as the sides. Rub your seasonings all over the roast, covering all exposed meat.
  • Place the roast in a heavy metal roasting pan, bone-side down.

No matter what size roast you have, you will start it in a pre-heated 450 degree oven for 15 minutes then reduce the temperature to 325 degrees for the balance of cooking time. Cooking times will vary depending on size of the roast and desired level of doneness. The following chart gives approximate times for to reach "rare" at various sizes.

Cooking Time for Rare (120°)

(3) Ribs, 7 to 8 lbs. 15 minutes at 450°, Then 1 ¼ to 1 ½ hours at 325°
(4) Ribs, 9 to 10 lbs. 15 minutes at 450°, Then 1 ½ to 2 hours at 325°
(5) Ribs, 11 to 13 lbs. 15 minutes at 450°, Then 2 to 2 ½ hours at 325°
(6) Ribs, 14 to 16 lbs. 15 minutes at 450° Then, 2 ¾ to 3 hours at 325°
(7) Ribs, 16 to 18 lbs. 15 minutes at 450° Then, 3 to 3 ¾ hours at 325°

Every half hour or so, baste the ends of the roast with the drippings. Use your meat thermometer about a half hour before the expected end of the roasting time. Make sure to insert it in the thickest part of the meat, not touching the fat or bone. When the internal temperature reaches 120°, pull it out of the oven and cover with foil. Let the roast sit for twenty to thirty minutes. It will continue to cook during this time, reaching a temperature of about 125° to 130°. This resting period allows the juices and flavors to permeate the roast.

Rare meats measure in at 120° to 125° with a bright red center that grows slightly pinkish towards the exterior. Medium rare meats measure between 130° to 135° and are characterized by their extremely pink center portion that grows brown towards the exterior. Medium meats reach a temperature of about 140° to 145° have a light pink center, brown outer portions. Medium well is achieved at 150° to 155°. Well done is reached at about 160°

Use a long, sharp knife to carve your roast. Serve with Yorkshire Pudding, Au Jus and Horseradish Sauce. Au Jus is French for “with juice”. Place the drippings in small containers for dipping.

Creamy Horseradish Sauce Recipe

About ¼ to ½ cup of prepared horseradish mixed with two cups of sour cream. Add two tablespoons of lemon juice and a teaspoon of salt. Thoroughly mix the ingredients, adding more horseradish as desired.

Yorkshire Pudding Recipe

A traditional side dish to Prime rib is Yorkshire Pudding, a puffy pop-over like pastry.

½ teaspoon salt
1 cup of flour
2 eggs
1 cup milk
4 tablespoons oil

Mix all ingredients, except the oil, together.
Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
Preheat oven to 450°.
Take an 8x8 square pan and pour the 4 tablespoons of oil into it.
Heat the pan for 2 minutes before pouring in the cold batter.

Cook for 20 to 30 minutes.
Do not open the oven door during cooking.
Serve immediately and enjoy the crispy outer edges and the custard-like inside.