Prime Rib Roast (Closed Oven Method)

Do you have trouble accomplishing the perfect temperature for prime rib? I did, until now! Perfect medium rare, juicy, tender, and flavorful!

Slice prime rib on a cutting board garnished with fresh rosemary.

Why You’ll Love This

I can’t even begin to tell you how angry and disappointed I have been with overcooked prime rib made in my kitchen.  

When you spend that kind of money on a good piece of beef, you want it to be perfect and full of flavor, right?  

Prime rib is perfect for a special occasion or holiday dinner. You can purchase various sizes depending on the number of guests.

I found a video of Method X from Food Wishes that walks you through the method in detail. This cooking method works perfectly.  

This closed-oven method “sears” the roast at a high heat of 500 degrees F, helping it develop a heavenly herb butter crust, then cooks the roast using the residual heat from the oven until it reaches a perfect medium rare.  

The temperature of the prime rib when cooked is slightly warm, and with the au jus, each bite is ah-mazing!   So here is how it’s done.

Looking for some great side dishes to serve with the prime rib. Try our whipped potatoes, brussels sprouts with dipping sauce, twice baked potatoes, arugula fennel salad, or roasted green beans and mushrooms.

Ingredients for prime rib on a dark surface.

What You’ll Need

  • Prime Rib – We recommend a good quality bone-in prime rib roast (USDA Prime cut) that weighs about 5 pounds. Decide how many people you are serving. Generally, you can count on one rib for serving two people.
  • Unsalted butter, dried or fresh rosemary, kosher salt, and fresh cracked black pepper – These ingredients are all you will need for a flavorful, tender rib roast.

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How to Cook a Prime Rib Roast

The prime rib needs to come to room temperature before roasting.  This step is critical in the process. Let the prime rib sit out on the counter for at least 3 hours.

note

This closed-door method of cooking prime rib may not work for you if you have a newer oven that uses a cooling fan. You want the residual heat to continue cooking the meat.
But if you still want to use this method, once the high-heat cooking time is done reduce the oven temperature to 175 degrees F for the remaining time. Pull the meat when it reaches the desired temperature even if the two hours aren’t up.
You won’t overcook it as long as you have a meat thermometer inserted.

500 Rule Prime Rib Method

This method of cooking prime rib is also known as:

  • Foolproof prime rib
  • Prime rib 500 rule
  • Prime rib 500 degrees
  • No peek method
  • Closed oven method
  • Oven off method

Mix the softened butter, herbs, garlic, kosher salt, and black pepper in a small bowl. 

Pat the roast dry with paper towels. This will help the compound butter adhere easier.

Softened butter mixed with herbs and seasonings.
Prime rib coated in a butter compound placed in a shallow roasting pan.

Brush the herb butter crust mixture all over the roast. Don’t worry about covering the bones, just cover the fat cap and meat. Place roast in a shallow roasting pan.

There is no need for a roasting rack. The bones on the prime rib keep it lifted off the pan for the heat to circulate.

No matter what method you use (traditional or Method X), you should always have a probe-style thermometer inserted so that the internal temperature can be monitored to avoid any chance of over-cooking.

Set the probe alarm to 125 F. for medium-rare, and pull the roast from the oven even if there’s still time left on the timer when the meat thermometer reads 125 degrees F.

Now you use the formula for roasting.  Multiply the exact weight times 5 minutes. For me, it was 5.81 x 5 = 29.05 minutes, which we round to 29. (The cooking time will be different for larger or smaller cuts of meat.)

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.  You will be roasting at high heat for the number of minutes you just calculated.

Place the roast in and cook for the exact amount of minutes required by the formula.  After that time, turn the oven off and set a timer for 2 hours.  DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR FOR ANY REASON DURING THE 2 HOURS.

Cooked prime rib on a wooden cutting board.

Remove the roast from the pan. You don’t want it to keep cooking.

The bone being cut off the Prime Rib.

Remove the bones for easier slicing. Or have your butcher do this for you and tie them back on with butcher string when purchasing the prime rib.

Prime Rib sliced on a wooden cutting board.
Old photo when this recipe was first published.

Look at that perfect medium-rare prime rib!

Slice and serve with a side of au jus.  I hope you will be as impressed with yourself as I was when this beauty came out of my oven.

Prime Rib Temperature

Prime rib is best served rare to medium rare in our opinion. Using the closed oven method the prime rib does not rise in temperature much at all once removed from the oven. It might rise 1-2 degrees. This is why we pull it out at about 123 degrees F.

  • For a rare – 115 degrees F.
  • For a medium-rare – 120-125 degrees F.
  • For a medium – 130 degrees F.
Slice prime rib on a cutting board garnished with fresh rosemary.
New photos for this recipe when it was updated.

Tips

  • Use a clean oven, you will be cooking at high heat and the butter can burn in the pan. You can place some potatoes in the bottom of the pan to help prevent the butter from burning and smoking.
  • Be sure to get the chill off the prime rib before cooking. Leave it at room temperature for about 3 hours.
  • Line the roasting pan with aluminum foil for easy cleanup.
  • Use a probe-style thermometer and remove the roast from the oven and the pan when it reaches 125 degrees F, even if there is still time remaining. We like it more on the rare side of medium-rare so we pull it out of the oven when it reaches 123 degrees F.
  • Keep a close eye on the temperature. It tends to accelerate the closer the roast is to being done.
  • Don’t use an instant-read thermometer because it will require you to keep opening the oven, releasing the heat.
  • Many factors impact the total cook time for this prime rib recipe, including the size and starting temperature of the roast, the accuracy of your oven temperature, and how consistently your oven cooks.
  • Let it rest for at least 15 to 20 minutes.

FAQs

What is prime rib?

A standing rib roast is a cut of meat (beef) that consists of rib bones with the rib eye section attached. It is full of fat marbling that keeps it juicy and flavorful. Prime rib can be purchased bone-in or boneless. The bones add a layer of insulating protection while cooking. So when buying a prime rib if the bones are still attached ask the butcher to remove them and tie them back on with butcher twine. This will just make it easier to slice for serving.

How much prime rib per person?

Generally, you can count on one rib for serving two people. At least 1 pound per person.

What is the difference between rib roast and prime?

A prime rib roast is generally left whole (bone-in) while a rib roast is typically boneless. Also known as boneless prime rib.

Do you cook a prime rib covered or uncovered?

With this prime rib 500 F roasting rule, we cook it uncovered so it develops a nice crust.

How many hours does it take to cook a prime rib?

Using this recipe and about a 5-pound prime rib roast will take about 2 hours and 25 minutes.

Storing

Let any leftovers cool to room temperature, wrap them tightly, and store them in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

More Delicious Beef Recipes

Slice prime rib on a cutting board garnished with fresh rosemary.

Prime Rib Roast Recipe

This method makes perfect medium-rare every time!
4.67 from 15 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Beef, Dinner, Entree, Main
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beef, medium rare, prime rib, roast
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 1272kcal
Author: Leigh Harris

Ingredients
 

  • 5 lb prime rib
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
  • 3 gloves garlic, minced

Au Jus

  • 1/4 cup beef fat and pan drippings
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Prime Rib Roast

  • The prime rib must come to room temperature before roasting.  This step is critical in the process. Pull it out of the refirgerator and let it sit at room temperature for at least 3 hours.
    5 lb prime rib
  • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, mix the softened butter, herbs, garlic, kosher salt, and pepper together.
    1/2 cup butter, softened, 1 tablespoon fresh ground pepper, 2 teaspoons dried rosemary, 3 gloves garlic, minced, 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • Pat the roast dry with paper towels. Place the meat in a shallow roasting pan. Spread the butter mixture evenly over the prime rib.
  • Multiply the exact weight of your prime rib times 5 minutes. Round up or down according to your results.
  • Insert the probe style thermometer. (set to temperature to 125 degrees, if yours has the capability)
  • Roast the prime rib at 500 degrees for the amount of time yours requires.
  • Turn oven off, do not open the door, leave in the oven for 2 hours.
  • Remove the roast from the pan and set aside.

Au Jus

  • Place roasting pan on the burner at medium-high heat, remove all but 1/4 cup of fat and drippings.
    1/4 cup beef fat and pan drippings
  • Add beef broth to the pan, scrap to remove the bits from the bottom of the pan and bring to boil.
    2 cups beef broth, salt and pepper to taste
  • Reduce to your preference, about 1 1/2 cups or less.

Notes

Be sure to let the chill come off of the prime rib before cooking.
Use a probe-style thermometer and remove the roast from the oven and the pan when it reaches 125 degrees F.
Keep a close eye on the temperature. It tends to accelerate the closer the roast is to being done.
Pull the prime rib out of the oven when it reaches 125F, even if there is still time remaining on the timer.
Let it rest for at least 15-20 minutes.
Storing – Place it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.

Nutrition

Calories: 1272kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 53g | Fat: 116g | Saturated Fat: 52g | Cholesterol: 269mg | Sodium: 1782mg | Potassium: 912mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 473IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 6mg

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28 Comments

  1. This looks amazing! My Dad makes a great prime rib but I’ve never tried it myself. This looks like a perfect recipe to start out with!5 stars

  2. That looks delicious!! I made my first one for Christmas when the in-laws were here. Talk about worried!! It turned out great though, so now I can be brave and try more…like this one! 😉5 stars

  3. What a very special Prime Rib Roast, this looks fantastic! Hope you have a very special Valentine Day and thanks so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen5 stars

  4. Oh my gosh, I am not even hungry right now; but this looks amazing! Pinning and will making for sure!! Thanks for sharing it with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

  5. Love prime rib – and yours looks fabulous! Thanks for sharing with us at Foodie FriDIY!! Hope to see you again this week!

  6. I’m sitting here doing my thing and visiting all the linkups for Brag About It and my husband is sitting next to me reading a magazine, all of a sudden he puts the magazine down and points to your link. I believe your Prime Rib Roast will be on the menu next week! Thanks so much for sharing. Pinning too.

  7. ohh this prime rib looks delish! I love me some prime rib, this will be a treat to make and eat! Thanks for the recipe!4 stars

  8. This prime rib looks so good…I’m drooling. I’m also pinning and tweeting this post. I wish I had a prime rib roast.5 stars

  9. I definitely always leave my roast out for an hour before cooking. Love the delicious coating you used. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe with us at the Hearth and Soul Hop.5 stars

  10. This looks so delish! Really delish! I’m starving, I haven’t started dinner yet, and no, I don’t have a Prime Rib in my frig, but I’m thinking that I need to get one soon. This one looks perfect and the pink is gorgeous! I can imagine this with a spiced horseradish sauce and some garlic mashed potatoes! Yum! My husband is the griller in the family, I’m going to pass this on to him, but I Pinned and Yummed it so the world could see this too. Everyone deserves a great piece of meat!5 stars

  11. Any suggestions for a bit rarer? Hubby prefers it that way! Everything else about this sounds great!!!

    1. Colleen, I’m not an expert cooking it rare. I’ve overcooked a few in my day. I would suggest cutting back on the high heat roasting time and definitely use a meat thermometer. You might also want to remove it from the oven a little sooner. I hope this helps!

  12. So much anxiety when I do Prime Rib. found this recipe before Christmas, so I decided to give it a shot. I will definitely use this guide again. It turned out perfectly (my daughter-in-law cooked hers more fully) but the rest of the family loved as did I. The only thing that I changed is that I used a rub from the meat counter instead of the butter and herb rub. Also, mine was bone-in. So happy to have found this recipe.5 stars

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