This prime rib recipe features a flavorful crust of garlic and fresh minced herbs. The prime rib is roasted to golden brown perfection and comes out tender and juicy every time. The perfect main course for a special occasion!

When I’m really looking to impress, I serve this ultra flavorful prime rib with some decadent side dishes such as Ruth’s Chris sweet potato casserole and bacon wrapped green beans. I always get tons of rave reviews from family and friends.

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A sliced prime rib roast surrounded by fresh herbs.

When the holidays roll around, I like to treat my loved ones to a special meal. In my opinion, there’s nothing more special than a prime rib roast. It’s so incredibly flavorful and also happens to be quite easy to make!

How do you buy a prime rib?

Prime rib is section of 7 beef ribs known as a standing rib roast or a bone-in rib roast. A full standing rib roast usually weighs about 17 pounds and can be cut into smaller sections for purchase. Each rib can serve 2 people, although you can serve a rib to each person for a larger meal or for presentation purposes. In order to determine how many ribs you need for your meal figure out how many people you will serve.

For the best quality of ribs, purchase your ribs from a butcher shop or a grocery store with a good butcher counter. You can ask for the bones of the roast to be “frenched”, which means your butcher will cut away the fat and meat at the ends of the ribs for a nicer presentation.

A tied standing rib roast on a sheet pan.

What cut of meat is the prime rib?

Prime rib is a rib roast that contains tender, flavorful beef. A cow has 13 ribs. Counting from the front rib to the back rib, the the full rib roast consists of ribs 6 through 12. You will want to buy at least 3 ribs for your roast. Your roast can be cut from ribs toward the back of the cow, near the loin. This cut is less marbled but contains more tender meat. Ribs near the front are also delicious and marbled and have a lot of flavor.

How do you cook prime rib?

Cooking the perfect prime rib sounds intimidating, but with the right recipe it can be easy. Once you have selected your meat, let it rest on the counter for a half an hour. While the beef is resting, prepare it by tying it with twine between the ribs. This helps keep the meat together during the cooking process. Make a rub for the roast out of olive oil, garlic and seasonings. Generously coat the prime rib with the rub. Place the meat in the oven and let it roast. When it is done and the meat has reached your desired temperature, take out the meat. Once the meat rests for 20 minutes, serve the meat and enjoy!

Prime rib coated in garlic, herbs and olive oil.

Prime rib cooking time

The amount of time that a prime rib takes depends on the how done you want your meat. After an initial 15 minutes at 500 degrees F, you will cook the meat at 325 degrees F. The interior of the meat will reach a nice rare in about 10-11 minutes per pound at 325 degrees F. I cooked a 12 pound prime rib in 2 hours and 5 minutes. If you want a more done beef, add a few more minutes per pound. Remember that the time is only an estimate for planning purposes. You will want to cook your meat to the temperature corresponding to the doneness you want regardless of time.

A roasted prime rib on a serving platter.

Tips and Tricks for the best roast

  • Some people remove the bones before cooking, I find that step unnecessary as the meat gets well seasoned with the bone in and I find that the bone helps add to the flavor and moisture of the roast.
  • If your prime rib roast comes straight out of the refrigerator it will tend to cook unevenly.
  • Remember to remove your meat about 5 degrees lower than the temperature you are aiming for. Cover the meat in aluminum foil and let it rest with the thermometer in place. The interior of the meat will continue to cook as it rests and you can verify that your ideal doneness is reached with your thermometer.

Beef Temperatures

For a roast, you can determine the doneness based on the temperature of the interior of the meat. Make sure to remove the meat from the oven about 5 degrees below the temperature you are aiming for. Monitor the meat as it rests to make sure that it reaches your ideal temperature.

  • Rare: 120-130 degrees F
  • Medium Rare: 130-135 degrees F
  • Medium: 135-140 degrees F
  • Medium Well: 145-155 degrees F
  • Well Done: 155 degrees F

Sliced prime beef on a serving platter.

Prime rib is a tender and flavorful cut of meat that is perfect for holidays and special occasions. With this recipe, making prime rib will be so easy with picture perfect results every time!

Other Beef Recipes to try

5 from 13 votes

Prime Rib Recipe

AuthorSara Welch
A sliced prime rib roast surrounded by fresh herbs.
This prime rib recipe features a flavorful crust of garlic and fresh minced herbs. The prime rib is roasted to golden brown perfection and comes out tender and juicy every time. The perfect main course for a special occasion!
Prep Time10 minutes
Cook Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 10 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Serves 10


  • 12 pounds bone in prime rib roast 6 ribs
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary leaves minced
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper


  • Preheat the oven to 500 degrees F.
  • Let your prime rib rest on the counter for 30 minutes. This allows the beef to cook more evenly.
  • While the prime rib is resting, tie it with twine between each rib. This holds the meat together as it roasts. Wrap the ends of the bones with foil to prevent them from burning.
  • Make a rub for the prime rib by mixing together the olive oil, garlic, thyme, rosemary, salt and pepper.
  • Generously coat the prime rib with the olive oil rub.
  • Place a meat thermometer in the center of the roast. Place the roast on a sheet pan or in a baking dish.
  • Cook your prime rib at 500 degrees F for 15 minutes to get a browned and flavorful exterior. Watch your roast, if the exterior starts to get too dark for your liking, lower the temperature of the oven to 325 degrees F.
  • After 15 minutes, reduce the temperature to 325 degrees F. Roast the meat until the thermometer reaches 5 degrees below your ideal temperature.
  • Remove the prime rib from the oven, cover it in foil and let it rest for 20 minutes.
  • Cut off the rib bones by holding the bones up vertically and cutting down between the bone and the meat.
  • Slice and serve the prime rib.


Calories: 439kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 74g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 329mg | Sodium: 638mg | Potassium: 600mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 38IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 8mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. 5 stars
    My husband so misses eating prime rib at his favorite restaurant. So as a special dinner I tried this recipe and he thought it was from the restaurant it came out so good!

  2. 5 stars
    This was my first time making prime rib so I was nervous it might not come out good. I followed this recipe exactly and it was amazing!

  3. 5 stars
    This recipe is perfect for Thanksgiving! It is so helpful that you shared roasting temperatures. We love cooking to medium well.

  4. 5 stars
    Goodness me that is one gorgeous piece of meat! I’m salivating here just looking at the photos! I’ll need to get one of these roasts soon and try out your recipe tips!

  5. 5 stars
    I made this for Sunday dinner and it turned out perfect. Thanks for making me the hero of the day with the family and friends. They all loved the Prim rib recipe.