The perfect prime rib is (not) too hard to make at home.
You’d be surprised at how simple it is to cook perfect prime rib. The most difficult aspects of cooking a prime rib are the proper products...pan, proper oven size and time.
There is really only one way to cook prime rib, roasting it. Roasting is done by cooking in the oven at a temperature that is 220* or more. I recommend 250* for perfect prime rib.
Prime rib is a large side of beef, so I would suggest learning what to do with leftovers or how to par-cook (partially cook it so that when you reheat it, it will not be overcooked).
That way you can have a wonderful, perfect prime rib dinner and a fantastic breakfast or lunch the next day.
Perfect Prime Rib
First let’s get this straight…prime rib does not mean it’s a prime grade of meat.
Prime is a grading system that designates that it is the best quality of meat. So you can have prime rib that is of prime grade, but it can also be choice or select grade as well.
Keep in mind you will want marbling and you probably won’t find that in the select grade.
You can roast a prime rib without a salt encasement or with one. Encasing the prime rib in salt will result in a more even cooking from exterior to center of meat.
If encasing with salt be sure to use large, coarse salt (not table salt.) You will be using a lot of salt. You will be completely covering the prime rib, the larger pieces will do a much better job than small table salt.
Left to right ( table salt, coarse salt, kosher salt )
If you choose to not encase the prime rib, I would suggest Lawry’s seasoned salt. It is an excellent place to start if you do not want to experiment with other salts or your own creation.
Lawry’s has sugar which will caramelize, giving a great flavor to your perfect prime rib. With any other seasoning other than coarse salt you are simply seasoning the prime rib, not encasing it.
Rub the prime on all sides, with the seasoning, especially the ends and bottom.
Prep (things you need)
• Prime rib large enough for the number of people you will be feeding. Plan on (½ pound per person)
• Know how your guests or family like their meat cooked (rare, medium, well)
• A roasting pan that will hold the prime rib especially if you go with encasing. The pan needs to be tall, and the oven needs enough room for the pan.
Also what do you need for the rest of the meal, side dishes etc.? Have everything for the meal so you don't have to go to the store.
In other words be prepared, and pay attention. Even though it can be easy to cook it can be an expensive piece of meat, you won't want to ruin it.
• Seasonings or coarse salt for the prime rib.
• Au Jus (Beef broth to keep the meat moist and warm)
• Romain leaves (they will be used with the Au Jus)
How to cook
• Turn the oven onto 250*
• Score the fat cap in a diamond shaped pattern. That means cut the fat deep enough to allow the seasoning and fat to melt into the meat.
• Rub the meat with your choice of seasoning or encase the prime rib with salt.
Encasing means to completely cover the meat with coarse salt.
• Once the oven is ready, place the meat in the oven. Prime rib cooking times are approximately 10 minutes per pound, set a timer and check with a thermometer regularly.
This is an approximate prime rib cooking time. There is no specific temp as there are too many variables.
Variables that affect prime rib cooking times
Prime rib cooking time of 10 minutes per pound at approximately 250* is a good place to start.
• Have it rest, (sit on the counter 2-3 minutes ) before cutting into it
• Slice however many pieces you need at a higher temp (med rare, medium, well)
Determine the other temps you need (this you really should already know because you asked your guests or family ahead of time how they like their prime rib)
• First deal with the slice that needs the longest cooking time ( usually well done)
• Place a leaf of romaine on an oven proof pan, then the slice of prime, followed by another slice of romaine and then top with au jus (approximately 1 oz.) The romaine leaf and au jus will insure that the prime rib will not dry out during the rest of the cooking.
• Place these slices back in the oven, the most well done temperature will need to go in first. And cook for approx (2-3 minutes) before you put in the next piece of prime rib.
• Place other slices into oven as needed, allow 2-3 minutes per degree, example if you place a slice in the oven for well done, place any med well slices in the oven in about 2-3 minutes afterward.
• When the slices of prime rib are a few minutes away from being done, start plating everything else. End with plating your sliced prime rib, followed by slicing any rare cuts off the original prime.
A simple idea if you par-cook some of the prime you can slice steaks (ribeyes) and just do a quick sear or grill with them in the next few days.
However if you are looking to re-create your perfect prime rib dinner into something else, then some options are:
• Prime rib hash (great with an egg on it)
The perfect prime rib can be a crowd pleaser. It’s nice to know that cooking perfect prime rib while it makes quite the statement to your guests it’s really not that difficult to cook, an easy meal for the inexperienced cook to make.
Perfect Prime Rib
The Cooking Block