Best Prime Rib (Garlic Herb Crust)

Are you ready for the BEST Prime Rib recipe? This is a no-fail, meltingly tender and juicy, garlic-crusted prime rib that will have all your guests swooning. This standing beef rib roast is perfect for Christmas and the holidays, or any special occasion worthy of a little splurge.

Prime rib on cutting board sliced up.

Prime rib (also known as standing rib roast) is up there next to turkey in terms of intimidating recipes. It’s a big ‘ol chunk of meat that’s usually the centerpiece of a holiday meal. And let’s be honest, you don’t want to accidentally over cook it or mess it up, especially if you have guests over.

Adding to the intimidation…prime rib is also super pricey. But if you’ve enjoyed a perfectly roasted prime rib, you also know that it’s worth every penny for that beautiful, show-stopping piece of meat.

So let’s jump to the good news – it’s really easy to cook! Sure, you may find different cooking methods online, like a reverse sear, but I promise that if you stick with this simple, no-fail prime rib recipe you’ll get raving accolades all around. You know my motto, simple and foolproof is best.

Ingredients to make prime rib on a counter.

Ingredients for the Best Prime Rib

A cut of meat this good doesn’t need much. Heck, simple salt and pepper works just fine. But today, we’ll add a few garlic cloves and herbs for the ultimate flavorful crust.

  • Prime Rib: Grab a bone-in prime rib from your butcher. For details on picking the best one, read below.
  • Butter: This helps the seasoning stick to the meat and crisps up the outside. You could also use ghee or oil for dairy-free.
  • Herbs: Fresh rosemary and thyme pair beautifully with the garlic.
  • Salt: You need a good amount of this! And make sure to use Kosher salt and not table salt.
  • Pepper: Freshly cracked black pepper is best, if you have it.

What Size Prime Rib to Buy?

The general rule of thumb is 1 pound of prime rib per person. But in my experience, that’s a lot of meat!  I think 3/4 pound per person is a better estimate, or even 1/2 pound if you’re serving it up with a lot of sides. Here’s a general guideline:

  • For 6 people: get a 4 1/2 pound prime rib
  • For 8 people: get a 6 pound prime rib
  • For 12 people: get a 9 pound prime rib

Bone-in vs Boneless Prime Rib

You have the option of purchasing either a bone-in or boneless prime rib. Both work just fine in this recipe, though I personally prefer a bone-in. The bones act as a natural rack, keeping the meat elevated when cooking, and they insulate the meat, keeping it extra juicy.

Pro Tip: Ask your butcher to cut the bones off, but then tie them back on! This gives you all the benefits of the bones with none of the work of having to slice them off. You just have to cut the string and remove the bones before serving. Super easy!

Cooked prime rib standing in pan.

Prime vs Choice Cut – Which is Better?

Don’t confuse the name prime rib with the grade of meat. Prime rib can come in prime or choice cuts. Prime cuts are the most expensive and have beautiful fat marbling (aka – lots of delicious flavor!). Choice cuts have slightly less marbling, and are slightly cheaper.

Pro Tip: Most grocery stores only carry choice cuts, and often only on the weekends. If you want a prime cut plan ahead, as you may have to order it from your butcher.

Room Temperature Meat is Key

To ensure the prime rib is cooked evenly it MUST be at room temperature before going into the oven. Otherwise you’ll end up with well-done meat on the ends and raw meat in the middle, which is definitely not ideal. So remember to remove it from the fridge 2-3 hours before cooking.

Equipment You’ll Need

All you need are three basic items for the perfect prime rib – an oven-safe pan or roasting tray, a thermometer, and a sharp knife.

  • Pan or Roasting Tray: I prefer a sturdy, oven-safe, cast-iron pan for this recipe (assuming my roast fits in the pan). Because then it’s really easy to make the au jus with the leftover juices in the pan on the stove. If you’re cooking a large roast though, you’ll likely need a larger roasting pan.
  • Thermometer: The most important thing to make the BEST prime rib is a thermometer. Nailing the right temperature is key! You can use a probe thermometer (that you’ll leave in the meat), an instant read thermometer, or a basic meat thermometer.
  • Knife: A good sharp knife is essential to those beautiful cuts. You could use either a carving knife or chef’s knife.

How to Cook Prime Rib

Remove the prime rib from the fridge. Let it come to room temperature for 2-3 hours before cooking.

Raw prime rib on a plate.

Make the garlic herb butter. Preheat your oven to 450F, then mix together the butter, herbs, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.

Stirring the garlic herb butter in a bowl.

Pat and coat. After the prime rib has come to room temperature, pat it down with a few paper towels to remove any moisture. Then slather it all over with the garlic herb butter mix.

Coating the prime rib in garlic herb butter.

It’s time to roast it. Place the prime bones side down in an oven-safe pan or roasting pan. Place onion slices around the meat if you plan to make the red wine au jus. Then roast the prime rib for 20 minutes at the high temperature, to sear the outside and create a crust. After you’ve seared the outside, reduce the temperature to 325F, and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches your desired level of done (see chart below).

Prime rib in pan ready to be cooked.

Let it rest. Remove the prime rib from the oven and let it rest for 20-30 minutes. You can tent it with aluminum foil to keep it warm.

Cooked prime rib in pan on table.

Slice it up. Remove the strings that are keeping the bones attached or slice the bones off the meat. Then, carve the prime rib into thick 1/2-inch slices and serve with the red wine au jus.

Sliced prime rib on a cutting board.

How Long to Cook Prime Rib

I’m cooking a 6 pound prime rib for this recipe, which will take about an hour and a half. Estimate 13-15 minutes per pound for medium-rare. If your prime rib is larger or smaller you’ll need to adjust the cook time. Here are a few estimates, but remember to always go by internal temperature, not time. Especially as all ovens cook slightly differently.

  • 2 ribs (4 to 5 pounds) – 60 to 70 minutes
  • 3 ribs (7 to 8.5 pounds) – 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours
  • 4 ribs (9 to 10.5 pounds) – 1-3/4 to 2-1/4 hours

Standing Rib Roast Internal Temperature

It’s important to remember that there will be residual heat and carryover cooking, once you remove the prime rib from the oven. That means the internal temperature will continue to rise 7-10 degrees. So don’t overcook it! And always (always) let it rest, for 20-30 minutes.

  • Rare – remove at 110°F. Rested temp will be 117-120°F. Center is bright red, pinkish toward the outer edges.
  • Medium Rare – remove at 120°F. Rested temp will be 127-130°F. Center is very pink, slightly brown toward the outer edges.
  • Medium – remove at 130°F. Rested temp will be 137-140°F. Center is light pink, outer portion is brown.
  • Medium well – remove at 140°F. Rested temp will be 147-150°F. No pink.
  • Well – remove at 150°F. Rested temp will be 157-165°F.

Prime rib on a plate with potatoes and green beans, drizzled with red wine au jus.

How to Store Leftovers

If you have leftovers after your dinner or party, not to worry, you can save them! You definitely don’t want this expensive cut of meat going to waste. So here’s how to enjoy it again in the future!

  • In the fridge: If you have just a few slices and plan to eat it later that week, you can store leftovers in a sealed storage container in the fridge for 4-5 days.
  • In the freezer: If you have more leftovers than you can handle, freeze them! Let the meat cool completely. Then slice it up, place it in freezer safe bags, and squeeze all the air out. It’ll last for about a month in the freezer.
  • To reheat: If the meat is frozen, thaw in the fridge the day before you’d like to eat it. Then, just microwave for a minute or two, until it’s warmed through.

You can enjoy leftover prime rib with any of the sides mentioned below, or you can turn it into prime rib tacos as well (they’re amazingly good!).

What to Serve with Prime Rib?

I always love a good potato and veggie side dish. Some of my favorite sides to serve with prime rib include…

Best Prime Rib Recipe Video

Want to cook the best prime rib recipe? Watch the video below! I’ll walk you through it step-by-step. You’ve got this!

Prime rib on a cutting board sliced up.

Best No-Fail Prime Rib (Garlic Herb Crust)

4.92 from 24 votes
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 1 hr 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 45 mins
Servings: 8 servings
Author: Lisa Bryan
This is the best prime rib recipe with a garlic herb crust - the perfect holiday standing rib roast! Watch the video above to see how I make it.

Ingredients

Prime Rib

  • 6 pounds prime rib, bone-in (with bones cut off and tied back on)
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 onion, quartered (if making the red wine au jus)

Red Wine Au Jus

  • 1/4 cup drippings from prime rib pan, make sure to separate the fat from the drippings
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 1/2 cups red wine
  • Optional: 1 tablespoon cornstarch or arrowroot powder (in a slurry) to thicken

Instructions 

Prime Rib

  • Remove the prime rib from the fridge 2-3 hours before cooking, and allow it to come to room temperature.
    Raw prime rib on a plate on a table.
  • Preheat your oven to 450F/230C. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, garlic, salt, thyme, rosemary, and black pepper.
    Mixing garlic herb butter in a glass bowl for prime rib.
  • After the prime rib has come to room temperature, pat it down with paper towels to make sure it's dry. Then rub the entire outside of the prime rib with the herb butter mixture.
    Coating the prime rib with garlic herb butter.
  • Place the prime rib in an oven-safe pan or roasting tray with the bones-side down, fat-side up. Place the onion slices in the pan around the meat, if you're making the red wine au jus. If not, you can omit the onions.
    Prime rib with herb butter in a pan with onions.
  • Cook the prime rib in the center of the oven for 20 minutes at 450F. It should get a nice sear on the outside. If not, cook it a few minutes longer. Then reduce the temperature of the oven to 325F and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 120F (about an hour and a half), for medium-rare. But go by temperature, not time, as it will depend on the size of your prime rib and your oven.
    Roasted prime rib in a pan with onions on a table.
  • Remove the prime rib from the oven and let it rest for 20-30 minutes. You can tent it with aluminum foil to keep it warm. Then, remove the string and bones, and slice it up into thick 1/2" slices.
    Prime rib recipe on a cutting board.

Red Wine Au Jus

  • After you've removed the fat from the pan, add up to 1/4 cup of drippings back in along with the beef broth and red wine. If you have leftover herbs, you can toss those in as well.
    Making red wine au jus in a pan.
  • Simmer this for about 15 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by half. It's meant to be a thin sauce, but if you'd like to add a little bit of a thickener, you can do that as well. Strain the au jus to remove the onion and any browned bits, then drizzle over the prime rib.
    Straining the red wine au jus.

Lisa's Tips

  • If you can, get your butcher to cut the bones off the prime rib, and tie them back on for you. It's much easier to simply snip the string and remove them at the end!
  • Keep an eye on the internal temperature even while the prime rib is resting. If you rest it too long, the temperature may increase a bit too much.
  • For the red wine au jus, I recommend a fat separator, to ensure your sauce isn't too greasy.

Nutrition

Calories: 1129kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 47g, Fat: 100g, Saturated Fat: 43g, Cholesterol: 225mg, Sodium: 1193mg, Potassium: 824mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 207IU, Vitamin C: 3mg, Calcium: 41mg, Iron: 5mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: prime rib, prime rib recipe, rib roast, standing rib roast
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68 comments on “Best Prime Rib (Garlic Herb Crust)”

  1. This is the best recipe for prime rib I ever imagined. I have prepared it twice and it was 100% successful both times. I watched videos from a few well-known chefs, but opted for this one as it just looked like it would be what I had in mind.
    I am a follower of Downshiftology and prepare many of the recipes on a regular basis. This is absolutely my family’s favorite!!!5 stars

  2. hello! 
    This looks amazing! Am thinking about making this for easter. Do you think I can use a rib eye for this recipe?

  3. This is my first posted comment but definitely not the first recipe of yours that I’ve tried. I’m such a big fan of your recipes and videos. Please keep posting!

    As for this recipe….WOW! After watching your video I felt less intimidated to cook my first prime rib with the red wine au jus for Christmas dinner. We couldn’t get enough. My mother-in-law was very impressed. 
    Thank you!!!5 stars

  4. The one thing I would change in your recipe is the cooking method. From your photos the lip, the best part of the roast is brown and dry. This can be fixed by cooking on a low heat. What happens when the roast is cooked for an extended time on high heat is the moisture in the outside part of the roast boils and leaves the meat causing it to dry out. The best way to avoid this is by keeping the cooking temperature as close to 212⁰ as possible. We still want to shoot for the 120⁰ internal temp and let it rest for 30 minutes, an the roast will continue to cook to the 130⁰ internal temperature. After the 30 minute rest return the roast to the 500⁰ oven, or very hot grill to sear and create the crust on the outside. Using this method will assure a juicy medium rare throughout the roast to the outside edge.3 stars

  5. No-fail, tender, and easy. I could not believe how easy the process was. The results were absolutely amazing. Definitely my go-to recipe. JUST WOW!!5 stars

  6. Made your garlic crust prime rib, followed your instructions, step by step and it turned out fantastic! First time I attempted to make a roast. So good to. Thank you. 5 stars

  7. We made this for New Years Day, and it was incredible. It was my first time making a prime rib, and I will never use another recipe. We couldn’t stop going back for more!5 stars

  8. I rubbed my 6.5 lb prime rib the night before. I didn’t have fresh herbs so I used bottled rosemary and thyme. I cooked my rib roast in a roaster oven in a cake pan. It turned out terriffic. Thank you for the recipe. I will use this again.5 stars

  9. We just made this for NYE. It was so easy and so delicious. The kids ate it too and declared it the best meat they’ve ever had!5 stars

  10. Not my first Prime rib dinner to prepare , but the first recipe I have tried of yours. This was so easy and the best tasting prime rib we have ever had! My daughter and husband loved it as did I. We prepared this for our new years eve dinner, and it will not be our last time! Thanks for sharing your recipe and taking the fear out of preparing such an expensive piece of meat.5 stars

    • Wow, I’m so glad the first Downshiftology recipe turned out to be a success! Especially with this being a pretty big recipe to make.

  11. Wow, just wow! This was my first time making prime rib or cooking for my immediate family on Christmas Day. I’m not sure I have ever been quite so nervous making a meal, but also had peace of mind knowing every recipe of yours I have tried has been spot on. This was no exception. My 11 year old said this was the fanciest meal he has ever eaten, and my husband agreed this was the best piece of meat he has ever had. All 6 of us devoured that prime rib. Thank YOU for making me look good!5 stars

    • Wow! Thrilled to hear your first ever prime rib recipe was a success Lisa. Now you can always have this entree to impress a crowd!

  12. I made this for Christmas and was nervous but I followed the directions carefully and it was PHENOMENAL. There was only a little bit leftover and everyone raved about it! Thanks for making this an easy crowd pleaser!!!!5 stars

  13. I can’t wait to try this tonight. I’d like to do it with the reverse sear and did some research on how that’s done. My only question is, when doing the reverse sear, would I still put the garlic herb butter all over it before cooking? Does it work the same way?

  14. Thank you for this wonderful recipe and tips for taking the angst out of cooking prime rib. Everyone enjoyed it – even the 5 year old. I followed as written even though it was a boneless prime rib roast. It smelled so good while it was roasting for Christmas dinner. We watched the temperature very carefully as we have a convection oven. Another winner! The Thanksgiving turkey recipe from you was the best too, so thankful for these.5 stars

  15. I’ve always been intimidated to cook prime rib. My husband loves it, I usually prefer other cuts of meat. 
    My husband came home from the grocery store two days before Christmas Eve with a surprise 4lb choice cut prime rib. Not as high quality as Lisa says, but still a decent piece. 
    I knew that I HAD to try Lisa’s prime rib recipe and it did not disappoint!!! It was the highlight of Christmas Eve. 4 pounds was exactly enough for 4 adults and two small children. My in laws did not stop raving about it! I made the au jus as well, the perfect compliment to this recipe. Served with baked potatoe and sautéed mushrooms. 
    I did however forget to baste it so it did not develop as much crust. Also, o had purchased the recomended instant read thermometer just in time and used that instead of my old SLOW one. I do recommend taking it OUT of the oven to get a good read, as I used mine while still somewhat in and nearly had a heart attack when it read at 156 at first take! Taking it out, it read 110. So I let it cook a few more minutes to get to the perfect 117.
    Thank you, Lisa for this amazing recipe!!!5 stars

    • Yay, I’m happy you loved this recipe, Caroline! Prime rib is definitely intimidating, but as you saw, it’s actually really easy to cook. I’m thrilled your whole family loved it!

  16. Made this for Christmas dinner (did a side salad with shallot vinaigrette and roasted rosemary potatoes). Thank you for this recipe, it turned out delicious! Was so easy to make! I had a 3 pound bone in rib eye (grassfed choice cut), did 18 minutes at 450, 20 minutes at 325 (checked and was about 110 degrees), 10 more minutes at 325 (checked and pulled it out at 130 degrees). This was my first time making a rib eye and will definitely be keeping this recipe in my back pocket for future dinner parties!5 stars

  17. Trying this today for a Boxing Day meal with close friends in our stay-at-home Bubble.  :)

  18. I made this tonight for Christmas dinner, and it was a HUGE hit! I made the mistake of getting a 5lb. roast for 3 people, so I just cut it in half (before prep) and put half in the freezer for another day. It was so easy and full of flavor and the Au Jus made it even better. Next time I may cook for a bit longer, as I like my meat more medium than medium rare (though my mother thought it was perfect). Luckily, I have the other half of the roast for ‘next time’.5 stars

  19. Followed exactly and came out perfectly pinkish/red – not too rare and not too pink! My meat was 4.5 lbs and took a ratio to the 6 lb used in the recipe and 1 hr was prefect for my size! The only comment I can make is it the crust coating seems a little salty but maybe I should not have used salted butter along with the salt the recipe calls for. I know in baking you should use unsalted butter but wasn’t sure with this recipe. Paired it with some Fondant Potatoes and roasted asparagus. A lovely Xmas meal on this snowy day!5 stars

    • Hi Dina – I’m so happy you loved the recipe! Yes, I always recommend defaulting to unsalted butter in cooking, so that you can control the salt better. But sounds like a delicious meal with the potatoes and veggies!

  20. Will be trying Lisa’s Prime Rib recipe Christmas Day. Followed the turkey recipe for Thanksgiving and was BEST I have ever done. Love to cook but I will never challenge Lisa

  21. Could I maybe do this with a boneless ribeye roast? We are quarantined and it’s all I have so don’t want to mess it up! Lol

  22. I see a lot of sites recommending salting the roast from the day before, is this necessary? Or is the 1tbsp salt and 1 tsp pepper in the recipe enough seasoning?

    • Salting the day before is common, to dry the meat and obtain a crispier crust. But honestly, I’ve found it’s not necessary with this recipe. Your crust will be delicious if you follow the instructions as is. Enjoy!

  23. Hi Lisa!

    So excited about this recipe!! I’m cooking a 10lb prime rib for Christmas Day. I have a convection oven. Can you recommend a cooking temp and cook time if using a convection oven? We are shooting for a rare to medium rare prime rib. 

    Thanks!!

    • Hi – wow, that’s great! When it comes to meats, convection ovens usually cook them about 25% faster at the same temperature. So I’d just start checking the temperature much earlier. Merry Christmas!

  24. What wine do you use with this recipe

  25. We made this last night as a cozy comfort meal during the snow. It was delicious. I loved the au jus as well! So flavorful and easy. I do have a question though, the sides didn’t get as crisp and caramelized as the top. Any suggestions on how to change that?5 stars

    • Hi Carol – I’m happy you loved the recipe! If the top is getting more crispy, I’d recommend lowering the position of the prime rib in your oven, if possible. You can also rotate the pan halfway through to see if that helps with the sides. It depends on your oven, but often the meat facing the back of the oven will brown a bit faster.

  26. It reminded me of nusret :)

  27. I loved it, made it to celebrate my husband and I 10th anniversary and it was amazing. Thank you so much!5 stars

  28. Love this! Will definitely make it. Would you consider posting a lamb or veal recipe as well? Recently branching out of normal types of meat and made a duck and loved it, would be curious about other recipes on lamb/veal/goose roast, etc.

  29. Ever since, I discovered your website last week when I stumbled on your Homemade Eggnog recipe. I have been constantly impressed by your recipes I have seen, and tried. This Garlic Herb Crust looks so delicious and I hope to prepare it this week to have a taste of it, so as to decide if it will be in the list of meals I will prepare for Christmas or New Year. I am so glad you have provided this recipe before I did grocery shopping for the festivities, so that I can have enough time to prepare. Thank you, Lisa.5 stars

    • So glad you’re enjoying my recipes so far Arjun! Can’t wait for you to try this prime rib recipe – you’re going to love it!

  30. I’ve got a rib ordered for new year so now I know how I am cooking it! Thanks.5 stars

  31. That garlic herb crust looks so perfect! I can’t wait to try this!5 stars

  32. This Garlic Herb Crust sounds and looks amazing!5 stars

  33. This looks so good. I’ve tried so many recipes but have never got the texture inside like yours. Gonna try your recipe and see how it goes.

  34. This prime rib looks delicious and juicy! I can’t wait to make this for my husband, he’ll love it! And the garlic herb potato side dish looks so tasty and pairs perfectly with the prime rib! 5 stars

  35. Looks so delicious, my mouth is watering. This looks very similar to how I prepare mine and it does turn out perfect! Last year I finally discovered how to keep my house from getting smokey. On the rack below the roast place a shallow baking pan filed with a generous layer of Kosher salt. It absobs the smoke like a charm.5 stars

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