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.
It’s Not A Holiday Dinner Without The Best Prime Rib Recipe
Prime rib (also known as standing rib roast) is up there next to turkey, honey baked ham, filet mignon and beef tenderloin 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 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.
Find the printable recipe with measurements below.
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!
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.
Make the garlic herb butter. Preheat your oven to 450F, then mix together the butter, herbs, salt, and pepper in a small 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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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…
- Garlic Herb Roasted Potatoes (pictured above)
- Green Beans with Shallots (pictured above)
- Mashed Potatoes
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Mashed Cauliflower
And while I’m serving this prime rib with a red wine au jus, you could also serve it up with a homemade horseradish sauce. Either one is divine!
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!
Trust me – your friends and family are going to be head over heels for this prime rib. If you make it this holiday season for Christmas dinner, I’d love to hear what you and your loved ones think in a comment below!
Best No-Fail Prime Rib (Garlic Herb Crust)
- 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
- Remove the prime rib from the fridge 2-3 hours before cooking, and allow it to come to room temperature.
- Preheat your oven to 450F/230C. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, garlic, salt, thyme, rosemary, and black pepper.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
I have cooked prime rib for years. I have never had any drippings in the pan. If it does drip they all dry up before I remove the roast, and I cook it medium rare.
Do you cover it or something?
I used this recipe for my Christmas prime rib. I had a 5lb boneless prime small end prime rib. I used olive oil instead of butter for the rub and whisked it together with jarred crushed garlic, Italian seasoning and Chicago steak seasoning. I followed the cooking directions but it was cooking too slow so I increased the oven temp to 350. It took about 2 1/2 hrs to cook. It was perfect! I will definitely use this recipe again.
Glad this recipe turned out perfectly JoAnn!
Omg!! My hubby and I tried your recipe for our 1st prime rib roast. It was absolutely delicious and tender. My kiddos, age 9 & 11 even had 2nds. The butter and herb seasoning was perfect for an amazing flavor. It also made for the Best French dip sandwiches the day after, oh so yummmm! Love this new recipe we will use again. Thank you from our family! Bon apetite!
Happy to hear the whole family enjoyed this prime rib recipe! Great idea on the french dip sandwiches as well for leftovers.
I’ve made prime rib many a times and I always felt it was a gamble how it came out. I made this recipe 5 stars! Outstanding and sooo fool proof. Thank you for sharing
Delicious. Best prime rib I have ever made. Thanks.
Happy to hear this prime rib was a success Sheila!
This is a keeper. Delicious Christmas dinner. Thanks for sharing!!!!
You’re more than welcome Cindi! So happy you loved it.
This is the second year in a row that I have followed this recipe for Christmas dinner. Again, it was a big hit.
Thanks so much for coming back to the recipe year after year, Michael!
This recipe is OUTSTANDING!!! I didn’t make the Au Jus, but I will next time. The crust smells so good when cooking and it gives a nice seasoning that permeated the roast.
So happy you loved it Sarah!
The only reason I have this 4 stars is that the meat was a little tough, but less so in the middle of the steak. I followed directions exactly & flavor was delicious. Didn’t get enough drippings to make au juice gravy. Was all fatty from meat & butter. After I removed fat there was nothing left.
It was in the oven for 10 minutes at 450 and the whole (clean) oven was smoking. Not sure what I did wrong here?
Made this tonight for dinner! 10/10 I was worried because this was my first time ever cooking a prime rib! It came out perfect! I made sure to use the meat probe the whole time and got it to 130 because my husband is a medium guy! But the middle was more medium rare for the rest of us! Delicious! Thank you!
Wonderful! Glad your first-ever prime rib was a success :)
Great recipe. Just coked a 7.8 lb 3 rib prime rib. I increased the ingredients a bit and cooked it at 450 30 minutes to get a nice sear. Then 325 1 hour and 45 minutes. Took it out of oven at 110 degrees internal temp. While resting temp spiked to 118 , Couldn’t be happier with the finished product.
Cutting the bones off and tying them on before roasting is the way to go. Thanks for the great recipe.
So happy you enjoyed it!
Oh man, so delicious! Definitely will be my go to holiday prime rib recipe! The au jus was AMAZING, I drained off the fat but did not strain out the onions because the onions were delicious!
Delicious recipe! How in the world do I keep the butter mix from sliding off roast. I dried really well and was only able to keep the mix on top but by the grace of God. There I was struggling trying to spread butter only to have it fall off. Ended up slapping it on top and trying to pat it down. Still laughing about that 😂
Hi Jennifer – it usually slides off if the meat is still cold and slightly condensating (and not room temp). To get the butter to stick better, you can also slightly melt the butter to make it softer. That usually works! But as long as it tastes good in the end, that’s all that matters, lol!
Thiis is my 4th year of cooking prime rib for Christmas, and let me tell you it was the best ever. I want to Thank you so much fot posting this and shareing it with all of us. I didn’t have a chance to take a picture. But. Trust me it was prefect and med rare like you said. I will follow you. Thank you again.
Awesome! So happy to hear your prime rib turned out perfectly, Marie. Enjoy!
the timing is way off! double maybe triple it!
Hi Claire – I’d recommend making sure your oven is calibrated correctly, as many oven temps can be off. :)
Excellent recipe! Thanks for the guidance and for sharing. Was definitely a crowd pleaser for Christmas dinner!
Wonderful! So happy you loved it!
I roasted my 8 lb prime rib last night according to the oven temps and cooking times. It was the best prime rib I’ve ever made. I did not add the garlic rub but coated it with salt and pepper and a rub. Next time I will try the garlic coating. You can’t go wrong with this recipe. It made our Christmas eve dinner special. Thanks for the recipe.
Yay, I’m so happy you loved the prime rib. Merry Christmas!
Wow, that’s all I can say, BEST prime rib ever, tender as can be and the flavor was awesome. Was a little afraid of cooking a $80 roast, but it was a hit
Yay, happy you loved it Barry!
How/when do you recommend making the au ju. I want to make while the roast is resting and use the same pan. Would you move the roast to a new pan, or just use a new one?
I would move the roast to a cutting board or new pan to rest, then make the au jus in the same pan.
I don’t have kosher salt. Why can’t table salt be used?
Perfect prime rib! I’ve made prime rib for several years now. I’ve tried several “best” recipes but this recipe has proven to be the best! I will use this one from now on! I followed the directions, used a 7# choice prime rib, basted it every 20 minutes, let it rest for 20 minutes and it was absolutely fabulous! Flavorful, tender, wonderful! Merry Christmas!
Happy to hear you’ve found a winning prime rib recipe!
Using the same cooking process approximately how many minutes per pound do I cook a BONELESS rib roast to come to medium rare?
Can I cook a boneless prime rib the same way? On the cast iron skillet? They were out of bone in.
I haven’t tried this without a bone, but I’m thinking it could work! It might need less cooking time though, so be sure to use your instant-read thermometer.
This will be my third year making your recipe…thank you Lisa! I was always so intimidated to make Prime Rib, but you have made is easy. Turns out perfect every time. A real family favorite and such a treat for the holidays.
I’m so happy you love it Victoria! Thanks for making it year after year. :)
Will this work in a smoker? Big Green Egg?
It was delicious and smelled wonderful while cooking.
So happy you enjoyed it Renee!
I’ve got a 12lb roast what would be the time for one this size?
I would estimate between 2.6 to 3 hours. Just make sure to check the internal temperature.
Does the weight of the roast differ based on bone in or boneless? My local grocery recommends to order two ribs per person but that seems like too much.
Two ribs will equal approx six or seven pounds , that would be two nd one half POUNDS per person. A two rib roast should easily serve four to six people .
Do you recommend cooking on a roasting rack or placing directly into roasting pan? We are serving a large group so will probably be around 9-10 pounds.
For this recipe, there’s no need for a roasting rack. Hope you enjoy it!
But can you use a roasting rack is the question? I am going to hopefully that doesnt mess anything up?
Will try this. However, the RED WINE AU JUS, which I want to try, it says to drizzle over the roast. I have some guest who cannot have alcohol, even if its cooked off. Can this be separate like for dipping?
Yep! You can keep it separate.
This sounds wonderful. Just wanted to know, do you use USDA prime or USDA choice? I know which one my wallet likes best but don’t know if it really matters. Thanks!
Hi Teresa – I usually use a grass-fed prime cut for this prime rib recipe. Both options are good, it just depends on your budget. :)
Just curious, can I use an electric roaster instead of oven?
Do you use salted or unsalted butter?
I use unsalted, and then add my salt separately.
Absolutely the best! You cannot go wrong with this or mess it up if followed precisely. Loved it and the aroma! Thanks for sharing.
Glad you enjoyed this prime rib recipe Matricia!
Hi! I’m Italian and thanks to your recipes this year I prepared my first Thanksgiving dinner!! These ribs in particular are sooooooo goooood!!
Yay! Glad your prime rib was a success Elisa :)
Best prime rib ever ! Perfect
Easy and done in less than 2 hours –
Yay, I’m so happy you love my prime rib recipe Beverly! :)
Out of all the prime rib recipes I’ve used, this one looks the easiest. I’m definitely trying it.👍
Hope you enjoy it!
Hi, trying this for the 1st time
Hope you enjoy it!
This recipe was delicious! I made it exactly as written. Thank you for sharing!
Glad your prime rib was a success with this recipe Crystal!
Please show your reverse method of cooking prime rib?
Will keep that in mind!
This was one of the best prime rib roasts I have ever made, and I have made a lot. It will be the only way I make going forward. Follow the steps and you too will be thrilled with the results. My roast was not cut from the ribs prior to roasting but a zip through with the electric knife and it was all good. Enjoy
Thrilled to hear your prime rib turned out perfectly!
I had some family in town and made this, everyone really loved it. The herb butter made a really nice crust on it and added so much flavor, thank you.
This turned out so good. Everyone enjoyed eating it and said it was the best they have ever had.
Happy to hear everyone enjoyed this prime rib recipe Cherie!
I cooked my prime rib for Xmas dinner, per the recipe and it was great! Everyone agreed it was the best ever.
Christmas dinner used this recipe. Never cooked prime rib before. It was perfect. My wife (who usually doesn’t particularly like prime rib) loved it and said she can’t wait until next Christmas. My only regret is not getting a bigger roast. Thanks.
Happy to hear your first ever prime rib was a success Brian!
We used this recipe yesterday. It was a complete success! The instructions were dead on and the result for a 9 lb roast was delicious .. our guests really loved it. Thanks!
Amazing! Happy to hear your prime rib turned out perfectly Paul :)