5 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Prime Rib

published Dec 14, 2017
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Uncooked 4-bone prime rib roast on a white cutting board being seasoned with kosher salt
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Roasting a prime rib is much easier to pull off than you might think. In fact, forking over the dough to purchase this pricey roast is arguably the hardest part. The high cost of this cut makes any missteps especially disappointing, so here are the five mistakes you want to avoid when roasting a prime rib dinner so you can keep your money right where it should be: on your plate!

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

1. Roasting a still-cold prime rib.

Prime rib is an incredibly large, dense piece of beef, and taking it straight from the fridge to the oven will result in tons of shrinkage and a longer cooking time.

Try this: Take the chill off the roast by removing the prime rib from the fridge at least two hours before roasting. Don’t worry about the rib entering the bacterial danger zone, as it won’t sit out long enough reach those temperatures.

2. Not seasoning the roast enough.

Because of its mass, prime rib needs a decent amount of salt but also plenty of time for that salt to penetrate the surface of the meat.

Try this: Season the prime rib early, like as soon as you pull it out of the fridge. Start with at least a tablespoon of kosher salt. You might not use all of it or you may need a little more depending on the size of your roast. The salt will dissolve a little bit as it draws moisture off the surface of the roast.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

3. Not browning the roast.

If you just cooked the roast to temperature in a low-and-slow oven, you’d have the most deliciously rosy interior but no crisp exterior. But trying to brown the roast in a large pan can be difficult, so the oven-sear method is best.

Try this: Use the oven-sear method to crisp and brown the exterior of the prime rib at 500°F for 15 minutes. Drop the oven temperature before continuing to cook.

4. Roasting the prime rib at a high temperature.

In order to achieve the rich, rosy interior so highly desired in prime rib, the roast needs to come to temperature slowly.

Try this: Reduce the oven to 350°F and cook to desired doneness. Prime rib is best served rare to medium. Aim for an internal temperature of 115°F for rare and 120°F to 130°F for medium.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

5. Slicing into a hot roast.

There’s some debate about whether resting is really required for steaks and other small cuts of beef, but for prime rib, the large roast needs time for the carryover cooking to subside before you even think about carving.

Try this: Rest the roast for at least 30 minutes before carving. Not only will the roast continue to cook to even perfection, but it will also be easier to slice.