This reverse sear prime rib recipe yields absolutely perfect prime rib every single time. This is my go-to prime rib recipe and it never fails! It’s always cooked perfectly inside with tons of flavor. Don’t skip the horseradish sauce, it totally makes the dish!
The science behind the Reverse Sear Method
It’s called the reverse sear because it flips what we have been taught about cooking meat on its head. Throughout history, we’ve been told that to cook a steak (or any cut of beef) you should sear it to “lock in juices.” This thought has been proven to be definitively false many times over. Searing doesn’t lock in juices, but it does add flavor and thus needs to be incorporated somehow.
Have you ever noticed a prime rib with a ring of overcooked meat at the edges with a medium-rare interior? This comes from uneven cooking. The exterior gets too hot before the inside can cook to the correct temperature. The reverse sear corrects this! You cook your prime rib low and slow to ensure a perfect medium-rare edge to edge and then finish in a super hot oven to create a flavorful crust.
How to make reverse sear prime rib
Prime rib is an expensive cut of meat and cooking it perfectly is essential! After you try the reverse sear method, I promise you won’t go back!
Ingredients you’ll need for Prime Rib
- Standing Rib Roast. I usually make a fairly small prime rib because it’s just me and my husband so I opt for 4-5 lbs (2-3 rib bones) and always do bone-in for flavor. Pro tip: save your bones for stock! Head to a butcher shop for the best rib roasts and select a well-marbled piece.
- Rosemary. I love the flavor that roasting the prime rib on the rosemary gives it. You could also add some thyme and sage.
- Dijon. I love coating beef with dijon, it’s just the most perfect savory flavor!
- Horseradish. You want to use prepared horseradish here which is found refrigerated, often near the seafood at your local grocery store. Do not use cream of horseradish found at room temperature in the condiment aisle.
- Salt and pepper. The kind of salt you use matters! I always use kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper. Make sure to season the roast liberally.
selecting the right prime rib roast
I tend to opt for smaller prime rib roasts as I’m usually just feeding myself and my husband. A 4-5 lb bone-in prime rib roast (2-3 bones) comfortably feeds 4-6 people. If you are looking to feed more people, adjust the sizing accordingly. A 4-5 rib (7-8 lb) roast can feed anywhere from 8-10 people depending on the sides.
Selecting the right grade of meat for prime rib
Note that just because you are ordering a “prime” rib, it doesn’t mean that you are getting USDA Prime. Most “prime ribs” we get from the market are actually USDA Choice quality. That being said, choice cuts often boast plenty of marbling at a more economical price point. If you really want to splurge for a special occasion, head to your butcher and request a “prime” grade standing rib roast.
Determining the ‘Doneness’ of Prime Rib
Prime rib is best served rare or medium-rare. Once it’s overcooked, you can’t un-cook it and since it’s an expensive cut of meat, you don’t want to leave the cooking to chance. Invest in a dependable probe thermometer for cooking all kinds of meats. Keep in mind that the temperature of the meat will rise 5 degrees or so as it rests. For best results, pull at the temperatures listed below.
- Rare roast: 115°F.
- Medium-rare roast: 120°F.
- Medium roast: 130°F.
Sides to serve with Prime Rib
- Fluffy Dinner Rolls
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