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Best Prime Rib

Why This Recipe Works

The perfect prime rib should have a deep-colored, substantial crust encasing a tender, juicy rosy-pink center. To achieve this perfect roast, we started by salting the roast overnight. The salt enhanced the beefy flavor while dissolving some of the proteins, yielding a buttery-tender roast. To further enhance tenderness, we cooked the roast at a very low temperature, which allowed the meat's enzymes to act as natural tenderizers, breaking down its tough connective tissue. A brief stint under the broiler before serving ensured a crisp, flavorful crust.

Ingredients

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1 (7-pound) first-cut beef standing rib roast (3 bones), meat removed from bones, bones reserved
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
2 teaspoons vegetable oil

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Instructions

Serves 6 to 8

Look for a roast with an untrimmed fat cap (ideally ½ inch thick). We prefer the flavor and texture of prime-grade beef, but choice grade will work as well. To remove the bones from the roast, use a sharp knife and run it down the length of the bones, following the contours as closely as possible until the meat is separated. Monitoring the roast with a meat-probe thermometer is best. If you use an instant-read thermometer, open the oven door as little as possible and remove the roast from the oven while taking its temperature. If the roast has not reached the correct temperature in the time range specified in step 3, heat the oven to 200 degrees, wait for 5 minutes, then shut it off, and continue to cook the roast until it reaches the desired temperature.

1. Using sharp knife, cut slits in surface layer of fat, spaced 1 inch apart, in crosshatch pattern, being careful to cut down to, but not into, meat. Rub 2 tablespoons salt over entire roast and into slits. Place meat back on bones (to save space in refrigerator), transfer to large plate, and refrigerate, uncovered, at least 24 hours and up to 96 hours.

2. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 200 degrees. Heat oil in 12-inch skillet over high heat until just smoking. Sear sides and top of roast (reserving bone) until browned, 6 to 8 minutes total (do not sear side where roast was cut from bone). Place meat back on ribs, so bones fit where they were cut, and let cool for 10 minutes; tie meat to bones with 2 lengths of twine between ribs. Transfer roast, fat side up, to wire rack set in rimmed baking sheet and season with pepper. Roast until meat registers 110 degrees, 3 to 4 hours.

3. Turn off oven; leave roast in oven, opening door as little as possible, until meat registers about 120 degrees for rare or about 125 degrees for medium-rare, 30 to 75 minutes longer.

4. Remove roast from oven (leave roast on baking sheet), tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 75 minutes.

5. Adjust oven rack about 8 inches from broiler element and heat broiler. Remove foil from roast, form into 3-inch ball, and place under ribs to elevate fat cap. Broil until top of roast is well browned and crisp, 2 to 8 minutes.

6. Transfer roast to carving board; cut twine and remove roast from ribs. Slice meat into 3/4-inch-thick slices. Season with coarse salt to taste, and serve.

Technique

Steakhouse Prime Rib at Home

High-end-restaurant chefs turn out prime rib that’s crisp on the outside and gorgeously rosy from center to edge. For similar results, we used nothing more than a hot skillet, a regular home oven—and a few tricks.

SUPER-CHEF APPROACH

BLOWTORCH THE MEAT  Blasting the roast with the intense heat of a blowtorch jump-starts its exterior without subjecting the interior to any heat.

OUR WAY

SALT AND SEAR  Salting the roast and then refrigerating it uncovered for at least a day (and up to four) not only seasons the meat thoroughly but also dries out its exterior for better browning. Searing the super-dry roast in a blazing-hot skillet develops a nice thick crust. 

SUPER-CHEF APPROACH

ROAST AT 120°  Using a specialized ultra-low-temperature oven—and leaving the roast in it for 18 hours—produces rosy-pink, ultra-tender results.  

OUR WAY

ROAST AT 200°  Roasting the meat as low as a conventional oven can go and then shutting off the heat and letting it finish in a turned-off oven produces incredibly tender and evenly cooked meat in about 4 to 5 hours.

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JC
JOHN C.
16 days

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too. I've done this using a rimmed sheet pan instead of a skillet and put veggies and potatoes around the chicken for a one-pan meal. Broccoli gets nicely browned and yummy!

Absolutely the best chicken ever, even the breast meat was moist! It's the only way I'll cook a whole chicken again. Simple, easy, quick, no mess - perfect every time. I've used both stainless steel and cast iron pans. great and easy technique for “roasted” chicken. I will say there were no pan juices, just fat in the skillet. Will add to the recipe rotation. Good for family and company dinners too.

MD
MILES D.
JOHN C.
9 days

Amazed this recipe works out as well as it does. Would not have thought that the amount of time under the broiler would have produced a very juicy and favorable chicken with a very crispy crust. Used my 12" Lodge Cast Iron skillet (which can withstand 1000 degree temps to respond to those who wondered if it would work) and it turned out great. A "make again" as my family rates things. This is a great recipe, and I will definitely make it again. My butcher gladly butterflied the chicken for me, therefore I found it to be a fast and easy prep. I used my cast iron skillet- marvellous!

CM
CHARLES M.
11 days

John, wasn't it just amazing chicken? So much better than your typical oven baked chicken and on par if not better than gas or even charcoal grilled. It gets that smokey charcoal tasted and overnight koshering definitely helps, something I do when time permits. First-time I've pierced a whole chicken minus the times I make jerk chicken on the grill. Yup, the cast iron was not an issue.

Watch The Full Episode

Season 13, Ep. 11

Test cook Julia Collin Davison shows host Christopher Kimball how to make the Best Prime Rib and perfectly Roasted Brussels Sprouts at home. Finally, tasting expert Jack Bishop challenges Chris ...