This is how I make a rib roast every Christmas. And these are the directions I send my friend every Christmas Eve (because she forgets how to make this.)
My method is based on Kenji Lopez-Alt’s and Alton Brown’s reverse sear method. I’ve simplified it a bit to suit the style of cooking that works best for me.
Good luck! I know you can do this!
Step One: Season the Meat the Day Before Cooking.
(If you’re reading this right before you need to cook the roast, don’t worry about step one. Simply salt and pepper the rib roast and cook as directed.)
The day before, uncover the roast. Pat it dry. Season generously with Kosher (flaky) salt and pepper on all sides.
Place it, bone-side down, on a wire rack set inside a sheet pan. If you don’t have a wire rack, place it right in the pan. Don’t cover it.
Refrigerate uncovered overnight. Make sure it doesn’t touch anything else in the refrigerator.
Step Two: Roast at 250°F.
Heat oven to 250°F. If your oven has a fan, shut it off, if you can.
Roast until the internal temperature reaches the desired temperature. (I always cook my rib roast to around 128°F degrees.)
- 120°F-125°F (49-52°C) for rare
- 125°F to 130°F (52°C-54°C) for medium-rare
- 130 or 135°F (54°C-57°C) for medium
- 135°F to 140°F (57°C-60°F) medium-well.
READ THIS PART→Cooking time varies depending on the size of your roast and the temperature accuracy of your oven. Start taking the temperature every 30 minutes after 2 hours. This ensures you won’t overcook it. Use a timer so you check it every 30 minutes.
If you have an oven-safe probe thermometer, insert it into the center of the roast and set it for your desired temperature.
Step Three: Let the Roast Rest and Increase Oven Temperature to 550°F.
When the roast is at the right temperature, remove it from the oven. Cover it with foil. Let it sit for 15 minutes or up to 60 minutes. (No longer than 90 minutes or you’re in a food safety danger zone. We don’t want that.
Turn your oven to 550 degrees. Open the windows and turn on a fan. During the next step, the roast might smoke and set off your smoke alarm. (“Might” is doing a lot of heavy lifting there. It almost always smokes.)
If you notice a lot of fat and drippings in the bottom of the pan, carefully remove the roast from the pan. Set it on a platter. Drain/wipe the fat from the bottom of the pan. Place the roast back in the pan. (If you’re making Yorkshire pudding, save the fat for the recipe.)
Step Four: Brown in the Oven.
Return it to the oven for about 10 to 14 minutes. During this step, the surface browns, which adds flavor. Keep an eye on it. You don’t want to over cook it.
Step Five: Cool and Cut.
Remove it from the oven. Wait about 7 minutes. Don’t cover it. You don’t want it to steam.
Then, after it rests 7 to 10 minutes, slice into individual pieces.
Hold the bones with a clean towel you don’t care about. It will keep it steady and you don’t cut or burn yourself.
How to Make the Perfect Rib Roast
Here's my easy method for making a perfect rib roast.
- 1 (3 to 8-pound) bone-in rib roast (also called standing roast or prime rib)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
The night before cooking, remove the roast from its packaging. Pat dry. Season all over with kosher salt and pepper. Place the roast, bone-side down, onto a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet or roasting pan. If you don’t have a wire rack, place the roast right into the pan.
Refrigerate uncovered overnight.
Remove the roast one hour before you plan to start cooking. Let it sit on the counter. Do not leave it out more than one hour.
Heat oven to 250 degrees F. Cook roast until desired temperature is reached. Check the temperature after two hours of cooking and every 30 minutes after that to ensure it does not overcook.
Remove the roast from the oven. Leave it in the pan. Cover with foil. You can let it rest for up to one hour.
Increase oven temperature to 550 F. If there is a lot of drippings and fat in the bottom of the roasting pan, carefully remove them to prevent smoking. The best way to do this is to remove the roast and set it on a platter. Wipe out the pan and then return the roast to the pan.
Brown the roast for about 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Let cool for about 7 minutes. Cut into slices. To prevent hte roast from slipping, hold it vertically by a bone and slice. I like to hold the bone with a clean cloth.
Roasting Temperature for Doneness
120°F-125°F (49-52°C) for rare
125°F to 130°F (52°C-54°C) for medium-rare
130 or 135°F (54°C-57°C) for medium
135°F to 140°F (57°C-60°F) medium-well.