How to Get Perfect Medium-Rare Prime Rib with Prep "Method X"

Prime rib
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  • 01 of 08

    Prep the Prime Rib

    Perfectly Medium-Rare Prime Rib of Beef. Prime Rib Photo (c) John Mitzewich

    NOTE: This method is specifically designed for smaller prime ribs, under 8 pounds. It is also calibrated to produce a perfect, medium-rare slice of beef. If you're doing a larger prime rib, or want it cooked more, check out this traditional method for prime rib of beef au jus.

    Buy a "bone-in" prime rib of beef roast. They are usually trimmed for the oven and will look like the photo. If it still has a large thick layer of fat on top, trim this off - leaving only a 1/4-inch to 1/2-inch...MORE layer.

    Place the prime rib in a heavy roasting pan, and leave out to come up to room temperature. This is a CRITICAL step. If the prime rib is ice-cold the time formula will not be accurate. You should leave it out for 2-4 hours depending on the size - some even leave it out, wrapped, over-night.

    Continue to 2 of 8 below.
  • 02 of 08

    Make a Seasoned Butter

    Perfectly Medium-Rare Prime Rib of Beef. Photo (c) John Mitzewich

    To ensure a great crust and flavorful prime rib you make a simple compound butter by combining the following ingredients, and mixing well.

    For a 4-pound prime rib:

    1/4 cup soft butter
    1 teaspoon black pepper
    1 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon cayenne
    1 teaspoon ​​herb de Provence (or any other dried herb mixture)

    You can also do this with olive oil, as well as use any herbs and spices you wish.

    Continue to 3 of 8 below.
  • 03 of 08

    Season the Prime Rib

    Perfectly Medium-Rare Prime Rib of Beef. Prime Rib Photo (c) John Mitzewich

    Spread the soft butter mixture all over the surface of the prime rib and then season the top generously with more fresh black pepper and salt. The flaky-style Kosher salt works great for this recipe, but any salt will do.

    Continue to 4 of 8 below.
  • 04 of 08

    Time to "Do the Math" and Sear the Prime Rib

    Perfectly Medium-Rare Prime Rib of Beef. Prime Rib Photo (c) John Mitzewich

    Okay, here's the secret formula for "Method X" - Multiply the exact weight times 5 minutes. This is the cooking time (you can round the cooking time up to the nearest minute).

    For the pictured prime rib, it was 3.75 lbs x 5 min. = 18.75 minutes or 19 minutes

    Be sure to get the exact weight from the label and don't round!

    Preheat your oven to 500 F. Be sure the oven is given time to preheat fully. It must be up to temperature when the prime rib is put in.

    Place the prime rib on...MORE the middle rack and roast for EXACTLY the number of minutes determined by the formula above. Then turn the oven off. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR.

    Continue to 5 of 8 below.
  • 05 of 08

    Turn Off the Oven and Wait for 2 Hours

    Perfectly Medium-Rare Prime Rib of Beef. Prime Rib Photo (c) John Mitzewich

    The oven is turned off, and you wait exactly 2 hours without opening the oven door. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR. Go for a walk, or get the side dishes cooked on top of the stove.

    During this two-hour period, the heat from the initial searing will continue to slowly cook the beef to a perfect medium-rare.

    Continue to 6 of 8 below.
  • 06 of 08

    Remove the Prime Rib and Serve

    Perfectly Medium-Rare Prime Rib of Beef. Prime Rib Photo (c) John Mitzewich

    Remove the prime rib to a cutting board and slice into the juiciest, tenderest, most perfect medium-rare meat you've ever seen! You can slice on the bone, or trim the bones off the bottom of the roast and then slice the meat.

    Continue to 7 of 8 below.
  • 07 of 08

    Turn the Prime Rib of Beef into Prime Rib of Beef "Au Jus"

    Perfectly Medium-Rare Prime Rib of Beef. Prime Rib Photo (c) John Mitzewich

    To make a very quick natural sauce; pour off the excess fat, and place the roasting pan over high heat. Add a few cups of water or beef broth and bring to a boil while scraping all the caramelized beef drippings from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon or whisk.

    Let this boil and reduce slightly while you slice the meat. Pour into a serving bowl, season with salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste, and serve alongside the prime rib.

    Continue to 8 of 8 below.
  • 08 of 08

    Prime Rib Tips and Reminders

    Perfectly Medium-Rare Prime Rib of Beef. Prime Rib Photo (c) John Mitzewich
    • The general rule of thumb is 2 portions of prime rib per bone in the roast.
    • Don't be shy when seasoning the prime rib before roasting. It's a big piece of meat, and the seasoning on the outside needs to be generous.
    • While this formula should work beautifully, as it always has for this chef, you can always double-check with a thermometer at the end of the 2 hours. If for whatever reason the prime rib is undercooked, simply turn the oven to 325 degrees F. and cook until the internal...MORE temperature is 120 degrees F., remove, cover loosely with foil and let rest for 20 minutes.
    • Remember, this method is specifically designed for smaller prime ribs and is calibrated to produce a perfect, rosy-pink medium rare prime rib. If you are doing a larger prime rib, or want it cooked to a different doneness, check out this traditional method for prime rib of beef au jus.
    • This should work the same for an electric oven as long as it's a standard size, gets to 500 degrees F, and has a door that closes tightly. Smaller ovens or other roasting appliances will not work using the same time formula.