Prime Rib Roast: The Sear-It-Last Method

Prime Rib Roast
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  • 29 hrs
  • Prep: 24 hrs,
  • Cook: 5 hrs
  • Yield: Serves 4 to 8 people
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This prime rib recipe is somewhat of a departure from the standard prime rib technique, in which the meat is roasted at a high temperature initially, and then finished at a lower temperature.

Instead, with this method we slowly roast it in a 200 F oven until it's medium rare, briefly let it rest, and THEN brown it at very high temperature right before serving it. Besides producing a perfectly pink and juicy prime rib, this method has the added advantage of letting you serve the roast straight out of the oven, versus having to let it rest for half an hour or more in the standard method.

This technique will work for either a bone-in or boneless prime rib of beef of between 4 and 10 pounds. For a bone-in prime rib, figure two servings per rib, while a boneless roast will yield two servings per pound.

What You'll Need

  • 1 boneless or bone-in beef rib roast, trimmed and tied
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

How to Make It

  1. The night before you're going cook, unwrap the roast and let the meat sit on a sheet pan with a rack, uncovered, in the refrigerator. Exposing it to air helps dry the surface, which in turn makes it easier to get a beautiful brown crust when you sear it at the end.
  2. Three hours before you're going to roast it, take the prime rib out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature.
  3. Finally, 30 minutes before you start roasting, pre-heat your oven to 200 F.
  1. Season the meat generously with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper. For a boneless prime rib, set the roast in a roasting pan with a rack, fat-side-up. For a bone-in roast, just set the meat bone-side-down directly in the roasting pan. Insert a meat thermometer or a digital probe thermometer into the deepest part of the meat, being careful not to hit bone. If you're using a digital probe thermometer, set it to alert you when the meat hits 128 F (see note below).
  2. When the oven is heated, transfer the roast to the oven and roast until the meat's internal temperature reaches 128 F, which will be another two and a half to five hours, depending on the size of your roast.
  3. When the temperature hits 128 F, take the meat out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board and cover it with foil. Leave the thermometer in! A cutting board with a moat around it will help capture the juices, which you should save for making au jus. This is a perfect thing to do while the meat is resting. (Or try this creamy horseradish sauce.)
  4. As soon as you've covered the roast with foil, turn your oven up to 500 F.
  5. Because we roasted the prime rib at 200 F, there won't be much carryover cooking and you don't need to rest it for very long. Once you take the roast out of the oven, the temperature should rise to 130 F, which is perfect medium-rare, and within 20 minutes or so it will drop back down to 120 F.
  6. By which time, your oven will have fully reached 500 F. Now, put the meat back in the oven and let it roast on super-high for 6 to 10 minutes or until you have a lovely brown crust on the outside. Then take it out, carve and serve right away.​

    Note: For medium-rare prime rib, we want to take the roast out of the oven at 128 F, and it will continue cooking until it reaches 130 F. If you prefer a medium prime rib, take it out at 135 F with a target temperature of around 140 F. Either way, you'll still want to rest the meat until it comes back down to 120 F before you put it back in the oven to do the browning.