Chef John's Perfect Prime Rib Recipe -
Chef John's Perfect Prime Rib Recipe
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Perfect Prime Rib
A foolproof method for moist, perfectly pink prime rib with a crispy crust. See more
  • READY IN 6+ hrs

Chef John's Perfect Prime Rib

Recipe by  

"This is a specific formula for achieving a perfectly pink prime rib cooked somewhere a shade under medium rare. To use this method you must have a full-sized, modern oven with a digital temperature setting that indicates when it is preheated. Older ovens with manual controls can vary greatly, and the doors may not have the proper insulation."

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  • PREP

    10 mins
  • COOK

    2 hrs 20 mins

    6 hrs 30 mins


  1. Place rib roast on a plate and bring to room temperature, about 4 hours.
  2. Preheat an oven to 500 degrees F (260 degrees C).
  3. Combine butter, pepper, and herbes de Provence in a bowl; mix until well blended. Spread butter mixture evenly over entire roast. Season roast generously with kosher salt.
  4. Roast the 4-pound prime rib (see footnote if using a larger and smaller roast) in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Turn the oven off and, leaving the roast in the oven with the door closed, let the roast sit in the oven for 2 hours. Remove roast from the oven, slice, and serve.
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  • Cook's Note:
  • Your cooking times will vary depending on the size of your prime rib roast. To calculate your cooking time, multiply the exact weight of the roast by 5. Round the resulting number to the nearest whole number. The rib is cooked at 500 degrees F for exactly that many minutes. For example, for a 6 pound roast: 6x5=30, so cooking time is 30 minutes. Turn the oven off and wait 2 hours before opening the oven door. Remove the prime rib and slice into the most perfectly medium-rare meat you've ever seen.
  • Editor's Note:
  • Chef John serves this his Beef Au Jus.

Reviews More Reviews

Most Helpful Positive Review
May 04, 2012

This is a fool proof method for making the best medium rare prime rib. Your seasonings can be changed according to your preference, but what's listed works perfectly. It's the cooking method that is the key. It cannot be stressed enough, the roast MUST be at room temperature in order for this to work. If it is the least bit cold in the middle of the roast, you will come out with a very rare roast. A mistake I only made once because I was worried about leaving it out to get warm. Don't worry! It will be fine! I usually purchase 4.5 to 5 lb roasts and take it out of the fridge for a minimum of 5 hours to be sure it is room temp. It comes out absolutely PERFECT and juicy every time.

Most Helpful Critical Review
Dec 26, 2012

Disable your smoke detectors if you prepare your roast this way! My oven cooled down much faster than two hours I feel because we had to open the windows. So, my roast was rare. I should have stuck to my instincts in preparing this cut of beef, but thought I'd give the method a try. I also did not use butter as the cut is fatty enough, nor the seasoning suggested. I rubbed crushed garlic, kosher salt, and peppercorns over the top & sides and made the 'Chef John' AuJus which worked very well and even left a great flavor on the palete of my fastidious 7yr old Asperger son - AFTER I finished cooking the meat, of course!

Jun 23, 2012

Absolutely, the easiest way to make perfect prime rib every time. But do not be tempted to open up the oven door until time is up.

Jun 22, 2012

Prime rib was perfect, juicy and perfectly pink. Followed the recipe exactly with a 4 lb prime rib. Loved it! Love the video to really get a good sense of how to apply the butter and herbs. I'll be trying more of your recipes in the near future for sure!

Dec 04, 2012

I wish there was an ability to give 10 stars! Chef John, I followed your directions... (except I was all out of Kosher salt so I only used sea salt, dang it)...and I got rave reviews. Due to having big eaters and more people than normal, I made an 11.13 pound rib roast and the directions worked for that big of an item. I couldn't believe it. Thank you so much. I have deleted the other prime/rib roast from my recipe box and now only have yours. Words cannot express my gratitude.

Nov 18, 2012

I was really skeptical - I'm a thermometer checker with my meats and keeping the oven off for two hours with the door closed about killed me! I had a 7 pound prime rib roast and with the exception of the seasoning (I make my own), I followed the recipe exactly as written - roasting at 500 degrees for 35 minutes and then oven off for 2 hours. Turned out perfect. My husband was beyond impressed. I also made Chef John's Beef Au Jus. A meal my entire family loved. Thank you!

Dec 31, 2012

OMG .. I have never been able to do Prime Rib correctly and I finally cracked it using this recipe. Thank you thank you thank you! The only alteration I made was to do the math (# of lbs by 5 mins per lb) and then I added about 5 extra minutes to the total time (ie my roast needed 19.5 mins in the 500 F oven, and I did it for 25 mins) this was simply because I wanted some meat on the outside edge closer to medium (for me) and medium rare inside for hubby. The plan worked to perfection and gave us exactly what we wanted for a fantastic New Years Eve dinner. I have never been a huge fan of prime rib and this recipe has won me over. I'll prepare this again and again, a big hit! (I might cut back on the pepper next time, but this wasn't a huge issue, just personal preference I also made Chef John's Au Jus to go with this and it was incredible; like liquid gold as my husband said! )

Nov 25, 2012

My family celebrated Thanksgiving with my wife's sister, while I shivered and shook with with some kind of crud. On Friday I followed the recipe and technique and was able to present a very good prime rib for the family. Our oven is a good gas unit and the meet was a bit undercooked for all but me. The next time I will increase the minutes at 500 degrees and make some changes in the seasoning. Tonight the leftover roast is simmering in the stock pot with potatoes, carrots, mushrooms and onions for a great beef stew for the family.


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  • Calories
  • 1757 kcal
  • 88%
  • Carbohydrates
  • 1 g
  • < 1%
  • Cholesterol
  • 362 mg
  • 121%
  • Fat
  • 160.6 g
  • 247%
  • Fiber
  • 0.4 g
  • 2%
  • Protein
  • 72.5 g
  • 145%
  • Sodium
  • 343 mg
  • 14%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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