This easy and delicious boneless prime rib is reverse seared to cook it perfectly all the way through. It’s coated with the best prime rib rub and served with a quick and easy au jus to make the best holiday dinner.
Boneless Prime Rib
Cooking prime rib can be a little intimidating because it’s such an expensive cut of meat. It’s worth the price because it’s such a high quality cut of beef that is tender and has excellent flavor and marbling. It’s actually really easy to slow roast it perfectly if you use a meat thermometer though, plus it’s so much more affordable than taking the entire family out to a restaurant.
This is the prime rib recipe we always serve for our Christmas dinner. It’s coated in the best prime rib rub and we save the drippings to make a side of au jus. It’s truly the best holiday meal, and I’m sure you’ll love it as much as we do!
The delicious rub is made from a blend of salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme, garlic and paprika. It’s so simple, but it’s truly the best prime rib seasoning you’ll ever come across. It adds a layer of flavor that beautifully complements the rich, savory taste of the roast.
I definitely recommend serving it with a quick au jus. Imagine all those delicious, savory drippings from the roast, turned into a gravy that’s just waiting to be poured over each juicy slice of your prime rib. Pairing them together is what makes it taste like a restaurant meal!
This recipe makes the best holiday dinner, but you’ll be surprised by how easy it is to make. I know working with a cut of beef like prime rib can be intimidating, but these straightforward steps will help you make a restaurant-style prime rib that’s absolutely show-stopping.
Boneless Prime Rib Roast: It’s a cut of beef from the rib section, known for its tenderness, marbling, and strong beef flavor. It’s this marbling – the streaks of fat interspersed with the lean meat – that imparts so much flavor and juiciness when cooked. For the best prime rib, look for a roast with abundant, even marbling.
Kosher Salt: Kosher salt is used to season it. It’s coarser than table salt, allowing it to stick to the meat’s surface better, and it has a cleaner, less intense flavor. Kosher salt also helps to create a flavorful crust on the outside of the roast. Make sure to season your prime rib generously, as this is a large cut of meat and the salt needs to penetrate beyond just the surface.
Dried Rosemary: Dried rosemary adds a distinct, pine-like fragrance and flavor to your roast, complementing the natural richness of the beef. Rosemary is a sturdy herb, so it can hold up to long cooking times without losing its potent flavor. For the best rosemary flavor, crush the dried leaves slightly before applying them to your roast to release their oils and fragrance.
Dried Thyme: Thyme brings a subtle, earthy flavor with slight minty undertones. It’s an herb that’s often used in roasts because its flavor profile stands up well to rich, meaty dishes like prime rib. When using dried thyme, rubbing it between your fingers as you sprinkle it onto your roast will help to release its essential oils and maximize the flavor.
Coarse Black Pepper: Black pepper adds heat and depth of flavor to the prime rib. Using coarse pepper allows for bursts of that spicy flavor to stand out against the other spices and the richness of the meat. Freshly ground black pepper is best, as pre-ground pepper can lose some of its pungency over time.
Garlic Powder: Garlic powder provides an easy way to add the savory depth of garlic without the hassle of peeling and mincing fresh cloves. This staple seasoning balances the bold flavors of the beef and herbs, adding a layer of umami. For best results, opt for a high-quality garlic powder; the flavor can vary greatly between brands.
Paprika: Paprika adds a sweet-smoky flavor and a dash of vibrant color to your prime rib roast. Its mild heat and beautiful red hue give your dish a bit of complexity and visual appeal. There are several varieties of paprika available – sweet, smoked, or hot. For a traditional prime rib, sweet or smoked paprika works well.
Beef Broth (or water): Beef broth enhances the meaty flavor of your roast, while also keeping it moist during the cooking process. It’s also crucial for making a delicious au jus or gravy after your roast is done. While you can use water as a substitute, beef broth is highly recommended for that extra boost of flavor.
Herbs: Experiment with different herbs like sage, oregano, or even a pinch of cayenne pepper for some heat.
Citrus: Add some finely grated lemon or orange zest to the rub for a hint of brightness.
Mustard Crust: Brush the roast with Dijon mustard before applying the rub for an extra tangy crust.
How To Cook A Boneless Prime Rib Roast In The Oven:
Preparation of the Prime Rib: Start by placing your prime rib on some paper towels and thoroughly drying all sides of the roast. (See the recipe card below for the full printable instructions.)
Seasoning the Prime Rib with Salt: Evenly sprinkle kosher salt over all sides of the prime rib.
Preparing the Rub: Combine rosemary, thyme, coarse black pepper, garlic powder, and paprika in a bowl. Stir them together, breaking up the rosemary with the back of a spoon to release the flavors.
Applying the Rub: Sprinkle the herb mixture over the prime rib and massage it gently into the meat.
Resting the Prime Rib: Wrap the prime rib in plastic wrap, then place it on a plate and refrigerate to allow the flavors to infuse into the meat.
Preparation for Roasting: Before you’re ready to cook, preheat your oven. Remove the roast from the fridge, unwrap it, and place it on a wire trivet set in a roasting pan.
Adding Beef Broth: Pour the beef broth into the bottom of the pan. If you’re adding vegetables, mix them with oil, salt, and pepper, and place them around the roast.
Inserting the Thermometer: Insert a meat thermometer into the center of the roast, making sure it doesn’t touch any fat.
Roasting the Prime Rib: Place the roast into the preheated oven.
Resting the Prime Rib: Once the roast reaches the desired internal temperature, remove it from the oven. Tent it with aluminum foil and let it rest.
Final Searing: After resting, remove the foil and meat thermometer. Return the roast to the oven for a final searing until the crust is brown and crispy.
Serving the Prime Rib: Finally, transfer the prime rib to a cutting board and the vegetables to a serving dish. Season to taste, reserve the drippings for au jus, and slice the roast against the grain. Garnish with fresh rosemary sprigs and serve hot with your choice of sides and au jus. See the recipe card below for the full written instructions, including ingredient amounts, cooking times, and helpful tips, etc.
Choice of Meat: Choose a prime rib roast with good marbling. The intermuscular fat melts during roasting, providing a boost of flavor and tenderness.
Resting the Meat: Do not skip resting the meat after roasting. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the roast, resulting in a moister and more flavorful end product.
Thermometer Use: Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature. This ensures your roast is cooked exactly to your preferred level of doneness.
Reverse Sear Prime Rib
The secret to a perfect boneless prime rib is to reverse sear it and cook it low and slow to create a prime rib that’s evenly cooked with a beautifully caramelized crust. Reverse searing allows the roast to cook evenly all the way through, keeps it moist and juicy, and stops it from shrinking too much (which happens when you cook it too quickly).
If you blast the outside with high heat by searing it first, you’ll end up with overcooked layers towards the edges. When you reverse sear it the roast is already hot, so the heat doesn’t have to penetrate into cold meat. That results in a roast with even color and doneness from top to bottom. It also allows you to have more control over the cooking process, which is important since it’s very easy to overcook prime rib.
What Is The Secret To Prime Rib Roast?
The secrets to perfect prime rib are pretty straightforward. First, choose a good cut of meat with even marbling since the fat is what flavors the roast (I’ve had good luck buying it from my local butcher and at Costco). Second, let it rest at room temperature before you bake it while the oven preheats. Third, let the meat rest before you slice it so that the juices reabsorb. Finally, slice against the grain for the most tender cut.
How Long To Cook Boneless Prime Rib
The best way to check if your prime rib is finished cooking is by taking the temperature with a meat thermometer. All roasts and ovens are slightly different, so it’s really the only way to ensure that it’s cooked perfectly.
When baking a boneless prime rib at 275F, you’ll need to bake it for 24-27 minutes per pound for medium rare. Keep in mind that the temperature will continue to rise 5-10 degrees as it rests. Prime rib is most commonly served medium rare, so I pull it out of the oven when it’s 125F knowing that it will rise to 135F. The USDA recommends cooking prime rib to 145F. Here’s the cooking chart of the different temperatures you’re looking for based on your desired doneness:
- RARE: Initial internal temperature of 115F, rest time of 15-20 minutes, internal temperature after resting of 120-125F.
- MEDIUM RARE: Initial internal temperature of 125F, rest time of 15-20 minutes, internal temperature after resting of 130-135F.
- MEDIUM: Initial internal temperature of 130-135F, rest time of 15-20 minutes, internal temperature after resting of 135-145F.
- MEDIUM WELL: Initial internal temperature of 140-145F, rest time of 15-20 minutes, internal temperature after resting of 145-155F.
- WELL: Initial internal temperature of 150-155F, rest time of 15-20 minutes, internal temperature after resting of 155-165F.
How Much Do I Need Per Person?
A good rule of thumb is to buy 1 pound per person. If you’re serving this for a holiday meal with lots of side dishes, you might only need 1/2 – 3/4 pound per person though.
For bone-in prime rib, the general rule is 2 people per rib, but that can easily be stretched to 3 people per rib if you’re serving lots of side dishes.
If you want a hearty serving for each guest, and maybe even a little leftover for sandwiches the next day, I’d err on the side of more though!
Why Is My Prime Rib Always Tough?
If your prime rib is turning out tough, it could be a result of overcooking. I’ve always found that prime rib is best when cooked to medium rare for optimal tenderness. Using a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature is a great way to prevent overcooking. And don’t forget to let your meat rest after cooking! This allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a tender and juicy roast.
Is Boneless Prime Rib Better Than Bone-In?
This is pretty subjective. I prefer boneless prime rib roasts because they’re much easier to carve and because they take less time to cook. Bone-in prime rib does have a bit more flavor though. Both are delicious, and it really comes down to personal preference. It’s important to use the type of prime rib that the recipe you’re using calls for in order to get accurate cooking times.
Is Boneless Prime Rib The Same As Ribeye?
Though they come from the same section of the cow, a boneless prime rib and a ribeye steak aren’t exactly the same. Prime rib is a larger cut, which can be cut down into ribeye steaks. Even though they are similar in flavor and tenderness, I tend to use them differently in my cooking.
Can I Make A Prime Rib Ahead Of Time?
Yes, you can season the meat and let it sit in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours before roasting.
How Do I Store Leftovers?
Leftover prime rib should be cooled, then wrapped in foil or stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Can I Freeze Cooked Prime Rib?
Absolutely. Just be sure it’s wrapped tightly or stored in airtight containers to prevent freezer burn.
Side Dishes To Serve With Prime Rib
Keep In Touch
I’d love to hear what you thought of this recipe in the comments or on Instagram! @KeyToMyLime #KeyToMyLime
If you like this recipe, be sure to check out all of our other roasted beef recipes. Some reader favorites are:
- Air Fryer Prime Rib
- Best Corned Beef with Homemade Spice Blend
- Instant Pot Frozen Roast
- Bottom Round Roast
- Top Round Roast Beef
- 6 pounds boneless prime rib roast (if yours is larger, double the spice blend)*
- 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons dried rosemary
- 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse black pepper (freshly ground is best)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 cup beef broth (or water)
- Place your prime rib down on a few layers thick of paper towel, then using a few more paper towels to thoroughly dry all sides of the roast.
- From a height of about 6” above the prime rib, use your fingers to sprinkle the salt over the prime rib (make sure to evenly coat all sides). Sprinkling the salt from 6” above the meat helps distribute the salt evenly.
- In a small bowl, combine the rosemary, thyme, pepper, and paprika. Stir together while breaking the rosemary up with the back of a spoon. Evenly sprinkle the rub over the prime rib. Use your fingers to gently spread the rub out and massage the rub into the meat as you go. Tightly wrap the prime rib in plastic wrap twice, then place the prime rib on a plate and refrigerate overnight (or for at least 1 hour, but preferably at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours). This gives the roast a chance to take on the flavors from the rub.
- Half an hour before cooking, preheat the oven to 275F. Remove the roast from the fridge and remove the plastic wrap. Place a wire trivet in the bottom of a large cast iron skillet, a roasting pan, or a shallow oven safe pan**. Place the roast in the center of the rack, fat side up.
- Pour the beef broth in the bottom of the pan (without pouring it on the meat). If you’re adding vegetables, mix your cut vegetables with some oil, salt, and pepper, then place the cut veggies around the roast. Place an oven safe meat thermometer into the center of the roast, making sure it does not touch any fat.
- After the oven has been preheating for 30 minutes, place the roast into the oven and cook for about 2 hours and 25 minutes (about 24-27 minutes per pound, approximately 144 minutes to 162 minutes) until an internal temperature of 125F has been reached to achieve a medium rare doneness (check the notes below to the see the different internal temperatures for the different levels of doneness).*** The roast will slowly rise an additional 5-10 degrees while it rests. Oven temperatures can vary, so it's important to check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer regularly. Start checking the temperature after about 2 hours and continue to monitor every 10-15 minutes until the desired internal temperature is reached. Prepare a piece of aluminum foil big enough to tent the roast when it comes out of the oven (you want to trap the heat immediately).
- Carefully (keeping the liquid in the shallow pan in mind) remove the roast from the oven and tent aluminum foil over the roasting pan. Turn the heat up on the oven to 450F. Let the oven sit at temperature while the roast rests for 15-20 minutes, or until the internal temperature of the roast reads 130-135F. After the roast has finished resting, remove the foil and the meat thermometer. Place the roast back in the oven to sear for about 5-8 minutes, or until the crust is brown and crispy.
- Carefully remove it from the oven. Transfer the prime rib to a cutting board and the vegetables to a serving dish. Season with salt and pepper to taste and save your drippings to make Au Jus.
- Using a sharp knife (preferably not serrated), slice the roast against the grain and transfer the meat to a serving platter. Garnish with a few fresh rosemary sprigs and serve hot with desired sides and Au Jus.
*If you can't find a boneless prime rib roast, you can get a standing roast (bone in) that weighs about 7-8 pounds and ask your local butcher to remove the bone for you.
**Using a shallow pan creates even airflow around the roast. This ensures no part of the roast gets cooked more than others, which creates the uniform beautiful color from top to bottom.
***For the different levels of doneness, these are the temperatures you’re looking for:
RARE: Initial internal temperature of 115F, rest time of 15-20 minutes, internal temperature after resting of 120-125F.
MEDIUM RARE: Initial internal temperature of 125F, rest time of 15-20 minutes, internal temperature after resting of 130-135F.
MEDIUM: Initial internal temperature of 130-135F, rest time of 15-20 minutes, internal temperature after resting of 135-145F.
MEDIUM WELL: Initial internal temperature of 140-145F, rest time of 15-20 minutes, internal temperature after resting of 145-155F.
WELL: Initial internal temperature of 150-155F, rest time of 15-20 minutes, internal temperature after resting of 155-165F.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 361Total Fat: 16.3gCarbohydrates: 4.1gFiber: 0.3gSugar: 0gProtein: 48.8g
Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.
Try making this boneless prime rib for Christmas dinner! It’s sure to be a family favorite recipe.