Today I will show you how to cook a prime rib steak in the oven. This guide is super easy to follow but contains a lot of crucial information on cooking times and temperatures.
This will enable you to adjust your recipe according to your cut and get the more tender, juicy, and flavorful prime rib roast possible! For more tutorials on the best meat cooking techniques, have a look at some handy guides I have on my site.
What Is A Prime Rib Cut?
A prime rib cut, also called standing rib roast, is a widespread yet very sought-after cut of beef. It’s quite a massive piece of meat and, unsurprisingly, is cut from the rib area of a cow.
Now, I’m no meat-cut expert. So I totally get the confusion on where exactly which cut is located. But I’ve researched and found a simple way to explain it.
A cow has thirteen ribs in total. The first five ribs are called the “chuck.” The next seven ribs are called a standing rib roast or prime rib cut. And, the final rib is referred to as a “loin.”
So, the middle section of 7 ribs is the prime rib cut. Because it’s gigantic, it is often cut into two smaller halves. The BACK half is called the “first cut,” and the front half is called the “second cut.”
Which Cut Is Better?
Many people prefer the first cut. It’s also commonly labeled as the “small end” or “loin end” because it’s located closer to the back, the more tender part of the cow.
It has less connective tissue, making it a juicier, less chewy, but also more expensive cut.
Now, the second cut is still not a bad cut of meat by any means. It does have more connective tissue, but many people prefer the added fat for a creamier, richer mouthfeel.
It’s also important to note that despite the “prime” in “prime rib,” you get different cut qualities. The best of the best is usually labeled as “prime grade prime rib.” The second best grade is called the “choice grade prime rib.” It has less fat and connective tissue but is still not a first cut.
What Is Prime Rib Steak Used For?
Prime rib steak, a gem from the cow’s upper ribcage, boasts rich marbling and a velvety texture due to its leisurely muscle area. With its luxurious mouthfeel, this steak is the crème de la crème of beef cuts.
Often showcased in special feasts, it’s perfect for grilling or roasting, ensuring each bite is flavorful and tender. In the world of steaks, the prime rib is a celebrated icon.
- Prime rib roast – This generous cut, marbled with fat, is the hero of our dish, transforming under the oven’s heat into a succulent and mouth-watering culinary masterpiece.
- Kosher salt or sea salt flakes – This essential seasoning will penetrate the prime rib steak, ensuring every bite is perfectly seasoned from crust to center.
- Garlic powder – Infusing the roast with a deep, aromatic flavor, garlic powder is key to achieving that classic savory steak profile we all crave.
- Freshly ground black pepper – A sprinkle of freshly ground black pepper is indispensable to provide a touch of heat and enhance the steak’s rich flavors.
- Dried rosemary – Imbuing the prime rib with a fragrant herbaceous note will evoke memories of traditional oven-roasted meats.
- Onion powder – Gently complementing the garlic, onion powder subtly heightens the steak’s umami and balances the herbal notes.
- Dried thyme – A dash of dried thyme brings a hint of woodsy and minty undertones, rounding out the steak’s full-bodied flavor profile.
How To Cook Beef Eye Of Round Steak in the Oven
As I pointed out, the eye of round steak isn’t particularly tender or juicy. So, this limits how you should cook them.
If you use high or dry heat, the meat will become tough and chewy in texture.
The beef eye fares better when cooked at low heat and with braising fluids. They should preferably cook for long periods to help make the protein more tender and juicier.
Pre-Seasoning the Prime Rib:
Combine and mix spices in a bowl.
Coat the prime rib evenly with the spice mixture.
Encase the seasoned meat in plastic wrap, and then cover it with foil. Refrigerate overnight or up to 18 hours for best results.
Roasting the Prime Rib:
Allow the seasoned meat to reach room temperature before roasting. Preheat oven to 350º (180ºC) and prepare a foil-lined tray with a roasting rack. Position the meat on the rack with the fat side up.
For medium-rare, roast a 4-pound cut for 60-80 minutes; for medium, 80-100 minutes; and for medium-well, 100-120 minutes. Once done, remove from the oven, cover loosely with foil, and rest for 15 minutes before slicing.
How Long Do Prime Rib Steaks Take To Cook In The Oven?
First, you don’t cook individual steaks. You cook a whole roast and then slice it into steaks. This is the best way to ensure juicy and tender steaks.
The cooking time really depends on a lot of factors. The temperature of the oven can affect the cooking time, the size of the prime rib, the doneness you would like to achieve – and these are only the first factors that come to find. Even the bone will ultimately make the prime rib cook for longer or shorter.
It’s a question that’s almost impossible to give an exact answer to. But, here is what I’ve tried and tested:
Roasting At 225ºF (107ºC)
This is obviously a very low temperature, so the cut will take a while to fully cook.
If you want it to be medium-rare, it will need to cook for 30 to 35 minutes for every pound of meat. A whole prime rib can easily weigh between 12-16 pounds (5.4-7.3 kg).
So, if you have an 8-pound prime rib, it will take about 4 to 4 1/2 hours to fully cook at 225ºF for medium-rare doneness.
To achieve medium doneness, the prime rib needs to cook for 35-40 minutes per pound.
So, a 6-pound prime rib cut will take 3 1/2 to 4 hours to cook to medium.
For a medium-well prime rib at 225ºF, you can cook the meat for 40-45 minutes per pound.
Roasting At 325ºF (162ºC)
Because of the slightly higher temperature, the prime rib will take less time to cook.
Hopefully, you understand better how to calculate the cooking times now. So here’s a summary of how long you can cook prime rib at 325ºF for various doneness levels.
Medium-rare: 20-25 minutes per pound
Medium: 25-30 minutes per pound
Medium-well: 30-35 minutes per pound
Roasting At 350ºF (177ºC)
Medium-rare: 15-20 minutes per pound
Medium: 20-25 minutes per pound
Medium-well: 25-30 minutes per pound
Tips And Tricks For Cooking Prime Rib Steak In The Oven
- To test the doneness of the prime rib, you should use a probe thermometer. A medium-rare prime rib (no matter the size) should have an internal temperature of 125ºF (51.7ºC). Medium doneness should be around 135ºF (57.2ºC), and a medium-well prime rib has an internal temp of 145ºF (62.8ºC).
- Your prime rib cut shouldn’t become too dark during the cooking period. However, it might be if your oven has hot spots. In this case, cover the darkening (or burning) spot with some foil.
- When slicing this roast, it’s best to cut it into 1/2-inch steaks. But ultimately, it really depends on the sides you are serving. You can try my famous Ensalada Rusa (Russian Potato Salad Recipe) or these simple Roasted Potatoes. But, have a look at my website for MANY more side dishes.
Storing Your Prime Rib: The Do’s and Don’ts
Now, if you’ve gotten your hands on this sumptuous cut of meat, you might be scratching your head thinking, “How on earth do I store this behemoth?”
Considering how precious a prime rib cut can be, storing it properly is key. Freshness, after all, is a big part of what makes any dish sing!
If you’re not planning to cook your prime rib immediately after purchase, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, followed by a layer of aluminum foil. This double-wrap technique helps retain the meat’s moisture and keeps it safe from other odors lurking in your refrigerator.
But what if you’ve already roasted this beauty to perfection and are blessed with leftovers? Store the roasted prime rib in a sealed container or zip-lock bag and place it in the refrigerator. Aim to consume it within 3-4 days for optimal flavor and freshness.
And for those of you thinking long-term, guess what? Prime rib can be frozen too! Just be sure to wrap it securely to prevent freezer burn, and try to consume within 3 months for the best taste and texture. Remember, thawing in the refrigerator is the safest method before cooking or reheating.
There you have it! A straightforward guide to pampering your prime rib, ensuring it stays as delightful as the day you bought it.
These are not the same cut. A rib eye is cut into a smaller steak that has a ton of marbling. This makes it extremely tender and rich. It also has a buttery flavor, giving it a creamy texture. A prime rib steak is a slice from a prime rib roast. It is generally tougher meat which is why you need slow and long cooking times to tenderize it.
This is a must! If you don’t rest your meat before cutting into it, all of the juices will leach out, ultimately causing the roast to lose a ton of moisture and flavor. A prime rib can be rested for 15-30 minutes before slicing and serving.
You definitely can and it’s arguably even easier than slow-roasting it in the oven. But, the cooking times and temperatures are completely different. At 225ºF, you can roast it for about 35 minutes per pound for rare doneness. For medium, it’s more like 40 minutes per pound.
How To Cook A Prime Rib Steak In The Oven – An In-Depth Guide
- 1/4 cup kosher salt or sea salt flakes
- 2 1/2 tbsp garlic powder
- 1-2 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tbsp dried rosemary
- 2 tsp onion powder
- 1 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 4 pound prime rib roast
Pre-Season The Meat
- First, combine all of the spices in a small bowl. Mix them well so they are evenly distributed.
- Then, season the prime rib cut well so that all the sides are covered.
- Place the seasoned cut inside a roasting tray and wrap it with saran wrap and foil.
- Leave the cut to tenderize in the fridge overnight or up to 18 hours!
For The Roast
- First, remove the pre-seasoned prime rib from the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature. This makes the meat cut cook more uniformly and evenly.
- To start, preheat the oven to 350º (180ºC). Line a roasting tray with a layer of foil. Add your roasting rack over the top. The rack is important because it allows the prime rib to cook more evenly.
- Once the prime rib has reached room temperature, place the seasoned prime rib onto the roasting rack with the fat side facing upwards.
- Roast the 4-pound prime rib for 60-80 minutes for medium-rare. For medium, you can roast it for 80-100 minutes. And for medium-well, you can roast it for 100-120 minutes.
- Once you've tested the doneness and are happy with the results, remove the prime rib roast from the oven. Cover it with a tent of foil (the foil shouldn't be touching the roast but should be covering the tray).
- Leave the roast to rest for 15 minutes before you start cutting the roast into steaks.