How to Prepare Prime Rib Roast for the Holidays

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Are you wondering how to prepare prime rib roast for your holiday dinner? Cooking the perfect roast takes a bit of practice. In the past, I’ve left it up to my husband to prepare beef for our dinner. He just seems to have a knack for preparing it properly that I haven’t managed to grasp yet.

How to Prepare Prime Rib Roast for the Holidays

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Prepare Prime Rib Roast

A standing rib roast or prime rib is a cut of beef from the primal beef rib. The entire rib section of a cut of beef is made of ribs six through 12. And, a standing rib roast may contain anywhere from two to seven ribs. Because a prime rib roast isn’t something we tend to eat regularly, it makes a wonderful choice for your holiday dinner. But, since it’s not something you cook every day, you may be wondering how to prepare prime rib roast properly. Here are a few tips.

The Pan

Normally, when I cook a roast, I put it up on a rack in my roasting pan. But, because the ribs of a prime rib roast make the perfect rack, an extra rack is not necessary. You can still use the rack in your roasting pan if you’d like to, but don’t worry if you don’t have one. You’ll want a roasting pan that is at least three inches deep.

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There are several ways you can prepare your prime rib roast for cooking. The important thing to remember is to remove your prime rib roast from the refrigerator at least one to three hours before you plan on cooking it to allow it to come to room temperature. Then, cover the ends ONLY with butter and season liberally with pepper or a meat rub that does not contain salt. Salt draws the moisture from the beef and should not be used.

You’ll want to tie up the rib roast using twine to prevent the top layer from separating from the rest of the roast. Tie it firmly between each rib. You should be able to ask your butcher to do this for you if you prefer.

How to Prepare Prime Rib Roast for the Holidays


Cook rib roast at 450F for 15 minutes to sear it. Then, turn the temperature down to 325F and baste the ends of the roast every thirty minutes. You’ll want to cook the roast until it has an internal temperature of 120F. Remember that the prime rib roast will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven. You should not be cooking your roast for a set time per pound. You should be cooking it based on the internal temperature of the meat. That’s why it’s so important that you invest in a quality meat thermometer.

How Much

A full rib roast is 7 ribs in size. This size roast is enough to serve 12-14 guests so you’ll need to adjust the size of the roast you purchase based on how many people you’ll be serving for your holiday dinner. The butcher can cut your rib roast to the size you need. Of course, you’ll want to ask them for a Certified Angus Beef Brand roast for the highest quality. You don’t want to disappoint your guests.

Carving the Roast

Once the roast is removed from the oven, allow it to sit and cool for at least 15 minutes. You’ll need to use a long, thin, sharp knife to cut your prime rib roast. Place the roast on a cutting board and remove the twine. make sure you have a well around the cutting board to catch the juices or you’ll make a giant mess. Use a carving fork to hold the rib in place, and using one slice, cut off the large bones at the end. Then set the roast cut end side down and slice the meat against the grain to the thickness you prefer. Make sure that you save the bones to be used in a soup after the holidays.

Now that you know how to prepare prime rib roast for the holidays, your meat will be the star of the meal. Looking for a delicious side dish? Try these Praline Yams with Sugary Sam’s Sweet Potatoes. Or, try this Blue Lake Green Beans recipe.

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  1. I don't think this roast would fit in my Instant Pot, so I better learn how to roast one! It's good to have alternatives to the standard poultry and ham every year.
  2. Just coming off Thanksgiving and the Prime Rib was way more popular than the turkey! My brother is the prime rib expert in the family! He stuffed it with garlic to give it some amazing flavor!
  3. Cindy @CindysRecipesAndWritings says
    What great tips from start to finish! Thanks Ellen!
  4. CAB Kitchen Team says
    Thanks for walking us through a fantastic meal preparation! Happy roasting season to you and your family, Ellen!
  5. There are some great tips here! I have never cooked or prepared a prime rib roast. Thanks for the tips! I definitely think this is the perfect time of year for a dinner like this!
  6. We have a rib roast every year for Christmas. I can't wait to try some of these tips and tricks this year.

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