Chef John's Perfect Prime Rib


Use Chef John's easy "mathematical method," and you'll get the best prime rib, cooked to a perfect medium rare, every time.

Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
2 hrs 20 mins
Additional Time:
2 hrs
Total Time:
4 hrs 30 mins
4 servings

Chef John's Foolproof Method for Making the Best Prime Rib

prime rib sliced

Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

If you've ever carved into a prime rib at a big holiday meal expecting a juicy, perfectly pink interior only to discover a dry, overcooked roast, this recipe is for you.

This simple, foolproof "mathematical method" for making the very best prime rib will greatly increase your chances of success. Here is the formula: Multiply the exact weight times 5 minutes. For me it was 5.35 x 5 = 26.75 minutes, which we round up to 27.

You'll cook your room-temperature prime rib at 500 degrees F for exactly that many minutes. (Twenty-seven minutes, in my case.) Then turn off the oven and wait 2 hours without opening the door. When the time's up, remove the prime rib and slice into the most perfectly medium-rare meat you've ever seen. See? That's all it takes to make foolproof prime rib cooked to a perfect pink that's somewhere just a shade under medium rare. Just make sure you're starting with a prime rib that has been brought to room temperature! This is critical in order for the math to work!

Now, while the method could not be easier, there are a couple things that this method requires: a full-size, 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. Here's another pro tip for you: Because prime rib is expensive, you should always insert a probe-style thermometer to monitor the internal temp of your roast and avoid any chance of over-cooking. Set the probe alarm (125 F for medium-rare) just in case, and pull the prime rib from oven even if there's still time left on the oven timer.

Serve your prime rib with Chef John's Beef Au Jus. Enjoy!

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"This is a fool proof method for making the best medium rare prime rib," says Haiku. "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 pound 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."

"I have used this recipe for years and it works perfectly," says Nancy. "ONE THING that will cause the meat to be less than medium rare, besides not having the rib at room temperature, is the fan in newer ovens! I had no issue for many years until I got a new oven. Many new ovens have a fan that comes on when you turn the oven off. It quickly lowers the temp, which, obviously, will not work for this recipe. Since I have a built-in oven, I actually shut off the breaker to the oven so the fan doesn't come on. Otherwise you can just unplug it."

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


  • 1 (4 pound) prime rib roast

  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened

  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence

  • kosher salt to taste


  1. Place prime rib roast on a plate and bring to room temperature, 2 to 4 hours.

    prime rib ingredients

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  2. Preheat the 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.

    herb butter on unbaked roast

    Dotdash Meredith Food Studios

  4. Roast the 4-pound roast in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. (If your roast is larger or smaller than 4 pounds, multiply the exact weight times 5 minutes.)

  5. 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.

  6. Remove roast from the oven, slice, and serve.

    close up view of sliced prime rib on a wooden cutting board


Editor's Note:

Try pairing this perfect prime rib with au jus and horseradish sauce.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

1757 Calories
161g Fat
1g Carbs
73g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 4
Calories 1757
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 161g 206%
Saturated Fat 70g 348%
Cholesterol 362mg 121%
Sodium 343mg 15%
Total Carbohydrate 1g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 73g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 51mg 4%
Iron 8mg 44%
Potassium 1189mg 25%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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