The Best and Most Perfect Prime Rib that you will ever make!

Cook’s country prime rib recipe

Video Cook’s country prime rib recipe

The prime rib is an expensive cut of beef, so the last thing you need is to overcook it underneath or overcook! This recipe turned out even better than I expected! The meat turned out to be moist, with a crispy outer crust, and cooked exactly as we like it!

For our Christmas Eve dinner this year, I took a detour from our more traditional German menu. At first, some of my family members were disappointed, until I said I was going to do Prime Rib. It’s pretty unanimous that Prime Rib is something my whole family loves to eat. My husband, not so much. He says Prime Rib has a “rubbery texture.” Their loss, our gain!

Not bad. I’m going to bite. I’ve made the mistake of ordering a Prime Rib dinner at a restaurant that doesn’t specialize in this expensive cut of meat. I agree. I’ve had a less-than-stellar premium rib that’s hard and chewy.

There is a restaurant that is located not far from our house. They make a Prime Rib dinner which costs $35.00, not including a good bottle of wine, taxes and tip. I find myself looking forward to this dinner every few months. It’s Prime Rib perfection, just the way I love it. I like mine kind of weird… Rosa, please and thank you. I don’t want all kinds of herbs and large doses of garlic. This place uses only salt and pepper… And they are not shy about salty crust. O.M.G. The crust is crispy and perfectly seasoned. It is a dinner ecstasy, which only a Prime Rib lover can understand.

Making your own rib at home can be a little scary. I say this, because it is an expensive cut of meat. Of course, it’s not as expensive to buy as a quality grass-fed Filet Mignon. Current prices for a premium rib hover around $16.00 per pound, and more. This 3-rib Prime Rib roast costs around $80.00. I would hate to ruin this beautiful roast by cooking it too much!

A few years ago, I tried the method of roasting a Prime Rib over very high heat and then turning off the oven. It was a resounding failure, even though I didn’t open the oven for anything in the world. It was raw. So dinner was delayed and the side dishes were kept warm. Everything went well, but I wanted to see what other methods there were.

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America’s Test Kitchen arrived with their version of “The Best Prime Rib”. This method is a little different, as we cut the bone and set it aside.

Mark the fat cap and rub two tablespoons of coarse salt. The roast is put back, on top of the bones, and then placed in the refrigerator to dry for at least a day, up to four days. (Here, I’ve tied the roast to dry age, but that step isn’t necessary. (Ahem** I didn’t read the instructions well.)

There are five hours left before dinner is ready. I removed the roast, and left it at room temperature for a couple of hours. The bones are set aside, and I have put a 12″ pan to high, with a little vegetable oil. Yes, let’s sear!

The roast is scorched, starting with the fat side down, and all the way, with the exception of the lower half that will be placed on the bones again.

Alright, then… The roast is on top of the bones and I have tied them together (very easy to do, by the way… Just slide the cooking string under the bones and roast, and slide underneath, kind of like flossing!) Add pepper, place on a wire rack that is placed on top of an edged baking sheet, and prepare to slide into a 250F preheated oven.

NOTE: Can fresh herbs, olive oil and garlic be added? Yes, I guess you could. See my TASTING NOTES at the end of this post for more information.

What method has America’s Test Kitchen devised and why? Here are his own words


Why this recipe works:

The perfect prime rib should have a deep, substantial colored crust that covers a tender, juicy pink center. To achieve this perfect roast, we start by salting the roast overnight. The salt improved the meaty taste while dissolving some of the proteins, producing a tender butter-like roast. To further enhance tenderness, we cooked the roast at a very low temperature, which allowed the meat’s enzymes to act as natural tenderizers, breaking down its resistant connective tissue. A brief period under the grill before serving ensured a crispy and tasty crust.

If you don’t own a reliable meat thermometer, I can assure you that it’s an investment you won’t regret. I bought a Thermapen a few years ago ($96.00) and it has become my most trusted friend in the kitchen. I can rely on the internal temperature, which appears faster than you can blink!

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The goal was to slowly roast the premium rib until it reached an internal temperature of 110F. Because I had to use a meat thermometer, I took the roast out of the oven and quickly closed the door. The roast was at 112F. Oops!

Turn off the oven and let this continue to cook, obviously, do not open the oven door!

4-1/2 hours later, my family had already arrived, and there was a lot of activity and lively conversation. I removed the roast and my meat thermometer registered as 127F. I say a silent prayer of gratitude and put the rib first on a carving board to rest for 30 minutes, covered with aluminum foil, while finishing the creamy spinach with a crispy topping of Panko herbs (recipe to come)…

… and Make-ahead mashed potatoes. My 60-minute dinner rolls are put in the now empty oven…

Just before it’s time to carve the Prime Rib, the spit lights up and I pop the roast under the spit for about 3 minutes. It comes out sizzling and crunchy… There are ooh’s and ahhhhhh’s while I put the roast to be carved. (I thought this was a brilliant step from ATK. Of course, the crust had been softened, by steam since the meat was covered in aluminum foil.) Roasting the outside, again, crackled it! When I cut the string and removed the bone, I have to give accessories to that the carving is now very easy. I don’t have to deal with cutting the bone… As it has already been done!

Please forgive the overexposed photos. It’s dark outside, and I don’t have space (or extra time) to set up my props to bounce the light… etc.

All I can say is “yes, yes, yes!!!” This is cooked exactly the way most of my guests love it (except one, which quickly claims a final cut).

I’m beaming with joy and gratitude that this recipe really works, and I wouldn’t expect anything less from America’s Test Kitchen.

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There were seven of us, and this big piece of rib (leftover) quickly hid out of sight. What? Believe me, everyone had a lot of food on their plate! This, my friends, was meant for Prime Rib sandwiches the next day.


had a beautiful white plate that I served the Prime Rib slices on my festively decorated table. As always, there was so much excitement and activity, which I just couldn’t take pictures of our dinner on plates, apart from these. But you get the idea.

TASTING NOTES: Be sure to buy premium beef, with an untrimmed fat cap (if possible). I can’t stress enough how important it is to have a good meat thermometer, so you don’t have to worry or guess if the meat is cooked enough, let alone overcooked! If you follow these steps, exactly, you will end up with a tender slice of Prime Rib that is moist and perfectly seasoned. Ihg My husband… He said it was tender and delicious and not rubbery at all! That’s a big endorsement, if I’ve ever heard one. The only “drawback” to this method is that I didn’t get many juices to make my own au jus. Somehow, I managed to deglaze the pan to scrape off a little affection, not much, and using a quality beef broth, I got some au jus.

ONE MORE NOTE: The bones are not toasted enough to gnaw. Not everything is wasted. I’ll be roasting these to make some beef broth. Nothing was wasted. Win!

I have eaten Prime Rib which has been slowly roasted with rosemary, thyme and garlic. It’s pretty good. But, personally, I prefer to allow salt and pepper to be my only seasoning so that the prime rib is the star of this show. It’s up to you.

This method will still be my recipe for making Prime Rib. In a way, this method is very similar to one of my most viewed recipes for “Slow Roasted Beef,” which also comes from the good folks at America’s Test Kitchen/Cook’s Illustrated.

I feel so blessed to be able to invite my family to a dinner like this. They appreciated every bite. Christmas Eve, in our house, was a total success!

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