Prime Rib Roast: Mastering a Holiday Classic Back »

Written by Holly Swee, South Dakota Beef Industry Council.


It is a holiday classic and creates an amazing centerpiece for a holiday meal. But cooking a prime rib roast can be unnerving at best for some. Especially if they feel the added pressure to impress guests. The good news is – prime rib’s “wow” factor doesn’t mean it cooking it must be complicated or difficult. If done properly, prime rib cannot only be impressive, but surprisingly simple.

Cook Time & Temperature

The key to a great prime rib roast is keeping an eye on the timer, and even more importantly the meat thermometer. We suggest an oven proof thermometer inserted in the thickest part of the beef, but not touching fat or the bone. Then place roast on a rack in a shallow roasting pan and place in preheated 350-degree oven.

Sounds easy enough so far, right? Roast meat until the thermometer reaches 5 to 10 degrees below (that part’s important desired doneness. Medium rare is 145°F and medium is 160°F. After roasting, transfer the roast to a carving board and tent the roast loosely with foil. Let the roast rest for 5 to 10 minutes. The beef will continue to cook while it is resting. This allows the juices to re-distribute more evenly throughout the roast. Then when carving your prime rib roast, always slice the meat across the grain.

Put all those tips to good use in this festive and flavorful Rib Roast with Horseradish Recipe.

Other Helpful Tips

  • When purchasing your holiday roast, plan for 6-ounces of cooked beef per person. In general, a boneless beef roast yields 1-1/2 to 2 (6-ounce) cooked servings per pound. A bone-in beef roast yields about 1 to 1-1/2 (6-ounce) cooked servings per pound.
  • Place the roast on the rack directly from refrigerator. If roasting a rib roast be sure to have fat side up.
  • Do not add water or cover the roast unless the recipe specifies to.

South Dakota Beef Industry Council Tips

Make sure you watch the South Dakota Beef Industry Council Facebook page in the coming days for more holiday roast tips from not only us, but a few famous faces as well. You’ll also find additional holiday recipes and entertaining ideas. And if you’re looking for a tasty gift for friends and loved ones this season – consider Beef Certificates. You can get those through our Pierre, SD office by calling 605.224.4722.


ABOUT SDBIC: The SDBIC collects and administers the $1 beef checkoff on cattle sold in South Dakota. Checkoff dollars are utilized strictly for promotion, education or research programs. Fifty cents of every dollar is directed to the Cattlemen’s Beef Board for programs on the national level. The SDBIC retains 50 cents, which is invested in additional national programs or in-state programs.

The SDBIC is comprised of three representatives from eight agricultural organizations: South Dakota Beef Breeds Council, South Dakota Cattlemen’s Association, South Dakota Cattlemen’s Auxiliary, South Dakota Cattle Women, South Dakota Farm Bureau, South Dakota Farmers Union, South Dakota Livestock Auction Market Association and South Dakota Stockgrowers Association.

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