Prime Rib Roast: The Closed-Oven Method

Closed oven prime rib recipe

The Spruce / Cara Cormack

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 2 hrs 40 mins
Overnight rest: 8 hrs
Total: 10 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 4 to 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
340 Calories
29g Fat
0g Carbs
9g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 340
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 29g 37%
Saturated Fat 12g 60%
Cholesterol 72mg 24%
Sodium 55mg 2%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Protein 9g
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This technique produces a perfectly medium-rare prime rib roast with a gorgeous brown crust on the outside. It works best for smaller prime ribs, between 4 and 8 pounds.

The key to this method is knowing the exact weight of your prime rib. Just copy it off the label, write it on a sticky note, and stick it on your fridge before you tear off and toss the butcher paper and throw it away.

A bonus for this recipe: You don't actually need a meat thermometer with this technique (although if you're paranoid, you can certainly use one anyway). You'll also notice that there's no resting time, which might come as a surprise if you're used to resting your meat after roasting it. Resting isn't necessary with this recipe because the meat is basically resting as it sits in the oven.

Serve with some delicious sides, a simple au jus sauce made with the pan juices, or try a creamy horseradish sauce.

Ovens With Cooling Fans

Due to some oven models having cooling fans that reduce oven temperature quickly to protect electronic controls, and this method needing the residual heat from the oven after it's turned off to cook the rib roast, some ovens may not be suitable to cook in this manner. If your oven does have this feature, we recommend you not use this closed-oven method and, instead, use the traditional method.


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  • 1 boneless or bone-in beef rib roast (trimmed and tied)
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Black pepper (freshly ground, to taste)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Season prime rib
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  2. The night before cooking the prime rib, unwrap the roast and let it sit uncovered in the refrigerator. This will dry out the surface, which makes it easier to get a nice brown color on the roast.

    Prime rib in fridge
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  3. Three hours before you want to begin cooking, take the roast out of the fridge and place it on a sheet pan at room temperature.

    Prime rib on tray
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  4. Half an hour before you start roasting, pre-heat your oven to 500 F and season the roast generously with Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  5. Now it's time to do your calculation. Simply multiply the weight of your roast by five. That's your total roasting time, in minutes. For instance, if you have a 4-pound roast, 4 × 5 = 20 minutes. An 8-pound roast? 8 × 5 = 40 minutes. Remember that number.

    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  6. When you're ready to cook, set the roast in a roasting pan with a rack, fat-side-up. If you're nervous about the cooking time, you can insert a meat thermometer or a digital probe thermometer into the deepest part of the meat, being careful not to hit bone.

    Set the roast in a pan
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  7. Put the roast in the preheated oven and roast it for exactly however many minutes you calculated above. When the time's up, turn off the oven and walk away. Do not open the oven door for any reason for the next two hours.

    Put the roast in the oven
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack
  8. In two hours, take the prime rib out of the oven, carve, and serve right away. If you did use a thermometer, you'll see that the internal temperature of the meat has reached 130 F, perfect medium-rare.

    Prime rib with sides
    The Spruce / Cara Cormack


  • For a bone-in prime rib, figure two servings per rib, while a boneless roast will yield two servings per pound.
  • When trying to figure out how much time you need to roast your prime rib, use this simple calculation: weight of the prime rib x 5 = total roasting time in minutes. For example, if you have a 3-pound roast, 3 × 5 = 15 minutes. A 6-pound roast? 6 × 5 = 30 minutes.