Prime Rib Roast: Sear-It-Last Method

prime rib roast

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 4 hrs
Aging and Searing: 4 hrs 10 mins
Total: 8 hrs 15 mins
Servings: 4 to 10 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
619 Calories
49g Fat
0g Carbs
41g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 619
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 49g 63%
Saturated Fat 20g 99%
Cholesterol 151mg 50%
Sodium 146mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 0g 0%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 41g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 24mg 2%
Iron 4mg 24%
Potassium 588mg 13%
*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 prime rib recipe is somewhat of a departure from the standard prime rib technique, in which the meat is roasted at a high temperature initially and then finished at a lower temperature. Instead, we slowly roast it in a 200 F oven until its inner temperature reaches the perfect medium-rare, briefly let it rest, and then brown it at a very high temperature right before serving it. By doing so, you'll achieve a perfectly crusty and delicious exterior, a flawless pink interior, and none of the gray ring that appears when you cook a prime rib roast at high temperature first. Our checked, proved, and approved method is the easiest and best way of getting a perfect roast every single time.

This method also has the added advantage of letting you serve the roast straight out of the oven versus the standard method of having to let it rest for half an hour or more before being able to carve it. This technique will work for either a bone-in or boneless prime rib of beef of between 4 and 10 pounds. For a bone-in prime rib, think of two servings per rib, while a boneless roast will yield two servings per pound.

Serve with your favorite sides, like potatoes and vegetables, and in its own sauce au jus-style. Alternatively, make some horseradish, creamy mustard, black pepper, or Madeira sauce. Be aware that the roast needs to age a little in the fridge before cooking, so you need to start the night before your planned meal. Leaving your prime rib uncovered in the fridge will expose it to air, helping dry the surface, which in turn makes it easier to get a beautiful brown crust when you sear it at the end.


Click Play to See This Perfect Prime Rib Roast Recipe Come Together

"This method works perfectly. It took 4 hours for my 8 1/2 pound boneless beef rib roast to hit 128 F, and 10 minutes at the end to sear to perfection. I let the meat rest for 1 1/2 hours before the final sear. The roast was the best I've ever had. The image says it all" —Diana Andrews

Prime Rib Roast: Sear-it-Last Method/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


  • 1 (4- to 10-pound) boneless beef rib roast, or bone-in; trimmed and tied

  • Kosher salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    prime rib roast ingredients gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  2. The night before you're going to cook the prime rib roast, place the meat on a rack over a rimmed sheet pan. Transfer the meat to the fridge, uncovered, and allow it to age for up to 24 hours. Three hours before you're going to roast it, take the prime rib out of the fridge and let it sit at room temperature. Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and heat to 200 F. Season the meat generously with kosher salt and ground black pepper.

    seasoned prime rib roast in a baking sheet with cooling rack set inside

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Set the boneless roast in a roasting pan with a rack, fat-side up. If using a bone-in roast, set the meat bone-side down. Insert a meat thermometer or a digital probe thermometer into the deepest part of the meat, being careful not to hit the bone. If you're using a digital probe thermometer, set it to alert you when the meat hits 128 F. Transfer the roast to the oven and roast until the meat's internal temperature reaches 128 F, which will be another 2 1/2 to 5 hours, depending on the size of your roast.

    prime rib roast cooked with meat thermometer to temperature

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  4. When the temperature reaches 128 F, take the meat out of the oven and transfer it to a cutting board. Cover it with foil. Leave the thermometer in. Once you take the roast out of the oven, the temperature should rise to 130 F, which is perfect medium-rare. Within 20 minutes or so, it will drop back down to 120 F. Turn your oven temperature up to 500 F.

    prime rib roast tented in foil on cutting board with meat thermometer

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  5. By the time the temperature has come down to 120 F, the oven will have fully reached 500 F. Place the roast back in the hot oven and roast on super-high for 8 to 10 minutes or until you have a lovely brown crust on the outside. Remove from the oven and carve right away.

    final roasted prime rib uncovered and back in baking pan

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga


Once the roast reaches 128 F and is out of the oven and covered with foil, you can let it rest for up to 1 1/2 hours before the final searing process.

When Do I Take the Roast Out if I Want It Medium?

If you prefer a medium prime rib, take it out at 135 F with a target temperature of around 140 F. Either way, you'll still want to rest the meat until it comes back down to 120 F before you put it back in the oven to do the browning.