Back when my extended family was a bit smaller and my nieces and nephews didn’t have quite so many kids, I would invite everyone over to our house for Christmas Eve dinner. We usually had a honey-baked ham for the main course, but one year I decided to try something different. I told the family that if everyone pitched in some money, we could splurge on a big prime rib and that I would cook it.
Considering I had never actually made prime rib at that point, I was feeling a bit nervous about whether I could pull it off! So I ended up doing a LOT of research to find a good method for cooking prime rib. Luckily my research paid off, because that first prime rib turned out perfectly! It was such a hit that I made it again the next year, and the next year, and the year after that.
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This prime rib is now an indispensable Christmas tradition in our family, and I’m excited to share the recipe with you today! My time-tested, foolproof method for making sumptuous prime rib has yet to let me down, and I know it will serve you well too! (And for more delicious and festive recipes, be sure to check out my eBook My Favorite Holiday Recipes! You can buy it in my shop, or download it for free if you’re an OGT Plus member!)
How To Make Prime Rib
Get a prime rib roast at your grocery store or local butcher shop. It’s usually labeled “bone-in ribeye roast” or something similar. To determine what size of roast you’ll need, estimate about 1/2 pound of meat per person, plus a pound or two extra for good measure!
Next you’ll mix up the seasoning blend. Measure out 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon each of onion salt, seasoned salt, and garlic powder. This will yield about 1/4 cup of seasoning mix.
Pat the seasoning mixture on both ends of the roast as well as the fat side. (The seasoning may not stick as well on the fat side, so just do the best you can.)
Preheat your oven to 500°F. (Or preheat it as high as it will go without turning over to the broil function!)
Set the seasoned roast on a roasting rack, with the bone-side facing down and the fat-side facing up. Place the rack into a large roasting pan (or place it on a baking sheet if you don’t have a roasting pan.)
If you have an oven-safe meat thermometer, insert it into the middle of the roast. Then place the roast into the preheated oven, uncovered, and cook for 5-6 minutes per pound. After the initial cook time is up, shut the oven off.
Let the prime rib sit in the oven for two hours. During this time, DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR. You’re relying on the residual heat from the oven to continue cooking the meat, and if you open the door, that heat will dissipate quickly. So hands off! (I actually tape a note to the oven door as an extra reminder to everyone to stay away from the oven.)
After two hours, you can open the oven door to check the temperature of the meat. If your thermometer reads 135-140°F, it’s done and ready to take out! If it isn’t quite up to temperature yet, just put the roast back in the oven at 375°F until it reaches your desired temperature.
How To Make Creamy Horseradish Sauce
When you’re ready to serve your prime rib, serve it alongside a bowl of this creamy horseradish sauce! It couldn’t be easier to make, and it makes the perfect complement to the juicy and tender prime rib.
Using an electric mixer or a stand mixer, whisk the cream until it forms stiff peaks. (Lift your beater or whisk straight up—the cream should form a sharp peak that holds its shape.)
Add the white pepper, hot sauce, and horseradish to the whipped cream. Gently stir just until all the ingredients are incorporated.
Serve alongside your delicious prime rib!
Note: This sauce doesn’t keep very well. Just plan to use it the same day you make it.
Check Out My Full Holiday Dinner Menu
Prime rib with creamy horseradish sauce may be the darling of our holiday menu, but we love our side dishes too! Don’t miss out on the rest of my family’s holiday dinner menu, including Instant Pot “baked” potatoes, creamed corn, a truly miraculous spinach salad, and more! Check out the whole menu at the link below!
Foolproof Prime Rib
Back when I first tried my hand at making prime rib, I did a LOT of research to find a foolproof method. This is the method I ended up using, and I’ve been making it every Christmas ever since!
- 5 lb Bone-in ribeye roast
- ¼ cup mix of onion salt, seasoned salt, and garlic powder
- Roasting rack
- Roasting pan
- Oven-safe meat thermometer
Mix up 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon each of onion salt, seasoned salt, and garlic powder, for a total of 1/4 cup of seasoning mix.
Pat the seasoning mix on both ends of the roast as well as the fat side. (The salt may not stick as well on the fat side, but don’t worry about it.)
Preheat the oven to 500°F.
Set the seasoned roast on a roasting rack, bone-side down and fat-side up. Place the rack in a large roasting pan, and insert your meat thermometer into the middle of the roast.
Place the roast into the preheated oven, uncovered, and cook for 5-6 minutes per pound.
Then shut the oven off completely, and DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DOOR FOR TWO HOURS.
After two hours, check the temperature of the meat. If your thermometer reads 135-140°F, it’s done! (If it isn't quite to temp yet, just put it back in the oven at 375°F until it's done.)
Creamy Horseradish Sauce
1 cup heavy cream
A pinch of white pepper, or to taste
1 dash Tobasco hot pepper sauce (optional)
3 tablespoons prepared horseradish
Whisk the cream in a mixing bowl until it forms stiff peaks.
Season with the white pepper, hot sauce, and horseradish.
Stir gently until just combined, and serve alongside your delicious prime rib!