How to Make a Showstopping Prime Rib for Your Next Holiday Feast

Holiday Prime Rib Roast

A tender, melt-in-your-mouth prime rib is a classic main course to serve during the holidays. It's an impressive showstopping centerpiece that's also surprisingly easy to cook. If you're not sure how to cook this majestic piece of meat, we have a quick guide on how to put the perfect prime rib on the table this holiday season.


The day before you plan to serve the prime rib, remove it from all packaging, and place on a rimmed baking sheet with a rack. Leave in the refrigerator overnight. (This dries the surface of the meat out and helps create that gorgeous brown crust!)


Preheat oven to the lowest possible temperature setting, 150F. [Note: If your oven does not hold a temperature below 250F, start there instead.]

Season the roast generously on all sides with salt and pepper or with the seasoning packet that came in the box. With the fat cap facing up, place the roast on a V-rack set in a large roasting pan, or on a wire rack set in a rimmed baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast until the desired doneness is reached.

Depending on the size of the roast, a 150F oven will take around 5-1/2 to 6-1/2 hours and in a 250F oven, it will take 3-1/2 to 4 hours.

Tip: Since the roast will continue to cook after you remove it from the heat, aim for a temperature of 5 to 10F below your target for doneness.

Remove the roast from the oven and tent loosely with aluminum foil. Place in a warm spot in the kitchen and allow to rest for at least 30 minutes and up to 1-1/2 hours. Meanwhile, preheat oven to the highest possible temperature setting, 500 to 550F.

Ten minutes before guests are ready to be served, remove foil, place the roast back in the hot oven, and cook until well browned and crisp on the exterior, about six to ten minutes. Remove from the oven, carve, and serve immediately.


No prime rib is complete without the creamy horseradish and classic au jus!

Simple Horseradish Sauce

A simple one to three parts prepared horseradish to sour cream. (Tip: If you want it thinner, add a couple of tablespoons of heavy whipping cream.) Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Au Jus 

What you need

  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 cup beef broth or stock


While the roast is resting, put the roasting pan on the stove over medium-high heat. Add red wine to deglaze, stirring to scrape up all of the browned bits and drippings. Add Worcestershire and beef broth and bring to simmer. Simmer for five minutes, then remove to a bowl. Serve alongside the roast.


To keep the prime rib the star of the show, simple is best for sides. Check out our post on what sides will complement your prime rib