Reverse Sear Prime Rib: The How-To Guide

February 21, 2023

Are you looking for a way to elevate your cooking skills that will have your dinner guests begging for your secrets? Then it’s time to step up your cooking game and try reverse searing! Reverse sear prime rib is the ultimate way to cook your prime rib that results in a perfectly juicy, tender prime rib on the inside as well as a crispy, salty crust. So let’s get cooking and impress everyone with your newfound culinary skills (and your irresistible prime rib)!

Cutting prime rib using knife and tongs on cutting board.

If you’ve never tried the reverse sear method before when making prime rib, we promise that you’ll never want to cook it another way (yes – it’s that good). Beginner cooks may find prime rib to be intimidating, so we’ve broken down the steps to make sure this is a fool-proof process for you!

INGREDIENTS FOR REVERSE SEAR PRIME RIB


⭐️ PRIME RIB – We recommend bone-in, skin-on. This cut has a 70:30 fat to protein ratio which also makes it optimal for a ketogenic, carnivore, or high-fat, low-carb diet.

⭐️ SALT – To season the meat. We promise that’s all you need to bring this beautiful piece of meat to life!

Raw prime rib on cutting board with kitchen in background.

WHY REVERSE SEAR PRIME RIB?


✅ Prime rib is a special cut of beef that must be treated with respect!

✅ Reverse sear creates an EXTRA crispy and salty crust. This crust is unbelievably flavourful and delicious, which no other cooking method for prime rib can achieve.

✅ This cooking method contributes to a consistent doneness and color from the top crust to the bottom.

Taking cooked prime rib roast out of oven.

HOW TO MAKE REVERSE SEAR PRIME RIB


STEP 1: PREPARE



Dry your prime rib thoroughly with paper towel. This step is crucial as it allows all the moisture to be removed effectively, which contributes to the crust and crispiness we are aiming to achieve with the reverse sear method.

Raw prime rib on cutting board with kitchen in background.

Salt the roast generously, ensuring that all sides are covered. Keep in mind that a lot of the salt will fall off the meat, so it is important to be generous with the seasonings.

Seasoning raw prime rib with salt on cutting board.

We promise you won’t need anything other than salt to bring this prime rib to life. Feel free to add additional spices such as rosemary, thyme, and garlic, but because this is such a rich cut of meat, salt is all that is really needed.

STEP 2: DRY


Raw prime rib roast on cutting board beside roasting tray with wire rack.

For an optimal crust during the reverse sear process, allow the meat to dry in the fridge. Use a mesh rack so that air can circulate beneath the roast. This rack will reduce any moisture that would get trapped on the bottom of the meat. This step is critical as it contributes to the thick crust and crispiness we are aiming to achieve.

Prime rib roast drying in fridge.

The drying process also allows the salt to penetrate deeply into the meat and flavour it all the way through. 

Raw prime rib roast seasoned with salt placed on roasting tray with wire rack.


STEP 3: COOK


Inserting meat thermometer into raw prime rib roast.

Using a meat thermometer ensure your roast will be cooked perfectly. Place the probe into the center of the eye of the roast away without touching the rib bones.

Placing raw prime rib roast into 250F oven.

Cook the prime rib in the oven until medium rare or until your meat thermometer hits 135F.

Prime rib roast cooking inside oven.

STEP 4: REST



Cover with foil and allow the prime rib rest on the counter. Note that the temperature may rise 5-10 degrees during this process.

Cooked prime rib roast resting on wire roasting tray with wire rack on top of oven.


The roast can rest on the counter for up to 2 hours, before proceeding to the next steps. This will allow the juices to redistribute, resulting in a juicy and tender final product.

Covering cooked prime rib roast wiht aluminum foil.

Pour the fat drippings from the roasting tray into a separate bowl.

Pouring drippings from roasting tray into clear glass bowl that is placed on top of chopping board.

STEP 5: BASTE


Zoomed in photo of basting cooked prime rib roast with drippings from roast tray.


Using the fat drippings collected earlier, baste the entire roast with a generous layer of fat. By basting the roast with its own fat, this will help ensure that the crust is delicious, crispy, and salty. This allows the outside of the roast to get a deep-fry like crust in the broiler.

Basting cooked prime rib roast with drippings from roast tray.

STEP 6: REVERSE SEAR


Setting oven to broil at 500 degrees fereinheit.

Reverse sear the prime rib in the oven by using the broiler. Cooking the prime rib at a high heat allows an extra crispy crust to form

Finished prime rib roast on top of cutting board being helped up with tongs with kitchen in background.

STEP 7: CARVE


Carving rib bones off of finished prime rib roast on top of cutting board.

Start by carving off the bone. An optional step is to throw the bones back into the broiler for an extra 5 minutes to brown the rarer parts and get them even crispier. Also check out our oven-baked back ribs which features just the bone-in ribs from this cut.

Carve into 1″ slices, ensure you are cutting against the grain. This will ensure that each slice is tender and easy to eat. One carving tip is to remove the rib bones first as it will make it easier to slice the main roast.

Cutting finished prime rib roast into slices on top of cutting board using chef knife and tongs.

The reverse sear prime rib method may take a little more time and effort than traditional searing, but the results are well worth it.

Slice of prime rib roast and remaining roast on to of cutting board.

With the tips and techniques outlined in this guide, you’ll be able to create a juicy and tender prime rib with a perfectly crispy crust every time. Give it a try for your next special occasion or dinner party, and your guests will be impressed with your cooking skills!

FAQ


👉 HOW DO I SELECT A GOOD CUT OF PRIME RIB?

When it comes to prime rib, the quality of the meat is essential. Look for a cut with plenty of marbling, which will help keep the meat moist and tender during cooking. The bone-in prime rib is also a popular choice because it adds flavor and juiciness to the meat.

👉 WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO LET THE PRIME RIB REST BEFORE SEARING IT?

Letting the prime rib rest after roasting is optional, but it allows the juices to redistribute, resulting in a juicy and tender final product.

👉 WHAT IF I DO NOT HAVE ENOUGH TIME TO LET THE ROAST DRY IN THE FRIDGE FOR 24-48 HOURS?

For optimal results, we recommend letting it dry for as long as you possibly can. You will still get a crispy crust even if you do not dry it out in the fridge; make sure you dry it out really thoroughly with paper towel if you are cooking it immediately after the meat is purchased from the store.

👉 WHAT OTHER SEASONINGS CAN I USE FOR THE REVERSE SEAR PRIME RIB?

You can also season the prime rib with with garlic, rosemary, or thyme to add extra flavor.

👉 CAN I USE A DIFFERENT CUT OF BEEF FOR THIS RECIPE?

While prime rib is the best cut for reverse searing, you can also try using other cuts of beef, such as ribeye or filet mignon. Keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures may need to be adjusted for different cuts.

Two slices of prime rib roast and remaining prime rib roast on white plate with kitchen in background.

Reverse Sear Prime Rib

Alice @ justrealfood
Are you looking for a way to elevate your cooking skills that will have your dinner guests begging for your secrets? Then it’s time to step up your cooking game and try reverse searing! Reverse sear prime rib is the ultimate way to cook your prime rib that results in a perfectly juicy, tender prime rib on the inside as well as a crispy, salty crust.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4

Equipment

  • 1 Roasting Tray with Rack (Note: The size of of your tray will depend on the size of your prime rib. We use a 22×15" roasting rack for a 6 lb prime rib.)

Ingredients
  

  • 6 lb Bone-In Prime Rib
  • 3 tbsp Salt

Instructions
 

  • Using paper towel, dry off the roast very thoroughly.
  • Salt the roast generously, up to 3/4 teaspoon per pound, ensuring that all sides are covered.
  • Place the roast onto a roasting pan with a mesh rack.
  • {Optional} – Let the roast sit in the fridge for up to 24-48 hours.
  • Pull the roast out of the fridge 2-3 hours before roasting it to allow it to reach room temperature. Place onto a roasting tray.
  • Preheat your oven to 250F.
  • Place an instant-read meat thermometer into centre of the roast. Cook to 115-120°F for rare, 120-125°F for medium-rare, or 130-135°F for medium. The roasting process can take anywhere from 2-4 hours depending on the size of your prime rib and preferred doneness.
  • Take the roast out of the oven and let rest for at least 30 minutes.
  • Pour all the accumulated fat and drippings from into a small bowl.
  • Baste the prime rib generously with accumulated fat drippings.
  • Broil prime rib at 500F for 5-10 minutes, or until the meat achieves a nice sear. Watch carefully to ensure that crust does not burn.
  • Carve into 1” slices against the grain, to serve.

Video

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Hi! Nice to meet you! We're Alice and Kevin. Together, we’ve experienced a life transformation with a ketogenic and carnivore diet, and our goal is to inspire others to do the same with simple and delicious recipes.

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