Dec 18, 2021

How To Cook A Boneless Prime Rib Roast

A Prime Rib Roast is a tradition for our Christmas dinner. I used to be intimidated by Prime Rib because it is so expensive, but once I got up the nerve to cook a Boneless Prime Rib at home, I realized it is actually very easy!

In this article you'll find everything you need to make a slow roasted Boneless Prime Rib Roast for your holiday dinner. I explain how to shop for and choose your Boneless Rib Roast, how to season the roast, what kitchen tools you need, and a video to show you how to cook a Boneless Prime Rib Roast to perfection every time!
A knife cutting through a medium rare Slow roasted prime rib on a cutting board

What is Boneless Prime Rib Roast?

A boneless prime rib roast is the quintessential holiday roast. The prime rib roast, with its generous marbling and rich, beefy flavor, is very tender and juicy. It is a favorite roast to serve for special occasions such as holidays.

The prime rib roast is a cut of beef from the primal rib section. While the entire rib section is comprised of 6 ribs, a standing rib roast may contain anywhere from two to seven ribs depending on the amount of servings you need.

A prime rib is most often roasted "standing" on the rib bones so that the meat does not touch the pan, however, roasting a boneless prime rib is easier as you won't have to carve around the bones. You just need a roasting pan with a rack to make a boneless prime rib roast.
An uncooked Boneless Prime Rib Roast salted and ready to slow roast in the oven

Another Name for Prime Rib

Prime rib goes by several different names such as Boneless Ribeye Roast, Bone-in Ribeye Roast, Standing Rib Roast, Boneless Rib Roast, Boneless Prime Rib, Beef Bone-in Rib Roast, or any combination of those names.

When shopping for prime rib, it is also important to note that although prime rib contains “prime” in its name this does not mean that it is USDA Prime grade. Be sure to double check the grading of your beef before you purchase it.

A beautifully marbled boneless prime rib roast on a cutting board, salted, and ready to slow roast in the oven to perfection

How to choose the perfect Prime Rib Roast

When shopping for your boneless prime rib roast you'll want to look for certain characteristics to ensure maximum flavor and tenderness. When in doubt, ask the butcher for help. Most butchers are more than happy to make recommendations and help you choose the best roast for you.
  • Marbling - Marbling is the little white flecks within the red color of the beef. Marbling flavors the roast, so a roast that is highly marbled is more desirable as it will yield more flavor, tenderness, and juiciness. Don't be afraid to dig through the selection comparing marbling. You are paying a lot for this roast so be sure to find the one with the most marbling!
  • Fat Cap - a prime rib roast will have a layer of fat on the exterior at the top of the roast. Be sure the roast you choose has a fat side on top and leave it there for cooking purposes. Always cook a prime rib with the fat side up.
  • Tied - A boneless prime rib roast should be tied to have as consistent of a shape as possible. A round shape will ensure even cooking throughout. Many times the butcher will remove the ribs and tie them back on to the roast, but when looking for a true boneless prime rib roast I recommend getting one that is tied to have as round a shape as possible. Irregularly shaped cuts won't cook evenly.
  • Date - Always be sure to check the sell-by or best by date to make sure you are getting the freshest roast possible.
  • Weight - Know the weight of the roast you need before you go shopping. Use the FREE Roast Perfect App to help you determine the perfect size depending on the amount of people your are serving.
A picture of my husband using the Roast Perfect App to get the perfect sized boneless prime rib roast for our Christmas dinner

How big of a Boneless Prime Rib Roast do I need?

The easy way to find the perfect size prime rib to purchase is to use the FREE Roast Perfect App by Certified Angus Beef®. Just put in the number of people you are serving and the app tells you what size roast to buy. So easy! Click here to download the Roast Perfect App on your iPhone or Android phone. You could also figure about 3/4 lb per person, but the app makes it so much easier. I mean, who wants to do the math, right?!
Boneless Prime Rib Roast setting on a rack in a roasting pan being rubbed with a garlic thyme mixture

How do I season a Boneless Prime Rib Roast

Season a boneless prime rib roast generously with a mixture of salt and pepper the day before you plan to roast it. Place the prime rib roast on the rack in the roasting pan and place in the refrigerator, uncovered, overnight. This will allow the outside of the prime rib to dry thoroughly which will help the exterior crisp up more when seared. A crispy outside adds lots of flavor to the prime rib roast.
Mixing garlic, thyme, ghee, and pepper to rub on the boneless prime rib roast

Although salt and pepper is really all you need to season a prime rib, I highly recommend adding fresh herbs and garlic. Just before roasting the prime rib, I mix two tablespoons of ghee (or olive oil), some freshly minced garlic, and fresh herbs, such as thyme leaves, together to make a paste mixture to rub on the roast. This coats the roast with a garlic thyme crust that my family loves!

NOTE: You can substitute 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder in place of the freshly minced garlic if you prefer
A knife slicing our perfectly cooked Boneless Prime Rib Roast. You can see the juices and the mid-rare inside

Oven Roasting Methods for Boneless Prime Rib

Here are the different oven roasting methods you can use when making a Boneless Prime Rib Roast:

Traditional roasting - The Roast Perfect App walks you through the traditional roasting method from start to finish. It's the EASIEST way to make a prime rib roast! The traditional roasting method starts with a very hot, 450° to 500°F oven to sear the roast and then you reduce the heat to 325°F and cook the roast until it reaches your desired degree of doneness. About an additional 1 1/2 to 2 hours. My Garlic Crusted Prime Rib recipe is the perfect medium rare prime rib using the traditional roasting method with the Roast Perfect app.

Slow roasting with Reverse Sear - The slow roasting method starts the roast in a very low temperature oven, around 200°F, and roasts for 4-5 hours until the internal temperature of the roast is close to your desired degree of doneness. Then you remove the roast from the oven to rest while you bring the oven up to 500°F. Return the roast to the oven and sear it for about 15 minutes. This is the method I used to cook to the perfect medium rare prime rib for this Boneless Prime Rib Roast recipe. Slow roasting with the reverse sear is the method I prefer most, but if I don't have the time to do this, my second option is the traditional roasting method.

Sear with Slow Roasting - Basically the exact opposite of the slow roasting with reverse sear. Produces similar results, but I've had better luck with slow roasting first as the meat is more evenly cooked throughout.

Closed-oven roasting - The closed-oven roasting method sounds a bit crazy but it can work. I'm not a huge fan of this method because if your oven doesn't have good insulation, this method might not work so great for you. This method works better with a small roast about 4-5 pounds.

Basically, for the closed-oven roasting method you start in a very hot oven to sear the roast for about 20-30 minutes depending on the size of your roast. Then you turn off the oven completely and walk away. You leave the roast in the closed-oven for 2 hours. Providing your oven retains heat as it should, your roast will be cooked to the perfect medium rare prime rib. You also don't need to rest the meat before slicing.
Using an instant read thermometer to check the temperature of our slow roasted boneless prime rib roast

How do I know when a Prime Rib Roast is done?

When cooking any meat you should always use an instant read thermometer as cooking times and temperatures can vary. Always test for doneness by inserting the thermometer into the thickest part of the roast without touching any fat or bone.

Remove the roast from the oven when the thermometer reads 5-10 degrees BELOW your target temperature to allow for cook-over when resting the meat as the temperature will continue to rise.

Degrees of doneness for Boneless Prime Rib Roast

  • Rare
    • 125°F with a cool red center
  • Perfect Medium Rare Prime Rib
    • 135°F with a warm red center and the most desirable degree of doneness for a Boneless Prime Rib Roast, in my opinion, for maximum flavor and tenderness.
  • Medium
    • 145°F has a warm pink center
  • Medium Well
    • 150°F don't do it. This is too overcooked and will be slightly dried out and less flavorful.
  • Well Done
    • 160°F Just NO! This is the temp you would shoot for when cooking something like turkey. Don't ever do it for a Prime Rib Roast.

Disclosure: The USDA recommends steaks and roasts be cooked to 145°F and then rested for at least 3 minutes.

Serve with Au Jus Sauce

It's easy to make a red wine au jus sauce using the pan drippings that pairs perfectly with prime rib. Follow these directions:
  1. Add 1/4 cup red wine to the juices in the pan to deglaze. Be sure to scrape any browned bits from the bottom of the pan to incorporate with the wine.
  2. Bring the wine to a boil and add 1 cup beef stock. Simmer until the liquid in the skillet is reduced by 1/2 - about 10 minutes.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves.
  4. Give the sauce a taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve with the sliced rib roast.

Prime Rib Sides

  • Caramelized Onion Smashed Potatoes - Mashed potatoes is my favorite side dish to pair with prime rib. This mashed potato recipe uses caramelized onions to elevate it to another level. You are going to love these mashed potatoes!
  • Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Dressing - Brussels Sprouts is another favorite side dish to pair with a special roast beef dinner. This shredded brussels sprouts recipe couldn't be easier and it is so delicious with the bacon dressing.
  • Steamed green beans and sauteed mushrooms make perfect pairings to any kind of beef. Check out my Steak Dinner recipe to learn how to prepare these easy side dishes.
  • A roast beef dinner wouldn't be complete without dinner rolls! My Butternut Squash Dinner Rolls are fluffy soft and delicious. They are perfect for special occasions!
  • Click here for even more side dishes to pair with your holiday meal

****PIN BONELESS PRIME RIB ROAST to save for later****
Slow roasted boneless prime rib roast on Pinterest

What kitchen tools do I need to slow roast a Boneless Prime Rib?

You may already have many of the tools needed to make this recipe, but for your convenience I've listed the tools I use when making my slow roasted Boneless Prime Rib Roast. Just click on the item name and find the product I use on Amazon.

Disclosure: Life Tastes Good is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. Please note: The following links are affiliate links to products I use and love.

how to cook a boneless prime rib roast
dinner, special occasion, holidays
Yield: 12
Author: Life Tastes Good
How To Cook a Boneless Prime Rib Roast

How To Cook a Boneless Prime Rib Roast

Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 4 H & 30 MTotal time: 4 H & 40 M
There are few things better than a prime rib roast of beef. This article shows you how to cook a prime rib roast to perfection.


  • 8 lb Boneless Prime Rib Roast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons ghee, melted (alternatively, you can use 2 Tbsp olive oil)
  • 2 tablespoons freshly minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. A day or two before roasting
  2. Set boneless prime rib roast on cutting board and pat dry with paper towels. Salt all over with 1 tablespoon kosher salt. Place the salted boneless prime rib roast on a rack in a roasting pan (or on a baking sheet) and refrigerate overnight (uncovered) to air-dry the outside of the prime rib. This ensures a crispier outside.
  3. Ready to roast
  4. Preheat oven to 200°F
  5. In a small bowl combine 2 tablespoons ghee (or olive oil) with 2 tablespoons freshly minced garlic, 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves, and 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Mix well into a paste.
  6. With prime rib roast on rack in roasting pan, rub the garlic and thyme paste all over the roast.
  7. Place roasting pan in preheated oven until the center of the roast reads 120°F on an instant read thermometer for medium-rare. About 4 hours.
  8. Remove roast from oven and tent with foil to rest for at least 20 minutes.
  9. Turn oven temp up to 500°F.
  10. Once the oven reaches 500°F, remove the foil and put the roast back in the oven. Cook until the outside is nicely browned and crisp. About 10-15 minutes. Transfer roast to a cutting board and rest the roast at least 15 minutes. Slice and enjoy!


Prep time does not include refrigerating the salted roast overnight.

Nutrition Facts



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Nutrition label disclaimer: Nutrient values are estimates only. Variations may occur due to product availability and food preparation. To obtain the most accurate representation of the nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator. You are solely responsible for ensuring that any nutritional information provided is accurate, complete, and useful.

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  1. very appetizing photos. I will definitely try this recipe. thank.

  2. I just got done using your recipe it looks an smells wonderful. Thank you for sharing

  3. Replies
    1. No, you don't want to cover while in the oven as you want to get a nice crispy crust on the outside.


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