Prime rib is one of the best cuts of beef you can get – it’s a high quality cut that’s versatile enough for any event, and goes so well as a key ingredient in so many dishes!
It’s obviously not a cheap cut – which means that when you’re preparing, cooking, and serving prime rib, you’ll want to do everything you can to make sure that you get the best – and the most – out of it!
With this quick, simple, and extremely handy guide, you’ll learn how to make the perfect prime rib – easily, with no fuss, and with guaranteed results every time!
You’ll know exactly how much to give to each person so that you’re left with nothing but empty plates and happy, well fed friends and family every time!
What Is Prime Rib?
A prime rib cut is one of the most delicious, and sadly expensive, cuts of beef. It’s cut from the back upper area of the cow, behind the shoulders.
In terms of cut location, the prime rib cut lies between the chuck and short loin cuts, and above the plate cut. A prime rib roast will actually be composed of around seven ribs.
This area of the animal is also where the famed rib-eye steak comes from. The prime rib cut actually includes part of the “eye” of the rib that makes rib-eye steak famous, and gives it its name. In fact, this is where so much flavor is stored!
However, it’s important to remember that they’re slightly different cuts – they shouldn’t be prepared and treated exactly the same, despite being from the same part of the animal, and sharing the characteristic marbling and overall deliciousness that comes from the rib section.
It’s a fantastic cut, and a very selective one – only taking the best portion of the ribs, which number more than just the six or seven that are typical for the prime rib cut.
It’s no wonder then that it can be such an expensive cut – which means that getting it right is so important!
How Much To Buy And Cook?
This is, of course, one of the most crucial things to think about – exactly how much prime rib do you need to buy, so that everyone gets enough – but so that you also don’t end up wasting money and food!
Too little, and you’ll have hungry mouths and aghast faces as people realize that there’s not enough of this delicious meat to go around.
Too much, and you’ll have to throw some of the fantastic tasting and expensive food away – meaning that you’re wasting food and you’re out of pocket, for no good reason!
This can all be avoided with some planning – doing everything you can to make sure that you don’t over or under buy or cook this amazing cut of beef.
The first thing you’ll have to consider is perhaps obvious – how many people are you cooking for? There’s no point buying enough food for 8 people if you’re just cooking a romantic meal for two.
And if you’ve only got enough ribs to feed three, then a family of five is going to have some upset people! Of course, not everybody eats meat – so if they’re a vegetarian or vegan, it’s fine to scratch them off the list – they won’t want any beef, so you don’t need to factor them into your calculations!
You’ve also got to think about how much each person is likely to want to eat! You’re cooking something so delicious, that there’s sure to be some people out there who’ll go for seconds – and of course, there’s always one or two people who love to eat a little more than others!
A young kid isn’t going to be able to put away as much of this delicious meat as your 6 foot tall trucker buddy will – probably!
As a good rule of thumb – that you should of course adjust based on the requirements of each person – you can expect to need around a pound of meat per adult.
Half to three quarters might be enough for the kids – unless they’re big boys and girls, in which case they might well eat as much as an adult!
A pound of meat should be enough for most people – but of course, if you know that you’ll need a bit more or less than that, then adjust accordingly.
And, of course – if the prime rib is meant to be a smaller part of the meal, then you can easily get away with less – but if it’s the main feature of the course, then a pound per person remains a good starting point for your measurements.
On average, your cut of prime rib – unless it’s been cut smaller, of course – will max out at around 7 ribs.
Most prime rib cuts will give enough for 2 people per rib by weight – if you’ve still got the bone in the meat, then you should remember that bone weighs something – and you can’t eat it!
Try your best to take the weight of the bone into your calculations – on average, the bone weighs around half an ounce per half inch of length. So, a 6 inch bone will weigh somewhere around three ounces.
The exact weight of each cut of prime rib will be slightly different, however. After all – each cow is different!
The other thing to consider is how you’re going to serve the meat. Are you leaving it on the bone for your hungry friends and family, or are you going to be cutting it off the bone before serving?
If you’re leaving it on the bone, then you’ll of course have to think about how many people will be able to have a bone each. If you’ve got two bones but are feeding three people – well, you’re going to have to do some cutting before serving, or there’s going to be someone left with neither a bone nor any delicious prime rib!
How To Cook A Great Prime Rib
As with so many of the best, high quality cuts of meat – and, of course, as with so many other things in life – you’re often best off taking it slow and steady when it comes to prime rib.
The best way to get the best results out of cooking this fantastic piece of meat is to give the meat a long time to cook – without overcooking it, of course!
The first thing of course to be aware of is safe cooking temperatures.
There’s a minimum temperature that every meat needs to be cooked to – if it doesn’t reach this heat, you’re allowing dangerous bacteria and other really nasty things to grow on the food – and this food is then going to make its way into your mouth!
You really don’t want to think about that ever again, do you? Well, the way to ensure that it’s never a worry again is to make sure that you get your food to a safe temperature every time!
There’s a really handy guide to the minimum safe temperatures for cooking a wide variety of meats – it’s made by the US Government, and is available at this link, which will take you to FoodSafety.gov.
By looking at the chart, we can see what temperature you need to get various meats to so that you can guarantee that they’re safe to eat.
Prime rib is a cut of beef, and by looking at the section for fresh beef, we can see that the minimum safe temperature for cooking beef is 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
What does that mean? Well, simply, it means that the internal temperature of the meat needs to reach 145 degrees Fahrenheit in order to kill off all of those nasty things, and make your meat completely safe to eat.
Of course, one of the great things about beef is that, unlike chicken, you have a range of safe temperatures at which the meat is safe, as the surface of the meat cut is the only place where bacteria is a real worry.
As long as the cut is intact – that is to say, as long as it hasn’t been ground – then bacteria can’t really make its way through the beef, as it’s just too dense for it to penetrate.
This is why it’s possible to cook and serve a steak in any state other than well done – and as any steak lover knows, you should never serve a steak well done!
It’s a crime! Ensure that the surface temperature (and a little underneath) reaches the safe zone, and your steak is safe, and on its way to being ready to eat and delicious!
Therefore, if you’re using a meat thermometer – and you really, really should be – then you can get a great idea of just how hot your meat is inside, and just how it’s going to look and taste when it’s done!
If you’re aiming to serve your prime rib rare, then aim for an internal temperature of 115 to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. This will give you that fantastic rare beef you’re after!
For a medium rare prime rib, aim at around 125-130 degrees. And if you want it served medium, 135 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit is your golden zone.
If you go higher than this, you’re on course to the “well done” territory – and that’s not the best place to be!
Preheat your oven to around 500 degrees Fahrenheit. You’re going to stick your prime rib into the oven once it’s at this temperature, and leave it in at this heat for around twenty minutes to half an hour.
After this time, you’re going to turn the heat down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the temperature that it’s going to stay at for the rest of the cooking time!
Once you’ve turned the temperature down, you should allow around 20 to 30 minutes cooking time for every single pound of prime rib that’s in the oven.
If you’ve got a big 5 pound cut in there (lucky you!), that means you’re looking at anywhere between an extra 100 to 150 minutes.
In hours and minutes, that’s a cook time of between 1 hour and 40 minutes, and 2 hours and 30 minutes – again, after the initial 30 or so minutes at the higher temperature.
This should give you an absolutely delicious, perfectly cooked, prime rib – medium rare, and totally divine!
If you prefer it to be a little more or less cooked, then of course adjust your cooking time to suit – and for best results, and to make sure that you’re getting the right temperature ever time, without having to ever cut into your meat before it’s finished cooking – get yourself a meat thermometer!
If you wanted to know just how much prime rib you need per person – and how to cook it to perfection – then hopefully you’ve learned everything that you needed to know from this article!
Happy cooking, and bon appetit!