How to Cook a Prime Rib Steak in the Oven

Seared and oven roasted prime rib steak on serving platter.

Prime rib steak is cut from a bone-in beef rib roast. It’s an indulgent, delicious piece of meat known for its tenderness and rich marbling. It’s also known as a ribeye, ribeye steak, or — specific to bone-in cuts — cowboy steak. 

There are different ways to cook prime rib steaks, but oven-roasting is an easy, reliable choice. Learn how to prepare your ribeye cut below in five simple steps. 

How to cook a prime rib steak in the oven.
Source: Envato.

1. Choosing your perfect cut 

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Prime rib steak can be bone-in or boneless. Either can be delicious, so your choice here is up to you. Know that boneless ribeye is more expensive but cooks faster, while bone-in cuts have more flavor and cook longer. 

You could also purchase a standing rib roast and slice it into steaks yourself. Or, better yet, ask your butcher to slice it for you. 

Whether you start with boneless, bone-in, or a whole roast, opt for cuts with nice marbling. And look for higher-quality grades like “Prime” or “Choice.” 

2. Prepping for perfection

Follow these guidelines to prepare your meat for cooking: 

  • Thaw any frozen cuts completely. 
  • If you’re cutting from a bone-in roast, carve the meaty part of the prime rib off the contours of the bone.
  • Let the meat sit out for 30 minutes at room temperature before cooking. It will cook more evenly when it’s not refrigerator-cold. 
  • Pat the meat dry with a paper towel before you season it.

3. Super seasonings 

Any good prime rib recipe will advise you to season the meat before you cook it. Even simple spices can enhance the meat’s flavor significantly.

How to season your prime rib steak? Here are some ideas: 

  1. Use your favorite homemade dry spice rub. Try my steak seasoning recipe.
  2. Buy a prepared steak spice rub and use that. 
  3. Stick to a simple combination of salt and pepper. 
  4. Blend of minced garlic, melted butter, salt, and pepper.
  5. Or you could make a marinade from soy sauce, olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon mustard, garlic, black pepper, rosemary, and thyme. Marinate the meat for 30 minutes up to 24 hours. 

4. Sear and roast

Before you start the searing process, preheat the oven temperature to 375°F (191°C). 

Searing the meat briefly before you roast it will add flavor and lock in juices. Here’s what to do: 

  1. Season first. See section above for ideas. 
  2. Heat a cast-iron, ovenproof skillet over to high heat on the stove top. If you don’t have a cast-iron skillet, see: How to cook steak on the stove without cast-iron.
  3. Wait until the skillet is very hot. Add the prime rib cuts and cook them undisturbed for 3 minutes.
  4. Flip. If you see a browned crust when you flip, you’ve done it right. 
  5. Insert a meat thermometer into the meat and place the entire skillet into the preheated oven. (You could alternatively use a roasting pan if you don’t have an ovenproof skillet.)
  6. Stay sharp here because the cooking time can be short — like, 2 to 5 minutes. You’re targeting an internal temperature that’s around 125°F (52°C). 

5. Rest

Once the thermometer reads the target temperature, pull the meat from the oven, place it on a cutting board, and let it rest. You can optionally tent it with aluminum foil. The slices of prime rib roast will continue to rise 5 degrees (F) or so as they are resting. If you remove the meat from the oven at 125°F (52°C), it should reach 130°F (54°C), which is a delicious and tender medium rare doneness. 

If you’re feeling ambitious, use the resting time to collect pan juices. Make a quick au jus or gravy to drizzle over the steak (and mashed potatoes if you’re having those on the side!). 

More advice on cooking ribeye steaks

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Yield: 4 servings

Oven-Roasted Prime Rib Steak

Seared and oven roasted prime rib steak on serving platter.

Ingredients

  • 4 prime rib steaks, bone-in, 10 ounces each
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter softened
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Ground black pepper
  • Kosher salt

Instructions

  1. Add the garlic to a mortar and sprinkle one tablespoon of salt. Mash until the mixture is even, then transfer the mash to a bowl and add the thyme, butter, and pepper. Then, fold the butter in with the spices until it is evenly mixed. Melt half of the mixture and set aside.
  2. Preheat the oven to 425°F (218°C) and season the steaks with salt and pepper.
  3. Heat an ovenproof skillet to scalding hotness on high. Add the oil, so it shimmers. Sear the steaks on one side for 3 minutes. Flip and brush the top side with the melted garlic butter.
  4. Insert a thermometer into the steak and place the skillet in the oven. When the thermometer reads 125°F (52°C), remove the skillet from the oven and place the steaks on a cutting board. Let them rest 5 to 10 minutes.
  5. Serve with pan juices.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 461Total Fat: 43gSaturated Fat: 21gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 116mgSodium: 123mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 18g

Nutrition information isn’t always accurate.

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