Prime rib is a large cut of beef that is attached to seven rib bones. Prime rib is one of the nine cuts from a side of beef, in addition to beef chuck and beef loin.
Serving prime rib is often associated with a holiday or special occasion- and serving it provides the wow-factor that you want for guests or loved ones.
Since a prime rib is a large cut, you will probably be preparing it ahead for a crowd or gathering. In this case, you want to cook the rib to temperature, and then keep it warm until serving or until you are ready to eat.
As with other fine cuts of beef, overcooking it can truly ruin the prime rib, so how to keep the prime rib warm before serving is key.
When it comes to prime rib, here is what you need to know:
Cook It Slowly
Before you can keep it warm, you need to cook it. The best approach is to slow cook prime rib, at a low temperature in the oven. Season the meat as desired, and let it sit in the refrigerator for a few hours- or overnight- before bringing the meat to room temperature to cook.
Do not skip this step, or you could have issues with your cooking time and end up with tough beef.
Set your oven temperature at 225 degrees Fahrenheit and bake until the meat has the internal temperature that you want, from rare to well-done.
Always use a meat thermometer to confirm the temperature of your cooked prime rib.
Reverse Sear the Rib
Next, it is time to sear your meat. Now that the prime rib has been cooked slowly and low in the oven, turn the temperature up to high heat – at least 550 degrees Fahrenheit to get a tasty crust on the outside of your perfect prime rib.
Make sure that you have a clean oven before you crank up the heat, or plan on your smoke detectors going off!
Bake the roast in the hot oven uncovered for about seven minutes to sear and create the crust.
Let It Rest
Ideally, you should allow the cooked beef to rest for a half hour. This gives the juices time to redistribute throughout the meat.
If you are not eating right away, use the following suggestions for how to keep prime rib warm before serving, without overcooking your beef.
Reheat Like a Restaurant
If you want a sure-fire way to learn how to keep prime rib warm before serving, ask a chef! That is, use the same method that restaurants use to reheat pricey cuts of beef.
Typically, a restaurant chef will keep the rib warm by putting it in the oven.
In most cases, the restaurant staff will keep the prime ribs warm by placing them inside the oven.
Prepare, bake, sear, and rest your prime rib as the recipe commands. Loosely cover the entire rib and gaps of the pan with foil. It does not need to be tight, but it should cover the pan and meat completely.
Heat the oven to a low of 170-200 degrees Fahrenheit but be careful that it is no hotter than that or you risk overcooking, drying out, and toughening up your meat.
Keep the oven on and the meat inside as long as you need to before serving.
Warm the Plate
Another way to reheat or keep your prime rib warm is to use a warming plate or platter for the cooked beef. Again, follow the recipe for baking your beef and allow it to rest thoroughly before proceeding.
Do you have a warming plate or chafing dish? These are often seen being used in buffets and banquets to keep hot food warm during service.
This is what you need- a metal serving dish with a power cord that you plug in to warm. You will find similar products available online for both home and commercial use.
Temperature is everything or you risk the texture and outcome of your prime rib. Choose a low setting to keep the beef warm without continuing to cook it, from low to medium low.
Cover with aluminum foil that is tented but not tight, to keep the meat warm for up to four hours.
The result of this method? You will have tasty, juicy, and warm prime rib- whenever you are ready to serve or enjoy it!
Prime Rib FAQs
Here are some commonly asked questions about prime rib.
How long can prime rib rest before serving?
Allow your prime rib to rest for at least 20 minutes before serving, ideally, allow to rest for a solid 30 minutes. Any longer, and you risk cooling the meat down.
How do you keep prime rib at temp?
Keep your prime rib at temperature until ready to serve by placing it in an oven set to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, but no warmer than 200 degrees.
What do I do if my prime rib is done early?
If your prime rib is done early, keep it warm in a low oven covered completely, though not tightly, with foil. Set the oven at no higher than 200 degrees-Fahrenheit or you risk overcooking the beef.
How to season a prime rib before cooking?
When it comes to seasoning a prime rib, keeping it simple may work the best. Season the meat the night before, if possible, but at the very least, allow a minimum of two hours between seasoning the beef and putting it in the oven.
Before you season the prime rib, make sure to rub it generously with good quality olive oil. Use a coarse grind of salt; the coarser the salt crystals, the more crust you will establish on the surface of your meat- delicious!
Season your ribs generously with these suggestions:
¼ cup of kosher salt combined with ¼ cup of coarse ground black pepper.
Equal part of black pepper, kosher salt, and brown sugar, combined with dried oregano and paprika to taste.
Two tablespoons of black pepper, two tablespoons of kosher salt, two tablespoons Herbs de Provence (typically consisting of savory, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and oregano), and two minced cloves of garlic.
Consider seasoning your prime rib the night before and then leaving uncovered in the fridge until you cook the next day. Before you put the prime rib in the oven, allow it to come to room temp for a couple of hours to prevent tough meat.
Can prime rib be made ahead of time?
You can make prime rib ahead of time and keep it warm until serving. You may use the methods mentioned above, including covering it with foil in a warm oven or resting the meat on a warm serving plate. Whatever you do, don’t use a microwave oven for reheating prime rib if you can help it.
Should you cover the plate with foil while the prime ribs are resting?
You should cover your plate or platter with foil while your prime ribs are resting to trap the heat and keep them warm. This ensures the meat remains warm, but not overcooked, which could turn it tough and texturally less appealing.
How can you make prime rib juicier?
Trussing or tying the bones of the beef together during cooking can help preserve more moisture in the meat itself. This results in a juicier finished product.