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I tend to cook my prime rib as slabs of 1 to 2 bones instead of a single roast which gives me the benefit of a quicker cooking time and makes it easier to cook them to different temperatures as needed. Even though prime rib is tender, longer cooking times don't hurt it and I usually go 4 to 8 hours, though you can always cook them by thickness.
Prime rib can be one of the most theatrical dishes in a steakhouse, especially when it is sliced tableside from a larger roast. Prime rib is usually bought as large rib roasts and is often ordered from the butcher by the amount of ribs in it. A 2 to 3 rib prime rib roast will usually weigh about 2 to 3 pounds and will easily feed 4 people with leftovers. Prime rib and ribeye come from the same cut of beef, from the rib primal, but ribeye is cut before cooking, while prime rib is left whole.
I tend to cook my prime rib as slabs of 1 to 2 bones instead of a single roast. This gives me the benefit of a quicker cooking time and makes it easier to cook them to different temperatures as needed. It also maximizes the searing area, which adds even more flavor. One of the best prime ribs I had was first cut off the roast then seasoned with a spicy Cajun rub and seared on both sides.
Even though prime rib is tender, longer cooking times don't hurt it much. Most of the prime rib I eat is for Christmas dinner and I end up cooking it 5 to 10 hours because we are never sure when we are actually going to eat. You can always cook them by thickness though and get the time down to just a few hours.
There are many ways to finish prime rib, but my two favorites are a horseradish sauce or garlic and herb paste. For a large prime rib, I usually use a torch or the broiler in my oven turned up to high because it can be hard to fit a big one into a pan for searing. For slabs, I usually pan sear them or use a real hot grill.
For a much more detailed look at prime rib, I recommend my article on how to sous vide prime rib.
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