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How to Cook a Prime Rib That Melts in Your Mouth

by Meg Winkler

Tender, succulent and savory, prime rib is one of the very best cuts of meat on the market and is often the most expensive item on steakhouse menus. Recreating this fine dining entree is quite simple, requiring only a few ingredients. For best results, start with a USDA Prime grade prime rib. The name of the cut doesn’t imply its grade from the USDA, just that it’s the most desirable cut. The highest quality prime rib will yield the melt-in-your-mouth results seen in fine steakhouses. After hours of slow cooking and basting, your fine prime rib will be absolutely mouthwatering.

Select a prime rib cut that has plenty of marbling. USDA Prime prime rib is best if you can get it. If not, look for prime rib with thin layers of fat distributed throughout the cut. The fat will appear white or light pink.

Allow the prime rib to come to room temperature while preheating your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Beef should always be placed in the oven when at room temperature to keep from shocking it -- and causing it to toughen up -- when exposing it to heat.

Use a knife to cut 1/2-inch slits on all sides of the meat. Rub butter on all surfaces of the prime rib. Coat the meat on all sides with a spice rub of your choice. Avoid using salt on the prime rib as it can pull moisture out of the meat.

Start by cooking the prime rib at 450 degrees for the first 15 minutes. This quickly cooks the outside of the prime rib, sealing the meat and protecting the juicy center.

Turn the oven down to 325 degrees for the remainder of the cooking time, basting the prime rib with its own juices every 30 minutes. The slow cooking will create a juicy, tender prime rib. Basting the meat will keep the outside moist.

Do not overcook the prime rib. Once an internal temperature of 120 degrees is reached, remove it from the oven.

Cover the prime rib with foil for 30 minutes. The meat will continue to cook, reaching a temperature of between 125 and 130 degrees for rare.

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