Do You Leave the String on Prime Rib When Cooking

Are you cooking a prime rib but not sure whether to leave the string on or not while it cooks?

You might have seen in many pictures that prime rib is often wrapped with butchers string.

So we are here to figure at once and for all whether you should leave the string on or not! 


Should You Leave the String on Prime Rib or Not?

Yes, you can absolutely leave the string on your prime rib.

This apples to whether you are working with a boneless or bone-in roast.

The string on allow you to cut the meat more easily, not only that the string is definitely your friend as it will allow the meat to keep a symmetrical shape throughout the entire cooking process. 


Why Should You Keep the String On?

The two main reasons to keep the string on is that is makes for an easier cut and also offers better quality and taste. 

Better Taste 

Firstly, you should leave the string on as it offers you with a memorable, savoury taste and quality.

This is because the strings allow for better-tasting prime rib by keeping the fat and the juices of the meat intact. 

The strings allow the juices of the prime rib to cook inside the beef rather than dripping out into your roasting pan which prevents the prime rib from drying out.

Similarly, the fat stays formed together which adds a rich flavor and better taste when the strings left in. 

Easy Cut 

Secondly, leaving the string on will make for an easier cut. 

The strings—or ‘butcher’s twine’— run between the spaces of each rib bone and helps your prime rib cut keep a desirable shape as it cooks.

Without a string holding the cut together, your prime rib could very well lose its shape and make for a more challenging cut when serving.

This is because the strings help keep the prime rib in place as the meat naturally tends to expand during the cooking process.

Below you can see me cooking my prime


Preparing the Prime Rib

The steps mentioned below will ensure you get the most out of your prime through preparing it the right way.

Trimming, tying and seasoning are extremely important steps in making sure you achieve your desired dish. 

1. Trimming 

Trim the fat or excess gristle around any areas of your prime rib if it is over 1 inch in thickness.

Anything below 1 inch makes for the perfect, tender consistency and enhances your prime rib’s flavor depending on how fatty you enjoy it.

You should ideally aim for 1/4 of an inch. 

2. Tying

Tie your string between the rib bones and include the chine bones at the bottom of the rib roast if you are tying at home without the butcher’s expertise. 

Be sure to use a good cooking twine made from 100% natural cotton. 

3. Seasoning 

Season the prime rib with a generous amount of kosher salt and let it sit at room temperature for 3 hours before cooking.

This will allow your prime rib to cook more evenly while the salt is absorbed and strengthens your cut’s flavor.


How Long to Cook Prime Rib

Below is the cooking time for prime rib.

Firstly, put your prime rib in a roasting pan with the fat side up and rib bones facing down.

Brown the prime rib roast at 500°F or as high as your oven will go for 15 minutes.

Next, reduce the oven temperature to 300°F and continue cooking based on your preference.

For a rare preparation , cook for 11-12 minutes per pound.

For medium rare, cook 13-15 minutes per pound.

Make sure to check that the internal temperature of your beef is 130°F with a meat thermometer before you remove it from the oven. 

If you are preparing rare to medium rare prime rib,  you can eat it at 120 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit without any risk according to the USDA. 

Serving Prime Rib

Let your prime rib rest, covered in foil, for 15-30 minutes before carving once you remove it from the oven. 

Resting the prime rib will ensure that you get the most finger-licking and juiciest cut possible. 

What Not to Do While Cooking Prime Rib

While preparing your prime rib, there are few things that may get you into trouble and ruin the dish. 

Mentioned below are some don’ts to ensure you achieve a satisfying prime rib. 

Don’t Let Seasoning Sit For Too Long

You seasoning and/or kosher salt should not sit on your prime rib for more than 3 hours.

This is because the longer the salt sits, the more the salt will suck out the moisture of your cut, making your prime rib a dry, bland mess.

Make Sure You Have Enough Prime Rib Per Person

The last thing you want to do is run out of prime rib when cooking for a crowd. Make sure you figure out how many pounds of prime rib per person you need this will ensure you have enough meat for everyone.

This is because the longer the salt sits, the more the salt will suck out the moisture of your cut, making your prime rib a dry, bland mess.

Don’t Cook Cold Meat

One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a chef is cooking any meat when cold and/or frozen. 

Without exposing your prime rib to room temperature, the outer layers will overcook, primarily because of the huge size of the prime rib. 


Why Does Prime Rib Even Have a String?

Prime rib has a string so that it is able to maintain a desirable shape, allowing it to become a better cut with an even cook and with pristine presentation.

Furthermore, as the strings hold the meat together tightly, it may also be easier to achieve rare or medium rare. 

Do You Have to Use Kitchen Twine?

Yes, you should stick to kitchen twine made from 100% natural cotton to tie your prime rib as it is undoubtedly the best and safest way to tie the meat. 

This material is strong enough to stand high temperatures and keep the ribs intact while not melting or imparting any unwanted flavors onto your meat.

For this tender and expensive piece of beef, there is little margin for error. 

By following the guidelines mentioned above, you can be rest assured to.

Cook up a delicious and juicy feast for your next family occasion by ensuring you cook the prime-rib with the strings tied securely around the cut. 

Smoke On!


Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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