Is Your Prime Rib Cooking Too Fast? (See How to Fix This)

You’re cooking prime rib for a big dinner. However, your meat is almost ready and dinner isn’t for a few more hours.

How can you slow down the cooking time?

Will the prime rib still be good at dinnertime? How should you serve it?

We’ve got you covered.

Read this article to make sure your guests will have a delicious meal at dinnertime!


Why Is My Prime Rib Cooking So Fast?

The biggest reason why prime rib cooks quickly is because your temperature is too high.

Perhaps your heat source is hotter than you realize. You can use an external thermometer to check on this.

Another reason why prime rib roast might get done quickly is that there was less meat than you thought.

Maybe you estimated a few pounds over.

You may even want to reset your thermometer. Perhaps the thermometer is off.

If you have two smaller prime rib roasts, you can decrease the cooking time.

A 20-pound piece of meat will take extra time. Two 10-pound cuts of beef will take roughly half as long.

This is because the center of the meat takes longer to cook when it’s further away from the hot oven or smoker.

How Do I Slow Down My Prime Rib’s Cook Time?

The main thing you can do is lower the oven temp.

A lower cooking temperature will result in a longer cooking time.

Your prime rib mustn’t reach its final internal temperature too quickly.

If it does, you’ll have tough meat instead of tender meat.

You may even want to turn off the heat source and wait to finish cooking the meat when it’s closer to dinner time.


What Do I Do if My Prime Rib Is Done Too Early?

Wrap your meat in aluminum foil. Then wrap a towel around it and put it in a cooler.

This will keep the meat warm for several hours with this setup.

If the meat is fully cooked, you should let it rest first.

That way it has a chance to finish cooking before you wrap it up.

If the meat isn’t quite to temp, wrap it immediately. This will ensure that it cooks a little bit longer.

You can cook it at 200°F when it’s almost time to serve. This will help the meat warm up a bit.

Some people recommend cooking at 500°F for about 10 minutes before serving.

This will result in a nicely seared crust.

If the rib roast still has quite some time, you can remove it from the heat for a couple of hours.

Then return it to the oven to finish cooking.


What Is the Cook Time for Prime Rib?

If you’re cooking the prime rib at 250°F, estimate about 25 minutes per pound.

It should take about 15 minutes per pound at 350°F.

If you’re smoking the meat, low and slow is the way to go. Even in an oven, the lower temperatures will yield better results.

It is also usually easier to speed up the cooking process than to slow it down.

Another thing to consider when estimating the cooking time is how well you want it done.

For a rare prime rib, you’ll cook it for less time. For a well-done prime rib, cook it for longer.


How to Prepare Prime Rib

First, choose the right prime rib.

Do you want boneless or bone-in? What quality grade meat do you prefer?

Then consider your guest list.

If you purchase a bone-in roast, estimate a pound per person. You will find 12-16 pound roasts at most stores.

Now that you have everything, let’s figure out how long it will take.

What temperature do you want to cook it at? What will the final meat temperature be?

When it’s time to start cooking, season the meat. You only need some kosher salt and black pepper for the best results.

Let the meat sit at room temperature for a short while before transferring it to the heat source of your choice.

Keep an eye on the meat temperature with a thermometer.

When the eat is ready, let it rest before carving.

When Is Prime Rib Done?

Check the doneness of prime rib with a meat thermometer. Do not let the thermometer touch any bone.

Since prime rib is served like a steak more than like a brisket, you may want to cook it at a lower temperature.

Prime rib is ready based on the degree of doneness you prefer.

The lowest temp at which prime rib is safe to eat is 120°F.

Prime rib is rare at 120°F-129°F.

A well-done prime rib will have an internal temperature of 155°F-164°F.

Medium prime rib has an internal temperature of 135°F-144°F.

Most people prefer their prime rib to be medium-rare.

The internal temp should be between 130°F-134°F.


Now that you understand more about cooking prime rib, it’s time to head to the butcher shop!

With the right calculations and accurate thermometers, you’ll cook delicious prime rib.

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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