The Biggest Mistake You've Been Making With Prime Rib

When indulging in a juicy steak, many are accustomed to being asked their preferred level of doneness (although some purists will cringe at the mere idea of a well done steak). However, if you're looking to chow down on some prime rib, there's really only one temperature you should be looking for, according to The Spruce Eats — medium-rare. Always.

When referring to prime rib in particular, as Cook's Illustrated explains, butchers are talking about ribs six through 12 in a cow. The location in the body means that prime rib is naturally quite tender, since the muscles in the ribs aren't used as much (via Kitchn). There's also a lot of intramuscular fat in that area of the cow, explains The Spruce Eats, which is more commonly referred to as "marbling" in the meat — aka those white streaks in that vibrant red protein that add some serious flavor and moisture. A medium rare preparation should reach about 135 degrees Fahrenheit (via Certified Angus Beef).

Keep an eye on that temperature, and keep it simple

Cooking it past the point of medium-rare means you'll be destroying all that tenderness and, quite frankly, wasting your hard-earned money. Prime rib is a pricier cut in comparison to other parts of the cow, with prime-grade prime rib going for roughly $17 a pound, according to Cook's Illustrated. With a whole prime rib clocking in at anywhere from 12 to 16 pounds (via Kitchn), that price per pound adds up. 

The good news is that prime rib is such a delectable cut, you don't really need to do much to make it shine. Prime rib can be cut prior to cooking, at which point it becomes a ribeye steak (via My Chicago Steak). For a classic prime rib, however, it's cooked in one piece and then carved to perfection. If you've ever spotted it on a menu, there's a good chance that it was served au jus, which simply means the meat is served in its natural juices, as Culinary Lore explains.

While treating yourself to this mouthwatering cut is a great choice any day of the year, April 27 is National Prime Rib day (via Foodimentary), so you should probably mark that in your calendar ASAP.