A simple dry rub and 75 minutes in the oven are all it takes to produce beautifully marbled, flavorful and juicy ribeye roast.
Tender, succulent and very flavorful, ribeye is my favorite cut of beef. This boneless ribeye roast recipe is very easy to make. Simply rub the meat with seasonings, then roast in the oven until done. Your only real job as a cook is to avoid overcooking the roast.
Is prime rib and ribeye roast the same thing?
Almost, but not exactly. Prime rib is cut from the prime, superior portion of the animal, where the meat is especially tender and well marbled. It includes ribs 6 through 12. Prime rib is sometimes called a standing rib roast, because the bones enable it to stand upright for roasting. But if you cut your prime rib roast away from the bones, leaving the “eye” (the large central muscle) of the roast and a layer of fat, then that’s a ribeye roast.
Some say that it’s best to cook bone-in roasts, because the bones produce a juicier and more flavorful roast. It’s true that the meat portions closest to a bone-in steak, for example, taste the best. But it’s also true that it’s difficult to get to them, unless you’re willing to gnaw on bones!
That’s why many home cooks, myself included, prefer to cook a ribeye roast. It is smaller, and you can carve it easily since there are no bones. It is still very flavorful, and the fat cap is sublime.
Ribeye is the best cut of beef!
At least that’s my opinion. But I’m not alone in feeling this way.
I used to love filet mignon – beef tenderloin. Relatively lean and very tender, filet mignon is good, but it pales compared to the fatty, juicy, well marbled ribeye. And this is true for ribeye steaks and for ribeye roasts.
I tried prime rib for the first time at The Prime Rib restaurant in Washington DC, many years ago. It was one of those first experiences that you cherish forever.
My first bite into the juicy, succulent roast was unforgettable. I knew right then and there that ribeye is my favorite cut of beef, and that slow cooking is my favorite method of preparing it. Although reverse seared ribeye steaks are also excellent.
I ordered the prime rib with a side of buttery mashed potatoes. After finishing about half my meat, I took a bite of the potatoes. They were sublime! But I quickly realized that due to limited stomach capacity I would have to choose – either finish the ribeye or eat the mashed potatoes. I chose the meat, which was unheard of back in my high-carbing days. That’s how good the meat was!
What is the difference between a ribeye roast and a ribeye steak?
A ribeye steak is essentially a prime rib roast, cut between the ribs into individual steaks. A ribeye roast is slowly roasted in the oven, while a ribeye steak is typically pan fried, grilled or broiled. Many people actually prefer to buy whole boneless ribeye roasts, and cut them into ribeye steaks. Costco has great ribeye roasts, by the way, and if you do it this way, you save quite a lot of money.
How do I cook a ribeye roast?
The best thing about this recipe is that it’s so very easy. Simply rub the ribeye roast with seasonings. Roast it in a hot oven to get the fat cap crispy, then lower the oven temperature and continue roasting to medium rare. If you use a meat thermometer (as you should), you will know exactly when to take the ribeye roast out of the oven. But an alternative method is explained below in the recipe card.
Should I marinate a ribeye roast?
You could, but personally, I don’t bother. The meat is so well marbled, beefy and juicy, that it tastes great without any marinade. Unlike tough cuts of beef such as London broil, ribeye is also tender enough so that you don’t need a vinegary marinade to tenderize it.
Use a meat thermometer and cook the ribeye roast to medium rare
Since ribeye roast is so amazingly delicious, I always assumed that it’s not something that I would want to tackle at home. I assumed it would be too complex. But as it turns out, it’s very easy to make ribeye roast at home in your oven. This is especially true if you have a meat thermometer to help ensure you don’t overcook the meat.
Having said that, ribeye is marbled and juicy enough that it should taste good even when you roast it to medium doneness. Although that’s not my personal preference.
Allow the ribeye roast to rest for at least 20 minutes
Apart from not overcooking the meat, another important tip is to let the roast rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing it. This will allow the juices to settle and redistribute, preventing all the yummy juices from gushing out as soon as you cut into the meat. There’s nothing sadder for a meat lover than cutting into a roast too soon and watching all the juices gush into the cutting board!
Wait, is ribeye roast healthy?
I think it is, but it depends on your definition of healthy. Ribeye roast is fatty, no doubt. It’s not for you if you’re following a low fat diet or a low calorie diet. But if you’re on a low carb diet, and you’re not too worried about fats, then ribeye roast is an excellent choice.
According to fitday.com, a 4 oz serving of cooked (USDA prime grade) prime rib roast, eaten with the fat, has 450 calories and 38g fat (about half it it monounsaturated and the other half saturated). It also has:
19% of your daily niacin requirements
And these nutrients are highly bioavailable and easily absorbed.
I don’t think most people would benefit from eating ribeye roast daily. It’s too high in calories. And even if you don’t shy away from fat, it’s extremely high in fat, which could cause digestion issues for some people. But for most of us, ribeye roast is a special occasion dish. Something that we make for Christmas, maybe Thanksgiving. In that context, at least for me and my family, I think it is a fine choice.
What to serve with ribeye roast?
When you make this ribeye roast recipe at home, I recommend balancing out the richness of the meat by skipping the starch altogether and serving the roast with simply prepared veggies such as sautéed broccolini or steamed green beans. A simple green salad is always good. And if you want a great healthy alternative to mashed potatoes, try mashed cauliflower. Or go all out with loaded mashed cauliflower. 🙂
What about leftovers?
Leftovers of this delicious ribeye roast keep well in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Heat them up very gently, covered, in a 50% power microwave. Or simply slice them very thin and eat them cold! They are surprisingly good when eaten cold.
Ribeye Roast Recipe
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon dried sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 3 lb. boneless ribeye roast, USDA prime
- In a small bowl, use a fork to mix together the salt, garlic powder, sage, thyme and black pepper. Rub all over the roast, pressing to make sure the rub adheres to the meat.
- Place the meat, fat side up, on a rack in a roasting pan and allow it to get to room temperature, about 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 500°F. Insert a meat thermometer into the middle of the roast and set the thermometer to 130°F (medium rare).
- Place the ribeye roast in the 500°F oven and roast it for 15 minutes.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350°F. Keep roasting the meat until the thermometer registers 130°F. For a 3 lb. roast this SHOULD take roughly 1 more hour (20 minutes per pound). But the only way to know for sure is to use a thermometer.
- Remove the ribeye roast from the oven. Loosely cover it with foil and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes, then cut into thin slices and serve.