If you want your prime rib to rival the best steakhouses in town, you can achieve it with The Best Prime Rib Rub. A combination of fresh herbs, garlic and shallots forms an irresistible crust on a standing rib roast.

A standing rib roast covered in prime rib rub in a festive holiday dinner table scene.

BEST Prime Rib Rub

My family doesn’t have a certain meal we eat every Christmas, but often enough, it’s prime rib. Otherwise known as a standing rib roast, it can be intimidating for a home cook to execute.

So let’s just start at the beginning. The first step to achieve a beautifully seasoned prime rib that will leave your guests impressed is a really great Prime Rib Rub.

A rub made with simple ingredients like rosemary, thyme, garlic and shallots creates a deeply flavorful and crispy crust on the meat, making it a memorable meal every single time.

Why you will love this Prime Rib Rub Recipe

  • It elevate a home-cooked meal to a restaurant-quality feast with a simple technique that a novice cook can accomplish.
  • Unplanned aromatherapy! As the rub permeates the meat while it cooks, your kitchen is going to smell SO herby and fragrant!
  • This versatile rub is also great for steaks, roasted chicken, and even vegetables.
Ingredients on a light brown background including a large piece of bone-in red meat, thyme, rosemary, garlic, shallot and salt and pepper.

Prime Rib Rub Ingredients

  • fresh rosemary – infuses the meat with a fragrant, earthy aroma and flavor.
  • fresh thyme – adds another note of herbal complexity to the rub.
  • garlic – we’re not skimping on the garlic here – we’re adding 6 cloves, which will give the rub a robust, savory kick.
  • shallot – half of a medium shallot will work, or throw in a whole small shallot.
  • kosher salt – lots of salt adds flavor, and also helps tenderize the meat.
  • black pepper – try to use freshly cracked black pepper from a pepper mill for the best flavor.
A medium-rare prime rib that has had one piece sliced off of it, on a wooden cutting board with a bowl of creamy horseradish sauce.

Prime Rib Rub variations

  • MORE HERBS – Feel free to experiment by swapping out the rosemary or thyme for a different herb, such as oregano or majoram.
  • DRIED HERBS – You can use dried herbs in place of the fresh herbs. Use about 1 teaspoon of each dried herb, and you might end up needing a little less oil to make the paste.
  • MAKE IT SMOKY – Add a teaspoon of smoked paprika to give the meat beautiful color and a light smoky flavor.

How to make Prime Rib Rub

A glass bowl filled with herbs, spices, garlic and shallots.

1. ADD. Put rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper in small bowl.

A glass bowl filled with a stirred mixture of herbs, spices, garlic and shallots.

2. STIR. Stir the ingredients together and then add enough oil to form a paste. Start with 1 tablespoon, and if you need a little more, add a little more.

A raw standing rib roast with a rub of prime rib on it, on a rimmed baking pan.

3. RUB. Pat your roast very dry with paper towels. Then, rub the roast on all sides with a bit of oil, and rub herb mixture all over each side of the meat.

A cooked standing rib roast with a dry rub for prime rib on it, on a rimmed baking pan.

4. COOK. Cook roast using your favorite recipe. For a 6 to 7 pound roast, I like to roast it at 450 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes to get a nice crust on the outside of the meat, then reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F and cook until the center of the roast reaches 125 to 130 degrees F for medium rare.

How to use the Best Prime Rib Rub

While this prime rib rub recipe was developed for a 6 to 7-pound bone-in rib roast, this versatile rub isn’t limited to just prime rib. Here are some other ways you can use this rub:

  • grilled steaks – rub your favorite cuts of steak before grilling.
  • roasted veggies – toss root vegetables with a bit of the rub before roasting.
  • baked potatoes – rub the outside of whole potatoes with this rub before baking them.
  • roasted chicken – this rub is delightful on a whole roasted chicken!
A standing rib roast covered in prime rib rub in a festive holiday dinner table scene.

Storing Rub for Prime Rib

The rub can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Home Chef Tips for using this Prime Rib Rub

  • Give the meat a bit of a massage. Don’t just lightly coat the meat with the rub, really massage it in a little bit so the flavor penetrates the meat.
  • Use the freshest herbs and garlic possible to maximize the flavor potential of your rub.
  • Make the rub in advance and refrigerate it overnight before using it to rub the meat to allow the flavors to meld and intensify.
Closeup on a standing rib roast covered in prime rib dry rub.

Rub for Prime Rib FAQs

Should you oil prime rib before seasoning?

Yes, oil not only enhances the browness of the meat, but it also helps the rub adhere to the meat and form a flavorful crust.

Should you rub a prime rib the night before?

It’s not necessary, but if you want to rub your prime rib the night before, make the rub minus the salt. This will keep the roast nice and dry, as salt can pull out the moisture in the meat and cause it to sweat. Oil and cover the roast with the rub, and place uncovered on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator. Leaving the meat uncovered in the fridge will help to dry the outside, giving you a deeply browned crust. Remove from fridge at least 2 hours before cooking and salt liberally right before putting it in the oven.

Should you cover prime rib after seasoning?

Allow air circulation by NOT covering the prime rib to form the best crust during cooking.

Closeup on a standing rib roast covered in the best prime rib rub.
A standing rib roast covered in prime rib rub in a festive holiday dinner table scene.

Best Prime Rib Rub Recipe

Yield: 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

If you want your prime rib to rival the best steakhouses in town, you can achieve it with The Best Prime Rib Rub. A combination of fresh herbs, garlic and shallots forms an irresistible crust on a standing rib roast.

Ingredients

  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 medium shallot, minced
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil, plus more for rubbing meat
  • 6 to 7 pound bone-in rib roast

Instructions

  1. In small bowl, stir together garlic, shallot, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Add 1 tablespoon oil and stir to form a paste. If you need a bit more oil to form a paste, add a bit more oil.
  2. Pat your roast very dry with paper towels. Then, rub the roast on all sides with a bit of oil, and rub herb mixture all over each side of the meat.
  3. Cook roast using your favorite recipe. For a 6 to 7 pound roast, we like to roast it at 450 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes to get a nice crust on the outside of the meat, then reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F and cook until the center of the roast reaches 125 to 130 degrees F for medium rare.

Notes

This yields enough rub for a 6 to 7 pound bone-in standing rib roast.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 28Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 421mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 0g

Nutrition information is for rub only and does not include meat. This website provides estimated nutrition information as a courtesy only. Nutrition information does not include any optional ingredients or toppings. You should calculate the nutrition information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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