Salt-Crusted Prime Rib Roast

The rib roast is a beautifully marbled hunk of meat from the rib cage. In its most familiar form, it's sold as rib-eye steak. Here, Tim Love rubs the roast with a salty garlic paste that forms a crispy crust as it cooks. Love often enlists his kids to help: "They love to take the paste and get their hands all dirty rubbing it over the meat," he reports.

Active Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
5 hrs 15 mins


  • 1 1/2 cups kosher salt

  • 3/4 cup coarsely ground black pepper

  • 1 head of garlic, peeled

  • 1/2 cup rosemary

  • 2 tablespoons chile powder

  • 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  • One 15- to 16-pound prime rib roast (6 bones)


  1. In a food processor, combine the salt, pepper, garlic cloves, rosemary and chile powder and process until fine. Add the olive oil and pulse to form a paste. Place the prime rib roast on a cutting board, bone-side up and rub with 1 tablespoon of the salt paste. Transfer the meat to a large roasting pan and pack the salt paste all over the fatty surface, pressing to help it adhere. Let the prime rib stand at room temperature for 1 hour.

  2. Preheat the oven to 450°. Roast the prime rib for 1 hour, until the crust is slightly darkened. Lower the oven temperature to 300° and roast for about 2 hours and 15 minutes longer, until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of the roast (not touching the bone) registers 135°. Transfer the roast to a large carving board and let the meat rest for 30 minutes.

  3. Carefully lift the salt crust off the meat and transfer to a bowl. Brush away any excess salt. To remove the roast in one piece while keeping the rib rack intact, run a long sharp carving knife along the bones, using them as your guide. Leave on 1/2 inch of meat, more if reserving for leftovers. Carve the prime rib roast 1/2 inch thick and serve, passing some of the crumbled salt crust as a condiment.

Suggested Pairing

For this imposing roast, serve an equally impressive red, such as a top Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley; the firm tannins that allow these wines to age also help them cut through the fat and protein of big cuts of meat.

Related Articles