Serves a Crowd

Standing Rib Roast From Ann Seranne

December 16, 2011
5 Ratings
Photo by James Ransom
  • Makes 2 servings per rib
Author Notes

This is the ultimate make-ahead, perfectly cooked rib roast —an utterly genius recipe from "Ann Seranne's Recipe for a Perfect Roast: Put it in the Oven and Relax", The New York Times, July 28, 1966. Note: Don't attempt this recipe if your oven isn't well-insulated (that is, if it's extremely hot to the touch when it's in use). —Genius Recipes

What You'll Need
  • One 2- to 4-rib roast of beef, weighing 4½ to 12 pounds
  • Flour
  • Salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 to 1 cup beef stock or broth (optional, if making pan gravy)
  1. Remove the roast from the refrigerator 2 1/2 to 4 hours before cooking.
  2. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
  3. Place the roast in an open, shallow roasting pan, fat side up. Sprinkle with a little flour, and rub the flour into the fat lightly. Season all over with salt and pepper.
  4. Put the roast in the preheated oven and roast according to the roasting chart at the end of the slideshow above, timing the minutes exactly. (This works out to be 15 minutes per rib, or approximately five minutes cooking time per pound of trimmed, ready-to-cook roast.) When cooking time is finished, turn off the oven. Do not open the door at any time.
  5. Allow the roast to remain in the oven until oven is lukewarm, or about two hours. The roast will still have a crunchy brown outside and an internal heat suitable for serving as long as 4 hours after removing from the oven.
  6. Note: To make a thin pan gravy, remove excess fat from the meat drippings, leaving any meat pieces in the pan. Stir in 1/2 to 1 cup beef stock or broth. Bring to the boil, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen the meat pieces. Simmer for one minute and season to taste.
  7. Note: Don't attempt this recipe if your oven isn't well-insulated (that is, if it's extremely hot to the touch when it's in use). Since ovens vary in their insulation, to be safe, you may want to rig up a probe thermometer or other oven-safe thermometer you can read without opening the oven door, and pull the roast out if it reaches the desired degree of doneness early.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Austin Burges
    Austin Burges
  • Sophia Henkel
    Sophia Henkel
  • Don Roszel
    Don Roszel
  • rpenovich
  • Jeannie
Genius Recipes

Recipe by: Genius Recipes

106 Reviews

Regena December 26, 2023
Ruined a beautiful piece of meat 🥩❗️I bought a 7.8 pound USDA Choice 3-rib prime rib roast. I read pages of reviews, placed a probe in the center and let it sit for 4 hours to come to room temperature. Baked at 500 degrees for until 125 internal temp(WAY LONGER THAN THE CHART). Turned oven off and 20 minutes later it was 145! I pulled out and let it rest for another half hour…NO PINK❗️Way over done…unbelievably disappointing ❗️❗️❗️I have been cooking roast beef for four decades and this was by far the worst recipe I have ever followed!
arielcooks December 26, 2023
So sorry to say this, but you might have misinterpreted the instructions. Using the Ann Seranne recipe, when I left the meat in the oven at 500 degrees, NOT until it reached 125 inside, but only for x minutes per pound (table found in the recipe), and then turned off the oven and left the roast, it worked pretty well for medium rare. Speaking from years of using this NYT recipe. This Christmas I tried another from NYT, by Leidy Heuck, and it was even sweeter and more tender. This one begins at 250 at the bottom of the oven until the temp reaches 110 or so, then removes the joint, lets it settle, and (last step) sears it at 500 degrees to brown the outside. This one worked even better for us than the Ann Seranne recipe because it's more difficult to pass the point you're aiming for, And the heavenly sweet scent is to die for!
arielcooks December 18, 2021
I've made rib roast of beef (small, 2- and 3-rib roasts) this way for many years. It always works. I seem to err on the side of slightly more medium than medium-rare, though, so this year I plan to use a two-rib roast and cut the initial, 500-degree roasting time down to 20 minutes. This should (I hope) yield a somewhat rarer rib roast of beef.
Alayne March 11, 2020
Read through the comments prior to attempting this recipe. I followed the recipe on the timing for 5 minutes EXACTLY per pound and let it sit in the oven for an hour EXACTLY (with the oven turned off). I took it out of the oven and let it sit for another 15 minutes prior to slicing. Came out beautiful! I carved it for my French dip roast beef sandwich and for those who didn’t like medium rare doneness, I heated the au-jus on the stove and let the sliced pieces cook more in the juice. Slap on some horseradish and it was delish!!!
Austin B. December 27, 2018
Reminds me of a recipe for Off-Oven Roast Beef from NYT. Unfortunately, my oven isn't insulated enough for that to work with a $20 roast, so I wouldn't ever try it here with a pricey cut.
arielcooks December 18, 2021
This recipe by Ann Seranne was originally published in the NYT.
Sue December 3, 2018
I have used this technique in an electric oven with great success! However, when I used the same technique in my now gas oven, the beef was waaayyyy underdone. I think the gas oven's 'heat decay rate' is much steeper than in an electric oven. I wonder if leaving the gas oven on 100 degrees or so for some amount of time would compensate for this??
Sophia H. December 16, 2016
My range is about 60 years old with a pilot light and remains around 90 to 100 degrees at all times do you think that would work?
Kristen M. December 17, 2016
Hi Sophia, your safest bet with this recipe is to use a probe thermometer that snakes out of the oven. It's hard to know the personality of every oven, we've learned since publishing, and better safe than sorry with such a precious piece of meat.
Don R. December 6, 2016
I've done this recipe with pretty good success. I do like the suggestion to use a temperature probe in the beef to be more certain about the "remove from oven" timing. Having said that, if any of you out there have a Pit Barrel Cooker, as do I, use it instead of your oven, You'll never go back to prime rib in the oven again
Jeannie December 6, 2016
Hey Don! Are you referring to a 'smoker'? I have one of those for smoking our turkey a few times a year. I also have a regular barrel-type grill. Never did a whole rib roast on it but I'm thinking now that would be awesome. Would have to keep adding coats perhaps??
Don R. December 7, 2016
Google Pit Barrel Cooker for a bunch of web sites, including the official one, which describe the cooker. It's sort of a smoker. The prime rib recipe I did for Thanksgiving can be found here: It is basically a sort of low and sort of slow cooker. With the recipe I used, you get a great crust. I didn't time it, I used a ChefsTemp probe with the alarm set for 125 degrees. I then wrapped the meat in foil and let it rest for 30 minutes and it came out great! If you have any questions, you can reach me at [email protected]
rpenovich December 6, 2016
Jeannie, I have gas oven and you are correct, it did not work! What is your fail-safe recipe?
Jeannie December 6, 2016
Here ya go!
It always comes out medium rare in the middle with medium towards the end cuts. But just to be safe, I do use a probe thermometer in case, for whatever reason, the temp starts to hit 125° before 13 minutes/lb time is up. I pull it out then and let that beast rest! Good Luck! Let me know how it works for you!
Jeannie December 6, 2016
I don't know if anyone will see this comment as I'm not sure how popular this topic is. However, it makes a huge difference whether you have a gas oven or electric oven. No one ever seems to address this issue in any recipe or blog I've read . I have a gas oven and this process DOT NOT work. Gas ovens cool down almost instantly. Every Christmas I make a whole standing rib roast for my 6 children and their wives/husbands and 11 GRANDs. I use an old recipe from a fun TV show from years ago called 'Dinner and a Movie' and it was a Flintstones episode. That recipe has been fail safe for many years!
Juliebell March 13, 2016
I tried this last night and it was a failure. I had a rib roast that was 6 lbs. 4 oz. per my scale. I roasted it for 31 min. @ 500 degrees and the turned off the oven and took it out in two hours. It looked beautiful but when it was carved dry, grey, over cooked beef was throughout. My oven is calibrated correctly so I know the temp was fine. I will try it again leaving the roast in for one hour instead of two. Any other suggestions?
Kitzie December 15, 2015
It takes the nerve the first time you take $100 worth of beef and turn the oven off and wait. But it is wonderful, perfect and now it is part of Christmas. And there is time after removal from the oven to make the Yorkshire pudding.
Windtryst December 6, 2015
Make gravy with what is in the bottom of that pan! If any pieces are a bit too rare, just dip them in the hot gravy.
Katherine-Marie December 5, 2015
Help! The store didn't have a roast large enough, so I had to buy two 5 pound boneless roasts. Does anyone know how I will need to change the cooking time?
Windtryst December 5, 2015
I would time it for a 5 lb. roast. Just really make sure they are room temp.
Katherine-Marie December 6, 2015
Thank you so much! Pulling them out now...
arielcooks December 18, 2021
Make sure the roasts are separated in the oven so the heat can circulate around them!
michael September 6, 2014
We had a dinner party last night, I had printed the recipe months ago and cooked this yesterday afternoon. I turned out perfect, very delicious, every raved about it and wanted the recipe! thank you!
Ana T. April 24, 2014
I agree with leaving it only 1 hour time after you turn off the oven. That is what I did and got the most perfect medium rare Prim Rib you can imagine. Next time I will try it with kosher salt. Thank you very much for this recipe. It really is genius!!
David B. April 14, 2014
If you do the 500-525 well preheated oven with meat at room temp and give it ONLY one hour exactly after the 5 minutes per pound EXACTLY, it will work every time. I agree, the two hours recommended above is too long. Stick to the one hour exactly after tuning off the oven. Then remove it and let it rest.
Sippity S. April 12, 2014
I'm a pretty good cook. But this recipe failed me. Horribly. GREG
Ann April 12, 2014
Please share what happened that the recipe failed you.
Don R. April 12, 2014
I too would like to know what happened. This recipe worked well for me. I did read all the comments before I tried it. Oven temp is important! I also used the temp probe that's built into my oven as a backup.
Ann December 31, 2013
RONDA...I agree...I too have had great success with this method...I can only think that one or more of the following points are not being adhered to:
1. Oven must be very well insulated..when at 500F you should be able to put your hand on the outside door without burning it
2. If you are not sure that your oven can reach 500F buy an oven thermometer that can register higher than 500F..turn your oven on to 500F on the dial and when the oven beeps compare the temp to the thermometer. That will tell you whether your oven is calibrated correctly...or if the thermometer registers higher than 500F then you know your oven is too hot which might explain the well done beef.
3. If the rib roast is still very cold and has not been out of
the fridge long enough
4. Knowing the exact weight of the rib roast in order to calculate the amount of time to.roast @500F. Even though the butcher or the label tells me a weight I still weigh the beef on my digital kitchen scale.

Hope some of these points help those who have not had success with this method.
Rhonda35 December 31, 2013
I don't know why people are having difficulty with this recipe. I've used it time and again and in three different ovens - never had a problem. Even this Christmas, when my son didn't read the giant sign taped to the oven that said "Do not open!" and opened the oven door, it still turned out perfectly. Medium rare (except the very ends) and so juicy. Sorry to see that others have not had the same luck. Maybe in 2014!!
MsDivinaLoca December 30, 2013
Unless you're willing to try out this recipe in advance to make sure it will work with your oven, I cannot recommend it. I used it for last year's NYE dinner and it was unevenly cooked - mostly undercooked and I followed the method to the letter. I'm pretty sure that it was related to the oven I was using, but I have no wish to buy another roast to experiment.