Prime Rib Rub – the best seasoning for your rib roast

The best seasoning for your holiday prime rib.

Prime Rib. The highly sought after cut of beef that finds its way onto many tables around the holidays. So much so that you find them by the dozens in your local grocery stores and mega marts. My prime rib rub is a great way to maximize it’s potential.

But no matter how you are cooking it, you hopefully realize that seasoning is the first step to achieving greatness. My rub recipe is heavy with the black pepper because my family and I really enjoy that little kick that amps up the beef flavor. I use a mortar and pestle to break down the peppercorns but a pepper grinder on it’s coarsest setting works too!

Salting before applying the prime rib rub

I never include salt as an ingredient in my rub recipes. As I’ve noted in other seasoning recipes, salt is it’s own step and should be done separately from the rub itself. This will allow the salt to be in direct contact with meat. This allows the salt to pull out some of the surface moisture, which will aid browning and developing a nice crust. I use about 3/4 teaspoon per pound of meat as a general rule of thumb. So for this 10 pound roast in the picture I used 2.5 tablespoons.

The best way to apply the prime rib rub

There are two ways that I recommend applying rubs. The first way is with a shaker. There are extremely handy and I have a few of them laying around in my spice cabinet at all times. Additionally, you can use your fingers like I demonstrate in the picture. Dropping the rub from about 6 – 12 inches above the roast will ensure even coverage.

I found that it’s best to let the seasoning get familiar with the meat before cooking. I usually let it rest for at least two hours but covered, overnight in the fridge is preferred. This will let the salt pull up the surface moisture and help evenly adhere the rub to the exterior.

Reverse sear is the best way to cook a rib roast

Obviously, a prime rib is just a huge stack of ribeye steaks, but you certainly don’t want to cook it the same way. The best method will be some type of reverse sear. That’s when you cook the roast at a lower temperature at first to bring the internal temp up evenly. The last thing you want is to overcook the outside while undercooking the middle. Then once the internal temperature has been reached, blast the roast with high heat to get that crusty brown exterior that everyone loves. My roast is headed for the sous vide but there are many forms of reverse sear so use what your comfortable with.

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Black Pepper Prime Rib Run

Fresh cracked black pepper is the major player in this rub. Beef and black pepper just go together so well and the other ingredients just make it all that much better.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
0 minutes
Course: Rub
Cuisine: American
Keyword: beef, dry rub, prime rib rub, rub
Servings: 1 roast



  • ¾ teaspoons kosher salt per pound of meat

Prime Rib Rub

  • 2 tablespoons Black peppercorns Ground in a mortar and pestle or pepper mill
  • 1 tablespoons Turbinado Sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon Paprika
  • ½ tablespoon Onion powder
  • ½ tablespoon Chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon Ground mustard
  • ¼ teaspoon Celery seed


Salting the meat

  • Apply thin coat of oil (canola, vegetable) and salt the meat using 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt per pound

Prime Rib Rub

  • Grind the peppercorns in a mortar and pestle or pepper mill on the coarsest setting.
  • Combine all other ingredients