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Reverse Sear Prime Rib Steak

This reverse sear prime rib steak recipe showcases a technique for achieving a perfectly cooked, tender interior with a beautifully caramelised crust. Ideal for a larger cut, this method starts with slow cooking in the oven, followed by a quick, high-heat sear. Accompanied by aromatic herbs and a robust seasoning, this steak promises to be amazing both in texture and flavour.

  • 1.2 kg prime rib steak
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped or crushed
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme

  1. Preparation: Remove your prime rib from the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for about 1 hour. This promotes even cooking.
  2. Seasoning: Pat the steak dry with paper towels to ensure proper browning. Rub the steak all over with olive oil, then season generously with salt and black pepper. Press the minced garlic onto the surface of the meat, and then add the sprigs of rosemary and thyme on top.
  3. Oven Preparation: Preheat your oven to 135°C (275°F). Place the steak on a wire rack over a baking tray to catch any drippings.
  4. Cooking: Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the steak. Place the steak in the oven and cook until the internal temperature reaches about 48°C (118°F) for rare, 52°C (125°F) for medium-rare, or 57°C (135°F) for medium. This usually takes about 1.5 to 2 hours, but rely on your thermometer rather than the clock.
  5. Resting: Remove the steak from the oven and let it rest for about 10 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, ensuring a moist steak.
  6. Searing: While the steak rests, preheat a heavy skillet over high heat. Remove the rosemary and thyme sprigs. Sear the steak for about 1-2 minutes on each side, or until a golden crust forms.
  7. Serving: Allow the steak to rest for another 5-10 minutes after searing before slicing. Serve with the collected juices from the tray.

On a Kamado BBQ

  • Setting Up the Kamado:
    • Fill the Kamado with lump charcoal and light it up. Open the bottom vent fully and leave the lid open for about 10 minutes until the coals are well lit.
    • Place a deflector plate for indirect cooking.
    • Adjust the vents to stabilise the temperature at around 135°C (275°F).
  • Cooking the Steak:
    • Place the seasoned prime rib steak on the grill, over the deflector plate for indirect cooking.
    • Close the lid and cook the steak until it reaches an internal temperature of about 50°C (120°F) for rare, 57°C (135°F) for medium-rare, or 63°C (145°F) for medium. This usually takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
    • Use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.
  • Searing the Steak:
    • Remove the steak and the deflector plate from the Kamado Joe.
    • Open the vents to increase the temperature to about 260°C (500°F).
    • Place the steak back on the grill and sear it for about 2-3 minutes on each side to develop a nice crust.
  • Resting:
    • Remove the steak from the grill and let it rest on a cutting board, loosely covered with foil, for about 10 minutes. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.
  • Serving:
    • Slice the steak against the grain and serve immediately.

Shop for Ingredients

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Benefits of Reverse Searing

  • Even Cooking: Cooking the steak gently ensures more even heat distribution, with less gradient of doneness from the edge to the centre.
  • Better Control: By slowly bringing the meat up to temperature and then searing, you have more control over achieving your desired level of doneness without overshooting the mark.
  • Enhanced Flavour and Texture: The final sear creates a crust through the Maillard reaction, which wouldn't be as pronounced with a traditional sear-first method.
  • Juicier Results: This method allows for better retention of juices, as the gentle cooking method limits the amount of moisture that is squeezed out of the muscle fibres.

The reverse sear is ideal for thicker cuts that are at least one and a half inches thick. For thinner cuts, a traditional sear might be more appropriate as they can cook through more quickly. This technique does require a bit more time and attention than traditional methods, but the results are well worth it for that perfect steakhouse-quality finish.

Sides and Matches

  1. Roasted Vegetables:
    • Potatoes: Roast them until golden and crisp, seasoned with rosemary and garlic.
    • Carrots and Parsnips: Their natural sweetness complements the robust flavours of the meat.
    • Asparagus: Grilled or roasted with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt.
  2. Green Vegetables:
    • Broccoli: Steamed or sautéed with butter and a touch of lemon.
    • Brussels Sprouts: Roasted with bacon bits and a splash of balsamic vinegar.
    • Green Beans: Tossed with almond slivers and garlic.
  3. Starches:
    • Yorkshire Pudding: A classic British side that is perfect for soaking up the steak juices.
    • Mashed Potatoes: Creamy and buttery, a comforting side that pairs well with the meat.
    • Polenta: Creamy polenta seasoned with Parmesan cheese as a softer alternative to potatoes.
  4. Salads:
    • Caesar Salad: Its creamy dressing and crisp romaine let it stand up well against the hearty steak.
    • Rocket Salad: With shaved Parmesan and balsamic reduction, offering a peppery bite.
    • Beetroot Salad: Roasted beetroot with goat’s cheese and walnuts for a touch of earthiness.

Ingredients that Match

  • Garlic and Onions: For added depth of flavour when seasoning or creating sauces.
  • Rosemary and Thyme: Fresh herbs infuse the steak with aromatic flavours during the cooking process.
  • Mushrooms: Sauteed or in a creamy sauce, mushrooms are a natural companion to steak.
  • Mustard: As a condiment or in a dressing, mustard adds a sharp contrast to the richness of the meat.
  • Blue Cheese: For a bold, tangy contrast, try blue cheese either crumbled over salads or melted on top of the steak. Stichelton or Young Buck would be good choices.
  • Red Wine: Use in sauces or reductions to complement the steak’s flavour.

These sides and ingredients not only enhance the meal but also balance the richness of the prime rib, making each bite enjoyable and full of varied textures and tastes.

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Preparation Time: Active Prep Time: Around 20 minutes
Cooking Time: Passive Time (Resting and Cooking): Approximately 2 hours and 25 minutes to 3 hours and 20 minutes.

Hot Tips

  • Resting is key: Letting the meat rest both before and after cooking is crucial for a juicy steak.
  • Use a meat thermometer: To avoid overcooking, always use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature.
  • High heat for searing: Make sure your pan is very hot before searing the steak to get a perfect crust.



  1. Cabernet Sauvignon: A full-bodied red wine with robust tannins complements the richness of the meat perfectly.
  2. Shiraz/Syrah: Known for its spicy notes, it pairs wonderfully with the charred, smoky flavours of a seared steak.
  3. Malbec: Another full-bodied red, Malbec has a slightly smoother finish with fruity undertones that work well with the fatty richness of prime rib.
  4. Merlot: If you prefer something a bit softer but still full of flavour, Merlot is a great choice with its plush, ripe fruit flavours and smooth finish.
  5. Chianti: For those who enjoy a more acidic and tannic profile, Chianti can cut through the fat and balance the richness of the steak.


  1. Stout: The roasted malt flavours of a stout mirror the charred crust of the steak, enhancing both the drink and the dish.
  2. Porter: Similar to stout but slightly lighter, it offers a sweet maltiness that can complement the savoury aspects of the meat.
  3. Amber Ale: The caramel notes in amber ales can enhance the natural sweetness of the cooked meat fibres.
  4. IPA: For those who like a bit of contrast, the bitterness of an IPA can cut through the richness of the steak, balancing the overall flavour profile.


  1. Scotch Whisky: Especially those with smoky or peaty notes, Scotch can stand up to the bold flavours of prime rib.
  2. Bourbon: Its sweet, vanilla and caramel notes make it a warming counterpart to a hearty steak meal.