How to De-Bone a Prime Rib Roast

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Things You'll Need

  • Cutting board

  • Sharp knife

  • Cotton butcher's twine

  • Roasting pan

  • Meat thermometer

  • Aluminum foil

A rib roast is easily deboned before or after cooking.

Prime rib roasts are among the finest pieces of beef to be found at your local supermarket or butcher's shop. They are rich, tender and juicy, and almost impossible to cook badly. The only unfortunate thing about them, for the novice, is the set of large and intimidating rib bones that come on the roast. A butcher can remove these for you if you wish; however, they can also be removed by a novice.

Before Roasting

Step 1

Place the roast on your cutting board. If it has already been tied up with butcher's twine, cut the loops and remove it.

Step 2

Turn the roast so that one of the narrow ends is pointing toward you and the ribs bones are at the side of the roast. Cut the ribs away from the flesh with a long stroke of your boning knife, keeping the blade angled slightly toward the bones and away from the meat.

Step 3

Repeat until you have cut away the entire slab of ribs. Set these aside to be cooked separately. Roll the roast so that the cut side is down and tie it again with kitchen twine.

Step 4

Season and roast the beef as directed in your favorite recipe.

After Cooking

Step 1

Remove your roast from the oven, once your meat thermometer shows that it has cooked to the desired degree of doneness: 130 degrees Fahrenheit for rare and no more than 145 Fahrenheit for medium-rare.

Step 2

Cover the roast loosely with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before cutting into it. This allows time for the juices to be redistributed throughout the roast, making it juicy and flavorful. This is a convenient time to make a sauce or gravy with the drippings of the roast.

Step 3

Set the roast on your cutting board, once the resting time has finished. Turn the roast so the rib bones are positioned vertically at the side of the roast.

Step 4

Cut away the butcher's twine. Cut down between the ribs and the rest of the roast, angling your knife slightly toward the rib bones to minimize wastage. Remove the ribs and set them aside for later consumption or separate them with a knife and add them to the serving tray.

Step 5

Roll the roast so that the cut side faces down toward the cutting board. Carve into thick slices and serve hot with your choice of side dishes and sauce or gravy.


Rib roasts cooked with the bones on will take longer, but will be juicier and more flavorful.