Gabriel Woods
Published by Gabriel Woods
Last Updated On: May 12, 2023

As a seasoned carnivore who has been following a strict carnivore diet for over seven years, I have cooked and enjoyed countless prime rib roasts.

In my experience, I have found that the age-old debate about whether or not to leave the string on the prime rib is still a topic of confusion for many meat enthusiasts.

Through countless experiments and taste tests, I have uncovered the best practices for cooking prime rib roast to perfection, and today I'll share whether you should leave the string on or not.

Quick Summary

  • Tying a prime rib with string can help the roast keep its shape, protect it while cooking, and make it easier to handle.
  • However, leaving the string on may prevent seasoning from reaching the meat, cause uneven cooking, and affect the roast's appearance.
  • If using string, choosing the right type and tying the prime rib properly is essential.

Should You Leave the String on Prime Rib

A close up shot of prime rib with strings that left

Yes, you should leave the string on when you cook prime rib or a standing rib roast. This is particularly true if you buy meat without rib bones (chine bones).

However, this method is not without some controversy.

So, here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of stringing your prime rib.

1. Advantages

A raw prime rib with strings and other ingredients on the side

The main advantage of leaving the string on a prime rib roast is that it holds the meat together during cooking. If you have split a roast in order to fill it, stringing it is necessary to keep the filling from falling into the roasting pan.

The string also helps protect the meat from drying out by keeping the outer layer in place. This helps to keep the natural juices inside the prime rib, resulting in a more flavorful and juicy roast.

Leaving the string on the prime rib makes carving easier because the meat holds its shape. This allows for more even and uniform slices, creating an attractive presentation.

Lastly, leaving the string on can assist you in handling the prime rib while transferring it in and out of the oven. Of course, if you have proper transfer tools, the string is not required.

2. Disadvantages

Although leaving the string on prime ribs has advantages, there are also some disadvantages to consider.

If not correctly applied, the string can create pressure around the outer surface of the roast.

This may cause some portions of the meat to be flattened, leading to uneven cooking. Tying too tightly can also force some of the juices out of the prime rib, thus compromising its flavor.

Another disadvantage of leaving the string on the prime rib is that removing it after cooking can be challenging and frustrating. This can make carving this premium cut of meat more difficult and time-consuming.

The string can also leave an indentation in the finished prime rib, affecting the roast's appearance. This may not be a concern for everyone, but it is something to consider for those who prioritize presentation.

"Whether you’re going to cook it rare, medium rare, or medium, when we saute it and baste before the roast, we want to make sure the meat keeps its shape.”
- LeCordon Bleu, YouTube Channel

5 Best Practices for Stringing a Prime Rib Roast

A close up shot of perfectly cooked prime rib roast

If you choose to leave the string on your graded USDA prime rib roast, it's essential to practice the best stringing techniques to ensure even cooking and ease of carving.

Here are some best practices for stringing a prime rib roast:

  • Butcher's twine is the best option because it's a food-safe cotton string that doesn't break easily. It also can withstand high temperatures, so it is excellent for cooking.
  • Remove any excess gristle or fat from the top of the rib roast before tying.
  • Tie the prime rib to hold it together evenly. This will help the roast cook evenly and prevent it from becoming misshapen.
  • Tie the rib roast tightly using a butcher's knot. It involves tying an overhand knot, then looping it around the prime rib, and tying a half-hitch [1]. 
  • Repeat this process along the length of the roast every inch or two.

10 Cooking Tips of Prime Rib

Whether you decide to leave the string on or remove it, here are some cooking tips for preparing an absolutely perfect prime rib roast:

  • Take the beef rib roast out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for at least an hour. Season the meat with olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper after it has reached room temperature.
  • Next, you want a preheated oven at 450°F. Place the roast rib side down in the oven for about 15 minutes of cooking time to brown the prime rib. The high heat will sear the roast's outside and seal in the juices.
  • Use a roasting pan with a rack to elevate the boneless prime rib roast and allow the heat to circulate evenly. Or, place the meat rib bone facing down to act as a natural rack.
  • Use the drippings along with beef broth, and stir over medium heat to make au jus.
  • After searing the prime rib, lower the oven temperature to 325°F and continue cooking.
  • Cook a prime rib roast for about 15 minutes per pound. Watch the prime rib closely while cooking. The ideal internal temperature for medium-rare prime rib is 130°F. Note that this is below the USDA recommended level of 145°F [2].
  • Insert an internal meat thermometer into the absolute center of the roast to ensure the thickest part is cooked through.
  • Loosely tent the meat with aluminum foil about a half hour before the prime rib is done to prevent the outer edge from burning.
  • After cooking, let it sit uncovered on the cutting board for at least 15 minutes before carving. This step allows the meat's juices to redistribute evenly. Cut slices ¼ to ½ inch thick or your desired thickness.
  • Serve with horseradish sauce or melted butter.

Related Articles:


Why Should You Put a String on Prime Rib?

You should put a string on a prime rib roast as it helps keep all the meat together in a compact shape and ensures even cooking. It also helps retain moisture, producing juicier, more tender meat.

Can You Smoke Prime Rib With Strings?

Yes, you can smoke prime rib with strings. Just as with a roasted prime rib, the string will enhance the juiciness and texture of the meat.

To String or Not to String?

Although there are a few disadvantages, leaving the strings on your prime rib in the oven results in a juicier, more flavorful prime rib. Remember to tie it tightly using butcher's knots for best results.

Even more important than tying your prime rib is ensuring you start with high-quality meat. Choosing certified grass-fed, pasture-raised beef like you get from ButcherBox will ensure your prime rib is as flavorful and delicious as possible.

Make sure to check our review of ButcherBox and see why they’ve been one of my favorite meat delivery services for over two years.


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