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To what temperature should I cook prime rib if I want to serve it medium rare? 

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

Medium rare prime rib‚ that is, meat that is mostly pink with a deeper, nearly red center, is cooked to about 130-135°F. At 120-125°F the meat is rare, and at 140-145°F, it is well done. You should know the USDA recommends cooking beef to a minimum of 145°F. But I, like most people, don't want my steaks or beautiful roasts well-done. When I make beef or lamb roasts, I serve them at 130°F, which means I take them out of the oven at 125-130°F.

Degrees of doneness for roasts and steaks:

Rare 120-125°F - Red interior which may fade to pink at the outermost edges

Medium Rare 130-135°F - Pink with a deeper, nearly red center

Medium 135-140°F - Mauve, uniformly colored interior

Well-done 145°F+ - Brown, no pink

Recipe: Classic Prime Rib