The red-hot Boyd started the scoring from the penalty spot
Kris Boyd bagged an incredible five goals to sink Dundee United and surpass Henrik Larsson as the Scottish Premier League's all-time top scorer.
Boyd tucked away a penalty then powered home a long range thunderbolt before poking in his third on 29 minutes.
Boyd's strike partner Kenny Miller was sent off early in the second half after Damian Casalinuovo had pulled one back.
But Steven Whittaker clipped a neat finish, Boyd claimed two more and Madjid Bougherra drilled in a shot.
Boyd's haul takes him to 160 top flight goals, while the victory propelled the Ibrox side seven points clear at the top of the table going into Sunday's derby with nearest challengers Celtic.
New Scotland manager Craig Levein watched on as his former side were demolished and he must have been impressed by the predatory instincts of Boyd, who has indicated his willingness to return to the international fold.
The breakthrough came when Dods foolishly felled Miller and Boyd stepped up to send Nicky Weaver the wrong way from the spot with 20 minutes gone.
Five minutes later, Steven Davis rolled a free-kick for the sizzling striker to lash a low shot into the back of the net from 25 yards.
As Rangers ripped the visitors open with alarming ease, Garry Kenneth had to hook Boyd's volley off the line moments later but the hat-trick soon arrived to go level with Celtic hero Larsson's tally
A neat move saw Sasa Papac feed Miller and the forward fired a low ball across goal for his team-mate to stab in from close range.
United emerged for the second half determined to make amends for a sloppy display and the visitors pulled a goal back a minute after the restart.
Paul Dixon supplied a lovely cross for substitute Casalinuovo to flick through the legs of Allan McGregor from close-range.
Thoughts turned to an unlikely comeback when Miller was shown a straight red card for violent conduct with 51 minutes gone following a tangle on the turf with Dods - ruling him out of the Old Firm clash.
United then enjoyed a period of pressure but Rangers swapped Nacho Novo for Whittaker and the substitute had an immediate impact when he pounced on a dreadful error from Sean Dillon to fire an angled shot beyond Weaver.
Boyd then broke Larsson's record with 75 minutes gone. The striker and Dods both went for Whittaker's corner with Boyd denied by both Weaver and Dods before finally prodding home at the third attempt.
With United in disarray, the striker claimed his fifth five minutes later when he rifled into the top corner from 12 yards before leaving the pitch to a huge ovation and a hug from manager Walter Smith.
Bougherra saved the best for last when he went on a mazy run from the halfway line, dodging a string of dejected United players, before sending a low shot into the back of the net to seal an emphatic victory.
Th all-time Scottish League scoring record of 410 goals was established between 1922 and 1938 by Jimmy McGrory of Celtic and Clydebank.
Prior to joining Rangers, Boyd scored 63 SPL goals for Kilmarnock.
Rangers manager Walter Smith: "We got seven goals but we had to work hard for the win.
"At one stage Dundee United were back at 3-1 and had a couple of opportunities that they might have done a little bit better with.
"Once we got the fourth goal we went away again.
"It was a fantastic level of finishing from Kris Boyd. We had all types of goals. You just can't speak highly enough about that aspect of his game."
Dundee United interim manager Peter Houston: "I've got to apologise for the travelling fans because the goals we gave away were very soft.
"Congratulations to Kris Boyd for scoring five but he'll not have an easier night. We contributed greatly to his efforts.
"We let the fans down because we didn't see out the full 90 minutes. Once the fourth goal went in I felt our heads went down far too quickly and it was a wee bit embarrassing in the end."
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