Skip

Perfect Prime Rib
December 18, 2009 9:43 AM   Subscribe

How to cook a perfect prime rib.

Here is the recipe.

Part of an excellent series of posts by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt.
posted by AceRock (55 comments total) 68 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm liking this new "how to cook the perfect [meat]" thing we got going here recently.
posted by ORthey at 9:45 AM on December 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wish I'd seen this a couple of weeks ago. *sigh*
posted by maudlin at 9:48 AM on December 18, 2009


Excellent. I'm making a prime rib for Christmas.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:52 AM on December 18, 2009


The last one seems a bit on the bloody side for "medium-rare". As far as the marbling, I'd suggest reading Heat. I knew I wasn't totally off base for thinking it was just less meat and more unchewable rubbery-ness.

And yes, I know i'm a heretic for being anti-marble.
posted by efalk at 9:56 AM on December 18, 2009


I wish I'd seen this a couple of weeks ago. *sigh*

I'm picturing you sitting on the curb outside the smoldering remains of your home. Both your face and the sky are streaked with smears of black ash. The sun barely shines, its light reaching feebly through the gnarled tree limbs that once shielded your home.

In the distance, a dog howls, but you do not hear it.

Instead all you can do is stare at your hands these hands! that cooked a prime rib so imperfect that your life, nay the world will ever be the same. You call out to the Heavens, but they do not answer.

The dog howls again, but this time its mournful cry is cut short, turning into a painful yelp as your unholy creation, the Imperfect Prime Rib fills its crooked maw with dogmeat.

"Fawthurrrrr," it purrs, "Faaawwwwwthhhhhuuurrrrrr...."

You feel the weight of the gun in your hand. You know what you must do.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:58 AM on December 18, 2009 [62 favorites]


The biggest advantage of this method for me is the variable resting period. You get a professional-kitchen prep/fire kind of thing going on, where you don't have to be stressing about the meat because of the awesome conversation your guests are having over their hors d'oeuvres.
posted by Fraxas at 9:59 AM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hello, I'm Seriouseats.com and I could overthink a plate of prime rib.
posted by boo_radley at 10:00 AM on December 18, 2009


God he's wasting so much meat STOP WASTING MEAT
posted by anazgnos at 10:06 AM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


The last one seems a bit on the bloody side for "medium-rare".

Nah, it's prime rib. Prime rib tends to the rare side.
posted by Justinian at 10:15 AM on December 18, 2009


I don't know. First, if they're going to get all sciencey then they should label the axes of their graphs correctly. What they are graphing is (I hope) the percentage of the original weight, not the percent change in weight.
Second, I've done a roast using the Cook's Illustrated recipe, sear and then roast at some really low temperature. If it wasn't perfect then it was close enough.
On the other hand, being able to time when you bring the thing to the table sounds great.
posted by Killick at 10:15 AM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


How to cook a perfect prime rib AKA How to get a husband to love you forever
posted by OrangeSoda at 10:25 AM on December 18, 2009


One of the things I like about prime rib is the outside being well done, while interior retains a perfect pink. So just huck it in the oven. It's like two meats in one. Granted you only want a half inch before the juicy zone starts, but still.
posted by Keith Talent at 10:26 AM on December 18, 2009


robocop is bleeding: "You feel the weight of the gun in your hand."

You might as well let it live. Nobody's going to eat prime rib stuffed with dogmeat.
posted by boo_radley at 10:31 AM on December 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


No bacon = done wrong.
posted by ZaneJ. at 10:32 AM on December 18, 2009


Oh god, his egg-boiling post has the most delicious-looking picture of a runny-yolked egg I've seen in like forver.
posted by Greg Nog at 10:35 AM on December 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


Nice! They take a 1 roast sear sample and compare to another 1 roast non-sear sample and assume that the pieces of meat were identical. Handle enough beef and you'll quickly find no two pieces of meat ever cook the same... similar yes, but collect a hell of a lot more data before you make a graph to generalize the result to every piece of meat. Its a graph for the sake of a graph - which means his datapoint disagrees with conventional wisdom which means he's the expert. ibid.

I kinda hate anything that descibes itself as the "perfect" example of a specific type of food. And honestly maudlin - although we've never met and I don't know how it turned out, I bet your prime rib was pretty excellent.
posted by Nanukthedog at 10:36 AM on December 18, 2009


Cooks Illustrated has done this testing a number of times also - and has come up with a similiar process. My own tried and true process:

- Before roasting, paint outside with hot english mustard and then season with salt and pepper liberally. No other seasoning necessary (ie no fancy spice or herb rubs).

- Get bone in whenever possible. Tastes waaay fucking better and gives you more margin for error or cooking times. Is there anything better in the world than roast beef ribs? No. There is not!

- Blast it at high heat (450F or so) for 20 mins or so.

- Then turn the oven way down and roast at a very low heat (225F) until the center of the roast (not touching the bone) registers 110F

- And here's the key thing - Cover the meat with foil and kitchen towels and let that sucker REST!. I mean for a good half hour at least. The meat comes up to temp perfectly, stays crazy juicy, and the proteins relax and settle for easier slicing.

I know that it seems like a low temp to take out the meat - but it has always worked for me. Also - it's easy to warm the meat up slightly if underdoness freaks you out - but once that sucker is over cooked - well - that's it. It's ruined. Believe me - I have cried and cried over ruined prime grade meat. Don't let it happen to you.
posted by helmutdog at 10:38 AM on December 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


And yes, I know i'm a heretic for being anti-marble.

Yeah, I'd choose a New York strip over prime rib any day. A perfectly braised short rib, though, where the meat is literally falling off the bone, is a thing of beauty.
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:46 AM on December 18, 2009


I've always made mine similiar to helmutdog but with a 500 degree oven to start. One caveat, if you are going to turn your oven up to 500 or above, make sure the inside is sparkling clean, otherwise your kitchen is going to be smoke city.

To this day people still tell me how good the rib roast was at our wedding dinner, even though my memory of the day is a blur. We decided to get married on the 5 th anniversary of the day we met which happens to be New Year's Eve. We had planned to book a large table at our favorite restaurant for the wedding party until we remembered...oh yeah..it is New Year's Eve and the restaurants we called all quoted impossible ( way out of our range) prices. So I said, fuck it, I'll cook dinner myself: a whacking great rib roast, potatoes and gravy, salad, home made rolls and a few relishes and starters. It was a good dinner and a great day.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:54 AM on December 18, 2009


That runny egg looks disgusting!
posted by autodidact at 10:57 AM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


baconnaise
posted by porpoise at 11:12 AM on December 18, 2009


Roughly how long would it take using this guy's method to reach 120 degrees? (All he says is "hours".) I realize ovens vary and you want to use a thermometer, but a ballpark figure would be nice.

Also -- secret life and helmutdog -- after the high-temp blasting, do you leave the prime rib in the oven as it cools down to 225, or take it out and put it in again after the temperature has adjusted? Thanks
posted by msalt at 11:17 AM on December 18, 2009


My method is similar to helmutdog's but even simpler:

- Bring roast to room temperature. Salt and pepper.

- Oven as hot as it will go.

- Bang roast in oven for 15 minutes per rib.

- TURN OVEN COMPLETELY OFF! DO NOT OPEN OVEN! Since you will have guests over, tape a sign to the oven that says, "NO!"

- Two and a half hours later, remove roast from oven and tent in foil while you make the gravy or Yorkshire pudding.

- Serve perfect roast to amazed guests and bathe in showers of accolade.
posted by trip and a half at 11:24 AM on December 18, 2009


robocop is bleeding, I'm concerned you're not getting enough fiber in your diet. 'Cause that post there is either genius or a naked cry for help.

Okay, Imma go with genius.
posted by anitanita at 11:27 AM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


One thing to note: If you're cooking this for a group in which some will want med-rare, some well-done, COOK IT TO MED-RARE per the instructions. Then, when ready to serve, cut a piece for the well-done guest and add to a hot skillet with an eighth of an inch of au jus bubbling away. Cook for about 30-45 seconds on each side and pull it. It's a lot easier to bring a slice up to temp for some jackass than to be forced to cook that whole expensive and beautiful piece of meat beyond recognition.
posted by GamblingBlues at 11:30 AM on December 18, 2009 [5 favorites]


I don't want to dump on his efforts but to me, achieving a perfectly homogenous interior doesn't equal a perfect roast. A big roast like that is usually for a group and I find there's somebody who likes a piece that's a bit more well done.

I cook cheap roasts in at 190' for a couple of hours until the meat thermometer reads 120' and then jack the heat up to 400' for 15 minutes and the thermometer reads 130 or so.
posted by bonobothegreat at 11:37 AM on December 18, 2009


It's a lot easier to bring a slice up to temp for some jackass than to be forced to cook that whole expensive and beautiful piece of meat beyond recognition.

I knew a psych professor in school who, knowing that the human eye perceives color poorly in low light conditions, would always serve rare steak to his guests by candle light, so that the nimrods that wanted well-done beef couldn't tell by sight.

Of course the guests would all gush about how tender and delicious the meat was.
posted by device55 at 11:38 AM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


What about people who want medium or medium well? Are they also jackassess and nimrods?

I'll cook meat however I fucking want to cook meat regardless of whatever various jackass and nimrod meat-prescriptivists say.
posted by aerotive at 12:04 PM on December 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


You funny Americans with all your Fahrenheits. Like a lovable old uncle.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 12:04 PM on December 18, 2009 [9 favorites]


I'll cook meat however I fucking want to cook meat regardless of whatever various jackass and nimrod meat-prescriptivists say.

dude just go to the gas station and get yourself some pemmican.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:12 PM on December 18, 2009


I'll cook meat however I fucking want to cook meat

Eeeeeasy there, buddy! Nobody's trying to stop you from ruining your meat!
posted by dirtdirt at 12:13 PM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Me, I'm a rotisserie guy. Salt, pepper & garlic then stick it on the spit and let it spin for about 90 min. The rotation keeps the juices in and other than taking the temp, no fussing.
posted by pmaxwell at 12:13 PM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


You funny Americans with all your Fahrenheits. Like a lovable old uncle.

I'm sorry you can't divide by 16 without a calculator.
posted by device55 at 12:16 PM on December 18, 2009


Sheesh, some real nimrods in this thread.

Kenji is rapidly becoming one of my gods. I'm hoping he pulls it all together in a book soon-ish. I'm thinking though that my broiler gets nice and really really hot in a couple of minutes, would be better then blasting the house with a 500 degree oven (though this time of year the blast is not a waste of energy).
posted by Bovine Love at 12:22 PM on December 18, 2009


He doesn't give the times for the low temp part of the cooking process. How long should it be cooked at low temperature?
posted by Hicksu at 12:30 PM on December 18, 2009


And then I looked at the "More Inside" section of the post.
posted by Hicksu at 12:37 PM on December 18, 2009


I love rare meat, but that roast looked weird to me, that blob of fat in the middle looked really, really gross.

Doesn't mean I'm not going to try this. I think these are on sale this week....
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 12:47 PM on December 18, 2009


The thing that's irritating about you "rare meat prescriptivists" is that you're just so god-damn proud of how rare you take it. And you always try to make us "a little bit of gray aound the edges is good and provides variety in texture and flavour" types feel like fucking assholes. You are the Apple adherents of the meat cooking spectrum. In other words, stop being smug fucking pricks and just enjoy what you enjoy and let me enjoy what I enjoy.
posted by autodidact at 1:30 PM on December 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


Roughly how long would it take using this guy's method to reach 120 degrees? (All he says is "hours".) I realize ovens vary and you want to use a thermometer, but a ballpark figure would be nice.

I don't think you clicked on the last page.
posted by MiltonRandKalman at 1:37 PM on December 18, 2009


"rare meat prescriptivists" (etc)

The level of vitriol you are displaying is disproportionate to any offense made against you in this regard in this thread. In other words, stop being scary and weird and just enjoy what you enjoy and let me enjoy what I enjoy.
posted by dirtdirt at 1:42 PM on December 18, 2009


^ Well the vitriol is not the product of this thread, it's the product of a lifetime of people being smuck pricks. And I'm way past the point of worrying if anyone finds me weird.
posted by autodidact at 2:10 PM on December 18, 2009


I have been doing Keller's blow-torch prime rib recipe and it works fabulously and is pretty much impossible to screw up (unless you blowtorch something that isn't the roast). I've tried it on other cuts of beef with equal success. (Just take them out 5-10 degrees earlier as you want them a little rarer and they will cook further while resting, if they are leaner, and everything is leaner than prime rib). The perfect done-ness it achieves is somewhat uncanny in its uniformity.
posted by mek at 2:24 PM on December 18, 2009


And I'm way past the point of worrying if anyone finds me weird.

Clearly.
posted by Nothing... and like it at 2:29 PM on December 18, 2009


Not many people know this, but there is an organization that provides a global network of safehouses for people fleeing from the oppression of rare meat prescriptivists. The safehouses are marked with a sign - a double arch, golden in color.
posted by trondant at 2:43 PM on December 18, 2009 [7 favorites]


^That's what I'm talking about. The constant implication that, just because we don't want a puddle of blood on our plate, which is a different taste, we have bad taste. "How do you take your meat? Not bloody rare? Here's a microwave pizza, the kiddy table is that way." Or you know, references to McDonald's. Yeah that's not smug or insulting at all!
posted by autodidact at 2:50 PM on December 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm with autodidiact. Screw the food police. I like my meat medium, which I think is harder to get right than rare. there are lots of people I know who's taste I trust that don't like a slab of lukewarm rare meat sitting in a puddle of blood.

that really is the great thing about a rib roast. He should try cooking a 10 rib -- slathered in a paste of softened butter, cracked pepper and rosemary -- like I do and then there is something for everybody (which is what xmas is all about innit?). The middle section is rare and the ends are crusty crackly well done. Plus, instead of reinserting the roast into the oven, you can use the time to make your popovers. Yum!
posted by vronsky at 3:14 PM on December 18, 2009


Wow, there sure is a lot of anger in this thread. For the record, I hope that I meet all of you in person, someday, and that none of you beat me up because I like to eat the core of my apples.
posted by seventyfour at 3:23 PM on December 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


[few comments removed - I am sorry if your holidaytime is not going your way, please do not take it out on MetaFilter or a thread about how to cook prime rib. Please keep any further name calling out of here, thank you.]
posted by jessamyn at 3:29 PM on December 18, 2009


FWIW when I write my typical comments full of the use of "fucking" and smacking of vitriol, the voice in my head is more Woody Allen\Marc Maron than someone who's actually angry about anything.
posted by autodidact at 3:35 PM on December 18, 2009


I'm amazed that at no point do the words "room temperature" appear in the recipe or article. If you want to avoid that gray layer, get a nice crust, and have it still pink or red in the middle, let the thing sit at room temp for about, say, four hours. High heat at the beginning will kill bacteria on the surface. If you move it straight from the fridge into the oven, it'll still be cold on the inside and take much longer to cook, meaning the outside gets overcooked, etc.
posted by kenko at 3:41 PM on December 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


What kenko said. A start from room temperature is absolutely critical. (See the first step in the method I described above.)
posted by trip and a half at 3:51 PM on December 18, 2009


I've been experimenting over the last year as well. My latest turned out quite well using the following technique (for about a 4-5 lb. 2 bone roast):

Let roast stand for 1 hr to bring to room temp.

Rub (amounts are approximate):
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp black pepper
1.5 tsp oregano
1 tsp ground rosemary

1. Slice parallel along the bone to separate, leaving bones attached by a small hinge.

2. Spray/brush the roast lightly with olive oil and cover generously with rub. Press spices into meat, and then shake more rub over entire roast.

3. Let roast stand for another hour.

4. Preheat oven to 500 deg. Cook roast for 10-15 to brown, then remove from oven and cover with foil. Reduce heat to 225 deg.

5. Replace roast in oven and cook 25 minutes per pound, until internal temperature is 120 deg. Remove and let stand, tented, for 30 minutes.

6. Remove bones and carve roast.

This process resulted in a medium-rare to medium roast that all present thoroughly enjoyed. Here's one with more blood (just warning y'all).
posted by sharpener at 5:01 PM on December 18, 2009


I don't think there's hatred or contempt for people who like medium, or medium rare. I started out liking medium rare and only switched to rare because of a mistake at a restaurant, and I generally don't send back food. It was purple in the middle and delicious.

I think the scorn is for people who like well done beef. Check out Kitchen Confidential, where Bourdain says they would take an order for an expensive cut, well done, and just grab some much cheaper meat because no one could tell the difference after it had been cooked to well done. That's where the tsking is coming from. In the wide spectrum between rare and medium, each cut provides an amazing array of subtle differences. The more you cook beef, the more those differences fade.

And efalk, I'm with you. On occasion, I'll actually eat a whole steak, fat included, since, well, beef fat tastes good. A little marbling is okay, but the very few times I've had wagyu/kobe style beef, it's left me feeling slightly queasy due to all the grease. As for how much grease? Anniversary dinner, strips of wagyu that we cooked ourselves on a hot stone in the center of the table. We were given paper bibs, and the table was coated with grease that had spattered from the stone.

I'll keep my marbling to my pork chops, thanks.
posted by Ghidorah at 7:12 PM on December 18, 2009


Um, I was gonna comment, but now I'm insecure about my food preferences.
posted by bam at 5:53 PM on December 19, 2009


Want.
posted by craven_morhead at 12:10 PM on December 22, 2009


« Older “Tiger free to a good home. Good with children.”   |   Keynes vs. Hayek hip hop Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments



Post