How to cook perfect prime rib (closed oven method) – Feast and Farm
How to cook a premium rib that is juicy, tender, and perfectly cooked without much fuss and worry is easy with a simple closed oven method. Seasoned to perfection, get ready to cut your own small (or big) piece of meat sky and celebrate in style.
What is a
The main rib is a
specific cut of beef that comes from the front section of the spine of a steer (a bull that has been castrated) called the primary rib and is primarily for support. Because the muscle doesn’t need to do much work it makes it very sensitive.
You can find premium ribs under other names like standing rib roast or Christmas roast and it’s the same cut used to make ribeye steaks
What is the difference between prime and beef
The word “prime” refers to the quality and marbling or distribution of fat in all lean parts of meat. For years, beef came in three options: Prime, Choice or Select. Recently, the Prime label is used less and less and has been almost completely replaced by Choice selections in supermarkets.
When you buy yours, ask your butcher if it’s Prime or Choice; it will probably be Choice, which has a little less veining than Prime, but it will still be wonderful
. Where do I
buy the roast and what do I ask the butcher to do for it?
If you have a good butcher in town, start there. I don’t have local butcher shops, so I went to Kroger, where there is a real butcher shop. Don’t think for a minute that you can approach the guy who unloads sausages in the beef section at Walmart and ask for a top-notch rib.
There are no butchers at any Walmart. I know some Sam’s Clubs and maybe even Costco sell them too.
When you pick it up, be sure to tell the butcher:
- how many ribs do you want. (3 ribs serve about 8-10 people)
- To remove the ribs and tie the roast to it. (You can take them off yourself, but it’s easier to let the butcher do it.)
- You’d like to cut with the biggest fat cap if possible.
You may not see top-notch ribs on store shelves. If you don’t, just ask. It will probably have to be cut to size from the meat they keep in the back. If you find one on the shelf and you still have the ribs, just take it to the butcher’s counter and ask them to cut the ribs and tie it up for you.
Tools you absolutely have to have to make this work. Period.
There are only a couple of tools you need to cook a top-notch rib, but they are essential. If you don’t have them, don’t try.
A meat thermometer. The most essential is a meat thermometer (affiliate link). You need one that has a cable that holds one end on your counter and one end on the meat or a fancy one that connects to your phone would also work. You just can’t open the oven to check things, so use one that keeps the screen where you can constantly see it. Meat thermometers are not expensive and will tell you exactly when your standing rib roast is ready. (affiliate link) This one is affordable, easy to use, and gets the job done.
A frying pan. You need a skillet made for roasting. You won’t need the metal rack they come with (the ribs of the meat serve that purpose), so just set it aside. Roasting pans are deep enough to catch splashes, but not deep enough to retain steam and make your meat soaked on the outside. (affiliate link) I like this affordable stainless steel to avoid chemicals in nonstick pans.
How many people will feed a
The portion sizes of the main rib are known as the number of “ribs” or “bones.” The thickness of three ribs will feed 8 to 10 people depending on how many garnishes and extras you have. Most butchers estimate a pound per person, that’s a lot of meat to me, but you’ll get to know your people and how much they eat better than anyone else.
I served a three-rib, 8-pound roast to my family of 7 and had a pound left over and they were HUGE eaters, so that’s pretty close to par with one pound per person
At what temperature do I cook my meat?
Beef is juiciest and tastiest between 130 and 135. That’s medium/medium rare. Premium ribs should never be cooked well done. If you have people you’re serving who don’t like pink in meat, serve them the edge slices. Those will be rather done.
With the oven method closed, my main rib
didn’t increase in temperature once I took it out of the oven, but if you use another method, you can expect your meat to rise in temperature up to 10 degrees after you take it out, so plan accordingly and remove it a few degrees cooler than you’d like.
Use this guide to determine what temperature you would like your main rib to have:
How to Cook Your Premium Rib.” />
How to prepare the prime rib for step-by-step baking
Step 1: Bring your prime rib roast to room temperature. If your roast is cold in the center, it will make it difficult to roast evenly. Take out your roast 3-4 hours before you want to cook it and leave it on the counter. I know it feels terrible to do it, but that’s okay, I promise.
Step 2: Preheat the oven to 500 degrees and prepare the meat. Rub the roast everywhere with butter (a note on this to come) and a mixture of herbs from Provence. This is a spice mix that you can find in almost any grocery store or here on Amazon. Then sprinkle with kosher salt until evenly covered on all sides. Don’t be stingy with salt. I used a couple of tablespoons on an 8-pound roast. Place the roast (with the side of the rib facing down) in a bordered pan and insert a meat thermometer into the thickest portion, without touching any bones.
Step 3: Cut 4 reddish potatoes into 1/2″ or thicker pieces and place them around the meat. You don’t have to eat these (but Your Honor, they’re delicious), they’re just there to catch the butterdrops and prevent the dripping fat from steaming and burning. Try to get an even layer of potatoes on your baking sheet.
Step 4: Calculate the cooking time. You need to estimate 5 minutes per pound. Look at the label that came on your meat to know exactly how much it weighs. Multiply that number by 5 and that’s the number of minutes to cook your roast at 500 degrees. My roast was 7.95 pounds x 5 = 39.75 minutes or 40 minutes total. NOTE: If you have a large roast that you plan to split in two, as long as you have plenty of space between them for air to circulate, you can treat them as a single roast. Example: A 16-pound roast divided into two 8-pound roasts would cook for 40 minutes.
Step 5: Roast and monitor. Cook the rib first at 500 degrees for the calculated time, then turn off the oven and do not open the door. Seriously. Do not open for anything for 2 hours. During that time, watch your thermometer: you’re aiming for a roast of about 130 degrees before taking it out of the oven. Read below the steps to follow if your oven cools quickly.
Step 6: Rest. Once your meat reaches 130 degrees, remove it from the oven, try not to drool on you and let it sit uncovered until the internal temperature is 120 degrees. Just leave your meat thermometer on it and wait. This step took me a whole hour, so be sure to plan for it. You don’t want those precious juices to spread all over your counter.
What to do if the oven cools too quickly and the meat stops
The closed door method for cooking premium ribs is supposed to be simple and it is for the most part. But today’s furnaces create some challenges with this method (which was created a long time ago when furnaces were solid) because most simply don’t retain heat like they used to and some come with fans that automatically activate to cool an oven after use. If you have an oven with an automatic fan, this method may not work for you.
When cooking mine, I wanted my meat to reach 130 degrees. After an hour with the oven turned off, it reached 125 and I was worried it would overcook. But he stayed there. And he sat there. After 20 minutes the temperature had not moved. You should see the temperature of the meat rise a degree or two every 10 minutes or so and mine had stagnated. If yours stops or starts to fall, take action.
To fix this issue:
- Keep the door closed but turn the oven to 270 degrees. When mine started to preheat, the temperature was effectively 125 inside. Too cool.
- Let the oven preheat to 270 and leave it on at that temperature for 5 minutes, then turn the oven off again. It may take 5 or 10 minutes for the heat to start penetrating, but watch your meat thermometer and don’t worry.
- When your main rib reaches 130, simply take it out even if the 2 hours are not over yet. Mine came out 15 minutes early and was still perfect.
If your meat was very cold when you initially put it in the oven, you may need to do this process a couple of times or leave your oven on 270 for 10 to 15 minutes to really help the main rib get going. Remember: you won’t ruin it as long as you don’t overcook it. You have a meat thermometer to help you with that, so you’ll do fine!
What to serve with premium rib
Above all, you should have horseradish sauce. I make mine with a good mayonnaise and horseradish prepared, but you can also buy it pre-made. Don’t you dare put A-1 on something so delicious. (My daughter does, but we won’t talk about it.)
Next, you’ll want to balance the richness of the meat with some lighter items. You’d like:
- Pear and gorgonzola salad
- Sautéed green beans with mustard and shallots
- White cheddar popovers
- butter Brussels sprouts