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Dec 15, 2006 07:17 PM

Prime Rib for Christmas

I know. I think I asked this last year, but I don't remember the answer, I can't find it in the archives, and I thought it would be helpful to everyone, so please help me order my my prime rib for Christmas.

First, correct me if I'm wrong. A whole prime rib roast is 6 ribs, weighs about 12lbs., and would feed roughly 12 adults. Is that right?

Second, if I instead want to order two (2), four (4) rib racks, from the end with the largest "eye" piece, and therefore the smaller "cap" piece, which ribs do I ask for? Is that a roast of ribs 1-4, or a rack of ribs 6-2? Or neither?

Third, I would like to cook it in a very, very low oven in an attempt to get a uniform red/pinkness throughout the roast, rather than a brown rim, outside a pink section, with a red core. If I cook it at 275* for instance, how long should I expect it to take to get to 135* internal temperature for medium rare? 20 minutes per pound?

Thanks for all your help again.

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  1. Aidells and Kelly in The Complete Meat Book says a 4-5 bone rib roast weighing 8-12 lbs. will serve 10 -15 people. A 3 rib roast at 6-7 lbs. should serve about 8. Julia Cild said In The Way to Cook that some figure 2 servings per rib but her 5 rib roast served 16. She said she had tried all different methods and came to the coonclusion that roasting at an even 325 F She said at that temp. you can expect a 5 rib roast to take 2 1/4 - 2 3/4 hours to achieve 120 F. for rare.

    1. I've cooked my rib roast at 225F the past several years. Two musts are 1) a good thermometer like a Polder that registers the internal temp and can be set and 2) be sure the roast is a room temp before you start. Putting a cold roast into a low over really takes lots of extra cooking time. Finally, remove the roast from the oven when it reaches 125F for rare/medium rare. Cover with foil and let sit for at least 20 minutes. You'll notice the internal temp rises another 5-8 degrees during that resting time. If you want to get a nice crust, turn the over up to around 450F and put the roast back in for maybe 5 minutes AFTER you've allowed it to rest. It'll get a nice crust but won't cook any further.

      4 Replies
      1. re: rtmonty

        I agree with this method 100%. The low cooking temperature coupled with starting with room temperature roast will ensure an evenly cooked roast end to end. Another benefit is the minimal shrinkage.

        1. re: rtmonty

          poulet roti this is exactly what I wanted to hear. But can you give me some approximation of time? My guess is that a 10lb roast (even starting at room temperature) must take hours to cook at 225*. Any help you gan give me would be appreciated.

          1. re: Pappy

            Jeez, its been 2 or 3 years since I have done one so I cannot recall the time. I have made at least 4 or 5 in this manner but it has been years ago. I will say that the absolute best result is the eveness of cooking. I like my prime rib roast to be medium rare. The interesting thing is that when you "cheat" and shave off a piece from the end or outside, it will be the same done-ness on the inside. I suppose I think the reason this is so neat is that I used to recall my mother always screwing up a prime rib roast as she was seeking to make it "well done on the outside and rare on teh inside" in an effort to accomodate everybody at the holidays. Bottom line was that it never quite worked out that way...

          2. re: rtmonty

            One thing I learned the hard way: a big roast won't come to room temperature in just a few hours, it takes overnight.

          3. I start off my standing rib roast at 450F for 1/2 hour, then reduce heat to 325F for the duration.

            If you have a pure convection setting, use it. There will be less shrinkage and it cooks faster. I don't have exact times per pound.

            1. IMHO:
              1. Anectdote: I ordered a 6 rib (truly prime) roast once, went to pick it up, and saw that it (untrimmed) was about 2 feet long and weighed really alot and was going to be really, really, really expensive. I think 3 servings per rib should do it, unless it's assiduously trimmed and tied.
              2. Why bother with 2? (Also, I'm a fiend for "cap".)
              3. Saint Julia's 325 for the duration has never failed me, assuming an appropriate rest.

              1. I don't know when I'll be cooking for 12, but my husband loves PR and I ran across a very good article :


                What's cool is that the author uses some very good sources: recipes from Suzanne Goin of Lucques and the editors of Cook's Illustrated; and that he also is aware of the price issues, and compares the results from prime-grade meat and regular choice from the supermarket. It's a detailed piece and thoughtful in the sense that it really seems geared to the home cook's interests and concerns.