Splitting a 11 lb. Rib Roast in Two Instead of Cooking One Hunka Love
I've got an 11lb. rib roast I'm planning to cook for New Years Day. I've cooked a 5lb. roast before with success, but I'm worried that the 11lber will a) take too long b) dry out c) get a burnt crust.
I was thinking of splitting the roast into two 5.5 lb roasts instead of one hunk of beef and cooking them at the same time, this way saving time and mitigating dry ends.
What do you all think? I'm not planning on presenting the whole roast, so presentation isn't a big deal. Anything I should watch out for? I'm using a remote thermeter in the meat to ensure medium rare.
if everyone of your guests is agreeable to one temperature two roasts decreases the cooking time. the advantage of cooking a whole roast is that the ends come out medium well and the middle is medium rare which makes for more serving options.
If you split it, you need to arrange the two roasts in the oven so that there will be at least 4" of space between them or they won't cook evenly.
I made an 11 pound rib roast for Christmas and it turned out beautiful. I did not take too long ( about 2 1/2 hours) was not dry at all and did not have a burned crust. I have made 22 pound roasts without any problems. I did use a meat thermometer ( built into my oven). I just rubbed with evoo, salt and pepper, cooked at 20 minutes at 450 and turned down to 325 for the remainder until 130 degrees. I was so excellent-I recommend that you cook the thing in one piece.
I used the same method on Christmas.
The key is getting the roast to room temperature before putting it in the oven. With the usual 2-3 hours recommended in recipes, it'll still be ice-cold in the middle.
If you then roast at 250, it'll be evenly rare all the way through:
If you split it, you'll get more overdone ends, not less.
Thanks for all the recommendations. Just as a recap, I did end up splitting the 11 lb. roast in two. I set them in the same roasting pan about 4 inches apart, and used a meat thermometer in one of the roasts.
The thermometer hit 120 in about 2 hours, and I took them out at the same time. Carryover took it to 130, and after a nice rest, both roasts came out perfectly medium rare. No dryness in the meat.
I'd cook this way again for a large roast if presenting the whole hunk of beef is not a big deal. Instead of 3.5 hours, both roasts were done in about 2, perfectly medium rare.
The thermometer read about 48 degrees. Definitely putting the roasts out to get to room temperature as you mentioned is key.
That's a good point I should emphasize as well - I took the roasts out of the fridge at 10:30 am, so they had about 2.5 hours to get up in temperature, and even after that time out of the fridge they were only just shy of 50. If I had taken them out only 1 hour, as many recipes suggest, they would have been much colder.
I also roasted at 365 the entire time, so it was not the really "low and slow" method, but it still was nicely medium rare, but with a crisp crust (contributed also by the horseradish/garlic/rosemary crust) so I didn't have to blast it on high heat at all during the cooking.