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Jan 13, 2012 08:01 PM

Cooking a boneless rib roast with time/travel complications...Please help!

Ok, against my better gut feelings, I let my husband talk me into a boneless rib roast instead of my normal standing rib roast. Now I'm a little hesitant to use my normal 'fast' cooking time.

Here is some background...

We're having construction done on our home and cooking dinner for 8. A friend graciously offered their home which is approximately 30 minutes from ours. What is the best way to transport either a cooked roast, or interrupt cooking a roast? I'm assuming that we will visit for an hour or so before sitting down to dinner. I have the normal cheese/pate/cracker spread with the obligatory deviled eggs (hey, we have our own chickens, deviled eggs can be something special! LOL).

I went ahead and purchased an entire rib primal (14 lbs) which is obviously too much for the party but I like working with whole pieces of meat. I was thinking of doing about a 7lb roast.

Is there a recipe that I can start cooking, wrap well and let rest for 90 minutes before finishing in the oven without losing juiciness of the meat? Should I go with a crusted roast or could that flop?

Also, I'm not sure if it's helpful...I do have one of those electric roasters that I can cook in, wrap well in foil and drive with, essentially cooking on our drive. This keeps me from having to bug my 'co-host' to have a pre-heated oven and is something I can sit on the countertop. Honestly I only use the thing for country hams so I'm not sure how useful it will be in this particular instance.

Thank you in advance for any help! I've been reading past threads for about an hour but no one seemed to have a travel kink in their recipe.

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  1. I'd probably cook it low temp (~200) to a few degrees below your desired temperature, measured at the center with a decent thermometer, then wrap it in foil and drive it over to your friend's place where I'd finish it off in a very hot oven (~500 - 550). The drive and rest will even help keep the high-temp finish from overcooking the center.

    Here is a link to a recipe for a (bone in) rib roast where the author gets excellent results with this method, though he doesn't take a drive during the resting time.


    - Excellent result

    - No harm done by the drive - cooking it this way actually takes advantage of it


    - Cooking time for a 7 lb roast at 200 will be quite a while. Figure maybe 4 hours.

    - You might be best off having your friends preheat their oven while you're on your way if the roast has been out of the oven long already. The recipe guidelines in the link I posted above say that you should rest it at least 30 minutes but not more than 90 minutes.

    10 Replies
    1. re: cowboyardee

      Thank you for your help. Seriously...I'm reading recipes and playing online puzzles and panicking and refreshing the page obsessively.

      That looks ldeal as a recipe, and I like the 'science' behind it...makes me confident. Thank you SO much.

      1. re: cowboyardee

        For a 300 degree oven...what am I looking at..10 min a lb?

        1. re: sommrluv

          Any figure I give you is going to be an estimate, because cooking time depends on a lot of factors - things like the shape of that particular roast, the starting temperature of the roast, the calibration of the oven, and whether or not your rib is sitting low in a pan.

          That said, my best guess for a 7.5 lb rib at 300 degrees would be just shy of 2 hours. If you cook it at 300, ideally you should take it out when a thermometer at its center reaches 115 in order for the rest to bring it up to a perfect medium rare.

          1. re: sommrluv

            300 degrees will definitely speed up your cooking time, but the increased cooking time involved in doing it at 200 degrees will be worth the effort if its possible to do it. You will achieve a much more uniform level of doneness and you will have a much larger "sweet spot" of that perfect pink.

          2. re: cowboyardee

            i don't know what this blogger's credentials are, nor does he/she say whether the meat was fridge cold.

            having slogged enough professional time in high-end steak houses, i assure you, ALL the meat rests for quite some time at room temp before ever hitting the grill.

            1. re: hotoynoodle

              That blogger is one of my favorites. He (or she?) is responsible for the Cooks Illustrated pie crust recipe, for one. He knows his stuff.

              I think he doesn't say whether the meat was fridge cold because he uses a probe thermometer and just takes it out when it's reached doneness in the center. If you're cooking at 200 and don't have a specific time you need the roast to be finished, whether or not the meat is chilled going into the oven becomes less important. It is more ideal to let the meat come to room temp before cooking it, but you might be surprised at how little difference it makes when the oven temp is so low.

              Bringing meat up to room temp before cooking is most important when you are both cooking on high heat and using a thick cut. Here is a link to a thread where I discussed how starting temperature affects the way in which a piece of meat (in that case, a steak) cooks:

              1. re: cowboyardee

                ok, so, starting with a HUGE hunk o'meat that might be 30-40 degrees? plopping it in even a 200 degree oven will create unwanted steam.

                please, by all means, discount my professional experience and good luck!

                1. re: hotoynoodle

                  Why is a little bit of steam unwanted in this scenario? (Really though, we're more talking about humidity anyway - the oven is only 200 degrees). I don't think you're thinking this all the way through.

                  There's photographic evidence of the results on the blog I linked to. Likewise, I have personally cooked meats at low temp, rested, then finished them literally hundreds of times.

                  I don't mean to offend. I'm just telling it like it is. Wouldn't be the first time a professional was wrong about something.

                  1. re: cowboyardee

                    no offense taken.

                    it's a question looking for advice.

                    i offered mine. you offered yours. simply put, i would not chose your scenario. ymmv.

                    we can agree to disagree. lol. it's fine.

              2. re: hotoynoodle

                Meat in general should not be fridge cold before cooking

            2. the friends are not so far away. is there anyway you can bring the prepped meat and just have them pop it in the oven at an agreed upon time and temp?? a 7 lb piece is not so small and the vagaries of wrapping with foil and transporting and car temps and oven temps etc. would drive me off the deep end.

              when meat is removed from the oven to "rest" it continues to cook. i assume you know that. will you be putting it in a cold car? under foil? so it will be cooking, cooling and steaming all at the same time. gaaaah. this is not something i would do with a spendy cut of meat.

              when i cook these big meats, i start with a room temp piece. DO NOT take it from the fridge and put it in the oven. then i blast at 400 for 30 mins, then slow roast at 200. you'll need at least 15 mins per pound. after, i pop the broiler on high and blast that baby. perfect, every time.

              lol, you are essentially catering for friends. not "bugging them".

              4 Replies
              1. re: hotoynoodle

                "when meat is removed from the oven to "rest" it continues to cook. i assume you know that. will you be putting it in a cold car? under foil? so it will be cooking, cooling and steaming all at the same time."
                One of the upsides of cooking at about 200 without a high temp start is that the meat's internal temperature won't rise as much during the resting phase. Still, you'd shoot to take it out when the internal temp is about 120 (for medium rare). During the ride, it should reach that max internal temperature and then possibly start cooling down again at its center.

                If Sommrluv times it right (and [s]he has a decent-sized window), the initial cooking and rest should achieve the desired doneness, and then the final blast at high heat should create a crust and rewarm the roast without overshooting.

                1. re: cowboyardee

                  in your "possibly" perfect scenario, you're still re-heating the beef. with such lovely items as farm-fresh deviled eggs, home-made pate and a gorgeous roast as the star... why?

                  1. re: hotoynoodle

                    Don't think of it as reheating - the rib roast never really cooled. Think of it as low temperature cooking with a high temperature finish. It's only the converse of the much-loved 'high heat first then low and slow' method for a rib roast. There won't be any loss of quality at all. I use a similar process all the time when cooking sous vide, but the resting time doesn't need to be as long with the smaller cuts that I use.

                    1. re: cowboyardee

                      Have to agree with cowboy. The roast will show no adverse effects from being allowed to rest before getting blasted in the oven to form the crust. Its actually a preferred technique as less of the roast will be "overcooked" when the roast gets blasted in the 400 degree oven.

                1. I love & adore every single one of you right now. Really, really, I do. I haven't been here in a while and I can't imagine why not. It's no nice to have people that understand that sometimes roasts are terribly important.

                  I'd love to pretend that the pate is mine, but we'll be cheating and grabbing some at wegmans. I AM making rabbit pate next week however, and I might sneak some duck rillettes into the deviled eggs. We raise rabbits too, but 80% of my friends won't eat it. :(

                  Anyway...I'm going with 200, and I'm going to pop a second pan in the lower oven at the same temp and wrap them both really well with foil. I always let it come to room temperature but it's a good reminder. I'm going to plan for 5 hours in the oven, because it seems to me that the resting time won't hurt it much. And the roast can be served warmish and still be fine.

                  I wish there were a 'minutes per lb.' application for oven temp and type of meat. Hmmmm

                  I really appreciate everyone's input. I'm making comparatively boring asparagus, honeyed carrots, and boiled new potatoes to go with.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: sommrluv

                    Thank you again to everyone who helped! I had a few very frightening moments today when after about 3 1/2 hours I temped the roast and it was already 140. I let it rest a bit, but wrapped it tight in tinfoil because I just assumed whatever damage done, was done, and I didn't want to let it get cold, than reheat it and make it worse.

                    The roast did brown and start to form a crust in the 200 degree oven. I rubbed it with salt, garlic, pepper, smoked paprika, and a little lawry's. You could tell the internal fat was rendering.

                    It sat for at least another 90 minutes before I put it in a 400-425 degree oven (was cautious to flash in a too hot oven) for about ten minutes (at the same time reheating all of my sides. The internal temp was 110.

                    I was very happy to carve into a perfectly pink roast, which still even bled onto the carving board. The ends were more a little around medium, which was perfect for those wanting more done. Everything was nearly fork tender, without having the mushy texture of restaurant prime rib. It was toothsome but juicy.

                    I'm really thrilled with how it came out and I know this will be a go-to recipe for parties that involve a little more flexibility in serving time. Thanks!

                    1. re: sommrluv

                      Glad to hear it worked out for you.