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May 5, 2012 08:04 AM

Standing Rib Roast- revisted

I've read through the many, many posts on Chowhound (and some elsewhere) on standing rib roasts.

I decided to do mine at 225., starting at room temp. What I am not sure of is:

1) Should I sear it before or after the slow roast (in the oven at 450- I don't think stove top searing is practical for meat this size/shape)?

2) If you sear it after the slow roast, is it beneficial to allow it to rest before the high heat sear in the oven?

I know it needs to rest a substantial amount of time before serving.

One thing that stuck in my mind after reading all those posts was if you high heat sear before the slow roast, how long does it take for the oven to cool to 225, say from 450? My ovens are well insulated and I am a little worried about too much high heat being applied and that ugly ring forming around the roast. I suppose you could just hold the oven door open until the temp drops.

If you do the high heat sear afterwards, it occurs to me that it takes quite a while to get your oven from 225 to 450, and that could be bad for the meat. I do have 2 ovens, but not sure what I will have in the other one when doing this roast.

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  1. To answer your questions properly, you must first consider the size of the roast, i.e., how many ribs or the the size, shape and weight if it were a boneless roast.

    1). Smaller roasts, I would sear on the stove top, as it would control the results and address your concerns of uncertainty. Larger roasts, I would sear in the oven...

    2). I've seared at both the beginning and end...with low temperature roasting, the final results are pretty much the same on the interior of the roast.....the only discernible difference I have found is if you do not sear in the beginning but rely solely on a high heat blast at the end, the exterior of the meat appears and has the texture of dried jerky. As a result, my process is

    * to sear or brown in the beginning
    * roast to temperature
    * rest for an hour or more(my mark is now planned for two hours if possible)
    * warm the roast and finish with a high heat blast
    * serve immediately

    (when I plan to rest for two hours, it will not be out of the oven, but rather inside, uncovered with the oven set @ 140*, the lowest warm setting. This is how it is done in commercial kitchens with cook and hold ovens)

    I cannot speak for the science and performance of the oven and recovery time, but you need not worry if your oven is calibrated properly. Once you turn the oven down to 225, it will not fire up again until it needs to maintain the temperature you set. The actual time it takes for the oven to reduce down to setting will not harm the roast.

    As for the 225 to 450 at the end.....I raise the thermostat without pulling the roast out for 8-15 minutes depending on the size of the roast. When the roast is removed for resting, the cooking process halts after the carryover temperature increase, so when it is reintroduced for the second time, it's being warmed, not cooked any further.

    1 Reply
    1. re: fourunder

      With reference strictly to the initial sear of the roast....Whether anyone believes it is necessary or not, it is recommended you do so to kill any harmful bacterial on the surface of the roast, not the interior or to seal in any juices, but to bring the surface temperature to the safety zone. This recommendation is given by the USDA and American/National Beef Council. Much of my early slow roasting techniques were based on instructions from Cooks Illustrated ....and I did not always do the initial sear step...but rather just the final heat blast to give the roast some char and color. I was made aware from a respected poster of the guidelines recommended by USDA, the fact that the National Beef Council spoke out against the CI methods as flawed. ... as their method ignored standard food safety handling and the fact that CI ultimately revised their recommendations to include the initial sear as a necessary step in their book.

    2. I would ignore the 'sear' step altogether. The wonderful-ness of your roast has to do with a perfect internal temp, not the exterior 'sear'. Use an accurate digital thermometer, when 125, take out of the oven, tent with a huge piece of aluminum foil, and do not touch for 1 hour. If you press some seasoned salt on the exterior before roasting, the crust will be heavenly; no sear needed.

      3 Replies
      1. re: jerry i h

        Did you mean 125 degrees F rather than 225 degrees F?

          1. re: jerry i h

            I agree with jerry i h about not being concerned about a sear, but for a different reason. I never cook a standing rib roast without a paste on it. I simply can't bring myself to cook a standing rib roast without a paste on it. I love rib eyes too much. I'll end up cutting the roast down into individual rib eyes and cooking them. I like a rib eye more than I do a slice of roast.

      2. I have done the CI initial sear on stovetop and the Alton Brown suggested method of oven searing after (but at 500). I think they are both delicious but my only warning is that the oven searing after results in a very smoky kitchen. I don't know if this will happen at the temp of 450, though. So if I am feeling lazy and don't want to dirty another pan (which is the reason Alton Brown does it his way), then I follow the AB way. If I am having guests over, I do it the CI way.