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slow roasting prime rib

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In a previous issue of Cook's Illustrated they told about Heston Blumenthal's method of roasting prime rib for a couple days at an extremely low temperature. They stated that no home oven could be set for that temperature, and so they settled for a 200 degree oven. I'm wondering if anyone knows what temperature Heston uses. I recently bit the bullet (after many months of saving) to purchase a sous vide water circulator. I figure that's the only way Heston could accomplish what he did. I've tried some pretty amazing recipes with this thing and I'd like to try prime rib with it. Thanks in advance.

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  1. Roasting a couple days??

    1. Here, Blumenthal says he roasts at 60*C (which is 140*F) until it reaches 55*C (4-6 hours)


      1. They're wrong about the oven - Gaggenau's pricey EB388 home oven can go as low as 120ºF. Also why they went up to 200ºF since there are ovens than can at 175ºF.

        Your main challenges with the circulator will be to find a way to bag a large roast (difficult with home vacuum units because of width of bag) and to find a cooking time and temperature combo which will make the beef not seem mushy.

        1. My very plebeian oven works fine at 175

          1 Reply
          1. re: magiesmom

            My oven does, too, but I'm looking to cook it at a lower temperature.

          2. I'm honestly just curious, not being snarky or trying to start a debate, but why would you want to cook a prime rib for a couple of days? What result are you hoping to achieve?

            5 Replies
            1. re: Springhaze2

              I'm wanting to cook it sous vide. That's in a very controlled water bath. The results are a much more tender piece of meat. The circulator can regulate the temperature of the water to within one tenth of one degree. The food is sealed in a vacuum sealed bag with any seasonings desired. (The actual meaning of sous vide is vacuum packed.) The slow low temperature breaks down connective tissue and produces meat that is cooked in its own juices and is extremely flavorful and tender. You cannot overcook the meat, as the temperature only goes as high as the water it is in. No part of it is overdone or underdone. Guess that's a very quick description of what it is and why I'd like to try it.

              1. re: hsdad

                Have you seen 'A Practical Guide to Sous Vide"? There's some really good info there:


                This thread has some useful tips and discusses large roasts and sous vide.


                1. re: hsdad

                  Thanks, I know sous vide, but just don't think of it in terms of doing a whole prime rib. I like a bit of crustiness on the outside of the meat.

                  I also appreciate the fun of trying various techniques, so let us know how it comes out!

                  1. re: Springhaze2

                    I like the crust, too. That's why you brown the meat after cooking either by very hot pan, grill or torch. I'll let you know when I finally get the information and have a chance to do it.

                  2. re: hsdad

                    I get the temperature regulation, but I don't get how tender you need to get a prime piece of beef?
                    I've had good prime roast and meh prime roast, but never tough prime roast.
                    I've never had sous vide prime roast, so perhaps it magical. It's just days of cooking seems a tad excessive.
                    Again, not a sous vide'r here ;-)

                2. Shirley O. Corriher recommends 140˚. My oven's lowest temp is 170˚ so I use that.

                  Slow roasting is definitely the way to go!

                  Wish I could help with the method you're looking for but with Corriher's you raise the temp up to 500˚ at the end long enough to get a really crispy mahogany surface. Then you take it out and let it rest until about 15 minutes before you want to sit down. At that point, put it back in a hot oven just to rewarm the surface. The interior will be hot, pink and juicy.

                  1. I've been doing the 200 for a few hours method for a while now and i love it - i'd like to know what the lower temp/extended cooking time adds?

                    1. You know that if you use a water circulator, it will cook a lot faster than an oven set to the same temperature. Also a long time in a low oven will build a crust that you aren't going to get with SV.

                      1. Wow this is a really misleading title.

                        1. Slow roasting in an oven is going to be a completely different end result than sous vide.
                          One technique/time is not equivalent to the other.....

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Ttrockwood

                            IMO, having done SV the crispy crust is more about 'optics'. It's what we are used to to tell our brain that the meat has been cooked properly.
                            I've moved on from SV. It will stay in my repertoire. 'Got the T-Shirt'. There's nothing wrong with SV at all. Good for caterers and large restaurants for sure. But frankly I can turn out a perfectly cooked Prime Rib using basic methods.
                            All it ever takes is having the confidence/faith and experience to keep the GD temp below 212F!
                            Not everyone can do this. Their loss.