Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Dec 22, 2013 02:36 PM

Prime rib experts, please help with low and slow cooking method!

Prime Rib questions. I have seen so much great information on the low and slow method here, that I wanted to try to pull it together into how to apply it for my situation. I just came home from the butcher with a 2-rib piece of prime rib weighing just under 4 pounds. For many, many years, I have successfully cooked prime rib traditionally with high at first and turning down the oven. This year, since there are just two of us, I really want to experiment and try cooking it low and slow.

My questions:
-I just bought the meat home, do I leave it in the wrapping or open the wrapping and put in in a loosely covered pan so it can age and dry out over the next few days.
-On the day of roasting, how long should I cook it, and at what temperature? Really want it cooked at the high end of rare or slightly medium rare.
-I see hold time after roasting from 1 to 2 hours, before applying a final blast of heat. What is the right resting time for this small of a piece of prime rib?
-Will this produce enough drippings to make gravy? I didn't think to ask the butcher if he could give me some extra fat.
-Is there anything else I am missing?

Thanks for any advice!!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. You would do really well to invest in a probe thermometer with a remote receiver. Setting oven temp is a choice to make depending on how much time you are willing to spend. 225 to 250 will give you that even pink color all through. Let the roast sit out of the fridge for at least an hour before roasting, If you insert the probe in the meat and slowly roast to 125, before resting, and then blast it for a few minutes at 450 it will be fine.

    I like to salt my rib roast at least 2 days up to 3 days before cooking. If you leave it uncovered in the refrigerator for those couple of days it will dry a little.

    If you want gravy you can put some onions and carrots in the roasting pan with some water, as long as the meat is elevated above the liquids. Good luck and please report back

    1 Reply
    1. re: phantomdoc

      I have a probe thermometer with a remote receiver. Thanks for the temp settings, but do you have any idea of how long it should take for a 3.86 lb prime rib with two bones? I need to know when to put the roast in the oven so I can plan the sides.

    2. Check out Kenji Lopez-Alt's instructions. He used to be with Cook's Illustrated and is now the mastermind behind Serious Eats. Lots of other good tips on prime rib on the site.

      6 Replies
      1. re: chococat

        I've cooked thousands of rib roasts both bone in & boneless rib eyes. This guys method is simple, foolproof & spot on! I'd get some Knorr Au Jus dry mix and add your de-fatted drippings and you'll have a good sauce. Use the rendered roast beef fat to make Popovers or Yorkshire pudding. I also make horseradish sauce using sour cream, bottled grated horseradish, Dijon mustard & some Tobasco sauce, salt & pepper. Mmmmm! you've just made my decision of what to serve Christmas

        1. re: zackly

          Thanks to the link for the technique!
          That is what I was looking for, however, also I want to make a traditional gravy (drippings/flour roux with stock) from the drippings, not a "sauce". Mashed potatoes (or in our case celery root and potato mash) and gravy are a "must have" for our Christmas. My question about the technique, is does it produce the drippings needed for making Gravy?

          I might buy some Knorr Au Jus mix for some of the leftovers, but not for the main holiday dinner.

          1. re: Springhaze2

            If you really want a proper drippings based gravy, maybe buy a pack of bone-in short ribs (Kenji recommends oxtails) to roast/render for gravy? Use the drippings for gravy and shred the meat for tacos (or a snack for the cook)!

            Low and slow cooking won't produce enough drippings to make gravy.

            1. re: chococat

              Love the short ribs idea! Funny when I was in the store yesterday I looked at the short ribs and considered buying some just to have on hand. Looks like I now need to make another trip to the store.

              After Christmas, I planned to make stock from the prime rib bones, so the short rib bones will also help with that.

            2. re: Springhaze2

              When I need gravy and only have a minimal amount of drippings I cheat and use a powdered gravy mix as a thickener and flavor enhancer. I like Knorr Demi Glace for this but I don't know if its available @ retail stores. I buy it @ Restaurant Depot.Otherwise, just use their brown gravy mix. Saturday night I removed a 30 hour sous vide cooked bottom round roast from the bag. I poured the purged juices into a saucepan and thickened the sauce with McCormick brown gravy mix. Nice easy delicious traditional gravy!

            3. re: zackly

              "Yorkshire Pudding".......Its horrible health wise but the best method for Yorkshire I have found is to remove the roast, put the pan with all the liquid fat / drippings back into the over and crank it up to max and then pour the batter directly into the bubbling fat and then back into the oven until golden brown. Sinfully delicious.

          2. To answer your questions:
            - thoroughly salt the day before cooking and leave it uncovered in the frige overnight
            - you are shooting for 120 degrees internal temp before pulling the roast, NO MORE. I just did a 4 rib, 9 pound roast and it took about 3.5 hours to get there (cooking at 200 degrees)
            - 1 hour rest should be plenty of time to rest that size roast
            - going low and slow will not produce much in the way of drippings to make gravy

            1. Thanks for all the great responses! I now have a plan.

              1. Heston Blumenthal cooks a 'perfect steak'.
                My advice is to follow his method. I do and end up with perfect steak.
                B/c of the thickness of your steak when you lay it in the pan it will immediately drop the heat. This is good. By turning the steak as often as Heston does the steak will slowly sear on the outside and the reduced heat will slowly cook the steak through to rare/medium rare in a surprisingly short time. Use the finger pressing onto your thumb tip and when you think the steak is close to the doneness you want only then stick a temp. probe in to confirm. The remove the steak and tent/rest to allow for the carry-over. IMO a steak doesn't need to be screaming/sizzling hot when served otherwise it will be floating in a pool of juices better off inside the protein strands.