Friday, January 2, 2009

Prime Rib

I like prime rib, or, as it's called when the bones are still in (as they should be), standing rib roast. We don't cook it often as it's more of a holiday meal. It's expensive only because a small one, three ribs, is a lot of meat. This one is 6.5lb and was $12/lb.

It's simple to cook:
Age it for 5 days in the refrigerator
Brown it on all sides (rule #2!)
Cook at 200F until it reaches an internal temp of 130F
Let it rest about 20 minutes before carving

A funny thing happened with this. As usual, I was following the Cook's Illustrated Best Recipes recipe for this. It said that it will take about 30 minutes per pound to reach 130F when started from room temp.

This roast should have taken 3.5 hours, but in fact only took 2. Had I not had a probe in it while cooking, I'd have ruined an $80 piece of meat.

All came out well, however. We were scrambling to get the sides ready.

Another interesting thing - while I was looking up prime rib cooking techniques, I came across this site. I did not use this recipe, but it included this statement:
Convection Oven: If you use a convection oven, the temperature of your roast can rise as much as 30 degrees - so remove roast from oven at 110°F on your meat thermometer for rare, 115 degrees F to 120 degrees F degrees for medium rare, and 125 degrees F for medium doneness.

The only reason I can come up with for this is that in a standard oven, there is a significant temperature gradient from bottom to top so that when the meat is removed, the cooler top doesn't contribute as much energy to the rest of the roast during the resting period. I don't know if I believe that, though.

I will do some experiments with chicken. I'll cook one using the convection setting, another with the standard.

Perhaps that's why my cooking time was off.
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