Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Reverse Seared Prime Rib Roast

Prime rib is one of my favorite holiday meals.   It is buttery tender, rich in taste, and so....so....beefy.

I've mentioned this before but the "prime" in "prime rib" is just a common term, it is not referring to the USDA grade of prime.  It's also called a standing rib roast or beef rib roast. [Click here for my 20 Tips for Beef Rib Roasts]   

This year I cooked a USDA choice boneless rib roast for Christmas and I used the reverse sear method on my Big Green Egg.   I have cooked rib roasts a variety of ways (high temp roast, low temp roast, sear/roast) and in my opinion, a reverse sear gives the most tender and evenly cooked rib roast.   If you cook it at 350f straight, you'll end up with the outer edges (the "lip" or "cap") a dull grey medium while only the center is medium rare.  Reverse searing a roast creates the same degree of doneness all the way through, edge to edge.

kamado prime rib, kamado joe prime rib, primo prime rib
Perfect medium rare, all the way through.  Even the spinalis dorsi is pink.
You can do this on any grill that you are comfortable with holding low temps for several hours.  Heck, you could also do this method in your oven and broiler, but I promise it would be better on a grill or smoker.

Reverse Seared Beef Rib Roast
serves:  8-10

  • 5 lb boneless beef roast, left off refrigeration to temper for up to one hour
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper, coarse ground
  • 1 tsp dried minced garlic 
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups beef stock
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed but left whole
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  1. Set up your grill for indirect heat and preheat to 225f as measured at the grate (250f dome temp on a Big Green Egg).  
  2. Tie your roast and season on all sides with a dry rub made of the salt, pepper, garlic and red pepper flakes.
  3. Place the roast on a roasting rack above a roasting pan filled with the stock, garlic, and rosemary.
  4. Place the roasting rack/pan on the grill over the indirect (no coals or heat) area.  Roast until the internal temp reaches 10 degrees less than your desired final temperature (see chart).
  5. Rest the roast while you raise the grill temp to 500-550f and change to a direct heat set up.  Watch the internal temperature of your roast after it comes off.  You want to "carry over cooking" to finish and you should actually see the internal temperature of your roast start to drop before it goes back on the grill for searing.
  6. Remove the garlic and rosemary from the au jus that has formed in the roasting pan and discard.  Season au jus with salt and pepper as needed.
  7. Sear the roast directly over the coals for 1 minute per side on all sides.
  8. Allow roast to rest another 10-15 minutes after the sear.  Slice and serve.
  • For your guests that want more than medium rare, a quick "bath" in beef broth in a heated skillet will quickly make the pink disappear and get the slice of roast to their liking. 
  • Big Green Egg set up details:  lump coal, no wood, platesetter in "legs up", V-rack set on top of platesetter and stoneware drip pan.
  • You can use a bone in rib roast as well but make sure to have the butcher slice the rib bones off.  Make sure to season the roast all over and THEN tie the bones back on.  After roasting and prior to searing, remove the bones so you can sear on all sides.  
kamado prime rib, kamado joe prime rib, primo prime rib
Here is the roast rack set up.  Rendered fats will drip into the beef stock below, giving flavor.

kamado prime rib, kamado joe prime rib, primo prime rib, Big green egg prime rib
Resting on a raised rack avoids steaming the surface of the meat, which loses juices.

grill prime rib, craycort grate, kamado prime rib
Contrary to popular believe, searing does NOT seal in juices but it does create color and flavor.

Don't forget to remove the twine before slicing.  If you do forget, just tell guests that it's floss.

Here is the cooking log for this cook.  Click on the picture to make it larger so you can read it.  
meat log, kamado prime rib, big green egg prime rib