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Roasting a FROZEN Prime Rib? At 170ºF??

Amazing, yet True.

Perfect Prime Rib, by a highly unusual method.

NOTE: After ranting about the high price of beef, here I am preparing another Prime Rib roast. In all fairness, I already had the roast in my freezer... and I had purchased it at a great price a while back.

Let's say your spouse takes a work-related call at 9:00PM. Sounds important. You are flabbergasted to hear two couples get invited over for dinner the following night. After all, you barely have time to shop, much less cook. And all you have on hand, actually, is a frozen-ass Prime Rib roast.

Believe it or not, you've totally got this. Rather than copping out and using Uber Eats, this can be your time to shine... to pull off what might seem to others a culinary miracle.

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Our regular readership knows that we've made Prime Rib cookery one of our main points of emphasis here at Danny's Table... and that every now and then we come up with another angle, a new twist, and/or a clever hack. This one is way outside the box.

Advances in the Science of Cookery entail two distinct processes-- hypothetical conjecture, and then trial & error. As I was ferrying my 120'-long 34-wheeler into Boston one night last week, my eyes diligently monitored the highway while a small compartment of my brain reviewed my universe for anomalies, opportunities, and, perhaps most importantly, "what-ifs," which lead directly to the afore-referenced hypothetical conjecturing. You see, after having power-learned everything I could about cooking Leg of Lamb (see "MUSINGS ON EASTER DINNER") my follow-up thoughts quite naturally wandered to the extreme "Low & Slow" roasting method I had written about... and whether it might work for Prime Rib as it did so nicely for the lamb roast. So, like an actual scientist, I went ahead and experimented. We'll jump right to the recipe and skip the blow-by-blow and its underlying reasoning, except for a single key point, one I gleaned from the Leg of Lamb experimentation--

As long as one keeps the roasting temperature well below water's boiling point of 212ºF, there is no danger of screwing up the meat by unintentionally steaming it. SO--

At 6:00AM I took the Prime Rib (Prime-grade Grass-Fed from Holy Grail Steak Co.) from the freezer, wrapped it with heavy-duty foil, and put it in my oven at 170ºF, right on the oven rack with a half sheet-pan below it to catch any drips. After six hours it was thawed enough to salt. (It wouldn't have stuck to the frozen surface.) After re-wrapping I inserted my digital roasting thermometer and returned the roast to the oven. And then I worked on multiple projects on the phone and around the house while the temperature slowly inched upward.

When the internal temperature hit 120ºF, I already had my convection section blasting away at 475ºF. I unwrapped the roast and put it on a rack, checking periodically as the convection gave it a sizzling, crispy exterior. Our Prime Rib was ready to serve at 5:30PM.


  • You can prepare a fabulous Prime Rib on relatively short notice.

  • You can accomplish a lot of other tasks while it roasts.

  • No need to let the roast "rest" before slicing.

  • It is as foolproof as a recipe can be.


  • It ties up the oven all day at a temperature too low for other cookery.

  • It doesn't produce drippings, so you'll need a Plan B for making gravy.

  • You have to "aim" 11 hours ahead to hit 120ºF just in time for dinner.

  • Not everyone has a convection option in their oven.

These disadvantages didn't affect me. We have a range with two oven compartments-- regular oven upstairs, and a convection option below. (See "PRODUCT REVIEW-- Our New Oven.") And I was fine without any pan drippings thanks to the huge batch of FAUX JUS I made last autumn. An having done this once, I know to give myself a one-hour cushion in the cooking time. If my next roast reaches 120ºF too soon, I'll just turn the oven off, leave the roast wrapped and resting inside, and then give it the convection blast just prior to service. Oh, and absent a convection oven, cranking up your regular oven to 500ºF will work nicely.

For my next Prime Rib roast I'll try something a little different-- thawing it first, giving it my usual pre-salting and a few hours with a fan to form the crust, and then roasting at 170ºF to 120ºF. I look forward to reporting the results.

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2 Kommentare

Inquiring minds want to know, what sides were served along with the star attraction?

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30. Apr.
Antwort an

We pretty much have broccoli with everything... even breakfast.

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