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Reverse sear small prime rib roast?

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    Reverse sear small prime rib roast?

    We aren't big turkey fans in our house (well, I am but I'm the only one) so we are cooking a prime rib roast for Thanksgiving. There will only be four of us, so we picked up a two bone choice grade roast that is just under five pounds with the bones for, gulp, $97. Plan an smoking it on our Memphis Advantage pellet grill. Figure about 3 hours or so at 225 should get us medium rare. I'll definitely be checking the temp during the cook and verifying with an instant read thermometer.

    Anyway, looking around on the interwebs, I see a few recipes that call for a reverse sear. We haven't done a rib roast for quite some time. When we've done them before, they were much larger. I don't think we ever did a reverse sear. Just smoked to medium rare and sliced and served. I'm thinking of reverse searing this to get a nice crust. I just wonder if it's too small to do this. We'll basically have two end cuts and two middle cuts. I worry that reverse searing will just cook the two end cuts too much and they'll end up medium or worse.

    What are the thoughts of all you more experienced pit masters?

    Get the fire roaring hot and flip very frequently, you should be fine. I reverse sear steaks all of time and I'm sure that most, if not all of them are thinner than a 2 bone prime rib roast.


      I would cook at 225 to 10 to 15 degrees less than you want the final temperature to be. Let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes while getting something screaming hot. I’d then lightly rub a neutral oil onto it like vegetable oil then sear each side for 30 to 60 seconds.

      The carryover while letting it rest and the screaming hot sear will bring it to temp. I sear on my Weber kettle with coals white hot built up to the grate after bringing up the temperature of the roast slowly in my pellet grill or oven.

      There will be no need to rest after the sear since you rested before the sear.


      • HawkerXP
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      • theroc
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      • gboss
        gboss commented
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      I’ve found there’s very little carryover when cooking at low temps. I like to cook rib roast on the low side, around 200. For medium rare, I pull around 128-130. The key to not overcooking the exterior is a short (15 minute or so) rest before searing. This allows the exterior to begin cooling off before searing. Do a very hot, quick sear.
      Last edited by Red Man; November 25, 2021, 01:04 PM.


        Here’s a one bone rib roast (more like an extra thick steak) I reverse seared recently using my method described above.
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          You can get a really good sear in your home oven if the Memphis hot zone is too small. Crank it to its hottest setting (usually 550*), let it heat for 15-20 minutes, the put the rib roast in for 10 minutes. No overcooking and a really tasty crust.


          • IdahoJim
            IdahoJim commented
            Editing a comment
            I think this may be the winner. We'll be making corn pudding (yum) and it cooks in a 450 degree oven. When it's done, we'll just crank the oven as hot as it goes, give it a few minutes and pop it in. That's the plan anyway. Kind of following Kenji Lopez-alt's recipe at https://www.seriouseats.com/perfect-...ib-beef-recipe but doing the low roast on the pellet grill.

          We replaced the Thanksgiving ham with prime rib a few years ago…not sure why it took so long!

          Even with smaller roasts the reverse sear proves to be the best method.

          Meatheads prime rib write up on the main site is perfect. And be sure to use Mrs O’Leary’s cow crust rub!



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