Prime Rib temperature debate and safety?

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Master of the Pit
Original poster
Jul 28, 2013
S.W. Mo
I posted my Christmas Prime Rib on a hunting forum I frequent and a couple of guys responded with how they cook their rib..  They put it in a 500° oven for 5 minutes per pound, turn off the oven and let it set for two hours without opening the door.  This seems to me like an unorthodox method and is there a bacteria danger with the IT only reaching 120-125°?

I know lots of folks that like their meat rare, but this method seems risky to me.  I prefer mine medium to medium rare.  What say you Chef's?
Not a chef but I say it's fine. I wouldn't leave it out all day, but a few hours should be ok. The initial high heat in addition to the salty rub will kill most surface bacteria, and since it's an intact muscle there isn't really a problem with internal bacteria provided it's been handled correctly.

Look at it this way, low and slow in a smoker is going to subject the meat even longer times at low temperatures, right?
My mother in law uses this technique and it works well. She picked it up at a cooking class that she took. One thing to keep in mind is that you need to have a a well insulated oven since you are relying on the stored heat to work on that roast for a good 2 hours. Lower quality ovens may not insulate as well and you may come up short on the internal temp. I'd keep an electronic thermometer in the center of the roast as an insurance policy if I used this method. That way I could give it another shot of heat if I needed to get the IT up.

Oh, and this method can smoke the kitchen up pretty well so keep one eye on the smoke alarm and be ready to pull the batteries!

I second MDBOATBUM on the food safety issue... as long as you hit the outside hard with heat the inside should be safe. You'll see some guys who sterilize their probe thermometers for low target internal temperature roasts in order to avoid introducing bacteria in the center of the roast where the bacteria kill temp (~140) won't be acheived.
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MeatHound, what is the best way to sterilize your probe? I have never sterilized my probe I usually just wash it with hot water and soap before and after I use it.
I don't sterilize the temp probe myself... I am just not that worried about these kinds of things. I do what you do, wash it with soap and water after I use it. I guess washing it with soap and water before using it for a low temperature roast / smoke would be a good idea as well.

Having said that, if I wanted to sterilize the probe I'd just wipe it down with some isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol). It will evaporate pretty quickly and kill most bacteria.

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