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Old 12-22-2006, 10:29 PM   #1
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Cooking time for 2 prime ribs

I sincerely try to diligently search before asking the stupid question, but I have not been able to find any posts that directly answer my question, although several have mentioned it.

I have been commissioned to do the honors to 2 10lb prime ribs and use a recipe that calls for approx. 5 min/lb in a 500 deg. oven., then turn oven off and allow to cool, etc. Since I'm handling $160 worth of beef, my sense of adventure is a little on the slim side. Does anyone have any thoughts as to how much of a variation in total cooking time will occur with 2 roasts instead of 1?
Common sense tells me that it is going to take longer, but I'm not sure that two roasts sufficiently spaced from each other is going to make a significant difference. Any help would be appreciated.


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Old 12-22-2006, 11:12 PM   #2
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Without commenting on you cooking method, I'd say the cooking time wouldn't be much different. Wouldn't your method work with one 20 pound roast?

Your best bet is to use a meat thermometer to ensure proper cooking.

I've used a similar method with different times.

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Old 12-23-2006, 12:31 AM   #3
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Gosh atty you have brought up an issue that has confused me for years.

And that is heating times for several pieces of meat.

Has always seemed to me that the heating time should depend upon the surface area of the meat, and two ten pound roasts should have more surface area than one 20 pounder. And so, they should take less time to cook than the bigger one. (To reduce the logic of that principle to the absurd imagine cutting the stuff into little strips, they would take almost no time to cook.)

Would probably treat it as one 10# roast, although in my experience two take longer. I am not exactly sure why and like I said this whole thing confuses me.

And would rely on the thermometers, both the one that measures the oven temp and the one you put in the meat.

Always like meat on the rare side, make that raw side, so am very sensitive about cooking times and temps.

As Andy said, use the gadget.
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Old 12-23-2006, 01:23 AM   #4
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Thanks for the comments. Andy, my first thought is, in fact, to treat it as one 20 lb. roast, but then I'm not sure the cross section area would be the same. Certainly Auntdot's analysis has merit when you talk about increasing the surface area exposed to the heat. Then again, maybe we're only talking about the initial "heat" load to the oven. Obviously a 10 lb. roast at room temp. appears to a 500 deg. oven as a large "ice cube". Put in two ice cubes, and the temp is going to drop even further. If it's a large oven, then I suspect the significance of all this becomes less. Still the effect of the 2nd roast is there.....I just don't know whether it warrants a change in total cook time.

Thanks again for your thoughts. I agree the safest is the meat thermom. I was just trying to avoid opening the door for checks.
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Old 12-23-2006, 09:13 AM   #5
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Your method is non-standard. That's why I made the comment I did. My comment was to say, if you can do a 20 pound roast, you should be able to do 2-10 pound roasts. If there is plenty of room in the oven so air can circulate, you should be OK. Where you are using residual heat to cook the meat, It may take a little longer as you have twice as much cold meat that needs to be heated to a specific temperature.

I use a meat thermometer that has a remote probe. You put a probe into the meat and it's connected by a wire to a display on the counter top. No need to open the oven.

BTW, my version of the method you mentioned is: roast goes into a 500F oven and cooks for 12-14 minutes per rib (12 min. for rare; 13 for med. rare; etc.). Then you shut off the oven and walk away for at least an hour and a half and it's done. Using this method, you cannot open the door at all.
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Old 12-23-2006, 09:19 AM   #6
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I think the answer is to invest in the probe thermometer.

Gosh- $140 worth of meat vs a $20 thermometer... let me think about it for a minute...

The thermometer will become one of your most used kitchen devices. It will improve just about anything you roast or grill. I just got a remote one... it has a probe with a transmitter, and a receiver unit. I can sit with my company with the receiver and know how my cooking is going... love it.
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Old 12-23-2006, 09:56 AM   #7
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Atty, wish I was at your house, I haven't had prime rib in ages and I wanted that for Christmas dinner but was outvoted. I agree - probe meat thermometer - I love mine - although where the heck are they $20? MIne was quite a bit more, but I'm not complaining, I love it! Good luck with the meat!
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Old 12-23-2006, 09:58 AM   #8
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I writing this assuming you have a standard size household oven. Two 10# roasts will take longer than but the amount of time I'm not sure. The 500 degree for 15 minutes does work but it will increase you shrinkage. I recently saw a show on Good Eats and he took his rib roast and started it at around 250 degress, coooked it to temp ( depending on you prefered level of doneness) Took the meat out and let it set and then finished it in a hot oven to crisp it. This goes along with the resturants coof primes in an Alto Sham oven at lower temps giving a very tender and juicy outcome while reducing loss. I have attached a link to that recipe.

I aslo completely agree with the digital themometers for me they are indispensible in roasting and smoking meats.

Recipes : Dry Aged Standing Rib Roast with Sage Jus : Food Network

Good Luck and Merry Christmas,

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Old 12-23-2006, 10:04 AM   #9
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And my method is different yet. The meat goes into an oven preheated to 500 for about 15 minutes, then I turn it down to 325 for 15 minutes/lb and it is always a perfect medium rare.

I also don't know that two 10lb roasts would cook much differently than one 20lb roast. Sorry not to be helpful there. My vote is with the meat thermometer too. Make sure you get a good one.
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Old 12-23-2006, 10:44 AM   #10
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I do roasts similar to Alix and Andy and definitely rely on my instant read thermometer for when to take it out. The thermometer should also be inserted into the roast horizontally, not vertically.
I think (as Andy) that if there is room for air to circulate, it will not be a significant amount of difference in cooking two at the same time. Do let them be at room temp.
I also start at 500* and think shrinkage is a non-issue. The nice brown coating counts for a lot!! But the long slow method is fine--IF you have a large enough piece of meat.

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