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Simple Sous Vide Prime Rib Roast Recipe and How To Guide
I tend to cook my prime rib as slabs of 1 to 2 bones instead of a single roast which gives me the benefit of a quicker cooking time and makes it easier to cook them to different temperatures as needed. Even though prime rib is tender, longer cooking times don't hurt it and I usually go 4 to 8 hours, though you can always cook them by thickness.
Prime rib can be one of the most theatrical dishes in a steakhouse, especially when it is sliced tableside from a larger roast.
Prime rib is usually bought as large rib roasts and is often ordered from the butcher by the amount of ribs in it. A 2 to 3 rib prime rib roast will usually weigh about 2 to 3 pounds and will easily feed 4 people with leftovers.
Prime rib and ribeye come from the same cut of beef, from the rib primal, but ribeye is cut before cooking, while prime rib is left whole.
I tend to cook my prime rib as slabs of 1 to 2 bones instead of a single roast. This gives me the benefit of a quicker cooking time and makes it easier to cook them to different temperatures as needed. It also maximizes the searing area, which adds even more flavor.
One of the best prime ribs I had was first cut off the roast then seasoned with a spicy Cajun rub and seared on both sides.
Even though prime rib is tender, longer cooking times don't hurt it much. Most of the prime rib I eat is for Christmas dinner and I end up cooking it 5 to 10 hours because we are never sure when we are actually going to eat. You can always cook them by thickness though and get the time down to just a few hours.
There are many ways to finish prime rib, but my two favorites are a horseradish sauce or garlic and herb paste. For a large prime rib, I usually use a torch or the broiler in my oven turned up to high because it can be hard to fit a big one into a pan for searing. For slabs, I usually pan sear them or use a real hot grill.
How to Sous Vide a Prime Rib Roast
This was from a recent ask Jason episode I did:
I have a five pound prime rib that I want to make. I've been using sous vide for a year and I love it. Amazing Food Made Easy is my go-to site, but I'm confused. I see 134 degrees for no more than 10 hours here, and 125.6 degrees at 24-36 hours on another site that I don't trust as much. But that site shows edge-to-edge medium rare that they torch for crispness like I will. I wonder if it's too soft though. Please help? Pretty please?
With the holidays in full swing, I've been getting a lot of questions on the best way to cook prime rib. Everyone wants to impress their family at holiday dinners, and prime rib is a great way to do it...provided you cook it properly. My family and I almost always do prime rib for our Christmas dinner and now with sous vide it's incredibly easy and convenient to make.
If you are looking for more information about prime rib in general, or prefer a more traditional way to cook prime rib, I highly recommend reading the Serious Eats article discussing it.
Where to Get Prime Rib
There are many places you can get good prime rib, but I was recently hired by Snake River Farms to create a How-To video showing how to sous vide prime rib. They sent me an 11 pound and a 14 pound bone-in American Gold Wagyu prime rib roast (it also comes without the bone) to do the video with and I was really impressed with their beef. Here's the video I produced for them.
You can read more about them here at my Snake River Farms review. Here's another, earlier video I had put together about prime rib in general.
I also have had good luck with Crowd Cow when buying beef in general.
What Temperature to Sous Vide Prime Rib
The temperature you cook your prime rib at will depend entirely upon the preferences of you and your fellow diners. I've cooked mine at anywhere from 131°F to 141°F (55°C to 60.5°C) to see how the marbling reacts to cooking at a higher temperature. Even though they all were very flavorful and tender I now almost exclusively cook mine at 131°F (55°C) for a nice medium-rare. I wouldn't go above 137°F (58.3°C) unless everyone at the table like it at least medium.
How to Sous Vide Prime Rib at Different Temperatures
One of the main issues when serving beef at a large gathering is trying to accommodate all the different levels of "doneness" that people prefer.
The most convenient way I've found to keep everyone happy is to cook the roast at the lowest temperature people prefer. Then I divide up the beef into sections based on the doneness people want. During the searing phase, I just sear the more well done sections longer, until the middle reaches about the color they want. This way people who like a rare or medium-rare middle are happy and there's very little extra work you need to do to please the others.
The seasoning you use on your prime rib depends on the flavor profile you are aiming for in the final dish. Most of the usual dry prime rib seasonings work fine and most woody herbs are great. Fresh garlic and onion, and some herbs, don't translate as well and shouldn't be used. I like using a cumin, paprika and light salt rub with some fresh rosemary or thyme. Some people prefer to omit the salt, but I like the slightly beefier flavor it adds.
If you want to add garlic or onion, it's best to do it as a finishing step.
Before we get into how long prime rib needs to sous vide for, I wanted to discuss how to seal it, as it will change the timing. There are two main ways to prepare prime rib for sous vide. The first is to cook it whole, or in large pieces (3 or more ribs), and the other is to cut it into slabs, usually 1 or 2 ribs per slab. Each preparation method has pluses and minuses. I've cooked both ways and enjoyed them, but now I almost always cut it into slabs.
Regardless of how you cook it, you can either leave the bones in or remove them. With sous vide it is mainly an aesthetic choice and doesn't affect the end flavor or texture much at all. Also, for short cooks like prime rib you usually don't have to sterilize the outside of the meat, but if you often run into issues with meat turning smelly, it doesn't hurt to dip it in boiling water or use a torch on it before bagging it.
Sous Viding Prime Rib Slabs
Cutting the prime rib into slabs, usually consisting of 1 to 2 bones, offers several advantages.
The first advantage is a reduction in cooking time. The thickness of the slabs is always thinner than the thickness of the entire roast. This helps reduce the cooking time, and also results in more even cooking because the outside of the slab and the center of the slab and will both reach temperature, and start tenderizing, much closer together.
Another advantage is the ability to easily serve slabs at different temperatures. This can be accomplished either through using a separate sous vide bath set to a higher temperature, or searing certain slabs for longer.
Having separate slabs also lets you sear the entire slab, not just the edges. This results in a wider searing area and more flavor from the Maillard reaction.
The main disadvantage to cooking slabs is the lack of presentation. You lose out on the large, perfectly seared roast sitting on the table. You can still do many great presentations ideas, but it's not always the same. One trick I've learned is that you can normally reassemble the slabs on a plate into the initial roast shape, similar to how porterhouse steaks are served at fancy steak houses. This gives you many of the benefits of using slabs, but also lets you use you the traditional presentation many people love. Plus it greatly speeds up carving at the table since the slabs are already cut!
Sous Viding Whole Prime Rib
A disadvantage to cooking the prime rib whole is the difficulty in serving it at different temperatures to different people. If someone prefers medium doneness, it's really inconvenient to carve off a slab for them and sear it for longer. Plus it begins to break down the presentation, which is the main benefit of leaving it whole to start with.
If you really like using a crust with your prime rib, then leaving it whole does give you more time and leeway in the oven when you bake the crust on.
Whole prime rib roasts will also need to sous vide for much longer. The thickness of the whole roast is usually around 3" (75mm), which takes much longer to heat through, up to 2 to 3 times longer, than a 1" or 2" slab (25mm or 50mm). You will also have a slightly uneven cook with the roast, because the outside of the roast comes up to temperature several hours before the middle does, which will result in a more tender outside than middle.
The main advantage to leaving the prime rib whole is for presentation. A large prime rib roast, nicely seared, and sitting on a carving plate in the middle of the table is a great way to get everyone excited for dinner. In my opinion that's really the only major advantage to leaving it whole.
How Long to Sous Vide Prime Rib
Prime rib is already a tender cut so you don't need to sous vide it for a long period of time. Prime rib roasts are also generally a uniform size, which helps with timing. I normally sous vide my prime rib for 5 to 10 hours. It's long enough I don't have to worry about specific timing and also helps to tenderize it slightly. It's also short enough that it easily fits into my busy schedule around the holidays. Prime rib is less finicky to time differences than some cuts due to the high marbling, this makes it ideal for the holidays, when dinner can get pushed back. I usually shoot for an 8 hour cook, which gives me some leeway on either side in case dinner is moved up or delayed.
For a more exact temperature, you can cook by thickness using my sous vide ruler or sous vide time charts. If you are doing slabs, a 1" thick (25mm) slab will take about an hour from the fridge and a 2" slab (50mm) will take around 3 hours. Anything much bigger than 2" is cooked about the same time because the thickness of the roast will be more than the slab. A 3" thick roast will take about 3.5 hours from the fridge (less than a 3" slab because spherical foods cook faster).
How to Finish Sous Vide Prime Rib
Your method for finishing the prime rib will depend a lot on how you sealed it.
Finishing Prime Rib Slabs
For slabs, I usually sear them in a hot pan or using a blow torch. It's generally the best way and maximizes the sear without overcooking them. Some people also love to deep fry the slabs, which results in an extra crunchy exterior, and it is a great option if you don't mind dealing with the oil. Either way, make sure you thoroughly dry the prime rib once you remove it from the sous vide bags.
Finishing a Whole Prime Rib
For a whole roast, there's two options, depending on if you want a flavored crust or not.
If there is no crust then a torch is your best option to sear the roast. If you don't have a torch then you can use a hot pan. It can be hard to sear the prime rib in a pan due to its shape, but with some micromanaging you can usually get a decent sear on most of it. Make sure you dry the prime rib off before searing it. You can also sear the roast in the oven, as described below.
If you want a flavored crust on the roast I'll usually turn to the oven. Once you dry off the roast you can smear on the flavored paste that will make up the crust. Place the roast in a preheated 450°F to 500°F oven (232.2°C to 260°C) for 10 to 30 minutes, until the crust sets. Depending on the crust, or in the case of not having a crust, using the broiler setting also works great. You can then remove the prime rib and serve it. Finishing in the oven will create a little bit of a "bullseye" effect since the outside of the roast will cook a little more, but it'll still be much less than from a traditionally cooked prime rib.
Serving Prime Rib Roast
There are a few ways to serve a prime rib roast.
The first to to serve it whole and then carve it at the table. It's a more formal way to serve it and is great for large gathering where you want to make an impression.
The second is to cut it into slabs (either before or after sous vide) and serve them family style at the table. It still allows you to have an impressive spread, without having to really carve the whole thing yourself. Plus it's easy to have a medium-rare slab and a medium slab.
The third is to completely cut up the prime rib and plate it individually for people. This is the most elegant way to serve it.
It all comes down to what type of feeling you want at your dinner. Either way, it's bound to taste amazing!
Best Simple Sous Vide Prime Rib Roast Master Recipe
In my opinion, this is the best simple sous vide prime rib roast recipe. I tend to cook my prime rib as slabs of 1 to 2 bones instead of a single roast which gives me the benefit of a quicker cooking time and makes it easier to cook them to different temperatures as needed. Even though prime rib is tender, longer cooking times don't hurt it and I usually go 4 to 8 hours, though you can always cook them by thickness.
Prep Time: 29 Minutes
Cooktime: Time by Thickness
Total Time: 4 to 8 Hours
Calories: 520 Calories
Tags: sous vide prime rib roast, sous vide beef prime rib roast, beef prime rib roast, beef, sous vide, easy, simple
For the Prime Rib Roast
3 pounds prime rib roast
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoons spice rub or herbs (optional)
Preheating: Start your sous vide machine preheating. I prefer 131°F (55.0°C) for medium rare or 141°F (60.5°C) for medium.
Season the prime rib roast: Lightly salt the meat then coat with the spices.
Seal in a Bag: Seal the prime rib roast in a sous vide bag, Ziploc-brand freezer bag, silicon bag, or other food- and heat-safe bag or zip top bag.
Sous Vide the prime rib roast: Place the sealed meat in the sous vide bath and cook until heated through, which depends on the thickness and is usually an hour for a 1" steak but for a roast I'll usually do 4 to 8 hours.
Remove From Pouch: Once fully cooked, take the sous vide bag out of the water bath and remove the prime rib roast from the bag. Pat it dry with a paper towel or dish cloth.
To Sear the Food: Sear the prime rib roast for 1 to 2 minutes per side over high heat. It should just start to brown but the core temperature shouldn't rise. Remove it from the heat.
Plating: Place the prime rib roast onto a plate with any salads or sides then serve.
About Prime Rib Roast and Prime Rib Steak
The "prime" in prime rib is usually associated with USDA's "Prime" grade. But, in reality, it has nothing to do with the USDA. Real "prime USDA graded meat" is actually a very rare cut of meat that gets dubbed as prime by them. Their "prime" rib is deeply marbled with intramuscular fat which results in a mouthwatering dish. However, these prime beefs are only sold to the finest restaurants or to consumers who order it via express shipping or sold in high end and selective butcher shops and grocery stores.
However the prime rib you and I can easily consume actually carry a USDA's rating of "choice" which is a lower rating than "prime". But regular prime ribs are already so tender that it stills makes a delicious meal with a succulent taste of its own. You can recognize the prime rib by its fine grained quality and generous marbling.
Prime rib roast is a cut of beef from the rib primal cut. This roast is comprised of 2 to 7 ribs from the cow's rib section. A seven-bone rib weighs more than 16 pounds while a three-bone rib would weigh four to eight pounds. A three-bone rib is sufficient to feed around 6 people.
In the US, prime rib roasts are cooked on special occasions like Christmas. It is rubbed with salt and seasonings like pepper, onion power and garlic power. Some even rub the roast with thyme and rosemary to bring out a delicious aroma of the prime rib roast.
This is one of the most beefy, tender and craved cuts of all. It is also commonly known as standing rib roast because you can place the roast in standing position by setting it on its rib bones on the roasting pan. No rack is required. When the bones are removed from the prime rib roast, it is called ribeye.
When the prime rib roast is sliced it yields many types of delicious rib steaks. The prime rib steak is made from the same rib section which is located between the chuck and short loin section. The beef from this section is smooth and rich in flavor. The steak is attached with rib bone that adds more flavor to the beef.
When you remove the bone and fat from this steak, it will result in a ribeye steak.
You can make a delicious prime rib steak by seasoning it with simple ingredients like salt and pepper. If you want to add more spices and herbs, be sure to add them in small quantity because overdoing it would ruin your steak. In short this is an easy and tasty meal that one can make any time because it is enjoyed by many.
Typical Cooking Methods for Prime Rib Roast and Prime Rib Steak
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What is the Best Sous Vide Prime Rib Roast Temperatures and Times?
I tend to cook my prime rib as slabs of 1 to 2 bones instead of a single roast which gives me the benefit of a quicker cooking time. Even though it is tender, longer cooking times don't hurt it and I usually go 4 to 8 hours.
Around Christmas time many people will prepare ham or turkey but around our house we've always done a prime rib roast for dinner. With sous vide it's now easier than ever to have a perfectly cooked prime rib dinner without a lot of the hassle you normally have to go through. Here our sous vide recipe for the classic prime rib roast.
Sous Vide Prime Rib Roast Comments
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