The Caterers Corner
Prime Rib Caterers Corner: Prime Rib
By Tom on Sunday, June 03, 2001 - 09:43 pm: Edit

I work at a B&B as a weekend breakfast cook. I also help with weekend special occasion catering, mostly weddings and anniversary parties. Also, I am a novice to this profession.

We do many prime ribs which are eventually served at carving stations. There is only one oven (commerercial gas stove/oven - not convection). The oven cooks irregularly depending on how much is in the oven, location within theoven, etc. I try to get the internal temp to 130 degrees, then put it into a "hot box" until serving time, which may be several hours. Last night it was hard to get the internal temps to 130--taking much longer than usual. I was even cutting into the roast to "peek inside". After being in the hot box for several hours, there was not pinkness left. It seems to be different every time. How do you pro's do it? What temp do you look for, or is there a better way to tell? My oven temp was at 400 degrees. Help!


By CaterGreat on Sunday, June 03, 2001 - 09:56 pm: Edit

Go to Home Depot and purchase a digital probe remote thermometer. They are 19.95

Stick the probe into the prime rib. I stick in the end and go as far into the center as possible... Set the "set" button to 130. Turn on the alert button. THere is a wire that will run from the probe to the digital unit which will magnetically stick to the outside of your oven. It is ok to close the oven door on the wire.

When it reaches the desired temp, it will beep.

Set your hot box to 130 degrees... You can leave the probe in the meat to assure it doesnt get any higher....

I have held Prime Ribs in "Cambros" which are insulated holding boxes (no heat), for 4 hours and the PR's held the temp and were a beautiful pink throughout.

400 is too hot. Start at 400 for about 20 mins to get a nice color outside, but reduce to about 300 to cook the prime ribs until desired temp.

I am not a TIME chef... I am a TEMP chef!!
Time is for estimating, not cooking.

By Peachcreek (Peachcreek) on Monday, June 04, 2001 - 10:49 pm: Edit

I take my ribs out and let them come to room temp before I put them in. I heat the oven to 400, put them in and turn the oven down to 325. If the oven heats irregularly, swap everything around once an hour or so. Cooking times can vary due to size and type of prime rib, oven temperature, meat temperature, how often the oven door is opened, so internal temperature taken nearest to the center of the prime rib is the most concise way to measure doneness. I take mine out at 120. RRRRare.

By Tom on Tuesday, June 05, 2001 - 11:10 am: Edit

Thanks for the responses. I think I'll go with the 120 instead of the 130, and do the oven temp reduction from 400. Since I've only been working in the food biz for a short time, I've learned that cooking ability is only a small part of the game--its a lot about organzitional skills, time management, working in confined places. This being my first summer in it, I'm finding it extremely hard to cope with the tremendous heat in the kitchen from the stove/oven, coupled with the hot steam shower from the commercial dishwasher every five minutes. Its hard to be sociable to guests who want to compliment mycooking when I'm bathed in sweat. I wonder how you guys handle that problem. My employer wants me to wear a chef jacket--but no way. They just look too hot.
Thanks again,

By Catergreat (Catergreat) on Tuesday, June 05, 2001 - 04:06 pm: Edit

120 is fine if you want rare. I thought you wanted medium rare....

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