At ThermoWorks, we take pride in the fact that we make the fastest, most accurate, and most innovative and durable thermometers you can buy. Our customers tell us that they get better results with our products and enjoy both cooking and eating more.
That said, if you’re one of those who just hasn’t quite gotten comfortable with the idea of spending a little more up front for a quality thermal instrument, we have a little thought experiment for you. Imagine you were presented with a $425 American Wagyu roast of prime rib—would you trust the doneness of that roast to a $7.50 meat thermometer from the cookware aisle of the grocery store? We didn’t think so.
This month, we had just such an opportunity in the ThermoWorks demo kitchen. In honor of our recent giveaway with Snake River Farms, we got to cook a 10-pound American Wagyu Gold Grade boneless prime rib. And I can tell you, the weight of responsibility was heavy.
So what do you do if you have to cook a rib roast like that? You watch its temperature, that’s what you do!
When it comes to prime rib, the USDA meat grades are dependent on one factor only: fat marbling. Did you know that? The more evenly distributed the fat in a piece of meat, the higher the grade. They don’t have anything above prime, so our friends at Snake River Farms have come up with their own designation for luxury cuts that have even better marbling than your typical USDA prime—Gold grade. It is harvested from American Wagyu cattle, the American breed of the famously fatty and tender Japanese Kobe beef.
If you were the lucky winner of the giveaway we just did with Snake River Farms, then you’ll want to pay special attention to the information below, but even if not, the principles for cooking prime Wagyu are the same as for quality Angus or any other precious cut of beef.
Prime Rib Rundown
If you want to cook your prime rib perfectly, we have a few tips for you, all of which require both a leave-in probe
The basics come down to this: don’t cook it in too hot an oven (we prefer 225°F [107°C]), pull it when its internal temperature is correct (125°F [52°C] for medium rare), and verify the temperature with your Thermapen Mk4 to make sure you were reading the right place in the rib roast with the leave-in probe.
But for more of a breakdown on it than that, you can check out some of our other posts on prime rib:
For a quick and easy-to-digest version of things, read our post about the basics of cooking prime rib—including the best temperature to cook a prime rib.
If you’re the type that is more interested in the deeper meaning of what’s going on, read our post on the science of perfect prime rib, where we lay out a slightly more complicated method as well as some of the enzymatic science that goes on in a rib roast cook. This is the method we followed for our Snake River Farms roast, including an initial chill to prevent a grey-ring from forming.
And then, with all that new knowledge, if you want to jazz your Christmas roast up
No matter how complicated you make your cook, be sure that you do justice to your rib roast. Juicy, tender, rich results are easy to achieve if you remember that temperature is everything.