Sous Vide Prime Rib with Horseradish Sauce

December 18, 2020 (Last Updated: January 3, 2021) - As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

This Sous Vide Prime Rib is cooked to temperature-controlled perfection and makes the juciest, most flavorful, perfect roast for your holiday or special occasion. Whether this is for Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, or just a great family meal, a prime rib can help bring your friends and family together around a delicious meal. We also include a beautiful horseradish sauce to go along with the star of the show, Sous Vide Prime Rib.

Slice of Prime Rib on a white plate being served with asparagus, a bun, a baked potato, and the entire roast barely showing in the background.

What is a Prime Rib?

Are you familiar with the Ribeye steak? This is a bit of an oversimplification, but it is the same cut of meat, but served in roast form and not an individual steak. Both are cuts of the cow that reside near the rib and usually are well marbled with fat. This helps make the cut tender and flavorful.

Unlike a ribeye steak, a prime rib usually comes with the bone, or at least that is a discussion if you are getting it from your butcher. A ribeye may have the bone, but is often just a small little cut of it, whereas in the prime rib, it will look like a rack and be a bit bigger.

For this recipe, we are using boneless because it can help create a better seal with the vacuum we want during sous vide cooking.  I have done this with a bone-in roast, as well, but for both safety and a consistent product, I recommend boneless for this recipe. 

What is a Sous Vide Cooking

Sous Vide is a method of cooking where the food item being cooked is done at low temperatures. It is cooked in a vacuum seal, for long periods of time. Literally, the word translates to “Under Vacuum” in French and requires the use of a special Sous Vide cooker.

These cookers are great, as you set it to a precise temperature and then place the sous vide cooker in a vat of water. It cycles the water through the machine, bringing the temperature of the water to that precise temperature. Once you add your meat (or whatever it is you are cooking), it will be brought to that temperature and cooked for a long period of time.

Can you see the benefit of this? Let’s say you want to bring a hunk of beef to an exact medium-rare temperature (130 – 135 Fahrenheit), you can do that. If left to cook, it will bring the meat to the exact temperature; evenly, consistently, and all the way through. 

Your oven might have one part that is slightly hotter than another or an uneven hunk of meat might cook at different rates. Sometimes, it is just hard to get a consistent, end to end, temperature. The sous vide solves that. 

Cooking the meat over a long period of time at that temperature serves two purposes. First, it makes sure the entire cut of meat raises to that exact temperature. Second, cooking at these temperatures serves to tenderize the meat and make it nice and juicy. The fat and juices from the meat serve to act as a constant braise in the meat.

These cookers are completely reasonable in price now and if you like cooking, consider picking up a Sous Vide Machine (Affiliate Link). They are great for things like THIS Prime Rib recipe. You can make a killer steak with it or use it for things like my Make-Ahead Mashed Potatoes recipe. If you love Southern food, you should check out this delicious Southern-Style Collard Greens recipe from my friend Kari over at Southern Bytes.

Displacement Method vs Machine Method

When you find instructions online, you are going to find folks that have the full sous vide set up. A proper BPA-free plastic vat, specialized bags, and a vacuum machine that will remove all of the air from your roast or whatever you cooking.

True to this website’s name, Ramshackle Pantry, I am going to give you the method for doing it if you don’t have all of the specialized equipment. It is called the displacement method. We use displacement to create a vacuum. This involves putting your target in a bag and then submerging it in water. Gravity does the work of helping air escape. 

There may be some bubbles trapped and you can actively work to help them escape, but if you have a well-shaped roast or steak, it should just work. 

Prime Rib Rub

I love simple recipes and I don’t think great flavors are necessarily correlated with the number of ingredients. I just use salt and pepper for my rub and I think that is all that is needed for a delicious Prime Rib Roast. Like my steak recipe, just salt and pepper is all that is needed.

Do not skimp with your rub, though. Remember, when this meat is sliced, the actual amount of exposed skin is fairly limited.

A raw prime rib on a cutting board with a salt & pepper mixture being rubbed all over it.
Be generous with your salt & pepper mixture.

How Long to Sous Vide?

Cook your roast for eight hours. This doesn’t have to be a science, though. You can leave it in the water bath for as little as six hours and really as long as you want, but I would limit to about 12 hours.

There definitely is a benefit to giving your roast time to marinate and cook in its own juices, but after a length of time, the meat starts to break down and become a bit mushy. Mushy meat is the danger for any beef recipe that is overcooked in the sous vide. 

Why 131 Fahrenheit?

We set our sous vide temperature to 131 Fahrenheit and you might be wondering why. This is within the temperature range of medium-rare and that is the optimal temperature with beef. Or at least that is my opinion.

If you prefer medium roast, you could set it at 136 Fahrenheit. Or if you start wanting to get into the medium-well to well-don range, anything over 141, which I do not recommend.

By the time our eight hours is done with the sous vide cooking at 131 Fahrenheit, your prime rib roast should be at an exact temperature of 131 Fahrenheit all the way through, but we are not done quite yet.

Get That Outer Sear!

So, we have cooked it with the sous vide machine for eight hours, but we are not quite ready to eat. We still want to get a nice outer crust on our prime rib and we can make that happen with a quick bake in the oven at 500 Fahrenheit. 15 minutes should be all you need. 

Since it is only 15 minutes in the oven, even though it is at a high heat, you do not have to worry about the temperature of the entire roast to change too much and it should still remain in that 130-135 medium-rare temperature range.

Let Your Roast Rest

Give your roast another 15 minutes outside of the oven to rest. With a traditional roast, you usually give a bit more time for your roast to rest, but not as much is needed here. I have found that you just don’t need as much resting for this sous vide recipe. 

Still, we do let it rest for about ½ of the time I would if I were baking it completely in the oven. This gives the juices a chance to settle before you start cutting into it.

Baked Prime Rib on roasting dish.
This is the prime rib AFTER the 15-minute cook to add a sear to the roast.

Tips For Cooking This Recipe

  • Every rib will feed approximately two people, but talk to your butcher about the appropriate size for you. The Prime Rib in this post was 6 lbs(no bone) and fed 6 people well. 
  • Use a no bone prime rib roast for this recipe. It allows for a better vacuum seal, particularly if you are using the displacement method. 
  • You can be creative with what you use for both your roast and your cooking vessel. I used a Reynolds Turkey Baking Bag to hold my Turkey and a humongous kettle I use for brewing to cooking it in. 
  • I call for this recipe to cook for 8 hours. It can be cooked for anywhere between 6 and 12 hours.
  • The final temperature of 130 – 135 Fahrenheit is a perfect medium-rare temperature
  • Be generous with your salt rub. Remember, every slice will only get a small bit of the outer crust.
Full Sous Vide Prime Rib layout with a plate of meat, asparagus, potato, and horsey sauce.

Products Used in this Recipe

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Sous Vide Prime Rib with Horseradish Sauce

Slice of Prime Rib on a white plate being served with asparagus, a bun, a baked potato, and the entire roast barely showing in the background.

This Sous Vide Prime Rib recipe is a perfect holiday main course or a great dish for any special occasion. Making this in your Sous Vide guarantees temperature perfection and a delicious, juicy prime rib roast!

  • Author: Ben Myhre
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 8 hours
  • Total Time: 8 hours 30 minutes
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x
  • Category: Main Course
  • Method: Sous Vide
  • Cuisine: American
Scale

Ingredients

  •  3-4 rib boneless prime rib (about 6lbs) roast
  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup pepper
 

For Horseradish Sauce

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup prepared horseradish 

Instructions

  1. Mix salt and pepper
  2. Cover roast with salt and pepper
  3. Either add to bag appropriate for warm temps (see note) or sous vide bag
  4. Either close with a vacuum sealer or displacement method (see notes)
  5. Sous vide in a large vat of water for 8 hours at 131 Fahrenheit
  6. While Sous Vide is cooking, make Horsey Sauce (optional)
  7. Near the end of cooking time, preheat oven to 500 Fahrenheit
  8. Remove roast from sous vide and remove from bag. Place on roasting pan
  9. Cook for 20 minutes
  10. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 15 minutes
  11. Cut and serve
 

For Horseradish Sauce:

 

  1. Mix all ingredients well
  2. Put in a covered container and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until ready to use. 

Notes

  • Every rib will feed approximately two people, but talk to your butcher about the appropriate size for you. The Prime Rib in this post was 6 lbs(no bone) and fed 6 people well. 
  • Use a no bone prime rib roast for this recipe. It allows for a better vacuum seal, particularly if you are using the displacement method. 
  • You can be creative with what you use for both your roast and your cooking vessel. I used a Reynolds Turkey Baking Bag to hold my Turkey and a humongous kettle I use for brewing to cooking it in. 
  • I call for this recipe to cook for 8 hours. It can be cooked for anywhere between 6 and 12 hours.
  • The final temperature of 130 – 135 Fahrenheit is a perfect medium-rare temperature
  • Be generous with your salt rub. Remember, every slice will only get a small bit of the outer crust.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1/2 lb
  • Calories: 296 caloreis
  • Sodium: 4554 mg
  • Fat: 17 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 14 g
  • Carbohydrates: 3 g
  • Fiber: 1 g
  • Protein: 31 g
  • Cholesterol: 88 mg

Keywords: sous vide prime rib

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