Frying isn’t just for the birds – this deep fried prime rib will quickly be your new favorite holiday meal. You’ll create the crispiest crust and the juiciest, perfectly cooked steak ever. Sponsored by Harris Ranch Beef.
Whether you are ready or not, the holidays are upon us. For many of us, this means holiday parties are popping up and family dinners are on the calendar. Then you have the school parties and secret Santa gifts and your stress level has elevated to new heights.
Planning the holiday menu doesn’t have to be stressful. And if you are planning a special dinner for Christmas, New Years or anytime of the year, then you might be considering a prime rib roast. Last year I shared how to make a smoked prime rib roast.
I have also shared how to prepare a boneless rib roast in the oven. But this year I am sharing our newest obsession, a deep fried prime rib roast. Oh yeah, this is something special!
Why you must try this recipe
Have you ever deep fried a turkey? You end up with a crispy bird on the outside and very juicy meat on the inside. Honestly, it’s pretty delicious and incredible. Plus, it doesn’t take long to cook, unlike its roasted counterpart.
The same holds true for a deep fried rib roast. When deep fried, a crispy crust is formed on the outside of the roast. And the inside? Just like a deep fried turkey, you have a super juicy and scrumptious steak cooked to perfection.
And perfection for us? Well, medium rare, of course. By using a meat thermometer, you can cook your prime rib to whatever temperature you deem to be perfect.
See my Deep Fried Prime Rib Web Story for a quick visual guide to making this recipe.
How many extra calories are added when you deep fry meat?
This is a tricky question to answer. There are a lot of factors involved in calculating the nutritional value of fried foods. From what is being fried, to the oil temperature, the oil used and how long your food is fried. I am not a nutritional scientist nor do I have access to one.
But one common theme I found when researching this question is that deep fried “naked” foods absorb less oil than battered foods. There is a lot of data in regards to the nutritional value of the infamous deep fried turkey.
Research has found that “A deep-fried turkey fried in peanut oil is similar nutritionally when compared to a traditional roasted turkey in fat and calorie count.” This is because the moisture in the meat repels the oil instead of absorbing it.
The same thought process could be applied to a deep fried prime rib. One thing I wish we had done was measure exactly how much oil we added to our fryer and then measure it again after frying, to get a better understanding of how much oil is actually absorbed when deep frying a prime rib roast.
We will do this again and I will be sure to update this information as I learn more about it. Most of our oil was still in the fryer when we were done. My best guess is that about ¼ cup was absorbed in our 6-pound boneless rib roast.
In the nutritional information listed below with the recipe I calculated it with ½ cup canola oil being absorbed.
Boneless versus bone in
Our first experiment with deep frying prime rib was with a bone-in roast. And it was pretty amazing. As we cut the meat off the bone on our cutting board, family members were happily grabbing bits of crispy juicy meat while he worked.
For this post, we deep fried a boneless prime rib roast. It was equally as delicious as the bone-in prime rib. There are two options with the boneless rib roast, in terms of prepping your meat.
You can deep fry the boneless prime rib as is, pictured here. Or you can use kitchen twine to tie the roast together while it deep fries (pictured near the end of the post), creating a tighter and more compact roast. Again, we tried both options.
The tied boneless rib roast does take a little longer to cook than the untied roast because the meat is more compact. But taste wise, there was no difference. Both are swoon-worthy!
How to choose the best prime rib
Let’s be honest. The standing rib roast is one of the best cuts of meats to choose from and it isn’t cheap. Ribeye steaks are cut from a prime rib roast, and we all know how amazing a good ribeye tastes. It’s the degree of the marbling of fat in the beef that makes it so juicy and tender and, yes, expensive.
What we find in the grocery store is not the same quality of meats that we find at a steakhouse. This is the difference between prime cuts, choice and select. We find the select and choice cuts at the grocery store and even amongst this selection, the quality varies.
If you live in California, then you probably have heard of Harris Ranch Beef Company. Established in Coalinga, CA in 1937, this family run ranch has grown tremendously. I have had the privilege of working with them for the past year.
I have toured their feeding lot, eaten at each of their four restaurants and cooked with their amazing Executive Chef Reagan. Not only are their products first rate, but they are meticulous about the quality and welfare of their cattle.
They are the only rancher that controls the entire beef production process, from the ranchers who raise the cattle to the custom made feed at the feed lot to their own processing plant. Cattle first graze on grass on open range for 16-24 months and then finish with a nutritionally balanced diet of corn and other feed grains for the last 3-4 months in the feedlot.
This small bit of corn in their diet creates a taste-tested better meat. Whether you are talking ground beef or a New York strip or a prime rib roast, everything tastes so much better. Are Harris Ranch meats more expensive than meats from other ranches? Yes, but man oh man, can you taste the difference.
Ingredients you need
- Frying oil: You are going to need quite a bit of oil for fryer, about 3 gallons to be safe. You want enough to completely cover your roast. You can use peanut, canola or extra virgin olive oil. And yes, you can fry using olive oil.
- Prime rib roast: As I mentioned above, you can use a bone-in or boneless rib roast. Choose a large enough roast to feed your crowd but one small enough to fit your fryer. I used a 4-rib prime rib roast.
- Butter and garlic: This is optional. These ingredients are used to inject into your roast. Meat injections help add additional flavor, but is totally optional. A prime rib roast is already a high quality cut of meat with plenty of flavor even without injecting more flavor.
- Kosher salt and coarse black pepper: Yup, that’s all the real flavor you need.
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Step 1: Set up your deep fryer
If you are new to deep frying meat, you do have to take some serious precautions. First of all, your meat has to be completely thawed. Never EVER deep fry a frozen piece of meat. You’ve seen the videos of exploding fryers? Yeah, not a good idea.
So make sure your meat is completely thawed and pat dried with paper towels before frying!! Also make sure nothing flammable is near your fryer – that means trees, too. Safety first, my friends.
You will need a turkey fryer big enough to hold your prime rib roast and cover it completely with oil. A good size prime rib roast is one that includes about 3-4 ribs. You will also need a meat thermometer to take temperature of the oil as well as one for the internal temperature of the rib roast.
The oil temperature for frying should be set at 325ºF. But when you place the rib roast in the oil, you can expect the oil to drop in temperature quickly. So initially heat the oil to 350ºF to compensate for the drop in temperature.
Because we are frying at 350ºF, you can use vegetable oil or extra virgin olive oil for the fryer, and of course, peanut oil. After the roast is in the hot oil, you will need to turn the heat up on the burner to bring back and hold the 325ºF temperature.
Pay close attention to the heat. Too low and you won’t get that amazing crust, only a soggy roast. Too high and you’ll end up with a burnt roast that is raw inside.
Step 2: Adding flavor
To inject or not inject, that might be the biggest question you’ll have in making this deep fried rib roast. The reason to inject your roast is to add more flavor and it is totally optional in this recipe.
A prime rib roast is a delicious and tender cut of meat without the need to inject any more flavor or moisture into it.
We chose to inject our prime rib with garlic butter. It doesn’t take much and you will need to pierce the meat all over to inject the garlic butter inside. Use a heavy duty metal injector and not those flimsy plastic ones that can break.
Pat the surface of the meat down generously with paper towels. You want as little moisture as possible on the surface of the meat as this will react badly with the hot oil. Season the roast all over with salt and pepper.
If your roast is boneless, you have the option to tie it together or not. We have done both. A tied boneless roast looks more tight and neat and pretty than one that is not tied.
Tying the roast doesn’t change the flavor or anything about the cook process. We have tried both tied and untied – again, it all tastes amazing.
Step 3: Fry the roast
Once the oil is hot you are ready to fry your meat. Place your roast in the fryer basket or rack and SLOWLY lower prime rib into the oil until it is completely immersed to prevent splatter. Make sure the roast doesn’t touch the sides of your fryer.
A great rule of thumb for estimating the time it takes to cook a prime rib roast in a deep fryer is approximately 2 ½ to 3 minutes per pound. But don’t use this as a measure of doneness for your rib roast.
Always use a meat thermometer to test for doneness!
You will not cook the roast completely, as it has to rest for about 20 minutes after it has been deep fried. Don’t worry, the temperature will rise during this wait.
Fry the prime rib until the internal temperature reaches about 90ºF for medium rare or 95ªF for medium.
You also don’t want to keep the rib roast in the oil for the entire cooking time because the outside will completely burn too much and not be edible. You want a nice crisp on the outside and perfectly cooked meat on the inside.
Once you pull the rib roast from the deep fryer you can place it on a big paper grocery bag or several slices of white bread to soak up the extra oil. Then cover the roast completely with foil and let it rest until the internal temperature of the roast rises to 120ºF for rare, 125-130ºF for medium rare and 135ºF for medium.
Also remember that the end pieces will be cooked more versus the center of the roast. So one roast will satisfy those who enjoy both medium to medium rare cooked meat.
Step 4: Remove the roast
Once your roast reaches the temperature you are waiting for, remove the roast from the oil. Let it drain for a little bit over the fryer then place it on a cutting board covered with a large paper grocery bag.
You want the paper to soak up the excess oil. Let the roast sit, covered with foil, for about 20 minutes. The meat will continue to cook like this. You are ready to carve when the internal temperature is about 120ºF for rare, 130ºF for medium rare or 135ºF for medium.
Recipe tips and FAQs
I feel like I have given you oodles and oodles of information on how to successfully deep fry a rib roast. It is actually fairly simple and yet oh so delicious. Again, don’t forget these important tips:
- Pat the meat down with paper towels and make sure the roast is dry.
- Use a thermometer to measure the oil temperature and the meat temperature.
- Lower the meat SLOWLY into the hot oil.
- Don’t overcook the meat.
One final word of caution: If you make this, they will come! People will flock from every corner of your house wanting a bite (or two or three!) of that extra delicious prime rib. Even my poor dog was salivating while we were preparing this meal. You’ve been warned.
A great rule of thumb for estimating the time it takes to cook a prime rib roast in a deep fryer is approximately 2 ½ to 3 minutes per pound. But don’t use this as a measure of doneness for your rib roast. Always use a meat thermometer to test for doneness.
We have deep fried both a bone-in and boneless rib roast and both have turned out wonderfully. If deep frying a boneless roast, you can choose to tie the roast with kitchen twine or leave it loose. Either way, you end up with a delicious crust on the outside of the roast, and juicy tender meat on the inside.
This is a tricky question to answer. There are a lot of factors involved in calculating the nutritional value of fried foods. From what is being fried, to the oil temperature, the oil used and how long your food is fried. But research has shown that that deep fried “naked” foods absorb less oil than battered foods.
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Deep Fried Prime Rib Roast
Frying isn’t just for the birds – this deep fried prime rib will quickly be your new favorite holiday meal. You’ll create the crispiest crust and the juiciest, perfectly cooked steak ever.
- 2 ½ to 3 gallons frying oil (peanut, canola or extra virgin olive oil)
- 1 4-rib prime rib roast (bone-in or boneless)
- 3 TBS unsalted butter
- 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 TBS kosher salt
- 1 TBS coarse black pepper
- Remove roast from refrigerator and sit on counter about 45 minutes before frying.
- Heat enough oil in a large turkey fryer to cover your rib roast when submerged. Heat oil to 350ºF. This will take approximately 30 minutes.
- If your roast is not trimmed, cut any large deposits of fat. Do not over trim as the fat provides tremendous flavor to your roast.
- Pat roast down with paper towels to remove excess moisture.
- Generously season entire roast with the salt and pepper.
- In a small pot, melt the butter and add the garlic. Simmer for a few minutes then remove from heat.
- Using a heavy duty injector, inject garlic butter throughout the rib roast.
- Place your roast in the fryer basket or rack and SLOWLY lower prime rib into the oil until it is completely immersed to prevent splatter. Make sure the roast doesn’t touch the sides of your fryer.
- Fry the roast until the internal temperature of the center of the roast is 85ºF for rare, 90ºF for medium rare or 95ºF for medium.
- Remove the roast from the oil and place on a cutting board covered with a large paper grocery bag.
- Cover with foil and let rest about 20 minutes or until the internal temperature is about 120ºF for rare, 130ºF for medium rare or 135ºF for medium.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 209Total Fat: 21gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 14gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 1288mgCarbohydrates: 1gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 5g
PS If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback.
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have you experimented with cooking it in bacon grease ?
I have cooked with bacon grease, but it certainly isn’t the same as deep frying. Bacon grease is good when you want the flavor of bacon to come out in your cooking. It definitely has its place in the kitchen.
What an amazing post! I’ve never thought about deep-frying prime rib — but really like the idea. Yours looks gorgeous — cooked exactly the way I like it. You win the interwebs with this one.
I have no words…that prime rib is almost too pretty to eat. I would never have thought to deep fry prime rib but now I am so excited to try it!
Dang, Laura!! I am amazed! First I’ve ever seen a deep fried rib roast–love it! Thanks for all the explicit instructions, too.
What a great idea and an amazing set of instructions to try this method! Wowza!