Can I Rest A Prime Rib In A Cooler? (Learn How to Hold Your Prime Rib)

Wondering if you can rest your prime rib in a cooler?

Resting is crucial in part of cooking meat. Resting in a cooler was pioneered by pitmaster Aaron Franklin. And used mainly for brisket.

Can you do the same with a prime rib?

So, Can I Rest A Prime Rib Roast In A Cooler?

Yes, you can!

Resting a smoked prime rib roast in a cooler is an effective method. 

But there are a few factors to consider!

Prime Beef Rib Roast – What You Need To Know About The Meat

USDA select prime-grade beef has lots of intermuscular fat marbling. It is produced to a higher quality and has an exceptional beefy flavor.

The meat is cut from the top of the rib bones. These muscle fibers are not used by the animal.

Which makes them tender and without connective tissue!

There are many names for this cut, including rib of beef or eye of the rib roast. But only one distinctive rich flavor.

Considerations When Resting The Prime Rib In A Cooler 

Got some questions about how to rest a prime rib in a cooler? You can but there are a few things we need to consider first, you’ll see them below.

The Internal Temperature & Carryover Cooking

Below are the perfect temperature gradients for your required doneness.

Rare – 125°F

Medium – 135°F

Welldone – 155°F

During the resting process, the internal temp will raise by about 10°F. This is known as carryover cooking.

Remove from your hot oven or grill a little bit before your required temperature. May people ask if prime rib can stall like brisket, it’s unlikely that prime rib will stall as that usually occurs at 160°F – 180°F.

Is Your Piece Of Meat Bone-In Or Bone-Out?

Have you got a bone-in roast or a boneless roast?

Bone-In Roast

The weight of the bone can affect the resting timing.

It will keep residual heat for longer which can cause increased carryover cooking.

Note: This will also apply to the cooking time in your rib recipe.

Boneless Roast

A boneless roast will lose temperature at a higher rate when resting. So you may need to add a couple of minutes to the below timings.

How Long Are You Planning On Resting It?

Rest the beef for no longer than an hour. Even if it goes beyond the below time calculation.

Otherwise, you will just be keeping it warm which is a whole other process.

Calculating The Rest Time of A Prime Rib Roast

An average prime rib roast weighs 7 lbs. Rest in a cooler for 5 minutes per pound for up to 60 minutes.

Not sure how much prime rib per person you need for your cookout or Christmas dinner, follow my guide here.

Monitor Temperature Ranges 

Use a meat probe to monitor the temperature while resting.

Do not let it go below 100°F as this will harbor bacteria growth.

Do not let it go above 160°F as the hot meat will continue to cook and dry out.

It Can Ruin The Delicious Crust 

A common cooking technique is to create an outer crust by harder sear at the start.

Kosher salt and high heat will give texture and a layer of flavor like no other. A crispy crust is a hallmark of these meat cuts.

The double wrap for this resting method will lock in heat and moisture which can make the exterior crust turn soggy.

Step-By-Step Guide On Resting A Prime Rib In A Cooler

Below is my guide on resting a prime rib in a cooler.

Temperature control is key. Make sure you are using an instant-read meat thermometer.

Don’t ruin your expensive roast!

The Faux Cambro Cooler Method 

Equipment Required 

– A clean and good quality insulated cooler. (Big enough for your rib roast)

– A clean towel(s).

– Aluminum foil or paper from a butcher shop.

– Hot water.

– Temperature probes.

Step 1 – Prepare The Cooler

– Wash the cooler thoroughly.

– Fill with hot tap water & close the lid.

– Wait 30 minutes.

– Dump out the water.

– Place in a roasting rack.

Step 2 – Prepare The Prime Rib Roast

– Insert the temperature probes into the thickest part of the prime-grade rib roast.

– Wrap in a double layer of aluminum foil or unwaxed butcher paper.

– Isolate the bottom, top, and sides of the cooler with towels.

– Cover the wrapped beef with more towels.

Step 3 – Resting The Prime Rib Roast

– Place the beef in the cooler.

– Cover again with a top layer of towels.

– Monitor the internal and exterior temperature.

Tip: The ideal temperature range is 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit.

Smoke On!


Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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