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My butcher prepared our Christmas prime rib with a bacon wrap. He suggested 325° roast until internal temperature, but I’m skeptical of that method. I was going to do this 200° slow roast with a quick 550° finish technique.

However, I’m unsure how to integrate the bacon wrap. Should I remove the bacon wrap for the 200° slow roast and reapply for the 550° finish? Should I leave it on throughout? Or should I keep the bacon for flavor during the 200° roast and remove for the 550° sear so the beef itself gets browned?

  • Did I mention I was worried about the bacon burning during the high heat finish roast? I’m wondering if maybe a 450° finish might be better to avoid burnt bacon if I keep it on for that phase... – Aptos Dec 25 '19 at 5:33
  • I'd remove the bacon. – Max Dec 25 '19 at 13:12
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One of the points of the serious eats article is to help you achieve a crust on your roast. It seems to me, that if your roast is wrapped in bacon, your roast will not have a crust, rather, the bacon will be the crusty (possibly burned if you are not careful) part. I think this depends on what you want as the exterior of your roast. If you are going for crispy bacon, no crust on the meat, leave it on. If you want the crust to be the meat itself, take the bacon off for the finish.

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I ended up removing the bacon after the slow roast in order to sear the fat cap at the end. It turned out okay. Next time I think I’ll just use the bacon to impart the flavors during the marinading/aging process, and cook it without bacon wrap. I think the crust would come out better that way.

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  • If you area looking to add a smokiness to your roast, there are probably better ways than wrapping it with bacon...cold smoking, for example, or doing the finishing step on the grill, rather than in the oven. In a situation like this, the "idea" of bacon is usually better than the cooked results. – moscafj Dec 27 '19 at 19:19

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