Turkeys come to mind when you hear about oil-less fryers, but you can cook any large cut of meat in one as long as it fits, even a rib-eye roast. The main difference between cooking a rib-eye roast in the oven and in an oil-less fryer is time. Oil-less fryers cook about twice as fast as regular ovens, because they emit infrared heat, which cooks food directly -- not like convection heat, which cooks food by heating the air that surrounds it. Oil-less fryers hold up to 16-pound turkeys, so you won't have any problem cooking a whole rib-eye roast in one.
Take the rib-eye roast out of the refrigerator one hour before you want to cook it. All food you cook in the fryer should be fully thawed, but for best results and even cooking throughout, start it at room temperature. Place the roast on a tray lined with a few paper towels.
Season the roast all over with a quarter-inch-thick layer of kosher salt. It takes at least one hour for salt to make its way past the surface of the meat to the center. Salt the roast 24 hours beforehand if you want to season it thoroughly.
Insert the foil tray liner, supplied with the fryer, in the fryer's grease tray. If this is the first time you are using an oil-less fryer, coat the cooking basket and the underside of the lid with cooking spray. Insert the basket in the fryer and cover with the lid, then ignite the fryer and cook for 15 minutes.
Scrape the salt from the rib-eye roast and coat it with a layer of oil. Season it to taste with freshly ground black pepper or a spice rub.
Flatten off the thickest end of the roast with a knife if necessary. For best results, the rib should sit upright in the fryer without touching the sides. Partial rib roasts have flat ends already, but whole rib roasts have a layer of fat on each end you can trim to flatten them out.
Place the rib-eye roast flat-side down in the cooking basket and insert the supplied meat thermometer in the top so it's visible. Cover the fryer with the lid. Turn the gas on and ignite the fryer.
Cook the roast for 10 minutes, then remove the lid. Cook the roast uncovered about 10 minutes per pound for medium rare or until it reaches 120 degrees Fahrenheit. The rib-eye roast's internal temperature will increase about 10 to 15 degrees during rest.
For medium, cook the roast until it reaches 125 F, and for well-done, cook until 145 F.
Remove the roast from the fryer with tongs and let it rest on a tray for 15 minutes. Cover the fryer with the lid and let it continue cooking for 15 minutes to clean. Turn the gas off to shut the fryer down.
Serve the roast after resting. Clean the basket and cooking chamber with a grill brush and empty the debris from it.
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- Don't use the drippings collected in an unlined drip tray, as the tray isn't food safe. If you want to use the drippings for au jus or a sauce, use the supplied food-safe aluminum tray liner to collect them; then heat them on the stove until simmering.
A.J. Andrews' work has appeared in Food and Wine, Fricote and "BBC Good Food." He lives in Europe where he bakes with wild yeast, milks goats for cheese and prepares for the Court of Master Sommeliers level II exam. Andrews received formal training at Le Cordon Bleu.