Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Prime Rib

Merry Christmas - well... Happy New Year... or whatever holiday is nearest when you are reading this!  Christmas 2011 marked my first attempt at Prime Rib.  I've been wanting to try to cook a prime rib, but have been a little hesitant due to the cost... It's hard to experiment on a $100 piece of meat!  

First a little info on Prime Rib - or Standing Rib Roast.  This is a cut of beef from the primal rib.  It can include from 2 to 7 ribs.  The cut can be found both with the bones attached and with the bones removed.  Regardless of the status of the bones this cut will often be tied with twine to help hold the different muscles together during the cooking process.  Some will remove the bones and then reattach them with twine for cooking.  Prime rib sliced into steaks is also known as rib-eye steaks.  

I found a 5.25 lb boneless prime rib to try out my first cook.  It was choice grade meat and cost  about $60.  I then rubbed it with olive oil and then with cracked black pepper, cracked sea salt, and rosemary. I refrigerated it overnight wrapped in plastic wrap.  

I did a two stage cook on the prime rib.  I started cooking at 180 degrees in my FEC100 smoker for about 90 minutes then increased the temp to 225 degrees.  When the internal temp hit 135 I took the meat off and tented it with foil to rest for about 30 minutes.  During that 30 minutes I fired up the PG1000 to 500 degrees.  After the thirty minute rest I placed the roast on the indirect side of the PG1000 for about 8 minutes.  This crisped up the outside and gave a nice crust.  Since I didn't cook it directly over the flame it didn't char, but rather got a nice seared crust.   

So you may ask, "Why didn't you do the whole cook on the PG1000?"  I could have and usually would, however I needed to use the 2 stage cooking feature (cook and hold) of the FEC100 as I was not going to be immediately available to adjust the cooker temp.  

Overall the prime rib turned out really good.  It was more medium than medium rare, this pleased my wife who likes her meat well done (ruined) but my goal was a nice medium rare.  So... mistake made here was 1) removing from the first stage of the cook too late and 2)underestimating the "carryover" while the roast was resting (the effect of continued cooking and raising of internal temp during the rest).  Next time I would pull it to rest at a lower internal temp and hope to hit that medium-rare point.  Regardless, the meat was still juicy, flavorful, and tender. 

Rubbed and to the fridge overnight

Sear phase at 500 degrees on the PG1000

Sliced and ready to serve


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