Smoked Prime Rib

Smoked Prime Rib

Smoked Prime Rib is not something you automatically think of when you think of BBQ. But, you should.

Smoked Prime Rib could easily take the place of the guitar any day of the week.

While not common, prime rib is popping up in more and more BBQ restaurants. In Texas, all of the Rudys bbq chains feature it- but like all prime ribs in restaurants, it can be pricey.

So, make it yourself!

As I’ve written before, most bbq recipes, other than sauces and rubs, are more about technique and timing than a recipe to follow.

This recipe is no different.

It is painfully easy and if you follow my lead, I will guarantee you compliments and/or sexual favors from your spouse.

Here’s the beauty of it: Prime Rib is already naturally tender. So, it does requires hours and hours of cooking to tenderize it. It is also very flavorful, and without hours under smoke, it retains its beefy flavor as well.

For these reasons, it is my favorite meat to smoke, and it is my favorite of rib roast recipes. In fact, if you asked me how to cook prime rib this would be my first answer.

I mean, I love brisket- really. But I would rather go to a great joint and buy some and let them do the work of 12-14 hours of smoking, minding the fire, etc. But there are still occasions when I smoke brisket myself- especially if I am feeding lots of folks- cheaper that way. So here is the deal: Go find yourself a piece of meat! Even though the ribs make a wonderful byproduct, and the butcher can detach them for you, I prefer to get a boneless roast.

I preach all the time that roasting meats and fish on the bone yields a juicier product, but here, I want a crust to form underneath, and it is just easier to go boneless. If, the price is better, or your grocery has a special on a bone-in product, as they often do (less labor for them), then by all means buy it, but ask them to take the bones off. Then, smoke the meat and the bones at the same time, side by side.

You will get both products – delicious tender meat, and beef ribs (though not the same as brontosaurus bones) So, as I was writing before I went tangential, get a boneless rib eye roast. You ideally want one from the small end.”

If you get something bigger than you need- no problem- I will give you a recipe for a great leftover sandwich- perfect for football watching.

Once you have your meat, coat it very aggressively with kosher salt and black pepper. Remember, you have a lot of meat density to get through, so if it appears like a lot, dont worry.

Now, prepare your smoker, or charcoal grill, green egg, etc. Just remember, the temp should not exceed 225 degrees, and ideally should be a steady 200 degrees.

I like to smoke prime rib over oak, but hickory and pecan work fine as well. I would not recommend mesquite as it is too strong and a bit gasoline.

What scares people about prime rib and how to cook it, I think, is its cost, so they dont want to mess it up. Here’s a yardstick: a whole 12# prime rib at 200 degrees should take 4 hours to reach an internal temperature of 125 degrees.

I am looking for 125 degrees internal temperature for rare-medium rare. Unless you know for a fact everyone wants theirs more done, dont go over this. (after all, you can always make it more done, but not less done.)

If your meat is done earlier than you plan to serve it, put it in the lowest oven possible- 170 degrees or so and hold it.

Check the temperature regularly and turn the oven off if necessary to control the temperature.

A restaurant tip: Keep a spare oven very hot- 450-500 degrees, and in case someone wants their meat more done, just pop their cut in the oven for a few minutes. In lieu of this, of course, you can pop it in a skillet, but you will marginalize the smokiness you worked so hard for….

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