Hey all! For today's drool-view, I have a 18lb 7-bone beef rib which I wanted to make a double meal from. I had a minor delema, being the single piece was too large to eat for one meal without leftovers, and I'm not a big fan of reheated beef roasts, as I like my beef med/rare. I tossed a few ideas for a couple days while the beast was thawing in my Q-fridge after after a 12-hour water bath to get the thaw started, and ribs for lunch with bone-less prime rib for dinner seemed to keep topping my list, and, slicing a bone-in whole beef rib is somewhat of a PITA ('cause everyone wants a bone), so I had to go with the flow and see where the ride takes me.
I decided I'd try my hand with a carving knife and attempt to make a rather meaty slab of ribs, somewhere in the 6-lb range, while leaving 12-lbs for the bone-less ribeye. This will make for a faster cooking rib roast than I'm accustomed to, so I'll need to make adjustment on timing to have it ready on time without being excessively early. Once I get finished with the knife-work, I'll have a better idea on timing by looking at the cross-section to determine the approx, rate of time it will cook through.
Anyway, that's todays project. Come along for the ride!
***Notes on this smoke: 1) beware of the drool factor... 2) I'll post this in progress due to tons of pics and slow uploads, so bear with me, please...I promise it'll be worth the wait.
Todays victim which will soon succum to aspiration of thin blue (hickory) smoke, with it's final resting place being in our bellies! LOL!!!:
This cutting board is 15" x 21", so yeah, that's a good sized slab of beef;
Lets get started preparing this cherished whole beef rib, shall we?
I cut the end of the bag open with the package in a vertical position in the kitchen sink, filled it with cold water, poured the liquids into the sink and repeated. This reduced the messiness of laying out the meat onto a board by removing the thicker juices from the meat. I like my meats to be able to drip dry a few minutes before I begin doing any trimming or other processing anyway, and this removes the stickiness of the packaged liquids which will be lost before it ever get cooked, so I figure it's best to just get rid of it right away.
The small end with the heaviest cross-section:
The large end with the lightest cross-section:
You'll notice the exterior color of the wet aged beef is nearly the color of cyro-vac packaged pork ribs...more pink than a deeper red color typical of freshly cut beef:
I worked out an end-to-end fillet with the rib bones up (ribeye flat on the board) for separation of the slab of ribs from the ribeye with a 9" carving knife (fresh off the steel, of course). This resulted in a relatively flat cut accross the length and width of the ribeye, leaving the typical heavier edge which tapers down towards the cut end of the bone in a whole roast. This can cause issues with even cooking throughout the cut, but I can take advantage of minor grate temp variances in the smoker to compensate for this by placing the heavy edge of the cut in the hotter area, so that problem is solved already.
Here, I'm holding the slab of ribs over the ribeye, and there's that nice dark red beef color:
The slab of ribs, laying bone down, as I begin to assess the cross-section for cooking times...nearly 2" in thickness on the edges, and 1.5" at the center of the arc of the bone...I'll weigh them in a bit for a better assessment:
I'll get these rubbed and into the smoker in a minute, but I want to have a better look at the ribeye, get it rubbed, wrapped and resting in the fridge for 30-60 minutes before smoking, so these can wait a bit:
The ribeye, still laying in bone-up orientation:
Large end, again, the thinest cross-section, now being approx. 2-1/2" thick:
The small end, about 3-1/4" thick...notice the pink on the end and red on the fresh cut, just the way it should be:
It's time to get the final prep of ribeye done...fat cap up:
The fat-cap is scored to assist rendering and self basting, and to reduce fat cap shrinkage which can bare the meat and leave it completely unprotected on that area...and, it just looks so cool when the meat comes out of the smoker, too:
Rubbed with my Cherry Beef Rub for heavy cuts (recipe found in the Wiki under "C", if you're interested), wrapped and ready to rest in the fridge...this weighed 12.5lbs, so I have a better idea on smoke time now (approx 8-9 hrs for 145* I/T):
Let's get those ribs rubbed and smokin'!!!
The same rub as used on the ribeye, only you can see it un-wrapped here:
I weighed an identical cookie sheet as the slab of ribs was resting in, zero-ed the scale and commenced my final assessment before the smoke. Pretty close weight for what I wanted to accomplish with this project today, so let the smoke begin!:
Into the Smoke Vault 24 @ 225* with a 1/3 full water pan, 24* and snowing:
And, 30 minutes later, I found myself unwrapping the ribeye with the fat-cap down by cutting through the poly to open it all up, then, flipping it over onto the smoker grate. The cherry rub has really melted away into the natural meat juices here:
Time to start making the ribeye happier:
3 hours for the ribs, and 2.5 hours for the ribeye...I rotated the rib grate 180* for more even cooking @ 2hrs into the smoke:
Let's have a closer look at the ribs. I did a 180* grate rotation @ 2hrs into the smoke for more even cooking of the slab. Juice is puddling up on the surface indicating some of the extent of cooking. Pull-back of meat from the bones is the best indicator, then, a bend-test in which lifting of the slab off the grate with tongs from the center of the slab shows how much it sags. Less sag = more done, due to tightening of the meat fibers between the bones from the natural process of meat shrinkage when cooking:
I spun the grate around again, and found some nice pull-back already, so this rib slab is pretty happy already @ 3hrs. I'll try my hand at no-foiled beef ribs today. I've only had a few opportunities to smoke beef ribs...hmm, last time was loin backs if I recall, and I foiled them for a 4-2-1, I think. Anyway, going straight smoke/open grate, I figure 6 hours on these...we'll see:
Let's not forget the ribeye...scored fat-cap is rendering out nice and slow as evidenced by the increasing spread between the cuts, and it should leave some nice crispy fat when the smoke clears tonight:
I'll have at least two more installments before this is finished...hmm, ribs will come out in about another ~2 hours, so of course the finished pics and review of the no-foiled beef ribs. I'll stab a probe into the heavier cross-section of the ribeye at that point as well, and see how it's coming along. Then, the finish pics and review of the boneless ribeye.
Hope you're enjoying the ride so far! Back ASAP!