I picked up a 7.57 lb USDA "Prime" bone-in rib roast on 12/22 from Sam's! It's the only place I know of that sells actual Prime-graded standing rib roasts. They have a "select reserve" grade that is much cheaper, but falls below the USDA grading of Prime, Choice or Select (it does not have the USDA label on it). I've gone with Choice in the past when I dry-aged the roast, but didn't have time to do that this time, so I went for the Prime cut!
Here's the game plan:
Monday night - trim the roast, coat it with thick Worcestershire sauce and Jim Baldridge's Secret Seasoning (LOVE it on beef). Wrap in plastic, let it get happy in the fridge overnight (24 hours, actually). I'll score an X-pattern in the fat cap (like on a brisket) all the way to the meat to aid in spice and smoke penetration.
Tuesday night - Remove from the wrap, re-sprinkle with the rub, and put back in the fridge, unwrapped, on a baking rack overnight. This step allows the surface to dry a bit, which aids in crust formation.
Christmas day - I'll put it in the smoker at about 11 am, with 3 oz of hickory and cherry @ 200 degrees. There it will slow-smoke to an internal temp of 128 (medium-rare). When I remove it from the smoker, I'll wrap it in foil to rest while my oven heats to 500 degrees. Once the oven is heated, I'll place the roast in there for about 7-8 minutes to "reverse sear" the outside.
When it comes out of the oven, no more resting needed; just slice and serve!
I know this method is backwards from the way most people tell you to cook a prime rib roast, but it works incredible! What you end up with is a roast that is medium-rare all the way from bark to bark - no over-cooked gray edges! And, it's the juiciest I've ever had! By the way, I normally eat steaks cooked to medium, but I make an exception for good prime rib! Medium-rare is great!
I'll post pics and progress reports!
By the way, here's a link to an article that taught me this method in '09. I was fascinated when I read the logic behind it, and had to try it! The rest, as they say, is history!
Here's a link to my original post over at our Smokin-It forum:
Pulled the little 4-bone jewel out of the wrapping, cut away the rib section (almost all the way through), and trimmed a little excess fat. I like to separate the ribs prior to cooking, then tie it together. This allows seasoning a whole side of the meat (against the rib section), and makes it SO much easier to separate after cooking. I also cut an X-pattern in the fat cap.
I was bummed that I couldn't find thick Worcestershire sauce! Oh well, a good dousing with olive oil and on with the Baldridge secret seasoning! A double wrap in plastic, then foil, then off to a good night sleep in the fridge to dream of a happy, smokey place!
Christmas Eve update:
Alright, I'm rushing around getting ready for Santa, but I can't lose focus on tomorrow's prime rib! I took it out of the wrap, re-seasoned a bit, and placed on a roasting rack in the fridge uncovered. I'm doing this to slightly dry the moisture from the outside, which will promote a better crust (bark) on the roast.
Christmas Day update:
The little jewel went in the Smokin-It Model 1 at 11 am. 3 oz of hickory/cherry mix, 200 degrees. At 1:30, it's at 81 IT. The meat started at 36 degrees, so it's up 45 in 2 1/2 hours. Another 47 degrees to go, so probably 2 more hours.
Christmas Dinner, at last!
The prime rib turned out absolutely incredible! The only thing I would have liked to do different would have been to dry-age it. But, the quality of this cut of USDA Prime made it very tender.
As you can see by the pictures, it had a pretty nice bark on it when it was finished smoking (I pulled and wrapped at 127). Total time 4 1/2 hours. Into the cooler, covered in towels for a rest!
Once the oven heated to 550, I threw it in for a quick sear (only about 4 minutes). The pictures show the exterior more seared and moist than post-smoke.
I separated the ribs (we'll get to know each other later on;), and sliced the roast. I hope the sliced pics speak for themselves! Very juicy, good blend of smoke with the hickory and cherry. Roasted some potatoes in the oven with onion soup mix and olive oil to go on the side.
All in all, a success! Wish I could afford to smoke one of these about once a month!
Edited by DivotMaker - 12/28/13 at 11:08am