Tough Boneless Rib-eye ???

Discussion in 'Beef' started by schlotz, Jul 21, 2015.

  1. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper

    Not certain if I messed this up or it actually was the steer.  Would like your opinion regarding how I ran the smoke and if it was my process that caused it to be tough.  

    - Approx 7.5 lbs boneless rib-eye.  

    - Removed what silver skin was visible, left majority of the fat since it was not even close to totally covering but did heavily score what there was (cross-hatched).

    - Used a SPOG rub on all sides and let it sit in fridge for 3 hours wrapped in saran.  

    - MAK w/hickory pellets (note actual grate temp next to meat was 25° higher than settings mentioned below), meat on upper grill grate.

    - SMOKE (185°) for 1 hr, then

    - bump to 205° for 3 hrs,  temp probe put in middle on meat at hr #3

    - bump to 225° for 1.5 hrs.  

    - Pulled meat at IT of 140° and let sit for 20 min.  Temp rose +2°.

    Temp probes are calibrated. Using 3rd party Thermoworks alarm. Again note: my MAK runs 25° hotter at the upper grate than the pellet boss setting & built in box probe.

    Sliced and noticed it took some effort even with a very sharp carving slicer. Meat looked very good! Medium pink throughout. Flavor was great but WOW meat required a significant chew.  No fat or internal strands in the main section. Solid pure pink meat, couldn't ask for better, just plain tough.

    So, was it me, or did I unfortunately stumble onto a disgruntled steer?

    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
  2. Maybe the lack of fat was what was wrong? Do you have pics of the meat, before smoke, after smoke, sliced that could possibly help s out, and where did you buy this meat? What grade was it?
  3. familyjuice

    familyjuice Newbie

    I'm curious with this one too. I also had similar situation last month. I smoked beef ribs and smoked it just like baby back with the 3-2-1 method. After removing the foil, I picked it up and I noticed it was tough, leather like tough. 
  4. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper

    Photos, unfortunately no. Wasn't expecting anything out of the norm. Meat was choice, from my local butcher that I've used for some time now.  Never had any problem with his offerings in the past. 
  5. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper

    The toughness we experienced wasn't a shoe leather sort of thing. It was chewable but we all know how prime rib/boneless rib-eye should be and this was not even close.
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
  6. I am hoping some one else sees this because all i can think of other than just a bad cow is lack of fat. i also cook my ribeyes to med rare pull about 130 to 135 but i couldnt imagine that would have anything to do with it 
  7. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Beef needs to go through rigor while hanging... could have been cut up too soon... some processing plants get in a hurry.... From the description of the meat, sounds like it wasn't choice... choice should have some marbling in the meat.....
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
  8. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper

    Has me baffled too.  The fat did cover the whole part of the thin section and there was a reasonable covering over the last 2-3 inches of the thickest portion as well. I really didn't think the center section missing some fat was a big deal especially with a 5 1/2 hr slow smoke but maybe?

    I'm with you, waiting to see what others think. 
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
  9. schlotz

    schlotz Meat Mopper

    Thanks Dave!  The slices had typical marbling around a fare portion of the edges (except where noted above) and of course in the tail section had it's usual share.  Looked about normal to me. Interesting comment about maybe not being choice.  Hmm...
  10. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I got a rib roast from whole foods a few years back and it was like you described. Not "tough" really, just not as you'd expect rib roast to be. It was suggested by Chef JJ on this forum that it might have been grass fed beef which is leaner and not as tender as grain fed. Not sure if that was the case, but I got another one from another store 3 weeks later and it was butter tender. And half the price.
    So yeah, not sure why, but some meat is just tougher than other meat. I'd go back to the butcher and let him/her know. Might cut you a break on the next one.
  11. reinhard

    reinhard Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    It would have been nice to see that piece of beef but understandably that would be tough to do since i'ts been cooked and no pics are available of the finished product.  Selection of grades of beef are done by inspectors.  USDA this or that depending on grade and yield number.  When we received hanging beef  the hind quarter had the grade stamp on the piece plus a yield number.  For example the best being USDA Choice yield no. 1 or sometimes 2.   Yield being the lowest number being the less loss or in other terms the least fat.  So inspectors being human, do make mistakes in that fine line at times of grading choice over select even though to a trained eye that should be easily seen.

    I take my rib roast out at 128 to 130 internal, but that's me.  Yours came out pink in the center, and that should have been good to go.  That is why that chewy-ness makes me think it was the beef not you.  I've been asked to come back to work on a very part time basis to cover vacations ect.  I can only work 8 days per months due to having a pension.  I recently cut some Stockman rib eye's for our service counter, which is the highest grade black angus.  They are normally well marbled.  Couple of these from a number of cases were very lean.  Very unusual.  But that is a very few in a large number cut.  So graders make mistakes, or maybe some do not take their job seriously enough and get complacent.  Not saying that this was the problem you had with that very expensive cut.  Hopefully next time it works out better for you.  Reinhard

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