Two 12 lb Prime Rib (whole Ribeye)

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Smoke Blower
Original poster
Feb 1, 2007
Bel Air, MD
I have been tasked with smoking two 12 lb. Prime Rib (whole ribeyes) for a Graduation party on June 30th.

Just searching the forum for any tips and tricks to keep me from screwing up $200 in meat.

So anyone got any more info they would like to share?

P.S. I will also be doing two 9 lb turkey breast (pre-cooked). Any reccommendations? I plan on using apple wood for the smoke on the turkey breast.
A little worchestershire, salt, pepper, and maybe some garlic powder or I like just Montreal Steak seasoning on a rib roast as well. Smoke them hard and fast at about 275° up to 130° internal if you want it to look like this after 15 min. loosely tented in foil.

Hickory, cherry, and pecan are my top three smoke pics for this type of meat. Good luck and be sure and share the results w/ your SMF family.
Nice work Chad ... man I sure would have loved to tuck into that piece of heaven!

Obviously, this is all the info you really need Naui!
Thanks for the info, but I am confused about how you worded "if you want it to look like this after 15 min. loosely tented in foil.

Did you mean to tent it for 15 minutes after you take it off the smoker? Or after 15 minutes of smoking? I am assuming you meant after smoking.

Is 1.5 hours per pound a good number at 250-275 degrees (Thats as high as my smoker will go).
I believe you assumed correct on the tenting time ... and regards to cooking time for prime rib, you need to get a higher smoker temp as he said ... at least 275º. Prime rib is so tender, that you don't benefit from low & slow.
The tenting in foil is after meat is done. Just loosely tent the foil around the meat and let rest 15-20 mins. I think these usually get done a little quicker than an 1 ½ per lb. I would figure closer to 1 hr. 10 or 15 min. w/ these. I know that sounds picky, but this isn't a cooler for 5 or 6 hour in foil piece of meat so it is fairly exact. Also, direct from fridge to smoker to give it a little more time in the smoke since you cook it hot and quick.

Edited: That time includes rest time and still might be a little long I fear. I hate to give you a time estimate because I find them utterly useless. Every piece of meat and cook is different. With this type of meat I would recommend starting on the behind side and pushing to catch up if you deem it neccessary. The prime will take it fine, might hinder smoke absorption a little though. It will overcook itself in a long rest period though.
So for a 12 lb Prime rib I should approximate 14 hours (12 lbs x 70 miuntes / 60 = 14 hours) at my smokers highest temp (approx 250-275). If I have to play catch up, then toss it in the oven to maintain the higher temp (of course after the smoking period).

Also, I am preparing these at my home and have a 30 minute drive to get to where the party is being held. Should I cut the time short by watching internal temp (what temp 120 degrees - 125) and then wrap in foil and transport in a cooler? I have no choice but to transport.

I suppose, as a last resort, I could load my generator and smoker in to my truck bed and transport during the last hour of smoking/heating.

Also, how would you suggest I get the turkey breast smoked with a different type of wood using the same smoker and have everything ready at the proper time? Should I smoke the turkey brests before and then foil over night (or vacuum pack) and reheat? Should I fire up my charbroil water smoker and just run two smokers to complete my tasks?

Sorry but I am having trouble figuring out the logistics of all this.
Ok Naui,I'm a chef and I've cooked 100's of 18-22 lb Prime ribs(bone-in).
With those being done in a regular oven,it usually takes 1/2 hour browning at 450° followed by approx. 3-4 hrs. at 325° and the inernal temp.was about 125-130°.
So basically what I'm thinking is it may not take much longer to do than Chad's 4.5 lb roast.Because when you look at a prime rib it doesn't get any bigger around with more weight,it just gets longer.Just like tenderloins,you wouldn't cook them longer just because they're longer.I guess I'm trying to say it's a circumference thing.
I hope this helps.
So,maybe 4-6 hrs.
Now I'm forgetting if these were bone-in or not.
I think you said rib-eye which is boneless which in turn would mean a little less cooking time.
Boy I hope this isn't too confusing.
And thee turkey,I agree with Chad.Use the other smoker seeing as you have it.

Again I hope this helps.
Good Luck!
Does the other place your going to have an oven?
If so if you pull it out a little rarer then after tenting and transporting check the interanl temp again and maybe finish it off in a 350° oven.

Another thought,
if you have the time, take everything down to where you're going and cook it right there.(hehe)
Chad & Tripple B,
Thanks so much for all the info. I think I am now well armed to carry out my mission.

The generator idea, was a quick one with no forethought - I probably shouldn't do that.

I have several digital remote themometers so I will monitor closley. I just was trying to figure out a time to start the smoke so that I could pull them off right before driving to the party and they would be perfect when I arrived. Looks like I am going to have to just try it, and see where I end up.

I am thinking that I will start the prime ribs about 8 hours prior to the party (party's at 1pm) and if they don't look like there going to be at 120° -125° then I will toss them in a 350° oven to bring them up quicker.

As a fall back plan, the place I am going to for the party does have an oven, so I can do as Tripple B suggested. I just don't want to screw up all that good meat, which I am not paying for (just cooking).
This one has me worried for you, and after some thought, the best that I can come up with is this.

Buy one and try it in advance and set up at or much closer to the place that you will be serving, that travel time is the wild card and anything could happen during your travels like a flat or traffic, anything.

I am into the heavy smoke flavor and would try to start out cold from the fridge and low on the temp. But with the prime rib being such as it is, I think that I would maybe try to raise the temps just a bit by going with a near empty water pan. And yes size matters! that much meat is gonna slow your smoker down, even if just a little. And while a big hunk of meat is great for the presentation, cutting them in halves I think may be better for cooking. (keep in mind that my smoker has to be in the full Georgia sun to break 220 and your results may vary, that is why I reccomend the trial run) I will gladly be the taste tester
At what these cost, I just can't do a trial run. Also, if I setup at the place I am serving, how many hours in advance should I get there? See this is the wild card - the smoke could take between 6-14 hours.

I won't be using my water smoker for this smoke - I will be using my Smokin' Tex unit, so I can do 250-275 without a problem.

I might consider cutting them in half, then I will be down to four, 6 lb prime ribs and the time to smoke might be more exact.
Where the heck were you guys last weekend when I was trying a Bison rib eye? I got nervous and cut it into steaks and threw them on the grill !!! Your rib eye knowledge will be noted for my future project....
I will be picking up the prime ribs Friday evening from the guy who wants me to smoke them.

Anyone have any opinions on weather I should cut them in half before smoking? This smoke has me to worried, if they were for me & my family I would not be so concerned. I also wish that I had done at least one Prime Rib before now - but I guess I will be learning soon enough.

I think I will just start them 8 hours before the party and see where there at, temp wise, at the 6 hour mark. If they don't look like there going to be done (internal temp to 120) I will toss them in the oven at 350 to make things happen quicker.

Thanks to eveyone that has given me info to assist me in making this smoke turn out.

P.S. You know that the person wanting me to smoke these is going to slice these up on a slicer for pit beef sandwiches - what a sacrelige!
You can't be serious!

You should be doing brisket instead!!!

Please PM my brother 'Big Bad Bri' ... he has probably forgotten more about prime rib than most of us will ever learn.
I tried to look him up on the forum by doing a search by user name "Big Bad Bri" and the forum reported no user by that name. Do you have his screen name correct?

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