What Temp to Aim For Rare?

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
Jul 15, 2010
Monroe Twp, NJ
This isn't a smoker-specific question, but of cooking meat in general. I've seen a number of posts in which folks show pix of rib roasts or other cuts of meat that they've pulled at, say 140*, and the meat is pink. I know IRMV, but my experience is so at variance with that I feel compelled to ask what others see. We like our beef rare, so the following shows a roast as we pulled it from the 325* oven at 111* IT.


I left the probe in as it stood for about 15 minutes and the IT continued to rise to 116*. The following shows what we saw when sliced, not even medium rare.


The results are the same regardless which thermometer I use, whether the Polder shown, one of my Thermopens, Mavericks or any of a number of other digital instruments. I've confirmed their callibration by using the boiling water/ice water test. I'm thinking I've got to pull it from the cooker at 105 or less!
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Man that seems really low for an internal temp. I took my rib roast to 136 I believe and it was nice and pink in the middle.  Here is a pick of the one I did at Xmas.

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You have to balance the outside temp with the internal temp.

I do a 7 rib rib roast every Christmas.  For a few years I had the same problem until I read a recipe for the 'perfect' rib roast on Food Network.

You set and preheat your oven to 200°, no more (water boils at 212° - you boil the moisture out of it any higher!)

Season, place rib rack down in large pan, add 1 cup water or wine, cover tightly with heavy foil, push probe thermometer of some kind down into center of meat through foil, place on low to center rack and let cook.  Likewise, you can do it the same way with your smoker.

Cook until the internal temp is at 120°.

Pull it out and set it on a table and let it rise naturally until 130° to 135°, lesser for deeper pink.

Meanwhile, crank oven up to 500° (you'll have to take it inside and finish in oven unless your smoker can climb that high) and remove thermometer, uncover meat, and place back in the oven for 15 minutes to brown the outside..

Let set 5-10 min and carve.  Your roast will be almost totally uniformly pink, not gray half way through as in your pic.  You overcooked it on the outside and it cooked too fast, leaving the center raw.  Some rib roast pics:

after cooking before browning:


after browning: (makes the gravy nice!)




on the plate:


...and it was goooooddddd!!!!
Same here Pokey i take a rib roast out at IT of 111 to 112 when cooked in the oven at 325. On the smoker at 200 i take it to 135 IT and finish browning under the broiler in my oven. Like Pops stated at 325 we are cooking the outside way more than the inside...thus we need the lower IT to preserve any juice base. 

You can bet if i have to do one in the oven again it will be with Pops method ...i love the moist from outside to center way better.
Thanks everybody for your experiences and suggestions. All the pics above are pink, but not rare. I guess the point is to show how pink the meat still is at higher ITs than the 116* I achieved. I'm still figuring out what to do to get rare, though. That's when it's still purple in the middle.
Pops, that was a killer reply. Great explanation, and the pics to match. It's all good my friend.
Pulled this one at 137˚, and it coasted to 142˚. I call it Medium/Rare:


A Nice Even pink all the way through, and super juicy.

Smoked on open rack at 230˚ for 4 hours---Very easy.

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