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Unread 12-30-2012, 12:18 PM   #1
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Default Rib Roast Appreciation Thread

I really thought there should have been something like this by now, but for some reason my searches couldn't find it. This time of year there are many rib roasts being cooked and people asking advice on how to cook them. I am of the belief that a rib roast is one of the easiest things to cook. We see cooking temps typically range from 225* to 350* with people raving about the results, and I've even seen some posts with cooks going as low as 200* and as high as 425*. All of these posts claim excellent results and I believe them! Basically, you can't mess this up. Well, unless your remote thermometer fails, you fall asleep, your fire goes out or starts burning wildly out of control. But under normal circumstances, you're going to have a great product. I'm going to start this thread by posting some basic information on cooking, what I do, some reference material, and then leave it up to others to post pictures, recipes, etc.

My typical roast is quite simple. I usually cook a four-bone roast, ~7lbs. I take it out of the refrigerator an hour before the cook and let it come up to temp a bit on its own. I trim excess fat off the roast, because nobody in my family really likes to eat fat and when it is trimmed afterward, then the spices go along with it. The last roast I cooked, I trimmed just about the entire fat cap, yes, down to the meat. The results were excellent, but more about that later. I then rub the roast down with EVOO, coat with S&P, Montreal steak spice, Lawry's, parsley, Foil Hat Rub, or any combination of the above -- it doesn't matter, because it's going to be good. I then put the roast in my preheated (~225*) pit (lump with a chunk of oak) on a tray -- the same one in the picture below that I serve with. I cook this indirect on the Oval with diffusers in place. I put in a temperature probe, smack dab in the middle. Roughly 3 1/2 hours later (your times will vary), the IT has climbed to between 120*-130*. I aim for about 125*. I then remove the roast, tent foil, sometimes with a couple layers and cover with a towel. I've let them sit for an hour, but typically rest for 1/2 hour. They stay warm. The IT typically climbs about 10*, sometimes a bit more in this time. When I'm ready to serve, I open the vents on the pit (or use another pit), and bring the temp up to ~600*. I do a very quick sear, just a couple minutes along the cap and bones. The heat is just on the outside and I can slice this when I'm ready. Because of the low cooking temp (and rest), I get a very evenly cooked product. This may or may not be what you want.



I should note that after cooking, I trimmed the bones off for easy slicing!

Now for some background material:

Two great resources on prime rib and reverse searing are given by The Food Lab here:

http://www.seriouseats.com/2009/12/t...prime-rib.html

http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/12/w...m_medium=email

While you will hear a lot about reverse searing on this forum, it is not essential. You can get a great product by just smoking or roasting. I personally like the crusty edge, but that is my preference and it may not be yours.

What's the deal about cooking temperature? They are all over the place. Essentially, this means you can't mess it up. Just about any temperature you pick, you will end up with a great product. That doesn't mean that it will be the same product though. Here is an illustration of the differences in the final product due to different cooking temperatures:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Gore View Post
I generally cook at a lower temp for rib roasts ~225* and I use oak. Always there are questions about temperature and I just want to point out that the lower the temperature, the more uniform the roast will be. If you like a uniform doneness throughout, cook it low. The higher the temp, the more done the outside and redder the inside. There are some pics in this thread for comparison:

http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...ad.php?t=96828

This one is done at 225* (reverse sear) and you can see the pinkness goes nearly to the edge:



This one (courtesy of Ron_L) was cooked at 275* and the edges are slightly more done:



This one was cooked by Boshizzle at 325*:



taken from this thread:
http://www.bbq-brethren.com/forum/sh...d.php?t=105163
Notice that the outer segment is much more done than the inside. Every method is great, but you can see they produce a different product.
Essentially, it comes down to how even you want it, and especially how done do you like that cap. The cap is juicy and there is nothing wrong with eating it well done. Notice also that Ron_L does not sear his meat.

How about cooking times? Thirdeye has compiled a list of cooking times for roasts. I'm going to cut and paste that here. Hopefully, he'll be able to update this list with new data.

Quote:
Originally Posted by thirdeye View Post
Via countless emails, I have collected a bunch of information which appears on the prime rib how to page on my site for this very question. I use low pit temps too for the same reasons you mentioned, so I asked readers to send me their times and temps. Most of these were cooked on a BGE or Primo Oval, but it will put you in the ballpark. Where you see a range in pit temps, I had multiple responses for the same weight roast, but the cook times were about the same. (this was most likely due to the diameter of a particular roast, of maybe the pit temp drifted a little during the cook)

Be sure to allow for carry over temps while resting the roast. All of the times below are when the roasts came off the cooker.


4 pound roast - 220°-228° pit temp - 2 hours to reach 125°
5-1/2 pound roast - 230° pit temp - 3 hours to reach 125°
6-3/4 pound bone-in roast - 250° pit temp - 4 hours to reach 125°
7 pound roast - 250° pit temp - 3 hours 40 minutes to reach 123°
7 pound roast - 220°-228° pit temp - 3 hours 30 minutes to reach 125°
8 pound roast - 250° - 275° pit temp - 4 hours to reach 122°
10 pound roast - 220°-228° pit temp - 3 hours to reach 120°
11 pound roast (4 bones) - 215° average pit temp - 4 hours 54 minutes to reach 125°
14 pound roast - 220°-250° pit temp - 4 hours 30 minutes to reach 125°
15 pound roast - 220°-250° pit temp - 4 hrs 50 min to reach 127°
I just want to comment that there are a lot of factors in these times, not only the kind of pit you have, but I believe also, how the roast is trimmed. I have found that my roasts have been cooked consistently in about 3 1/2 hours. The last one I did in which I trimmed all of the fat cooked in only 2 1/2 hours. I am assuming that is because this insulating layer has been removed -- ask any duck, fat is a great insulator. This certainly is an anomaly in the above dataset for a ~ 7lb roast.

Post your comments, pics and recipes, please!
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Unread 12-30-2012, 12:30 PM   #2
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Yummy..... Love that perfect color.
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Unread 12-30-2012, 02:01 PM   #3
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Unread 12-30-2012, 02:18 PM   #4
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Unread 12-30-2012, 02:19 PM   #5
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Great job, Gore!

As noted, I don't sear any more, and I've switched to cooking at lower temps. I've tried just about every method possible and have gotten good results from all of them, but I like the even temperature across the roast that the lower temp cook gives and I get enough color/crust on the outside without the work of the reverse sear.

One thing that hasn't been discussed yet is the prime rib method developed by Stuart, the president of Cookshack. He originally developed it using the Cookshack electric smokers but it works even better in an FEC-100. Basically he cooks the rib roast at 250 for 12 minutes per pound and then drops the pit temp to 140 and hold the roast at 140 pit temp for at least 4 hours, preferably longer. The real key to this method is the extended hold time. I've found that it gives the juices time to distribute flavor throughout the roast and gives a great result. I've modified this to cook at 225 instead of 250 and go longer per pound, but still use the extended hold.
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Unread 12-30-2012, 02:21 PM   #6
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Gore, your roast and Ron L's look awesome! I was going to trim a rib roast into cowboy steaks for the Redskins/Cowboys game tonoght but decided to cut the ribs off with a nice layer of meat on top to be BBQ'd tomorrow and shave the roast for Cowboy ribeye sammies to serve tonight instead.
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Unread 12-30-2012, 02:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
Great job, Gore!

As noted, I don't sear any more, and I've switched to cooking at lower temps. I've tried just about every method possible and have gotten good results from all of them, but I like the even temperature across the roast that the lower temp cook gives and I get enough color/crust on the outside without the work of the reverse sear.

One thing that hasn't been discussed yet is the prime rib method developed by Stuart, the president of Cookshack. He originally developed it using the Cookshack electric smokers but it works even better in an FEC-100. Basically he cooks the rib roast at 250 for 12 minutes per pound and then drops the pit temp to 140 and hold the roast at 140 pit temp for at least 4 hours, preferably longer. The real key to this method is the extended hold time. I've found that it gives the juices time to distribute flavor throughout the roast and gives a great result. I've modified this to cook at 225 instead of 250 and go longer per pound, but still use the extended hold.
Thanks Ron, this is similar to what many restaurants do to hold prime rib at a given temperature to prevent it from cooking longer. It certainly gives the cooks a lot more freedom. I have not tried it myself, but I know I have eaten prime rib from restaurants that have been cooked this way (I've asked). Maybe I'll give this a try next.
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Unread 12-30-2012, 02:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boshizzle View Post
Gore, your roast and Ron L's look awesome! I was going to trim a rib roast into cowboy steaks for the Redskins/Cowboys game tonoght but decided to cut the ribs off with a nice layer of meat on top to be BBQ'd tomorrow and shave the roast for Cowboy ribeye sammies to serve tonight instead.
Back at you, Bo. I really had a hard time selecting those photos as there are so many excellent examples in these archives. I really thought those three were not only good examples of the effect, but were quite mouthwatering photographically. I'm glad you don't mind being made an example of.
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Unread 12-30-2012, 02:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gore View Post
Thanks Ron, this is similar to what many restaurants do to hold prime rib at a given temperature to prevent it from cooking longer. It certainly gives the cooks a lot more freedom. I have not tried it myself, but I know I have eaten prime rib from restaurants that have been cooked this way (I've asked). Maybe I'll give this a try next.
The best restaurant prime rib I've found is from Skip's Other Place in New Buffalo, Michigan and they do this. The hard part is holding at the right temp. Most home ovens won't go below 170, which will keep cooking the roast. The FEC-100 (or the Cookshack electrics) are perfect for this since they will hold at 140. Skip's, and probably other restaurants, use a CVap, or Controlled Vapor Technology holding cabinet to hold the meat at a specific temperature. Home cooks don't have that luxury unless they have a lot of money :D
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Unread 12-30-2012, 02:42 PM   #10
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That's why we raise beef! It's nice to see such fine appreciation.
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Unread 12-30-2012, 02:56 PM   #11
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Sorry about the crappy quality iPhone picture. The color of the inside of the roast doesn't look accurate.


This was a small 2.5lb rib roast I did for Christmas Eve this year (my first rib roast, why did I wait so long?). I cooked it in the KJ at 210* until it reached 115* IT. I pulled it and cranked the KJ up to 500* then put the roast back in and shut the cooker down completely. The roast sat in the hot cooker until it reached 125* IT and then rested in a foil tent for about 30 min until it reached 135* final IT. I seasoned it with Ted and Barney's seasoning (if you haven't posted on their thread for a free bottle, do it).

It was by far the best rib roast I have had. I always had a slight fear of ruining this high dollar piece of meat, I don't any more. But next time I think I'll just smoke it until it reaches 125* IT, pull and rest to see how I like that.
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Unread 12-30-2012, 04:09 PM   #12
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Unread 01-01-2013, 08:23 PM   #13
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One nice thing about rib roast is the leftovers. I cut the bones off and I was the only one who had one fresh. I re-seasoned and heated these up slowly for a New Year's snack.



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Unread 01-01-2013, 09:08 PM   #14
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Thanks for putting up this thread Gore - and your prime looks amazing! I really love the grain in that first pic.

I cook on the low end of the spectrum - 200. Last year I started way too soon and slowed down the cook by turning off the oven at points, sticking it in the Cambro, etc. and it actually yielded what is probably my best result. I go for a 120 IT and then a blast at the end, which I'm not sure is necessary.

I've been dry aging the past several and I love the results - I've never done a side by side comparison, but it does seem the flavor is more beefy. Also, there are no drippings with a dry aged roast since the moisture is gone. There is rendered fat though.

This is last year's - it's from a grass fed/grain finished happy cow:



Money was a little tighter this year, so I got this meat from Costco. It still wasn't cheap, but it is cheaper than what comes from the specialty butcher:




I'm with ya that these are hard to mess up, esp. if you start with a good piece of meat - just let it be what it is, and you won't go wrong. It does seem to me that it's a good idea to buy the best you can afford, but I can't say for sure as I haven't cooked any cheap rib roasts that I can remember.

I really like the results I get with my method (actually it's Cook's Illustrated's method), and I'm happy to have something I can rely on, but I'm thinking it'd be fun to try something different next time just to mix things up a little. I'm guessing I'll be referring to this thread when the time comes! I like the idea of trimming the fat cap - I haven't done that, but I think I will start.

I love standing at the counter and chewing on the bones, and now my sons do too.
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Unread 01-02-2013, 02:04 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtr View Post
I love standing at the counter and chewing on the bones, and now my sons do too.
I do too, but this year we had company over, ... and I think my wife might've frowned if I did that, while everyone else was at the dining room table eating civilized-like.
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