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Unread 12-21-2009, 11:31 PM   #1
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Default Holiday Rotisserie Beef Rib Roast - EXTRA HEAVY Pron!

It's time for the traditional holiday beef rib roast sales (currently $3.97/lb. in Portland), and with all the recent posts on "prime rib" I thought I would share an article from a previous Christmas dinner that I posted on a friend's local N.W. site, Applecreek Timber, Inc. And thanks to Michael (Northwest BBQ) for encouraging me to post my first pron on the BBQ Brethren site.

Even though this roast was not smoked (forgive me brothers and sisters), you could do it on any grill/smoker with a rotisserie attachment. Happy Holidays to all fellow BBQ Brethren!

Here's how I prep a standing beef rib roast on a Model 450 Farberware Rotisserie. These units are no longer in production, but many were produced, I paid between $7 and $25 for them on Craigslist and at garage sales. I have 6 units, and use them for catering jobs at our Deli, mainly cooking standing (bone-in) rib roasts and KBI (keel bone-in) turkey breasts. In general, I'm cooking for folks that want to offer a light meat (turkey breast) as well as the "King of Roasts", the standing beef rib roast at a special event. Most are large groups, so I've learned how to max out the units far more than the manual recommends. My units are the old-style model, with the arms that hold the spit which adjust up and down, rather than the newer-release model that has stationary arms with multiple notches in which you place the spit in a notch at the level you desire. Most importantly, for large jobs, the older model spits are not limited in the total length of meat that can be attached, because the spit has a longer length of square shape that allows the prongs to hold a long piece meat in place while rotating. If you can take a look at the later-release Farberware rotisserie units you'll see the stationary notched arms, but note where the spit becomes round and has less square length which won't allow the square-holed prongs to solidly lock an extra-long piece of meat in place. I think the factory did this in order to help folks keep the meat centered over the heating element for even cooking. The manual says the limiting factor in how large a piece of meat that can be cooked is the length of available heat from the element, and not necessarily the diameter. I haven't maxed my old-style units out yet, even with two 12-14 lb. KBI turkey breasts prepped and tied on a single spit...but that's another story. So let's get started!

I've had great luck with this brand, and for $3.97/lb. you can't pass it up. Generally sold as select grade, often they'll come through marked choice. I usually work with the butcher, so I can personally check the grade and get a custom 4-bone cut from the loin-end, which I like over the chuck-end. A 4-bone roast, cut from either end of a full rack of ribs is the maximum size - remember length, not the diameter of a roast, is the limiting on factor the Model 450 Farberware Rotisserie.

Here's the loin-end, from the higher numbered ribs toward the rear of the beef, this will eventually turn into the New York/T-Bone steaks, and all the hind-quarter cuts. The other end of the whole rib rack from the lower numbered ribs toward the front of the beef was left with the butcher. I call it the chuck-end, which will eventually turn into chuck eye steak, and all the cuts from the shoulder.

This is my favorite area in the middle of the rack. I like the "cap", the 12 to 4 o'clock part in this picture, it finishes with juicy, caramelized and seasoned flavors on the outside when done. The cap has a layer of fat underneath it, and along with the outer layer of fat, the flavor of this part is accentuated. The inner layer of fat also bastes the "eye" of the rib, which is arguably to many folks, the best part of the beef, roast or steak, bar none.

Here's the start of my technique for the Farberware Rotisserie. The skewer marks where I'm going to cut off some of the rib bones. I want to try to make the roast as round as I can, rather than oval. It helps the meat cook more evenly when balanced on the spit, since all the meat is about the same distance from the heating element as it rotates.

A look from the loin-end. The angled knife cut on the bones probably came from butcher cutting the factory cryovac bag open.

You'll notice that this is a 3-bone roast. There were already many cut and wrapped roasts in the meat case for the Christmas sale. The butcher said this was a 4-bone off the loin-end. Most I've purchased weigh between 8 and 9 1/2 lbs., and this one was 8.47 lbs., so I figured it was right. If this was a 4-bone roast a couple of inches longer, I could've fit it on the spit, though it would be a big diameter roast coming in at nearly 10 lbs. before my prep!

Here's my set up. Note I've made a light knife cut to mark where I want to cut off the extra bones. Don't try to do this unless you're sure of yourself and have help. You could use a sharp hand saw, but you still need help holding the roast down.

A close up of the blade available at most hardware stores. A good butcher can do this, but they're generally confused about my technique. If the cut is off, I'd have to do it again, and once when the butcher was not available, and there was a nice roast in the case, I had to learn to cut it myself, with help to hold it down.

Here's where you must have help. The paper towel makes it easier for your helper to firmly hold the roast down. A mat under the board keeps it from moving around.

My trick is to only cut through the bones, not the meat, you want that in place. Use a faster blade speed with medium pressure, slow speed makes it jiggle all around. Be careful if you try this. I plan my cut so it is parallel to the top part of the roast in this picture.

OK, this is what you want. It can be dangerous to stand the roast on its end and cut it on a meat band saw. Some butchers won't try it, but most will, you just have to show them exactly where to cut it. They all wonder why not just lay it flat and cut the bone and meat off altogether. Bottom line - that's the easiest and quickest thing to do.

Another way is to cut the bones completely off the roast, then cut them off laying flat on a meat band saw. But, I like to have them still attached, because it helps keep the roast more round after tying it all up.

While the roast is open, season it with S&P. I generally add garlic, fresh or granules, but I avoid garlic powder, which I think is bitter. Your choice if you like herbs. If a roast is on sale and I don't plan to use it then, I'll age it for a week or so, then do my prep technique, but not season it inside before I tie it up and freeze it. I'm thinking the salt may remove moisture and/or start to cure it. I'm still learning about that idea.

You could just cut the bones and meat off all together. And that would still make it more round than oval. But I've learned that the extra meat you leave on makes the roast turn out the roundest. If you don't cut the meat away from the bone, it can’t "slide" down on the bone to help make it more round when tied.

Push/slide all of the extra meat that you didn't cut off down on the bone. Don't let the extra meat wrap around the ends of the cut off bones. This roast was very even out of the pack. Most of the time, you have to cut the extra bones off at an angle. If the extra meat is not even, use your judgment and trim some off. The goal is to make the roast as evenly round as you can when it's all tied up.

You've got to tie it up real tight to make it round. If the first tie becomes a little loose as you keep tying, cut it off, and re-tie it to get it as tight as you can. I use a granny knot. The first knot is "wrapped" 3-4 times, and I keep constant pressure on the first knot to keep it tight, as I give the second knot a single "wrap". A helper's finger could also keep the first knot tight too.

The roast is all tied up, and my prep technique is finished. Compare the finished loin end to the original pictures from the butcher. This end is quite lean. Since this was a precut piece, I didn't get to ask the butcher what grade was on the cryovac bag. My guess it's a select, not choice grade rack.

If you were to cut off the extra meat along with the bone from the start, the left side of the roast would not have such an even round shape. Without cutting the bone off, you can't get the sides to pull in any, and help "scrunch" up the top to make the roast round. This end looks like upper grade select, or low grade choice.

Balance is very important on the spit. With large pieces of meat, which I use a lot, the motor has a hard time rotating the roast if it's not near perfectly balanced. Put the roast on the arms or hold the spit in your hands to feel for the heavy side, which wants to rotate to the bottom. Change the centerline of the spit in order to get it perfectly balanced. Looks can be deceiving.

If you put the spit on the arms to check balance, remove the motor so the spit can turn freely to see if the heavy side goes down. The manual says to lower the spit as close to the heating element as possible. That's originally what made me think of a technique to make a standing rib roast more round. The untrimmed "tail" would almost touch the element and burn, while the smaller diameter parts of the roast were more than a couple of inches away from the element and cooked unevenly. It takes a hint longer to cook, but not that much more, if you raise the spit as high as it will go. The meat the turns out brown on the outside, and with a round roast, the color is very even inside. With the roast down close to the element, even when round, the meat has a thick brown outside layer, then finally in the very middle, it gets pink.

Ready to cook with coarse ground S & P and garlic granules. Remember to center the roast over the heating element. This is really important with a long 4-bone rib roast, or any other long piece of meat. Check it from time to time as it rotates, the spit can move a little from side to side. I've also had the motor fall off more than a few times, and if you don't notice it right away, guess what happens!

About 2 3/4 hours to get to 130 degrees. About the same time as a regular oven, and surprisingly fast with the spit up as high as I can get it from the heating element. If the meat was right next the element, I'd guess you could shave 15 to 30 minutes off the cooking time, but remember, it won't cook as evenly from outside to inside.

Definitely could have fit a 4-bone on the rotisserie. I believe the heating element opposite the cord burns hotter, so if I have a roast with a larger end, I put it on the spit toward the hotter side. Remember, it's very important to center large meats over the heating element when putting them on the spit. Look at this old-style spit that is square to where it rotates in the arms. On a new-style spit with a real long roast, the pronged holders get into the longer round part of the spit, and won't lock into the square hole of the pronged holders.

One of the reasons a rotisserie cooks so well is the fact that the meat juices don't just fall off, they sort of stay on the rotating meat, hence the term "self-basting". I'll cut the heat, but keep the motor on, and wrap the roast to help keep all the juices in the roast while it rests.

The roast has rested for about a half an hour. One bad thing about a rotisserie, is that you really don't end up with much meat juice to make gravy. When you cook a standing rib roast in the oven, there's quite a bit of meat juices, plus those caramelized bits on the bottom of the oven pan for good gravy. The rotisserie drip pan is almost all fat, but that's the good thing, isn't it? I think all those juices and caramelized flavors end up giving this type of roast a unique, delicious character only available from a rotisserie.

Even though this wasn't a longer 4-bone roast, you can see that the ends of this 3-bone roast are the rarest part, with the middle part more done. On a longer roast, the ends can be quite rare if you decide to keep the middle medium-rare. The reason the meat is less done on the ends, is because of the lack of available heat from the heating element, which is only so long. The length of the heating element is the overall limiting factor on the Model 450. If I need to get the most amount of meat on a unit, I ask the butcher pick out the largest diameter rib rack to cut the 4-bone roast from. So far I haven't maxed out the diameter of one of these units.

I was shooting for an average of medium-rare. With the roast wrapped, but most importantly still spinning with the heat off while resting, almost no juice comes out when slicing. After trying this, you’ll know where those juices are!

The manual recommends placing the meat as close to the heating element as possible. The one trick I've learned about cooking up as high as you can, is that the roast has a very even doneness. If you cook next the element, there's quite a bit of brown before the middle gets pink.

The ends turn out evenly rare for folks who like it that way. When you get into middle, you have evenly medium. If everybody wants more doneness, then take the roast up in final temp. If you have folks that are from rare to well-done, then always have a hot sheet pan in the oven to get the meat brown. You can bake or micro (don't over micro!) to get brown, but you can't go from brown to red. Another trick is to have hot au jus in a pan to dip the meat into to get it more done, just make sure the au jus is not too salty.

As it turned out, the 3-bone was large enough. A few had to stay home this Christmas with flu-like symptoms and didn't even want to get a take-home plate. Everybody else is in the kitchen and family room eating and watching TV. So I had room to take my plate to the dining room table. Without our normal gathering, we didn't get into a lot of wine, but for this year's Christmas meal, I just had to have something, so I opened a couple of half-bottles.

Here's the cooks plate. Steamed baby carrots and parsley with a touch of honey-butter and S&P. I was lucky to get a rib bone, our local comp BBQ season is over, winter just started, and I'm already missing a bone with real smoke flavor! I like my meat medium, and this slice is from the middle of the roast. This is my favorite cut from the rib roast, a nice "cap" full of juicy caramelized meat with S&P and garlic flavors. Yukon Gold sour-cream and butter mashers, with a dribble of home-made au jus from the cut off rib bone prep that I browned with sauteed mirepoix, S&P, and water. The reduced stock was strained and I added the few precious teaspoons of meat juices that were retrieved from the Farberware’s Rotisserie drip pan. Thanks for looking, and once again Happy Holidays to all!

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Unread 12-21-2009, 11:51 PM   #2
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OH HELL YEAH!!! I'd so hit that. And on a Farberware rotiss. I have one almost exactly like yours. Garage Sale find for 15 bucks. KILLER rotiss unit. You have given me some ideas. And the use of power tools is a huge bonus!
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Unread 12-22-2009, 12:06 AM   #3
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That is a nice lookin chefs' plate there, and greatly detailed throughout, maybe I will stumble on one of those Farberware rotisserie's (or a rotisserie at all), might have to get it.. lol wife will love that one.
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Unread 12-22-2009, 12:15 AM   #4
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Oh man I wanna hit that, hit that, hit that, smoke a marlboro and then hit that again.

Welcome Woody. Now that's how to introduce yourself!
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Unread 12-22-2009, 03:08 AM   #5
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Very nice! Your experience really shows.
Thanks for noticing
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Unread 12-22-2009, 03:20 AM   #6
somebody shut me the fark up.

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Gregg, 31 photos of brilliance! Great job my friend! Keep it coming, you are a great asset here.
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Unread 12-22-2009, 03:59 AM   #7
somebody shut me the fark up.

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Nice work Gregg! 'bout time you posted!
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Unread 12-22-2009, 04:01 AM   #8
somebody shut me the fark up.

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This is pron allright!
Nice plate!
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Unread 12-22-2009, 06:34 AM   #9
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I don't think I've ever seen that done so well... very very nice
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Unread 12-22-2009, 06:46 AM   #10
somebody shut me the fark up.

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Outstanding. Nice tutorial!
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Unread 12-22-2009, 09:00 AM   #11
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Bro you're no rookie. Really nice
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Unread 12-22-2009, 10:23 AM   #12
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My goodness! The place must have smelled great. Beautiful holiday display.
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Unread 12-22-2009, 10:37 AM   #13

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Very nice! Great pictorial! I've never seen a rotisserie like that before. Looks pretty cool!
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Unread 12-22-2009, 11:07 AM   #14
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Hey...Fuji! Welcome to the Brethren brother smoker! Outstanding job on the! My best to you and Nila for the holidays...see you next spring.
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Unread 12-22-2009, 12:41 PM   #15
Found some matches.
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That brings tears to my eyes! I have had TWO Farberware Rotisserie's stolen during this lifetime of mine so far...IN any case I used one of these every weekend for years and in no way was there ever a complaint whatever was rotisserized.

Thank you for your pron it was done in esquisite detail and I will think of you everytime I ask at garage sales if it is known where I can find one of these rotisseries. I am keeping the next one in a locked box. Happy Safe Holidays Brethren! :icon_shock 1:
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