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Wednesday
Feb072007

Slow Smoked Standing Rib Roast

This is going to be a new series of "odds and ends" that chronicles my love of cooking. I don't pretend to by anything more than an enthusiast, but it's something I've enjoyed for some time. Please enjoy this guide to a Standing Rib Roast I prepared a few months ago.
 
I begin by placing some Mesquite (Keawe) wood chips into foil pouches.
 
After wrapping this little bundles up I pole a small hole in one side. This allows the smoke to get out and at the same time doesn't allow enough oxygen in to cause the wood to catch fire. If you do it like this, it will smolder for 10-15 minutes and you won't need to soak them in water first.
 
If you're going to do a long slow cook with a charcoal grill like my Weber, you're going to need a chimney starter. It is necessary to add coals periodically and once the meat is on the grill, you can't start the coals in the grill. This type of starter can get a batch of coals ready in about 15-20 minutes and is the only way to go!
 

Getting a little extra supervision from Chloe. Here we are trimming the fat cap off the top of the ribs.
 
More trimming....at this point the roast had been out of the refrigerator for about an hour to help bring the temperature up for more even cooking. If you try to cook it straight from the frige, you'll have an overdone outside and a VERY rare inside.


Now I like the scent of rosemary more than Fran, and if I was the only one eating this, I might have poked shallow holes in the roast and placed spears of garlic and rosemary in them. As a compromise, we rubbed the roast with a sprig of rosemary.
 

After we were finished with the rosemary, the roast gets a quick rubdown with olive oil


 The roast was then seasoned with garlic and onion powder, celery salt, kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper.
 

20 minutes later the coals were ready. I've got about 30 coals that I divided on either side of my grill for indirect grilling.
My target temperature was 220-230 and to keep this I needed to add about 5-8 coals on each side when the temperature dropped to 200.

The rib roast was placed in the center of the grill with a water trap under it. This pan of water would catch the fat that dripped off and prevent it from making a mess of the inside of the grill.

For the first 2 hours I added the foil packets of wood chips. Most people belive that the roast will only accept smoke for the first hour or two so smoking for too long is only a waste and can sometimes impart a bitter taste.
 
So how long do we cook it? Well I don't like to go by a "time per pound" formula because thare are too many variables. I prefer to go by a meat thermometer and work "backwards"
 

I knew that I wanted my roast to be medium rare or about 135 degrees. I also knew that I'd be placing it in the oven (at 400 degrees) to develop an attractive crust. This adds about 15 degrees. I also knew that the roast would continue to rise in temperature while it's resting. This carryover would probably add about 10 more degrees. To compensate for this I took the roast off the grill at an internal temperature of 110.


On this day I was running right on time and I went straight from the grill to the oven. After roast had browned up nicely and had added about 15 degrees, I took it out of the oven and covered it with foil to rest for 20 minutes.
 
Hint: The "blaze in the oven" is a handy way to manage your cooking time. If you're running early, I've found that you can take the roast off the grill and leave it covered with foil for quite a while. About 45 minutes before you're ready to eat, you can heat your oven to 400. Place the roast in the oven for about 15 minutes. This added cook time won't over cook it, and it does help heat it up a bit before serving. Don't forget to let it rest a few minutes before carving.
 

Ahh, the perfect prime rib! Pink and juicy on the inside and just done on the outside.


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