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I'm doing a Christmas party for my wife's office next Friday - 70 people. They have switched from Tri-tip which I am very comfortable with, to Prime Rib, which I have not done before. I've read a bunch of the prime rib posts. Looks like I will be searing them at 500 deg. then cookshack @ 225 till meat reaches 115, then turn down to 140 till done. Does this seem about right?

I have a couple other questions.

Not knowing the preferences of the group as far as meat done-ness. I presume that those prefering rare/medium rare will "tolerate" medium, but those prefering medium may balk at seeing pink. I know this will take the meat past most of our preferences but I think I need to err on the done side for this size group.
What temp should I be shooting for?
Should I take it a little higher before decreasing to the resting temp?
Should I plan on a little higher final temp than 140 deg. to reach this "happy medium"?

Also, Costco was the third place I have checked for prime rib, and they pointed me to the rib roasts that I was standing right if front of that were clearly marked "USDA Choice". Are true prime rib roasts available, or is this what I'm supposed to settle for?
Will there be that much difference in the two grades if done with this cooking method?

Sorry for so many questions, but I'm a little uneasy doing a "first timer" for this size group. I am not able to get a practice run in this week. Thanks for any help and suggestions.

Jack
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Remember the outer cuts off the rack will be done a little more than the center. Those that prefer theirs cooked more can choose those cuts.

It's just my opinion but I would sear the meat after you smoke it. This would allow better smoke penetration in my opinion. That said, why bother even searing it at all? Have you seen that picture of Smokin's prime rib? If the group gets something that looks like that, they'll be happy, and you'll be cooking for them again.
Hi Jack,

Pags is right on target I think except for the not searing part. Your profile says you have an SM250, and without some searing your rib will look a little gray I think, but I would wait until the end to sear too, only because even after searing it might still come out a little gray after it cooks in the CS.

99.9% of prime rib you see in restaurants is choice. Just find the best choice you can get and be happy. Costco will be fine. Slow roasting helps, and true prime is just too pricey for most folks. Around here nice choice rib loins are $5.99# as of last night, while prime are running $12.99 and up.

Your temp plans concern me. I would measure temp in the middle of the rib. I would cook to no more than 115*, then sear in 450-500* oven for about 10 minutes. You don't want the meat temp at this point to go over 123-125*. This temp is critical and a degree or two makes a big difference in finished product, so err on the underside if in doubt. With overshoot, you should end up with beautiful ribs running med on the ends to MR in the center after coolering.

Pull at 123* then wrap and cooler until time to start slicing. Once you cooler it, don't worry about temps again. These temps will give you medium on the ends and MR towards the center, with no super rare to speak of anywhere. If you cook to 140*, you're going to have a bunch of MW-WD ribs. IMO you won't be happy.

I assume you'll have aujus, so I would have a pan of warm aujus in a chaffer dish near the carving station, and for those folks that can't tolerate any pink a quick soak in the aujus will bring their piece up to MW territory in 1-2minutes. If you have a single burner stove and a cast iron pan, you can get fancy and offer blackened rib too. Just dredge slice in liquid margarine and then blackening spice(one side only unless you have a low salt mix) then onto the blazing hot pan for 30 seconds each side. Mighty tasty.

You didn't ask, but I would go lite on smoke. Ribs seem to really soak up smoke and I think it's easy to over do it. Just my opinion.

I don't know what kind of seasoning you plan, but garlic salt, ground rosemary, and black pepper is simple and works real well.

Lastly, season the ribs, then let sit for little to come up to room temp before cooking. You'll get better results and more consistent temps.
Cook it for MR and you can always finish it on a grill or pan to come up to temp.

Realize too that once you cut it, a lot of the color drains out and what looked like MR, turns to Med quick.

You can also cut it into two sections if you really want more of one doneness over the other, cook the 2nd one longer.
quote:
Originally posted by Todd G.:
...99.9% of prime rib you see in restaurants is choice.


Then it's misrepresented. If it's choice, then it's standing rib roast.

I don't mine when consumers cooking at home call it the wrong thing, but I have a BIG problem when someone advertised "prime" rib and it's not.

I've been known to ask for the manager. In 90% of the cases, they don't know what I'm asking.

What a surprise... NOT.
quote:
Originally posted by SmokinOkie:
quote:
Originally posted by Todd G.:
...99.9% of prime rib you see in restaurants is choice.


Then it's misrepresented. If it's choice, then it's standing rib roast.

I don't mine when consumers cooking at home call it the wrong thing, but I have a BIG problem when someone advertised "prime" rib and it's not.

I've been known to ask for the manager. In 90% of the cases, they don't know what I'm asking.

What a surprise... NOT.


Agree 100%! And you know what they call an Outback manager that questions corporate about why Outback calls it "prime rib" on the menu when it's actually choice. Unemployed.
Huh? I thought we had a discussion of this awhile back and people here said that 'prime rib' is a popular term and doesn't necessarily mean the grade of beef.

From Wiki-pedia:

A colloquial and popular term for this cut is "prime rib". Historically, this name stands out regardless of the grade. In addition, the USDA acknowledges this historical note by not requiring the cut "to be derived from USDA prime grade beef".[1] The technical name, per URMIS (Uniform Retail Meat Industry Standards), is "Beef Rib Roast".[2]
quote:
Originally posted by Qnorth:
Huh? I thought we had a discussion of this awhile back and people here said that 'prime rib' is a popular term and doesn't necessarily mean the grade of beef.


Well, it is the popular term, and it's also false advertising. I'm not going to name them because I don't want to get sued, but there are several national steakhouse chains that label some cuts "prime" on the menu when they are not prime. Whether it is "prime" rib, ribeye, fillet or what have you. In one case the chain serves branded beef approximately "high select/low choice" in quality for most menu items. Items labeled "prime" are of a better quality choice graded beef. They do wet age all their meat for 30 days FWIW.

The Alto-Sham ovens most restaurants use for the prime rib do a really nice job cooking the meat so a choice grade will give decent results, but it still isn't real prime. I'm not sure what the law would say about this though.

What if you opened a gas station called Premium Gas, and you offered a grade of gas, store brand, called Premium, with an octane content equal to most stations regular. Would this be false advertising or just a clever use of language in a popular sense?
Just because the public agrees that "prime rib" is a generic term, doesn't mean I do.

I bought PRIME rib, because PRIME is the grade of meat. Unlike the other food, beef has a grading system and I personally think labeling any beef that's not PRIME, as such is lying.

I guarantee if I went in a high end steak house any they were selling choice or select as Prime it would be against the law.

BUT....whatever the public wants, is okay by me.

In this thread, I bought PRIME and when I do the Video, I'll explain the difference and tell them to not call it PRIME rib.

My 101, my definitions.

LOL Big Grin
I really appreciate all the experienced input. I have another question regarding Fridays cook: How much "rib roast" to buy? I am also serving chicken breast. I'm doing a cheesy potatoe dish and fresh grilled vegetables. They are doing salad, bread, and rather extensive appetizers - shrimp etc.

I will be carving at the end of the food line, with a hot plate and plenty of au jus as recommended. Usually when doing chicken and tri-tip I would plan on about 3 oz. of chicken and 4-5 oz. of tri-tip per person. I just can't picture slicing a 5 oz portion of p.r. off the roast without it looking very thin and stingy. Should I plan on 8, or 12 oz. per person? Or maybe plan on 6 oz. and carve a 1/2 inch thick slice and cut it in half per each? I've just never done the personal serving thing. The attendees are about 50/50 men and women. Again, any thoughts are greatly appreciated.

Also, as far as quantity to buy - I am planning on bonless rib roast. was thinking with the amount of meat I may need I will have space considerations, not in my cookshack, but in the regular oven for searing. I will have the potatoe dish out in time to sear at the end, but won't have time for multiple loads. My oven in the trailer is just a 24" imperial.

Jack
Last edited by hayman
quote:
Originally posted by hayman:
I will be carving at the end of the food line, with a hot plate and plenty of au jus as recommended. Usually when doing chicken and tri-tip I would plan on about 3 oz. of chicken and 4-5 oz. of tri-tip per person. I just can't picture slicing a 5 oz portion of p.r. off the roast without it looking very thin and stingy.


You're dead on target. Even if you go with small diameter ribs, a 5-6oz slice will look pretty thin and still take up too much room on the plate with all the other things you have to serve. I would select large ribs, then I would cook the ribs and then slice length wise, giving you two pieces of meat about 3-4" in diameter and 16-20" long. These should slice up in 3/4" thick slices about 5oz each and look nice on the plate. Try to find ribs with a tail piece that's more meat than fat. It will look nicer, but it's no big deal as long as you don't plate a piece with a big fatty tail.
That should be about right. You won't have much shrinkage, maybe 20% tops depending on cook temps.

We used to cook 12 ribs a day in an Alto-Sham rib oven, which is remarkably close to a CS in function, and also very moist. We weighed every rib both pre and post cook, and IIRC averaged maybe 12% loss. Have a great party. Sounds like it will be tasty.
Was going to come here and start another thread...but will jump in here since my situation is almost identical. Hopefully the OP will not consider this a hijack.

I have prime rib for 70 tomorrow evening, and bought 4 whole lip-on ribeyes that average about 15 lbs. each. I am going to cook them tomorrow in my FEC-100 and am just looking for some advice on how to go about this. Never cooked a whole prime rib before. So...any and all comments from those who have BTDT are appreciated.

As far as the grade of the meat...I don't pretend to be an expert, and may well be wrong, but it is my understanding that the term "prime" in prime rib has nothing to do with the grade of the meat. It refers to the section of the loin or "cut" that you are cooking. It could be choice, select or prime in grade. Just my .02...and likely worth less than that:-)
quote:
Originally posted by WaywardSon:

I have prime rib for 70 tomorrow evening, and bought 4 whole lip-on ribeyes that average about 15 lbs. each. I am going to cook them tomorrow in my FEC-100 and am just looking for some advice on how to go about this. Never cooked a whole prime rib before. So...any and all comments from those who have BTDT are appreciated.


I'd get a scale. I think you might be tight on quantity if you plan to do a prime rib dinner size portion. You should end up with 45-48 lbs of cooked product, maybe a few pounds less if you do any additional pre-cook trimming. Let's say 42 lbs cooked weight. About 9.5oz per person. Not a bad hunk of meat, but if your slicer can't compensate for differences in loin size, you could be heavy without even knowing it.

If doing a buffet line, be sure to put the meat station last. Seriously! Let folks fill up on mashed potatoes and veggies, and then crown their plate with a slice of rib.
Actually bone in or bone out has nothing to do with the type, it's just a name when you purchase it or not. The cut of meat is the same.

I'm still a "prime" is prime guy, I want to know the Meat Grade. Ask for the meat GRADE when you buy it. Stores will take select and label it "prime rib" becuase consumers don't know better.

Wayward, on your pork loins, do cook them to a lower temp, I think most of us suggest 145. Yes, pork is safe at that temp. FSIS/USDA have come down on the whole temp issue.

I would do the carving yourself and cut them in half like you say. Carve at the last, PR looses it's color quickly after carving.
Last edited by Former Member
All...below is a cut and paste of my comments on another forum. Talking about the prime ribs. I R lazy:-)

I pulled them at 130°-135° and put in the Cambro where they held for about 1 1/2 hr., then sliced immediately before placing in the chafing dish on the serving line.

They were pretty good, but a little more done than I would have liked. I may have mis-judged the preferences of the guests a bit also. I had more requests for "rare" than I would have thought...and no one asking "can you throw this back on the grill" :-)

Observations & Lessons:

Quit stressing about cooking this cut. Yes...it is an expensive piece of meat, but it is dead easy to cook. These ribeyes averaged about 15 lb. apiece & I was able to get all 4 of them on the FEC-100 smoker at the same time & still have room for 2 whole pork loins that I put on about mid-cook. Set the cooker on 300° & I had two that came off at 5 hrs. and two at 6 hrs. Should have pulled them a little quicker.

If anyone cares, I placed each ribeye in a full sized hotel pan...into which I had thrown a big handful of coarsely chopped carrots, celery and onion. They were generously coated with a Tone's Garlic/Rosemary seasoning.

Should have taken some pics when they came out of the smoker....just busy & forgot. I would do them again...for fun or money:-)

Real time now....Trying to change the color of the text. Either not working or I am doing something wrong (likely).

The gig is over and done & the customer is happy.

The knowledge base here is huge & I sincerely thank everyone for their comments. Next time I promise to pay better attention:-)

Smokin'....Your comment about this cut losing it's color quickly goes to the heart of my biggest lesson here. We carved the whole prime rib in the kitchen and took it directly to the chafing dish on the buffet line. It looked great when carved...10 minutes later, not so much. I will carve on the line from now on.

I pull pork loins between 140°-145°....they were great and went over well.

Off to start another topic on what to do with prime rib left-overs:-)

Thanks to all for the helpful comments........John
Glad it went well.

My preference is to smoke on a lower temp until they hit 100, then I bump the temp up and pull at 120 or 125, the let them sit for at least 2 to 4 hours.

Yeah, I've learned that lesson about carving to early. I'm not sure of the food science reason why it changes color after exposure to air. It's not like it's cooking any longer.

How did it go for portion size and amount of food cooked for that group. I know that was one of the questions you had early on. How did you slide them, full slices or 1/2 slices?
Last edited by Former Member

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