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Hello, all! I'm a new (should come today!) model 50 owner, but not exactly a babe in the woods when it comes to smoking--among other things I have used and still use a HastyBake (if you know what that is) and a Klose Back Yard Chef.

They are both great and produce good product. However, as I get older and grayer, I am not always thrilled at the babysitting and fussing with that these cookers use, especially during the winter here in Colorado! (5 below this morning)

I really have scoured these forums for prime rib answers, but haven't found exactly what I'm looking for so thought I'd post.

My challenge---I usually do 20-25 pounds of prime rib (standing rib roast, whatever) for our department Christmas lunch every year. I use only coarse ground black pepper and kosher salt, and do NOT add any wood for smoke. Cooking in either of the above cookers gives the meat a faint but distinct smoke flavor without being overwhelming.

To be honest, I'd just do these in my home electric oven if I had the room, but this much meat won't fit.

This long preamble takes me to my question. When I do a prime rib in the indoor oven, I usually start at 400 degrees, cutting the oven temp down to 250-300 after an hour or so. I also take the meat only to an internal temp of 110, since I then wrap it in double foil and put it in a preheated coleman cooler for transport to wherever the party is. This pretty reliably gives us rare-medium rare, which is what this crowd likes.

My dilemma--getting these charcol cookers up to operating temp on these cold days is a real pain, but I am comfortable with the technique. If I had my druthers I'd have given myself more time with the CookShack before this big event, but you know how procrastinators are.

As I understand it, the CookShack is so well insulated that it will cook well even in cold weather. (It will be inside my barn, kind of out of the wind anyway.) BUT, looks like the temp of the cooker will only go up to 250 max?

I have seen a few posts of "12 minutes a pound" for prime rib. Honestly, in the Klose at 250-300 I would usually plan 20 minutes a pound. I agree 100% that "It's done when it's done" and go exclusively by the internal meat temp measured by a probe thermometer that I trust.

So, how many minutes per pound would the group recommend?? At max temp all along?? The unit will get it's break-in smoking when I get it, but I'm still tempted to put an ounce or two of (?cherry) wood in when I do this project.

After this, I can't wait to do some pork butts and back ribs!! I really wonder if it will be any better than the charcol efforts, but no more nights of having to get up to drink a beer and check the fire!! (Well, maybe still the beer part)

Sorry for the long post, just wanted to explain the situation. By the way, can't understand why anyone would buy a Smokin' Tex when CookShack does such a good job of support and this wonderful forum!

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NO, it's cool, did you get the answers you need in PR101?

Yes, the smaller CS's only go to 250
The AQ goes to 300. If fact I need to do a PR this year in the AQ because it has an internal meat probe you can put into the PR and set the temp (for me, 125) and then it will go to hold.

Stuart's method of just a hint of rosemary/wood works well. I personally like a little more smoke.

Thanks for the post and ask away....
Thanks for the encouragement! I was worried I'd get a bunch of "Lazy guy, next time do a "search" before you bother us" posts!

Actually, there seem to be a lot of broken links in the forum, perhaps the forum engine was changed and all the links didn't transfer? Think that's what might have happened when I tried to find the "101" article.

I like Stuart's #2 recipe where he recommends a sear first. No room in my oven or ability to get to 600 degrees (!) but I may load up the charcol cooker and really get it hot, then put the ribs right over the coals for a while before putting them into the CS. (My main concern is I don't know if I can achieve the nice dark crust on the PR at only 250)

I really like the photos of your (Smokin Okies) Prime rib, but from your instructions you eventually got the thing to 375, which my cooker won't do. I've always done the opposite, really hot first, then back off (Julia Child used to recommend this, I think) but I'm willing to experiment.

Thanks again,

Yes your correct, I wouldn't cook it to 125 then UP to 140 for hold.

110 internal a rare at best, too low for me. But if that's your temp, works.

The higher temps I achieve using an FEC100. The idea being to let the smoke penetrate BEFORE I sear. Searing to me, I think, tends to hinder smoke penetration from my experience.
Originally posted by JimBob67:
Oh, swell, I really DID spend a lot of time over the weekend searching for Prime Rib subjects. Now I post and immediately notice the wonderful "Prime Rib 101" message from Smokin' Okie!!

Didn't mean to be lazy or waste anyone's time reading this post, guess 12 minutes a pound is it!

Thanks again,

I am still trying to find that! LOL
Originally posted by SmokinOkie:
Yes your correct, I wouldn't cook it to 125 then UP to 140 for hold.

110 internal a rare at best, too low for me. But if that's your temp, works.

The higher temps I achieve using an FEC100. The idea being to let the smoke penetrate BEFORE I sear. Searing to me, I think, tends to hinder smoke penetration from my experience.

I agree with Smokin on this one. I always cook mine slow to the desired temp (118 in my case), let it rest for 20-30 minutes and then put it back in the FEC which I have run up to 450 or in the indoor oven as high as it will go for about 10 minutes to get a quick carmelization on the outside. Then enjoy!
That's okay JimBob. Just cook the roast in your 50 until you hit your initial temp and then finish in the indoor oven. The smoke is already on the roast before you go to the final sear so it should not matter. I have done it both ways and cannot tell the difference. The only reason I might finish it in the FEC is because the oven might already be full.
Jim, I just cooked PR for a big family get-together last Sunday. I use Alton Brown's method for cooking the PR, but I do the first stage in my Cookshack with small bit of smoke. I then tent and rest while traveling to the gathering. Once there, I finish in on a smokin' hot grill or oven for 10 min to carmelize the outside.

Following is the link to AB's recipe. Use whatever seasonings you like, but the cooking method is well-adapted to a Cookshack.

Alton Brown's Dry Aged Standing Rib Roast,1977,FOOD_9936_17372,00.html

As for searing, Alton and other chefs have proven that whether you sear before of after the cook doesn't matter. Searing a roast before retains no more moisture than if you sear it after.

Have you ever deep-fried a PR in your turkey smoker? MMMMmmmmm!!
Thanks a lot! Very good info, I'll look into it. The whole searing thing is kind of mystical--I love a good steak over really hot coals or even on a steel griddle heated red hot---great crust on the outside of the steak, rare inside. BUT, I was taught 40 years ago that searing would "seal in the juices" and what I read nowadays (Alton Brown I think has done some work on this) is that it really doesn't make any difference.
After reading your post, what I think I'll do is take it to about 110 in the CS, then it will either go right to foil in the cooler OR to the hottest charcol fire I can go for a few minutes of finishing.
Thanks again,
We like our meat 'very rare' in this household and one trick I use is to take a reasonably thick steak (or London broil) and freeze it (possibly after marinading it). Then put it on a real hot grill right from the freezer. By the time the inside has thawed (about 8 minutes on a side) the outside has a nice crust and the inside is nice a rare.

I'm going to try this same trick in the CD55 with a roast and bring the inside up to a rare temp while nicely smoking the outside.
Jim, I don't think that 'searing doesn't matter'. Because it is essential for developing the crust and enhancing flavor through carmelization. But what AB tested and seemed to prove is that it doesn't matter whether you sear at the beginning or end of the cook.

But maybe more important is the fact that his recipe is so easily adaptable to a Smokette.
Last edited by dennis-ut
I have learned on another forum that many folks are searing after the initial smoke. I sear prior myself. I doubt that it matters but I am gonna sear after on my next PR just to compare.

Where are you getting your rib roast? I use COSTCO and get the choice rib roast. I have been very happy with them. I also use the sea salt, garlic, fresh ground pepper and rosemary.

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