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Perfectly Medium Rare Smoked Prime Rib
Following a few easy steps will have you achieving smoked prime rib perfection in no time.
Prime Rib. It’s considered the Cadillac of beef cuts. The king of all steaks. The signature dish of so many fancy steakhouses. But, do you know what prime rib actually is?
There’s actually no one single cut that makes prime rib, despite what you may have heard. It’s not any specific area, or a certain point along the ribcage. Basically, prime rib is any portion of the ribeye roll, that may be bone in or boneless. So what then is main difference between a ribeye and prime rib? Well, prime rib is always thicker than a single steak, and treated as a roast rather than having each piece seared.
Ironically, the “prime” part of prime rib doesn’t refer to the meat quality at all. This can be very confusing for consumers, who assume the prime rib they are buying is the king of all beef cuts. But, if you buy a USDA Select grade ribeye roll, you’re not going to have anywhere near the sumptuous eating experience as if you were dealing with a higher grade. So, if you’re really looking to go all out and treat yourself to the type of prime rib that everyone raves about, you’re going to want to source Prime grade – the highest USDA offers.
I ended up getting a massive Prime ribeye roll from Sam’s Club, because they have pretty incredible prices on Prime beef. And when you’re buying massive whole muscles the price per pound matters more than ever. Be prepared for sticker shock when you purchase a whole ribeye roll – mine was just over $300 but was also over 20 pounds! To maximize my purchase further, I actually cut the ribeye cap off to save it for a separate steak experience, and then split the remaining roll in two – vacuum sealing the unused portion for another time. So, with a great price per pound, and some very light home butchery, I actually found a way to make a luxury item affordable.
Even if you don’t have 20 pounds of Prime beef at home, I promise this recipe will work. In fact, it’ll work on any prime rib as long as it’s at least 1.5″ thick. The internal temperature you’re shooting for is the same, you just need to watch out for lower cook times.
- When smoking beef, I recommend using Oak, Mesquite or Pecan.
- The real hidden secret to this recipe is using Hardcore Carnivore Black rub. Since the meat cooks in just 2-3 hours, this seasoning helps you get that classic dark bark even before you’ve started cooking.
- Use an old towel to line a cooler for the resting stage.
- To accurately check internal temperature, use a digital thermometer.
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Perfect Medium Rare Smoked Prime Rib
- 10-12 lb ribeye roll/prime rib
- 1/3 cup Hardcore Carnivore Black rub or your preferred seasoning
- 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar
- 1 cup water
- Start by preheating a smoker or pellet grill to 275f.
- Combine water and cider vinegar in a spray bottle.
- Coat the prime rib generously with seasoning, and place in the preheated smoker.
- After 30 minutes, spritz the beef with the apple cider mixture, then repeat the spritz every 30 minutes during the cook.
- After 1.5 hours, begin monitoring the internal temperature. 125f for rare, 135 for medium rare, 145 for medium. I recommend removing the prime rib about 5 degrees below the ideal temp, as it will continue to climb in temperature slightly once removed from cooker.
- Once at desired temperature, remove from smoker and wrap tightly in foil or butchers paper. Then place the prime rib in a cooler (without ice!) to rest for at least an hour.
- After resting slice, serve and enjoy!
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