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Prime Rib first timer - Is my process correct? Plus some newbie questions

We will be hosting the family this Christmas and we would like to do a large (7-8 lb) prime rib - we have never done one before on our egg. A local store had a sale on prime rib so we bought one for the holidays and two smaller 3 lb ones for "practice" between now and then. I have done a lot of research on how to do this and I would like to try the reverse sear method a lot of people talk about (kdatrio's post from last week was very helpful). I have many questions both about the egg and the process (some are very n00b). I have been able to piece a process together and wanted to get everyone's thoughts (along with some answers to questions I have)

Process:
* As much as I would like to try the Alton Brown dry age, I don't think I will. We do not have a small fridge to do this and from reading online, it sounds like it doesn't work very well if you try it in your main fridge (temps and humidity fluctuate too much with everyday use) and don't have a dedicated small fridge for it. So instead I will let the prime rib sit out for a while before making it to let it get to room temperature.

* Smother it with olive oil and seasoning (question below)

* Set up the egg for indirect heat and get a 225 surface temp / 250 dome temp (we have the indirect heat thingy)

* Put the prime rib in a cooking pan with beef stock, garlic and some other goodies (question below)

* We like medium rare so cook the prime rib at that temp until the inside is 120 - guessing this will take 2-3 hours?

* Let the prime rib sit on a cooling rack, remove indirect heat plate and bring grill temp up to approx 500-550 degrees

* Place cast iron pan on grill and sear all sides of prime rib for 1 minute on each side

* Let prime rib set for 10-15 minutes, remove twine and serve

Questions:
* First off... does my process sound good?

* Do not marinate the prime rib... correct?

* What is the twine for? If my prime rib did not come with twine from the butcher, do I need to tie some one before I begin? If so, just use any type of twine and tie a couple of them the short way?

* Do I use the lump charcoal the egg company sells? I have read a lot of people say to use oak. Is that raw oak? Oak lump charcoal?

* How much charcoal do I need to use? The size of a softball? Volleyball? I am guessing if I am short it will be a pain to add more so I want to use enough

* Should I use a cooking pan or buy a roasting rack and use that over a roasting pan?

* What should I use to season it? I suspect this varies from person to person. I have read just olive oil, salt and pepper. Some say Montreal seasoning, ... Let me know what everyone likes (and doesn't like)

* When I sear the prime rib, do I just place it on a dry 500+ degree cast iron skillet? Or do I put some butter or anything on the skillet first?

* My skillet is 17" wide and my egg is approx 19" wide - is that 17" too big (will it block airflow?) Do I need to buy a smaller cast iron pan?

Thanks for everyone's help! I will make sure to take pics!
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Comments

  • J-dubyaJ-dubya Posts: 173
    Sounds fine. Maybe let the temp go at little higher (especially for the smaller roasts), like 125 IT - I assume you have a leave in probe.

    Honestly reverse sear isnt even necessary for this cook. 

        Load up your egg with lump every time you cook (IMO), BGE lump is fine. For this cook, I would add very little wood. 

    Oh and don't marinate 
  • I just did this Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Your process sounds good to me.
    No marinade
    Twine is to tie the fat back down with herbs and stuff under. I did not do this
    I filled the Egg with charcoal (I usually do) and then I re-light for next cook.
    I used a roasting pan with a rack so that it was above drippings.
    I used salt, pepper and Cavenders but I like Cavenders a lot
    I sear direct on grate with no pan but I would say dry pan (ask others :-) )
    My understanding is that you only need 1 inch on all sides so your pan sounds good to me.

    Hope this helps,
    Keith
    ##############################################################
    "I guess I have drank the kool-aid, hmmmm I bet kool-aid would taste good on the BGE"

    1 - LBGE, 1 - "almost" retired gas grill
    Post office says Alexander, AR - but really in Avilla, AR

  • by the way, I like Medium Rare so I did 120 and then the reverse sear brought it the rest of the way. But others at dinner did want it a little more done so I think that matters.

    ##############################################################
    "I guess I have drank the kool-aid, hmmmm I bet kool-aid would taste good on the BGE"

    1 - LBGE, 1 - "almost" retired gas grill
    Post office says Alexander, AR - but really in Avilla, AR

  • Don't over think it... you got this.  The twine is necessary if you are cutting the bones off and then tying them back on for the cook.  You did not mention bones in your post so I assume it is boneless... in which case don't worry about twine.  A little oil, some S&P, and other spices... i like a little brown sugar to help with the crust.  The flavor you want is the beefy flavor you'll get from a perfectly cooked prime rib to medium rare.  And keep it light on the smoke... it doesn't need it in my opinion.  Speaking of which, you did not mention an au jus or horseradish sauce which in my opinion is a must.  I put a drip pan under the beast with some veggies, beef broth, butter, and some beer... use this to make the au jus.  I also don't use a skillet.  Just direct over the flame and keep rotating every minute or so until 5 degrees short of targeted pull temp.  I would pull around 115 and then let it rest before searing.  And let it rest again, wrapped, after sear... 30 minutes is fine.  Then it's go time!  Go get it.

    South Florida - Large BGE (DOB:  12/07/2013)
  • MoscaMosca Posts: 451
    edited December 2016
    jrhoads23 said:
    * Put the prime rib in a cooking pan with beef stock, garlic and some other goodies (question below)

    No, you shouldn't do this. You will braise the beef instead of roast it.

    Put a cheap aluminum foil drip pan on top of the plate setter/convEGGtor. Put the roast directly on the cooking grate over the drip pan.

    I wouldn't put any beef stock in the drip pan, just let the fat and juices drip into it. If you want to make some gravy or au jus out of it later, you can still do that by defatting/deglazing, and add your aromatics then.

    Everything else looks good. Between the BGE and the oven I've done a lot of these. This will work.




  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,105
    edited December 2016
    Overall, the process you outlined will get you a good meal.  I offer the following comments as refinements to consider.

    jrhoads23 said:
    ... we would like to do a large (7-8 lb) prime rib ... I have been able to piece a process together and wanted to get everyone's thoughts (along with some answers to questions I have)

    Process:
    * ... So instead I will let the prime rib sit out for a while before making it to let it get to room temperature.  
       ----  a large roast will not get to room temp sitting out for "a while".  It takes a loooong time - measured in hours.  I am not aware of any culinary benefit from having a roast sit out to warm up before cooking it under low oven heat.  

    * Smother it with olive oil and seasoning (question below)
        ----    no need to smother.  the oil, or other liquid, is used to add enough moisture so the seasoning will sick to the roast.  You do not need a lot.

    * Set up the egg for indirect heat and get a 225 surface temp / 250 dome temp (we have the indirect heat thingy)
        ----   sound good.  Just be aware that the differences between grid and dome temps may not be 25º and may change during the cook.

    * Put the prime rib in a cooking pan with beef stock, garlic and some other goodies (question below)
        ----    Make sure the roast is above the stock, you are roasting not braising.

    * We like medium rare so cook the prime rib at that temp until the inside is 120 - guessing this will take 2-3 hours?

    * Let the prime rib sit on a cooling rack, remove indirect heat plate and bring grill temp up to approx 500-550 degrees

    * Place cast iron pan on grill and sear all sides of prime rib for 1 minute on each side

    * Let prime rib set for 10-15 minutes, remove twine and serve

    Questions:
    * First off... does my process sound good?
        ----    yes

    * Do not marinate the prime rib... correct?
        ----    yes

    * What is the twine for? If my prime rib did not come with twine from the butcher, do I need to tie some one before I begin? If so, just use any type of twine and tie a couple of them the short way?
        ----   Sometimes when cooking a bone-in roast the butcher will cut off the ribs and then tie them back to the meat with twine.  This can make it easier for the cook to separate the ribs from the meat after cooking.  It is not needed if the ribs are still attached or you have a boneless roast (although some may tie up a boneless roast to make its shape more round).

    * Do I use the lump charcoal the egg company sells? I have read a lot of people say to use oak. Is that raw oak? Oak lump charcoal?
        ----   The BGE brand lump charcoal is fine.  The are many other brands and some people have strong brand preferences.  The oak you are referring to is probably Royal Oak brand of lump charcoal.  Royal Oak actually makes the lump for several store brands, including BGE. Royal Oak brand is popular because it is of good quality, priced well, and is distributed just about everywhere. Be aware that opinions about lump charcoal brands can be very strong with some people - on a level with politics and religion. Asking about a particular lump can lead to some lively discussions.

    * How much charcoal do I need to use? The size of a softball? Volleyball? I am guessing if I am short it will be a pain to add more so I want to use enough
        ----    Don't worry about adding too much.  Fill the egg up past the fire bowl into the fire ring.  Yes it is a pain if you run out during a cook.

    * Should I use a cooking pan or buy a roasting rack and use that over a roasting pan?
      ----    I set up my rib roast cooks as follows:  Plate setter with legs up (the indirect thingie), spacers to create an air gap, drip pan (I don't add liquid), cooking grid, and roast on the cooking grid.  

    * What should I use to season it? I suspect this varies from person to person. I have read just olive oil, salt and pepper. Some say Montreal seasoning, ... Let me know what everyone likes (and doesn't like)
        ----    For me, salt and pepper are the only things necessary.  I do, however, use various rubs from time to time. I would use a neutral flavor oil and not olive oil.  Remember that whatever you use will drip off the roast into the drip pan and become a major flavoring component in your gravy.

    * When I sear the prime rib, do I just place it on a dry 500+ degree cast iron skillet? Or do I put some butter or anything on the skillet first?
      ----    I would go dry.  Most butters/oils can burn at searing temps so be careful to get a nice crust without burning.  I actually do not use a cast iron pan for the searing.  I sear with direct radiant heat from the fire by placing the roast on a grid moved low near the hot charcoal.

    * My skillet is 17" wide and my egg is approx 19" wide - is that 17" too big (will it block airflow?) Do I need to buy a smaller cast iron pan?
        ----    You really don't need a lot of space around to get the necessary air flow.  A one inch gap all around should be plenty.

    Thanks for everyone's help! I will make sure to take pics!
        ----   We love pictures!!

    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.
     
  • SoCalWJSSoCalWJS Posts: 399
    edited December 2016
    As others have said, do not place the roast in broth.
    Tie the roast to keep everything in place AND to make the shape as uniform as possible for even cooking
    Use plenty of lump.The beauty of the BGE is to re-use the left over lump on the next cook.
    Cook to temp, not by time. 2-3 hours is a safe bet for most PR. The thickness seems to be the deciding factor, not the weight/length.
    South SLO County
  • Howdy - I cook at mean prime rib at least 3 to 4 times a year. Here is my quick and easy Real Reverse Sear.
    First I load up my kettle with Charcoal up to the inside seam and light it so that it reaches 600 degrees.
    Put my rib in and let it sear to get a nice crust. Locks up the Juices.
    Then put my plate setter in.
    Alum. pan with water and grate.
    Rib in until 120 degrees internal temp. and let it rest for 15 minutes.
    Serve.
    I have never received a complaint yet.
    Good Luck and Enjoy.

  • Awesome feedback everyone. 

    I will make sure to NOT put it in a cooking pan with beef stock.
    Mosca - So I don't even need a roasting rack? I should just put a drop pan down and just place the prime rib on the grill above it? Or is it better to go with a roasting rack?

    FaceDance mentioned "wrapping" it after the sear... what do you wrap it in?

    If I do not put any liquid in the drip pan, what is the best recipe to make the au jus or gravy afterwards?  

    My last thing I need to decide is what to use for the crust. I love the crust when we go out for prime rib so maybe I will follow FaceDance advice and use a little brown sugar
  • MoscaMosca Posts: 451
    jrhoads23 said:
    Awesome feedback everyone. 

    Mosca - So I don't even need a roasting rack? I should just put a drop pan down and just place the prime rib on the grill above it? Or is it better to go with a roasting rack?

    FaceDance mentioned "wrapping" it after the sear... what do you wrap it in?

    If I do not put any liquid in the drip pan, what is the best recipe to make the au jus or gravy afterwards?  

    My last thing I need to decide is what to use for the crust. I love the crust when we go out for prime rib so maybe I will follow FaceDance advice and use a little brown sugar

    No roasting rack. If you look at the photo I posted, that is really the same thing, isn't it? A roasting rack interferes with heat circulation around the meat.

    I've never wrapped one. It might be a good idea? Like Notarji, I've done dozens of these. Never had a complaint. If it is done early and you need to hold it, wrap it in foil, then a towel, and put it in a cooler. that is called FTC.

    It crusts up just fine all by itself. On the roast in the photo I think I used some thyme and rosemary on that one. Let me check...

    Mrs O'Leary's Cow Crust

    http://amazingribs.com/recipes/rubs_pastes_marinades_and_brines/cow_crust.html

    2 tablespoons ground black pepper

    2 teaspoons dried rosemary leaves

    2 teaspoons dried thyme or oregano

    1 teaspoon garlic powder

    1 teaspoon onion powder

    1 teaspoon American paprika

    1/2 teaspoon chipotle or cayenne powder


    Meathead usually dry brines his roasts, but I don't. I mixed in 2 tablespoons of kosher salt. If it isn't crusty enough when it hits your desired temp, do the pan thing. I never did sugar, but that doesn't mean it won't work.






  • MoscaMosca Posts: 451
    For the au jus, drain the grease, reserving 1/4 cup. Using water or red wine,  scrape the fond (dark brown stuff) from the pan. Mix the fond, the rendered fat, a couple tablespoons of all purpose flour and a couple cups of beef broth. Salt and pepper to taste.


  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,773
    Here is a great read about roast cooks and timing.  
    http://playingwithfireandsmoke.blogspot.com/1996/03/beef-standing-rib-roast-prime-rib.html 
    With regard to any pan on the platesetter, make sure to air-gap it so whatever drips into the pan doesn't burn.
    I use a roasting rack sitting on the grate.  
    Many ways to get there and all will work as long as you nail the temps.  FWIW-

    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • J-dubyaJ-dubya Posts: 173
    Good luck OP, this is a very forgiving cook, just watch the internal temp.  I love this cut of meat!






  • xiphoid007xiphoid007 Posts: 524
    edited December 2016
    I cut the bones off and use twine to tubularize the meat so it cooks more even. I like dizzy pig cowlick or raising the steaks rub and do a reverse sear.  With the bones off you get more surface area for seasoning and searing.   Let the center hit 115-120 and then get the egg jet engine hot rosemary the outside.

    The hardest thing is aiming to be done on time. It's very hard to estimate based on the size.
    Pittsburgh, PA - 1 LBGE
  • What "settings" on the egg do you typically to in order to get close to 225 grill temp? How far do you have the bottom slot open? What about the top slot and wheel? If someone can get me close then I can fine-tune it to get close to 225
  • MoscaMosca Posts: 451
    jrhoads23 said:
    What "settings" on the egg do you typically to in order to get close to 225 grill temp? How far do you have the bottom slot open? What about the top slot and wheel? If someone can get me close then I can fine-tune it to get close to 225
    They're all different. Don't sweat the difference between 225 and 250, anywhere in there will be fine. 260, even 275 isn't a death sentence.

    The vent settings midsummer are different than they will be midwinter. Just work with them. Start at about 1/2" and go either way until it sits where you want it.


  • lousubcaplousubcap Posts: 16,773
    @jrhoads23 -  @Mosca nailed it.  If it were digital then the BGE air intake and exhaust would be marked like your clock box.  You will sort this out-
    BTW- I shoulda mentioned this earlier-Welcome aboard and enjoy the journey.
    And you found the best place to get your questions answered, but as you can already tell, other than hosing up the timing, as long as you nail the temps you will turn out a great hunk of protein.  
    Again, have fun and make sure to keep an adequate supply of adult supervisory beverages on hand and then consumed  ;)
    Louisville;  L & S BGEs, PBC, Lang 36; Burnin' wood in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer.  
  • jtcBoyntonjtcBoynton Posts: 2,105
    jrhoads23 said:
    What "settings" on the egg do you typically to in order to get close to 225 grill temp? How far do you have the bottom slot open? What about the top slot and wheel? If someone can get me close then I can fine-tune it to get close to 225
    It depends on the conditions you are experiencing when cooking.  You need to balance the heat gain from the fire with the heat loss through the top and through the ceramics.  Down here in south florida, I need the bottom vent open about the width of a credit card to get a 225º temp (I never cook that low down here).  If you are in, say, North Dakota in December and it is 5º outside and the wind is howling, the bottom vent will need to be open much more. Best thing to do is fire up the egg (without any food) and mess around with the vents and see how it responds.
    Southeast Florida - LBGE
    In cooking, often we implement steps for which we have no explanations other than ‘that’s what everybody else does’ or ‘that’s what I have been told.’  Dare to think for yourself.
     
  • One final question I have is my family likes our prime rib medium rare. Other family members (my wifes side...) likes it a little more done (medium). What is the best way to accomplish this? I am guessing after you sear it and cut it up at medium rare, it would be difficult to throw it back on the grill to get a medium cook

    ???
  • MoscaMosca Posts: 451
    jrhoads23 said:
    One final question I have is my family likes our prime rib medium rare. Other family members (my wifes side...) likes it a little more done (medium). What is the best way to accomplish this? I am guessing after you sear it and cut it up at medium rare, it would be difficult to throw it back on the grill to get a medium cook

    ???
    Age old problem! 

    Take the temp about 5* higher than you normally would. Then outer slices will be medium and inner slices would be medium rare.

    But I just run their slices under the broiler. Everyone seems happy with that.


  • I don't understand the olive oil. Salt, pepper and oak. I remember about 25 minutes a pound at 250* (for med-rare). That only applies until the length of the roast exceeds the "diameter" so you sort of have to guestimate. I think around 6 to 7 pounds is about right for an average 7 bone rib roast.

    Never found the need to do the end sear myself.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Little StevenLittle Steven Posts: 28,817
    edited December 2016
    jrhoads23 said:
    One final question I have is my family likes our prime rib medium rare. Other family members (my wifes side...) likes it a little more done (medium). What is the best way to accomplish this? I am guessing after you sear it and cut it up at medium rare, it would be difficult to throw it back on the grill to get a medium cook

    ???

    One of the characteristics of a low temp cook is that the meat will be more red. I don't know why, maybe because there is no graduated border from exterior burnt to grey to the internal. You can throw red slices (or larger pieces) back on the grill or in a frypan to brown more but it's a little difficult to go the other way.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • or you can run the slices thru a pan of the hot au jus for a minute to cook them a bit more. That was a trick a few restaurant-experienced BGErs have offered over the years

    steven is right too about the slow cooked beef looking earer in color than it is. Texture can be more cooked and it will still look rare.  

    fishless advocates serving by candle light. People can't eyeball things as well. :) 


  • Thank you for agreeing with me but I will never respond to you again because of your horrible comment about stike. I loved that guy.

    Steve 

    Caledon, ON

     

  • Thank you for agreeing with me but I will never respond to you again because of your horrible comment about stike. I loved that guy.
    Stike's idiocy is inversely proportional to your height
  • Well my first one is done and I would say it was a success. For any other newbies out there, I will give some suggestions and I also have some more questions

    By far the biggest problem I had was getting a stable 225-250 temp. The mistake I did was light the grill and let the fire get pretty big before doing anything. I put the meat on with the fire too large and getting it down to 225-250 was tough. At one point I had to remove the meat to close everything up and bring the temp down. So my suggestion for newbies is to try to get your temp stabalized shortly after lighting your grill. Dont let the fire get big and then try because it will take a while to get your temp down. In any case, by the end I had the temp dialed and feel like I will do much better on this the next time.

    My cast iron skillet was too big for my grill. So I just seared it on the grill at 500 degrees - 1 minute each side. Seemed to work pretty well

    I didnt get as much on my crust as I liked... next time I am going to make sure to load up more on the spices in hopes of a better crust

    My attempt at au jus was a total train wreck. I didnt have hardly anything in my drip pan - maybe because of not getting a good, stable temp. My au jus would have been a good torture device to extract secrets from captured spies.

    Questions:
    In prepping the meat, how much fat should I cut off the outside?

    After searing, I wrapped it in foil, a towel and then put it in a cooler for 25 minutes before serving. By the time it was served, it was just warm. If you want to let it sit for 20-30 minutes after the sear, how do you serve it and have it still be hot?

    Does it make a big difference in buying some meat from the butcher and then cooking it? Versus buying it, freezing it, thawing it at a later date and then cooking it. Obviously it would be better to not freeze the meat, but I am wondering how big of a difference it makes cooking a fresh piece of meat vs one that has been frozen / thawed?

    Thanks for all the help I got from everyone!
  • Looks good to me. I don't do any trimming on my prime rib and I definitely have more seasoning than what you're showing there. Not sure if that alone will give you the crust you're looking for, but I can usually get a good one without searing.
    Stillwater, MN
  • calikingcaliking Posts: 11,122
    I'm pretty certain that I would eat the heck out of that. Looks like you pulled it off :)

    #1 LBGE December 2012 • #2 SBGE February  2013 • #3 Mini May 2013
    A happy BGE family in Houston, TX.
  • nolaeggheadnolaegghead Posts: 26,684
    or you can run the slices thru a pan of the hot au jus for a minute to cook them a bit more. That was a trick a few restaurant-experienced BGErs have offered over the years

    steven is right too about the slow cooked beef looking earer in color than it is. Texture can be more cooked and it will still look rare.  

    fishless advocates serving by candle light. People can't eyeball things as well. :) 


    Right.

    I served hundreds of these and we cooked most to rare, some to medium rare.  Going from MR to medium or higher we would throw them in a pan of au jus.  It doesn't take much time.  You don't want to do this for rare or medium rare, people don't like the outside of their R/MR meat cooked grey.

    Unless you're destroying a prime rib to medium well or higher, a drip pan is pointless.   Nothing significant comes off the roast. 

    Au jus, buy Campbell's consomme in a can and heat it up.  Or whatever brand.  You can make it but it's not worth the effort and you're not going to get it clear (tricks are using egg whites, filters, etc).

    It's not prime rib unless you have a horseradish sauce.  This is as simple as adding horseradish to sour cream with some salt and pepper.  Or look up a recipe. 

    I only add salt and pepper to the outside of the roast.  Some things, less is more.

    When we cooked them, we started them earlier in the day in a commercial oven at 200F.  They cook very evenly.  The outside "crust", really no one cares about that, half the customers didn't even eat it (especially the jack sprats).  Some people eat every bit.  The risk with a sear is overcooking or having that grey gradient.

    I agree with Little Steve that the slower you cook, the redder the meat will be at higher temps. I can't explain this phenomenon.
    ______________________________________________
    This is my signature line just so you're not confused.  Love me or hate me, I am forum Marmite.
    Large and Medium BGE, Kamado Joe Jr, Akorn Jr, smoker with a 5k btu AC, gas grill, fire pit, pack of angry cats, two turntables and a microphone, my friend.  Registered republican.
    New Orleans, LA - we know how to eat 

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