Welcome from Austin Texas! Each year we get together and have Friendsgiving out at the ranch and make a Smoked Prime Rib. Our favorite thing to cook is huge cuts of meat. From Beef to the whole hog to wild game. Cooking a traditional Texas smoked prime rib is not hard if you follow the steps outlined here today in this article.
My buddy Ron who owns the ranch is my BBQ partner cooking top Que all over Texas. Please leave any questions you may have in the comments section below. The first thing you want to do is plan for the day of the event. Finding a good supplier for a large piece of meat like a Prime Rib might prove to be a challenge.
Here are some of my tips for success to the perfect
Texas Smoked Prime Rib
Plan on spending around $150 to $300 for a large 5 to 7 bone prime rib roast ( Feeds over 20 people ) @ $200 that's $10 a person. You can not eat this good dining out on Prime Rib for $10 a person. Win/Win
Call around to your local butcher shop or quality grocery store and talk with them about the big day. Find out how far in advance they require you call to place your order
Be sure to pick up the meat the day before the event. Do not wait until the day of, or you risk disappointment.
Prep: Option One: Salt and Pepper the meat the night before. If you choose to do this it will add a thicker finished "Crust" to the outside of the prime rib roast.
Prep: Option Two: Salt and Pepper the meat when you take the prime rib out of the refrigerator. ( we like this approach )
The meat needs to be close to room temperature before you place it on the BBQ Pit/Smoker. This takes around an hour. ( zero health/ food handling issues with beef sitting out on your counter for an hour. Just cover it with a towel or plastic wrap. Do not wrap plastic too tightly.
BBQ Pit temperature should be between 250 to 325. You can start at a higher temperature of 325, but then lower it back down as the fire burns down to around 250. Remember this is really a huge steak, not a brisket. Meaning, the low and slow of 225 isn't the way to go with this cut of meat.
Right before you take the prime rib over to the BBQ pit/smoker get the smoker ready. Make sure you have enough fuel, wood, charcoal to last the cook. Our 7 bone roast took 4 hours to reach an internal temperature of 125 ( Medium rare, closers to rare ) This offers the most tender experience. For perfect medium rare shoot closer to 130.
Light the fire and allow the starter mix of charcoal and wood to cook down and turn into hot coals. Red hot. Right before the meat goes on, place one piece of wood lengthwise on top. The wood should be one-quarter to one-third of a full round piece.
Watch Our Traditional Texas Smoked Prime Rib Video Below
Selecting the Perfect Prime Rib Roast for Smoked Prime Rib
What I suggest you look for when picking out the perfect prime rib:
- Great marbling, you'll see in the photo below the grade quality of the beef. Higher marbling equals more flavor. Remember, Fat is flavor.
- Look along the outer edge of the roast, you want one with the largest cap you can get. This is the most tender and flavorful part of the cow.
- Most come already trussed with butcher's string. If you want to learn how to do it yourself below will be a video showing the process. Can make for a great presentation.
- Normal-sized Prime Ribs are 4 to 5 bone-In
Grades of USDA Beef To Choose From When Picking Out Your Prime Rib Roast
When it comes to purchasing Beef there are four main USDA grading categories. Each having very different taste profiles.
Here are the standard four cuts of Beef:
- Prime beef is produced from young, well-fed beef cattle. It has abundant marbling (the amount of fat interspersed with lean meat) and is generally sold in restaurants and hotels. Prime roasts and steaks are excellent for dry-heat cooking such as broiling, roasting, or grilling.
- Choice beef is high quality but has less marbling than Prime. Choice roasts and steaks from the loin and rib will be very tender, juicy, and flavorful and are suited for dry-heat cooking. Many of the less tender cuts can also be cooked with dry heat if not overcooked. Such cuts will be most tender if braised, roasted, or simmered with a small amount of liquid in a tightly covered pan.
- Select beef is very uniform in quality and normally leaner than the higher grades. It is fairly tender, but, because it has less marbling, it may lack some of the juiciness and flavor of the higher grades. Only the tender cuts should be cooked with dry heat. Other cuts should be marinated before cooking or braised to obtain maximum tenderness and flavor.
- Standard and Commercial grades of beef are frequently sold as ungraded or as store brand meat. Utility, Cutter, and Canner grades of beef are seldom if ever, sold at retail but are used instead to make ground beef and processed products.
Grading quality information above is straight from the USDA's website: https://www.usda.gov/media/blog/2013/01/28/whats-your-beef-prime-choice-or-select
Traditional Texas Smoked Prime Rib
- Bone-In Prime Rib 4 to 7 bone Suggest buying a USDA Prime, Prime Rib
- 4 tablespoon of Sea Salt
- 4 tablespoon of Olive or Peanut oil
- 4 tablespoon of Fresh Cracked Black Pepper
- 2 tablespoon of Herb's 'd Provence Italian herb season
- Place the prime rib on the counter to take the chill off the meat. About one hour. You do not want to add a really cold piece of meat to a hot fire. Ever...Allow the meat to come close to room temperature. It's ok if it still has a small chill, but not much of one.
- While the meat is coming to temperature on the counter add salt. Adding this first layer of salt will really help the flavor. A piece of meat this large doesn't get much seasoning besides the outer crust and the smoke. And please do not inject this high-quality cut of meat. That's reserved for cheap cuts of meat. You could inject with simple butter.
- After one hour on the counter, rub the olive or peanut oil all over then add the sea salt, black pepper and the Italian herbs.
- Pit temperature of 250, cook till the internal temperature reads 120 - 125. The prime rib roast will continue to increase the internal temperature while it rests. Only a few degrees, given your fire was well controlled and not too hot. Pull the meat off then and allow it to rest for a minimum of 20 minutes so the juices can redistribute, covered. Longer is better. Cut into the meat too early and you've made a huge mistake. Those juices are everything.
- Chef Tip: Add a water pan to your bbq pit to add additional moisture to the cooking chamber.