Over the summer, I went to Texas and visited some of the best BBQ restaraunts around, including the Salt Lick, Black's BBQ, Kruez's, and Smitty's. At Smitty's, I sampled all of the meats they offered including, at $14/lb their smoked prime rib. This was the best BBQ I have had. The texture, flavor, juiciness of that 1/4lb piece of meat was incredible. Ever since that experience, I have longed to try and replicate it. So for a new years party, we finally decided to go ahead and do it. Got a 3 bone, 6 1/2 pound bone in rib eye. Beautiful piece of meat, as I clearly have documented below like a proud papa.
For this recipe, simplicity is the factor. Nothing but salt and pepper. I'm not going to tell you how much because it varies on how much meat you have. I can tell you the benefit on salting the meat before cooking though. As we all know, salt pulls out moisture. In the case of meat, it doesn't just pull out moisture but protein laced moisture. This is important because when cooked, the salt will bring the moisture to the outside, helping to add that beautiful crust we are all accustomed to.
From what I saw, it is not very common to smoke prime rib, mainly because it isn't needed. It is tender enough of a piece of meat that you could pretty much cook it either way and it will turn out well. So choose your cooking method, I choose smoking to try and relive my Texas memories.
Just like with the brisket, monitoring internal temperature is crucial to a great final product. In the case of Prime Rib, cook it to an internal temperature of 135, and pull it. Foil it and let it rest for at least 15 minutes. This is crucial so that the juices you worked so hard to keep in don't all go running out. Also during this resting time, the residual heat in the meat will continue to cook, so even though you pull the meat off at 135, it will raise to 140 or 145, like magic! This piece of meat it is important not to overcook it, there is enough marbling and fat inside the meat where when cooked properly it will come out delicious everytime.
The total cooking time for this on the smoker was 3 hours, cooking at 230 degrees. Cooking in an oven or on the grill will not take this long, but theres only one way to really know for sure and thats to use a thermometer! When I did it, I took it off the smoker and put it on my gas grill at high heat just to get a better sear. Enjoy! I hope this inspires you to take on your own prime rib adventure