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May 13, 2004 04:26 PM

Best way to cook very thick prime rib steak?

  • t

A friend is dropping by in a few hours with a three-four inch thick dry aged super prime rib steak. This is a fantastic piece of meat and I want to cook it perfect. I am used to cooking steaks half as thick. If it was winter I prob would roast in oven since it is about three pounds. If I use a charcoal Weber grill and grill / roast it what do you folks reccomend? Low indirect heat? High indirect heat? Direct and indirect heat? I will use a digital probe thermometer with a cord and alarm to make sure of correct temp.

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  1. What a coincidence! I'm doing the same thing, only w/two 2" thick prime rib-eyes. My preferred method is a heavy skillet on medium-high heat with Danish butter and plenty of that Paul Prudhomme redfish blackening stuff on each side. After 3-4 minutes on either side, turn it a few more times. Sounds pedestrian, but man oh man! Let us know how it turned out.

    1. I'd sear it on both sides over high heat (2-3 min per side), then move it over to the cooler side of the grille and put the lid on. On thinner steaks I would do the whole thing with the lid off, but you've got some cooking to do.

      1. Try barbecuing it with indirect heat like they do with the prime rib served at Smitty's and Kreuz in Texas.

        Let the meat come to room temperature. Make a rub of salt, fresh ground black pepper and cayenne (just a touch of cayenne) and apply it to the roast, being careful not to overdo it.

        Set up your Weber to cook with indirect heat: place a water pan on one side of the kettle and the charcoal on other. Hopefully you have a chimney starter (lighter fluid adversely affects flavor) and some wood chips or chunks. Get the coals and wood chunks going good so there's a layer of gray ash over them. If you're using wood chips instead, make sure you've soaked them about 1/2 hour and place a small handful on top of the hot, gray coals. Get a good amount of smoke going. Place the meat over the water pan (which should be filled with water), then place the cover on top. No searing is necessary, and you should place it as far from the heat source as possible to let the smoke do the cooking. The Weber's vents should be half open to restrict the airflow and keep the internal temperature around 350 degrees (don't worry if you don't have an oven thermometer - just make sure it doesn't get too hot inside, which will char the meat; lower temps only mean a longer cooking time).

        Rotate the meat regularly to make sure each side is cooked evenly, and replenish the wood chips as necessary (but don't overdo it unless you want the beef to taste like tar). A three-pound roast should be medium rare in about two hours. Allow it to rest about 15 minutes before you serve it, which will bring the temperature up slightly and bring out the moisture.

        Low and slow is the way to go to ensure a delicious, juicy piece of beef, and the smokiness is an added flavor benefit. It's too easy to dry the thing out or overcook it by grilling it over high heat.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Chris G.

          Just went back and noticed that you're using a probe. Set it go off when the internal temp reaches 130 degrees for medium rare.

          1. re: Chris G.

            Don't you mean 150 degrees for medium rare?

            1. re: The Rogue

              Nooooooo. FDA temperature guidelines are waaaaay off the mark. The internal temperature will rise 5 - 10 degrees after you let the meat sit for 15 minutes. If you take it off at 150 degrees it will rise to 155 - 160 and you'll be looking at an overdone piece of meat. I've included a link to an old Sunset magazine article that covers that subject, although I tend to trust sources like John Fullilove, Edgar "Smitty" Schmidt and Robb Walsh even more.

              Do it right and your prime rib will look like the following (which I'd take any day of the week over an expensive piece of meat blackened until it looks like anthracite).



        2. The indirect/BBQ suggestion sounds good, and I'm sure it would be, but I'd save that for a less pricey cut. Much as I like the taste of smoke and BBQ, for that piece of meat, I'd get natural lump charcoal white hot and grill directly over the hottest part of the coals. You won't "burn" it. It's too thick. You'll simply get a good steakhouse char. You almost need a super thick steak like that to get a decent crust at home. Throw some garlic salt on now and again and keep things moving with your tongs to keep things even. If it starts to get too black for you, pour some beer on it, sort of "deglazing" the char. Don't chicken out just because it starts to look like a big lump of anthracite. I do this with whole rib roasts, and it works splendidly. Don't forget to let it rest for 10 minutes or more before cutting.

          This is your chance to do something heroic, with meat.

          1. I'll throw in my vote for pan roasting. Coat the steak in salt and pepper, sometimes I throw grated parmesan into the mix. Sear only one side of the steak in a mix of butter and oil for 2-3 minutes to get a crust, then pop into the oven and roast. Usually I cook a "normal" size at 450 for 10-15 for medium rare, but I might adjust the temp down and extend the cooking time for this meat cut/size. Just my two cents. Deglaze the pan with some burgundy and saute up some onions and sliced potatoes in the juices. This is a favorite of a friend of mine that I cook steak for.

            Do let us know what you do and how it turns out!

            1 Reply
            1. re: Emme

              We just tried the suggested pan roast method with great success. We got about age prime rib "steak" from Duke St Whole Foods ($19.99/lb) - about 1.3lb. Used salt, pepper and light cayanne dry run. Seared one side in butter/olive-oil mix and flipped over, put on a bit of grated parmigiano reggiano (but not too much as it might overwhelm the beef taste) and put in oven at 450. Goofed up the timer at about 5 minutes then had to guess, but we like ours rare, so we erred on short side and it was fine. Deglazed with a Sauvignon Cabernet and sauted some yellow onion. We shared the single-boned piece, so cut off the bone and then sliced the beef in thin slices and served with the "juices". A most excellent meal.

              The wine was Chilean - Casillero del Diablo, always good with beef.

              Even with 1.3 lbs for the two of us, we had leftovers, so the next morning I cut the thin rectangular pieces into thirds or quarters and heated in a pan with more yellow (diced) onion. Scrambled 4 eggs, toss back in the meat/onions and topped with Guyere cheese. Magnificent breakfast. (topped of with my favorite hot sauce: Trader Joe's Jalepeno Pepper sauce - excellent!! - also love their Habanero and Lime salsa)