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Dec 20, 2009 02:41 PM

Smitty's Lockhart: It's the Prime Rib Stupid

Previously, I had been less than wowed by Smitty's Market's brisket

But after today, I realize my mistake.

Their prime rib is absolutely world class and blows away all other meats I sampled there. For $16 you can get a 1 pound slice of it, charred and beef-fat good around the edge, and red rare in the center.

This implausibly large hunk of beef disappeared more completely than spilled gasoline on a hot summer day.

Holy cow . . . sums it up.

I will return time and again just for this cut of meat at Smitty's.

I also notice on my original post that I had not observed that the pits at Smitty's are powered by indirect heat from those piles of logs at each corner. I had not realized the stack pulls the heat and smoke through and over the meats.

I generally dislike confusing sex with food, but in this case it gets too darned close to call.

This was absolutely great meat, needing nothing more except perhaps a tad of salt on the blood rare center of the cut.

Could easily have eaten 2 lbs.

Thanks for reading, and Smitty's thanks for offering this premium meat in your pit.


four stars applies to prime rib ONLY

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  1. I got there at 10:40 one morning and no meat was ready. I wanted to try their prime rib most of all. The pictures of their brisket just don't look good at all. Pictures of Black's brisket look wonderful though.

    After leaving Smitty's empty handed and disappointed, we headed to I-35 to hook up to 46 (heading to Junction) and we saw a Rudy's and I picked up some brisket and prime rib. The prime rib was so-so but the wet brisket was excellent. I quit stopping at Rudy's in Boerne because it just wasn't good to me but the Rudy's in New Braunfels had awesome brisket.

    7 Replies
    1. re: texasredtop

      We agree on the brisket. I like Black's a lot. Smitty's does nothing special for me.

      And as for "no meat was ready": it worked out well for me that the prime rib was very rare (perhaps for most [pitman asked after slicing "is this OK?"] TOO rare) at an early hour, well before noon at least. But perhaps it's the case that unless you like rare or limited choice you'd better leave it a bit later.

      Clearly they don't run an overnight man on the pit.

      1. re: bishopsbitter

        I like my prime rib between rare and medium rare. The one at Rudys was more medium and maybe that is why I wasn't crazy about it. They told me at Smitty's that morning that I would have to come back in half an hour yet they'd been open since about 7:00 that morning. Why would they open if they had nothing to offer? I would have jumped on the chance to get some prime rib that was less done than usual but I wasn't offered the opportunity. You can always sear it up in a cast iron skillet if it's too rare for your tastes. I can eat it as long as it isn't still mooing.

        City Market has bbq that early so I assumed if Smitty's was open, they would also have some. I found it misleading and had even called to verify they would be open not thinking to ask "Will you have something I can purchase at 10:30?".

        1. re: texasredtop

          I've been to Smitty's a half dozen times for the prime rib and they have never had it. The last time I asked them "Figures. Do you EVER have it?" and they weren't too amused.

          The version at Kreuz is shoe leather.

          1. re: Bulldozer

            I think they only serve it at certain times and I called ahead to find out. Maybe it's weekends or lunch only but they had it when I was there, they just wanted me to wait half an hour and we had a long trip ahead. When I called I asked their store hours and they told me. I asked what days they served the pr, they told me. Never did I think to ask what time they had food ready. I assumed it was around the time they opened, like City Market. I will try again but go later and try pr at Smitty's and brisket at Black's.

            1. re: texasredtop

              Hmmm, I did not know prime rib was not a guaranteed staple feature. It's on their menu boards, so one would (casually) think so.

              Perhaps I was lucky a) that they were doing it at all, and b) that I staggered in just as it was in the very perfect state of done-ness for my personal taste.

              Something to think/worry about for future visits. Thanks for mentioning.

              1. re: bishopsbitter

                The way I remember it, the prime rib is Saturday only. Best in the state imo.

                1. re: luniz

                  Just as well I happened to stumble in on a Saturday! Thanks for clarifying the prime rib availability for everyone headed there who might otherwise have met with disappointment.

    2. I like Smitty's and although prime rib is not my usual meat of choice at one of the Central Texas hallowed halls of BBQ, I love the way "bishopsbitter" described his experience with Smitty's prime rib. It's on my list now.

      1 Reply
      1. re: twinwillow

        I agree generally and I had worried that too much smoke would ruin the prime rib's natural flavor altogether (sort of like dreaded rubs can do to an otherwise fine piece of meat), but not at all to worry. All one could taste was the quintessential beef itself, and with a wonderful juxtaposition between the charred outer 3/4" band, and the increasingly blood rare state towards the central, and cool, heart of the cut. I found myself sampling a bit of each in turn, enjoying the contrast of taste and textures.

      2. The original comment has been removed