The trick is to smoke the meat and not make the meat smoke


  Date: December 25, 2016
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I often make a Standing Rib Roast (aka Prime Rib) for Christmas Dinner. It used to be turkey, but from the time I was in college it became a Standing Rib Roast. While it is often called a “Prime” Rib Roast, the meat that most people get at their supermarkets or butcher shops is actually USDA choice. My butcher has been getting USDA Prime Grade Standing Rib Roasts for the last few years now. So I definitely wanted to continue the Christmas tradition and make a Standing Rib Roast. The only trick was with my new very low sodium diet I had a little research and work to do to pick a recipe for the entire meal. You can read the Low Sodium Diet Section below to see what I did to bring the meal into the sodium count I can live with. The recipe I used was from the Taste of Home website and was written for oven cooking.

For the prep and cook I used a similar recipe from The Virtual Weber Bullet website. The prep was fairly simple. It always amazes me how one of the most expensive pieces of meat you can buy, can have one of the most simple preps and cooking method. Now in my case a simple seasoning with salt and pepper was out, so I went with an herb paste coating which I have used in the past. The herbs were some of the usual suspects with a few differences. The roast was removed from the fridge about 2 hours prior to going on the grill. The herbs were chopped up and made into an herb paste in a food processor. The paste was applied to the roasts will it rested. The Egg was preheated to 350 degrees under the watchful eye of my CyberQ WiFi pit controller. Just before adding the meat to the Egg, I added 4 medium sized Apple wood chunks. One of the advantages to the Adjustable Rig is you can pull it with all of the shelves and pizza stone in place in one operation. So I pulled the AR off the Egg, added the wood chunks, replaced the AR and added the roast. A standing rib roast is a very predictable roast to cook. It is a very linear cook without plateaus or stalls. It takes a while for the temperature to start rising due to the large mass of the meat, but once it begins rising it is a very linear cook. Using a pit controller helps immensely. When I was ready to add the meat to the Egg, they CyberQ had it up to temperature. I didn’t need to keep running outside to check on progress. Once the roast goes on, that is the last time you need open the lid until you are done. The pit controller kept the temps within 5 degrees despite the very windy and cold conditions. I monitored all of this on my iPad from the comfort of my warm kitchen. If the pit temp had varied too much I would get an alarm and when the meat had reached 125 degrees internal I was alerted. So really an “Arm-chair” cook.

The recipes tell you the roast will take between 15-18 minutes a pound at 350, with the 18 minutes being for the larger roasts. According to that at 18 minutes per pound, my 6.88 lb. roast should take 124 minutes. It was done at 125 minutes. Wow! It doesn’t get closer than that. This makes it very easy to time your other dishes to finish out with your meat. I wanted medium rare so I pulled the roast at 125 degrees and after it’s 15 minute rest, the meat had reached the 130 degrees in the middle I was shooting for, with the pieces nearest the ends being medium. The first step was to slice of the ribs and cut them into 3 ribs. Removing the ribs allows you to then slice the remaining meat into what ever thickness you wanted. My dad asked for a 1/2” thick slice, so I made all of the slices that thick. I had a nice range of medium and medium rare. The outermost slices were medium and the inner slices were medium rare. The meat was extremely tender and juicy and had a nice hint of smoke flavor and the bark had a wonderful flavor from the fresh herbs. This roast was outstanding! I was taking pictures of my plate and I hadn’t tried the roast and all I heard was silence from the others. Finally I had to ask: “Has anyone tried the meat and how is it?” To my relief everyone said they were too busy enjoying it and cutting more pieces to comment. Phew! Bottom line it is very expensive roast for very special occasions, that is very easy to prep, very easy to cook and yields excellent results.
Related Photo Entries:
Recipe Source:
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Taste of Home website:

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Virtual Weber Bullet website

I did NOT dry age the meat
Low Sodium Diet Changes:
As of July 2016 I need to be on a very low sodium diet. Six days a week I am limited to 1,000 mg. of sodium and on Saturdays I am allowed to have 1,500 mg. I have been learning how to adapt certain recipes to make them very low sodium. I also need to watch my intake of potassium chloride which is used in some salt substitutes to replace sodium chloride. I figured for anyone else trying to watch their sodium intake, I would describe some of the changes I made, together with any comments about the relative success or failure of the tweaks I made. Those of you who can handle more sodium can certainly make the recipe as originally written.
Big Picture: I had saved Christmas Day as my 1,500 mg day for this week, so I had a bit more leeway. I had eaten grits made with water, unsalted butter and brown sugar for breakfast= a whopping 5 mg of sodium. This left me essentially with the full 1,500 mg of sodium to play with. It was a matter of starting with a prime rib recipe and than seeing what that left me for my sides, breads and desserts. I did want to get back to baking after several months away from it. Step 1 was to find out the sodium count of the roast: this was the one thing I could not change. The roast would yield about 8-10 slices. Using a 1 pound serving that would be around 250mg of sodium. Next I had to pick a recipe that did not add to the sodium. I have made herb crusted prime ribs before to great success, so a new recipe for that seemed in order. The one I found did use kosher salt, but I simply swapped our double the amount of Mrs. Dash Table Blend. With an expensive piece of meat like that I knew I didn’t want to fill up on rolls, so I skipped baking a bread or rolls. The other three recipes came from Cooking Light Magazine. Their recipes are low sodium, not very low sodium and sometimes they use small amounts of salt. They are recipes I can easily make on a 1,500mg day, and often with modifications I can make them on a 1,000mg day Looking at the recipes I chose for the meal I left the salt out of the Creamy Mashed Potatoes and the Sweet Potatoes. Doing this allowed me to keep the sodium level low and I could make the EGGNOG COFFEE CAKE which used baking soda which is as high in sodium as salt. The saving grace was it was a tiny amount of baking soda. So at 350 mg for the coffee cake and 250mg for the beef, I was well under 1,500 mg and may have actually been under 1,000mg. This way I could have guilt-free seconds and stay under 1,500 easily.


  • I used a 2x serving of Mrs. Dash Table Blend in lieu of the Kosher salt in the herb rub.
  • I used a 2x serving of Mrs. Dash Table Blend to replace the salt in the two veggie dish I was making.
  • I used a 2x serving of Mrs. Dash Table Blend in lieu of the table salt in the coffee cake recipe.
  • I used low sodium Hahn’s Low Sodium Baking Powder in lieu of the baking soda in the coffee cake. All of these allowed me to use baking soda in this dish.

Comments: The rib roast turned out great!! Everyone said it turned out as good as any I had made before and better than what you get in a restaurant. Everyone loved the hint of smoke and the great herb flavor from the crust. No one added salt at the table. As for the veggies, ironically I thought they could have used some salt, but no one else did. The EGGNOG COFFEE CAKE was great and no one missed the salt.
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Big Green Egg

Smoke Roasted:

Using the Big Green Egg Kamado Cooker.
  • CGS-Adjustable Rig
  • CGS-Oval Pizza Stone (Level 1.5)
  • CGS AR Sliding Oval Grid (Level 3)
  • CGS-13" s/s Drip Pan (Level 3)
  • BGE S-S Grill Grid (Level 6)
  • BBG-Cyber Q WiFi Pit Controller,
  • Stump Chunks Fire Starter
  • Apple Wood Chunks.
  • Rockwood Lump Charcoal