Christmas Eve Prime Rib

I tackled a bucket list meal!

Growing up, after we moved back state-side from overseas, my family had a traditional Christmas Eve dinner; Surf and Turf. This is something I continued with my wife after I married. I’d cook up some filet and a lobster tail (or two!) for a huge Christmas Eve dinner. This year however, my wife Stacey encouraged me to tackle something I had been wanting to try for a long time; Prime Rib.

I started at one of my favorite places for sourcing good meat at a good price by going to Sprouts Farmer Market. The Choice Prime Rib Roast was on sale for $7.99 per pound, which is cheaper than the filet we usually get. I’ve always been happy with the quality of the beef from Sprouts and I was excited the roast was on sale.

Choice Rib Roast from Sprouts Farmers Market.

To prep it, I cut the butcher’s string, and carefully trimmed the fat cap off the top of the roast. Some people believe in leaving the fat cap on the roast to contribute to the flavor as some of this fat renders during the cook. But in truth this cut of meat has enough fat through out it to provide ample flavor. Trimming the fat cap off gives you more meat surface to apply flavorful rubs to, to be absorbed into the meat. Once I had the Prime Rib trimmed to where I wanted it, I retied it with butcher’s string to help it maintain its shape through the cook.

Here is my rib roast all trimmed up, and retied!

For the dry rub, I started with dried Rosemary (from my wife’s garden) and dried Thyme. I roughly chopped these and mixed them together before applying them to the whole roast. Then over that I applied a liberal coating of Atlanta Grill Company’s Himalayan Sherpa dry rub. This stuff is ridiculously good and I can’t wait to use it on other recipes! Once I had the rub on the Prime Rib, I wrapped it tightly in plastic wrap to sit in the ‘fridge for approximately 24 hours.

Rosemary from my wife’s garden along with dried Thyme. This was very aromatic once roughly chopped!
Atlanta Grill Company’s Himalayan Sherpa. I can’t wait to use this on a brisket!
Liberally coated in herbs and rub!
Wrap tightly in plastic and allow to marinate in the ‘fridge for approximately 24 hours.

Sometime around 2:45 PM on Christmas Eve, it was time to get the Prime Rib on the smoker. My Vision Professional S Series kamado grill was already prepped up and going from having done seven turkey breast in the morning. All I had to do was add a few pieces of smoking wood (Apple and a little Hickory), set my BBQ Guru CyberQ temperature controller to 250°, place the Prime Rib on the grate and insert a temperature probe into the center of the roast. On the lower grate, I had a pan of carrots, onions, and beef broth positioned to catch the dripping from the roast, for my wife.

All ready to go!

I went back in the house and prepared a spray bottle with 2 tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar and 1 cup of water. I spritzed the Prime Rib every 30 minutes with the cider vinegar mixture until it was time to remove it from the smoker. This led to the roast having a very nice, dark finish!

Hit it with some cider vinegar and water for a nice rich, dark finish on the outside.

At 5:20 PM, the roast had reached an internal temperature of 128° and it was time to pull it off and wrap it. I was aiming for a medium rare center, but I think the next time I will pull the roast off somewhere in the area of 120° to 122°. I wrapped the Prime Rib in pink butcher’s paper and set it in an empty cooler to rest for approximately an hour.

It’s ready to come off the grill…
…and go into the cooler to rest!

While the Prime Rib was resting, it was a great time to get the rest of the meal ready. My wife made cheesy scalloped potatoes and Caesar salads. I boiled, and then broiled, a lobster tail for myself and prepared some drawn butter. Then, it was time to carve the Prime Rib!

I was a little nervous at this point because I had never prepared one of these and I wanted to carve it correctly, but I also wanted it to be cooked properly. I started by slicing the rib bones out from under the roast; these were set aside to use later. Then, using a knife a good friend made for me, I sliced the Prime Rib to serve and was rewarded with a perfect pink center.

The rib bones were sliced out first.
I was rewarded with the perfect pink center!

I was thrilled with how this Prime Rib came out! It had a very rich flavor from the bark on the outside and was meaty and juicy on the inside. I will definitely prepare one of these again!

Beautiful!
It came out perfect!

The meal came out great and was very filling! I can’t wait to try it again!

Caesar salad by my wife, Stacey.
My Prime Rib plated with cheesy scalloped potatoes by Stacey!
This was a great spread!

The take aways:

  • I’m kicking myself for not trying this before!
  • It was actually pretty easy and not all that work intensive.
  • Nothing beats good beef for dinner, unless it’s good beef served next to lobster!
  • I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and/or Hanukkah, and that everyone has a great New Year!

Smoked Turkey Breast!

Turkey is a beautiful holiday staple!

I’m sorry, but I seem to have neglected Good Food, Bad Food! as I’ve been very busy with work and the holidays. Life just happens! I’m looking forward to updating the blog with new content though moving forward. Stay tuned, make sure you follow, and share Good Food, Bad Food! with your friends!

Turkey! It goes great with the holidays for some reason! In my house, my wife Stacey lays all claim to preparing the turkey for Thanksgiving. I’m actually forbidden to touch the turkey; it’s Stacey’s territory and I know better than to try to step on that. Besides, she does a phenomenal job with the turkey!

One thing I do enjoy preparing around this time of year though is smoked turkey breast. Smoked turkey breast is pretty easy to prepare in decently large quantities to feed larger groups of people. Recently I smoked six turkey breasts to feed approximately sixty people, and it barely took any effort to prepare!

I have to admit that one of the things that makes the turkey so easy to prepare is cheating. I start with Butterball Boneless Frozen Turkey Breast Roasts. These things come soaked in brine, which seems to turn off most smoking purists that I know, but it saves time and keeps the meat juicy. One of these turkey breast roast typically feeds ten people once all carved up. Something to remember though; you will need to let them thaw in the refrigerator for a couple of days to be able to prepare it.

The day before smoking the turkey breast, the prep begins. Start by opening up the package over a sink to drain out the excess juices. Pull out the gravy pouch and set it aside (the gravy isn’t bad at all and I’ll typically chef it up by adding a little BBQ rub to it). Then pull out the turkey, contained in a butcher string mesh wrap, and set it on a tray (you may need to rearrange and shape the turkey in the mesh, and spin the ends of the mesh, to tighten it up). Next, pat it dry with some paper towels. Then you will be ready for a dry rub!

The dry rub can be pretty simple and still pack a great flavor punch. A simple salt and course black pepper rub is all you really need for flavor your turkey breast roast and it’ll provide a great keyed surface for smoke flavor to absorb in to. Or, you can use your favorite rub! Liberally rub the turkey breast and stick it in the ‘fridge overnight to absorb the flavor.

Twelve turkey breast roasts all prepped up!

The next day, prep your smoker for a three to four hour smoke. I use a kamado smoker so I load up with lump charcoal accented with a smoking wood or two. To provide the smoke flavor, I like to use Apple wood with poultry, and I might throw a couple of small pieces of Hickory wood in too for it’s stronger flavor. Ideally, you’ll want your smoker between 225°F and 250°F (error towards the lower end of that temperature range). Once you feel the smoker has stabilized on that temperature you’re happy with, place your turkey breast on the smoker.

The smoker is all ready to go!

I highly suggest using a temperature probe inserted into the center of the turkey breast for monitoring your cook progress. I use a CyberQ by BBQ Guru. It’s a wireless BBQ controller that let’s you control pit temperatures and wirelessly monitor your cook progress remotely via your smart phone or computer.

BBQ Guru CyberQ! Damn I love this thing!

Once your turkey is on, let it smoke until you see it has reached an internal temperature of 140°F. Once it’s reached 140°F, you will need to pull the turkey from the smoker and wrap it in foil with a half stick of butter. To wrap the turkey, I use a double layer of aluminum foil with a half stick of butter (sliced lengthwise) placed in the middle. Place the turkey breast top-side down on the half stick of butter, wrap in the foil, and return it to the smoker. Re-insert your temperature probe, and continue to cook your turkey breast until it reaches an internal temperature of 165°F.

The turkey breast roasts on their way to 140°F!
The turkey wrapped with butter and returned to the smoker.

Once the turkey has hit an internal temperature of 165°F, it’s pretty much done! All one needs to do is slice it and serve! To do this, I pour off the juices from the foil into whatever I’ll be serving the turkey in. I then place a cutting board in a larger baking sheet pan (to catch all of the turkey juice), use kitchen shears to remove the butcher string mesh wrap, and slice the turkey breast with an electric knife. Place your turkey slices in your serving dish and pour the juices from your cutting board on top of the meat, and serve!

All sliced up…
…and ready to serve!
Very moist and juicy with lots of flavor!
It doesn’t last long!
Photo Credit: Danny Lawson

The take aways:

  • If you do this right, you’ll have a really nice, moist and juicy turkey breast!
  • You’ll feel like a hero when you see how fast people eat up your turkey!
  • Smoked foods are great!
  • It doesn’t have to be difficult to be good!