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Standing Rib Roast - Salt & Pepper

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  • Buy a whole 7-bone standing rib roast. If necessary, remove a portion so it fits on the WSM cooking grate.
  • Tie the roast at each bone.
  • Season with kosher salt and pepper.
  • Smoke at 325-350°F.
  • Cook to an internal temperature of 130°F for medium rare.
  • Cover loosely with foil and let rest 15-30 minutes before carving.
Standing rib roast, seasoned with kosher salt and pepper
Standing rib roast, seasoned with kosher salt and pepper
Interior of standing rib roast after cooking
Interior of medium-rare standing rib roast after cooking

Standing rib roast is a great holiday treat that's easy to prepare and will feed an army of hungry family and friends. Why not splurge and give it a try this year in your Weber Bullet? All you need to do it tie the meat, apply salt and pepper, and you're ready to go.

Here are some pictures I took when I prepared this roast on November 23, 2007.

As on any of the pictures to view a larger image.

Purchase & Prepare The Whole Standing Rib Roast

Whole, 7-bone standing rib roast with 1 bone portion removed
Photo 1
Tied roast
Photo 2

Most whole 7-bone standing rib roasts are too big to fit on the WSM cooking grate. When shopping for a roast, bring along a measuring tape and try to buy one that measures 17" or less diagonally. Otherwise, you will have to cut off part of the roast. If you go this route, remove 1 bone's worth of meat from the end with the shortest bone. This leaves the best meat intact as part of the larger roast. The portion removed can be cooked alongside the roast or saved for grilling another day.

Photo 1 shows an 18.11 pound, USDA Choice, 7-bone whole standing rib roast bone-side up. It was too large for the WSM, so I removed the portion shown on the right.

Photo 2 shows the now 6-bone roast turn meat-side up and tied with kitchen twine at each bone.

  • When buying a bone-in rib roast, figure on 1 to 1-1/4 pounds pre-cooked weight per serving.
  • Buy a roast with the rib bones attached. They provide better flavor and act as a natural roasting rack.
  • Tie the roast at each bone. This prevents the outer layer of meat from pulling away from the rib eye. Place the roast bone-side down. Cut a length of kitchen twine, loop it around the roast parallel to the first bone, bringing the two ends to the top of the roast. Pull snug and tie with whatever kind of knot you like, then repeat at each bone.
  • Don't bother cutting the ribs off and tying them back on before cooking. They're easily removed once the roast is cooked.

To learn more about standing rib roasts, see the Standing Rib Roast Selection & Preparation article.

This video demonstrates how to tie a roast. Click on the video to play.

Season The Roast

Roast seasoned with salt & pepper mixture
Photo 3

Standing rib roast is such a fine cut of meat that it needs nothing more than salt and pepper before cooking. Sometimes the simplest preparations are the most delicious.

Salt & Pepper Standing Rib Roast Seasoning
4 Tablespoons kosher salt
2 Tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper
Mix the ingredients thoroughly. Use cracked pepper, not finely ground pepper.

Pat the meat dry with paper towels. Brush all sides (except the bones) with a light coat of olive oil or vegetable oil, then sprinkle heavily with the salt/pepper mixture. Pat with your hands to help the cracked pepper adhere to the meat.

Cover loosely with Saran Wrap and let sit at room temperature while you fire-up the cooker.

Select The Smoke Wood

Three chunks of oak smoke wood
Photo 4

Use 3 chunks of dry oak wood. Each chunk should be about the size of your fist. Pecan, apple, or another mild fruit wood can be used if oak is not available.

There is no need to soak the wood or remove the bark before use.

Fire-Up The Cooker

Fire-up the cooker using the Standard Method—one full Weber chimney starter of hot Kingsford charcoal briquettes in the charcoal bowl, followed by another full chimney of unlit Kingsford, allowing all coals to become fully lit before cooking.

If you have two chimneys, you can fill and fire both simultaneously.

Foil The Empty Water Pan

Cover the inside and outside of the water pan with wide, heavy duty aluminum foil. Place the pan inside the cooker, but leave it empty.

Smoke The Rib Roast

Roast with probe thermometer goes into WSM
Photo 5

When all the coals are covered with gray ash, assemble the cooker and place the roast bone-side down on the top grate. Insert a probe thermometer in the center of the roast to monitor the internal meat temperature during cooking.

Place the lid on the cooker. Add the smoke wood to the hot coals.

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Set the three bottom vents to 100% open. Open the top vent fully and leave it that way throughout the entire cook.

Adjust the bottom vents as necessary throughout the cooking process to maintain a temperature of 325-350°F measured at the lid.

Cook the rib roast to 5-10° below the final internal temperature you want to achieve. Residual heat in the meat will cause the internal temp to rise 5-10°F during a 30 minute rest after cooking.

There's no need to baste or turn the meat during cooking.

Cook the meat to an internal temperature of 130°F for medium rare.

Estimated cooking time for a whole rib roast is 10-15 minutes per pound (this roast took about 14 minutes per pound).

Here's how the cooker and internal meat temperatures went during the cooking process.

Time Lid Temp Meat Temp Vent 1 % Vent 2 % Vent 3 %
3:15pm - 39 100 100 100
3:25pm 425 - 100 100 100
3:35pm 405 - 100 100 100
3:45pm 400 44 50 50 50
4:00pm 370 50 50 50 50
4:15pm 367 57 50 50 50
4:30pm 363 66 50 50 50
4:45pm 363 75 50 50 50
5:00pm 361 84 50 50 50
5:15pm 350 91 50 50 50
5:30pm 347 100 50 50 50
5:45pm 337 107 100 100 100
6:00pm 350 113 100 100 100
6:15pm 357 120 100 100 100
6:30pm 355 127 100 100 100
6:40pm 355 131 100 100 100

Note that the vent percentages represent the way I set the vents at the time indicated.

Rest, Carve & Serve The Roast

Finished roast comes out of WSM
Photo 6
Interior view of medium rare meat
Photo 7

Place the roast on a rimmed baking pan, cover loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest 30 minutes before slicing. This allows the meat to finish cooking and for the juices to redistribute and stabilize within the roast.

Alternatively, you can hold the roast at serving temperature for up to an hour by wrapping it tightly with two layers of foil and placing it in a dry cooler.

For easier handling, divide the roast into two halves by cutting between bones 3 and 4.

To carve, remove the twine and roll the roast onto its side so the bones are pointing straight up. Using the bones as a handle, cut downward close to the bones using a sharp boning knife or an electric carving knife to remove the bones. A picture of cutting the bones from a standing rib roast can be found in the Prime Rib - Herb Crusted article.

Next, place the roast flat on the cutting board and carve slices 1/2" thick or to your liking. Cut the bones into individual pieces and serve them along with the roast...or save them for yourself!

Photo 6 shows the roast right after coming out of the WSM. Photo 7 shows the medium rare interior after resting for 30 minutes.

This roast had a dark, crusty exterior that was very well seasoned and intensely flavored. The oak wood provided just the right amount of smoky goodness and a 1/8" smoke ring. Of course, the meat was very tender and juicy, and shown in the photo.

Bonus: Horseradish Cream Sauce

Here's an easy horseradish sauce to serve with this standing rib roast.

Horseradish Cream Sauce
From Cook's Illustrated magazine

1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup prepared horseradish
1 teaspoon table salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Whisk the heavy cream for 1-2 minutes until thickened but not yet holding soft peaks. Fold in horseradish, salt, and pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and refrigerate 30-60 minutes before serving.

More Beef Rib Roast Links On TVWB

Updated: 11/30/2015

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