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  Slow Cooking

Slow Cooking

Prime Rib Roast prepared by slow cookingAt the other end of the “burn and serve” spectrum is the slow cooking method. If I’m doing a roast, I usually start cooking early in the morning, and sometimes even the day before. I did a whole Brisket last week that was cooking for 27 hours at 160 F. It was very tender, very tasty, and perfectly cooked.

Before thinking about trying it out, be very sure your oven temperature is what the control dial says it is. It usually isn’t. Oven thermometers are easy to find, cheap, and may just save you from thinking you just can’t cook.

I slow cook in my electric smokehouse, which is outside on a covered patio. I usually want to give it a few hours of smoke, and then just let it cook the rest of the day. Once meat starts cooking-that is, once it reaches an internal temperature of about 115-120 F., it has absorbed all the smoke flavor it’s going to absorb and there’s no point in keeping the smoke going after that.

I often cook a large beef roast, such as a Chuck, whole or half Top Sirloin, or whole or half Rib Eye. (“Boneless” Rib Eye is like saying “round circle.” There’s never been a bone in an Eye of the Rib.) Those will usually weigh from 6 to 15 lbs.

If I’ve aged it, I trim off the very thin and dried outer layer before I rub it down with a pasty mix of Worcestershire, soy sauce, brown sugar, freshly crushed garlic, ground horseradish, and maybe a little balsamic vinegar.

I let it rest for an hour or two at room temperature, insert the meat thermometer, put it in the pre-heated to about 200 F. smoker, and put the hickory or alder chips on the burner. I always put a pot of hot water in the smoker on a shelf below the meat, which keeps the meat from drying out too much. The temperature inside the smoker will drop back to about 110 F., and very slowly creep back up to 160-170 F., where I try to keep it for the next 5-10 hours. A couple hours before serving, if the internal temperature of the beef is about 120-130 F. I’ll take off the wood chip pan and replace it with a pot of boiling water and just let it slowly steam for the last hour or two, until the internal temperature of the meat is about 142 F. If you like your beef well done, you probably want to take the internal temperature up to 150 F. With steam, the internal temperature will go up much more quickly, as much as 10 degrees in an hour. Let it rest at least a half an hour, slice and serve.

You can bow as your guests taste it, swoon and applaud.

I just say, “Aw shucks, nothin' to it.”





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