Wet heat? Dry heat? Beef Roasts and Steaks 101

Greetings Carnivores,

It’s been a while for me and as such, Cyberspace has seen a significant void in the ‘ol Carnivore confidential blog but, I assure those of you whom have wondered … “Hey ??? Whatever happened to that guy??” Well … I’m ok.

The winter of 2014/15 was particularly tough up here in the Frozen, Great White North of Canada. We installed a new, wood burning, fireplace insert to help subsidize the high cost heating with fossil fuel then, promptly burned our way through 3x as much wood as we thought we might need to sustain us though the cold winter months.

Ah … the learning curve.

Between stoking the fire to keep the biting cold at bay from early December, well into the month of March (just made me want to hibernate), coupled with a SEVERE case of “Writers’ Block” (just couldn’t find anything meaningful to say), AND a major back surgery (I’m now the proud owner of a lower spine, fused with 6 screws and 2 steel rods) Well … like I said it’s been a tough few months.

Having said that, … the Earth has FINALLY turned on its axis, showing its Northern Hemispherical face to the lengthening hours of gloriously warm sunshine, the song birds have returned, and everything around us is waking up from a long winter sleep.

I too am feeling the rebirth of Springtime… even IF my aching, healing back will still not allow me sit in chair and type for very long.

So … let’s get on with it shall we?

Today I’m going to focus on Beef Roasts and steaks but, this discussion applies to Pork, Lamb, Veal wild game … everything.

You’ve heard me say that the amount of work a particular muscle does in life determines how tender it will be on the fork BUT … even a hard working muscle can be rendered fall apart tender with the correct cooking method. Click here:

Which brings us to the topic for today.

Cooking Beef roasts and steaks:

There are two types of cooking: Wet and Dry.

The important thing to remember is … which to use on which particular cut.


The Butchers Beef Carcass diagram

Dry cooking methods such as BBQ, Oven or Pan can be used successfully on the following cuts from the carcass chart above.

The Rib section:

Bone-in or boneless Rib Roast (Prime Rib, Standing Rib) or steak (including the Tomahawk and Rib eye, sometimes known as the Delmonico).

The Loin section:

Bone-in or boneless Top Loin Roast or steak (Strip loin, AKA New York Strip Loin) T-Bone Roast or steak, Wing Steak, Porterhouse Steak, Tenderloin Roast (Chateaubriand) or steak (Filet Mignon)

The Sirloin Section:

Bone-in or Boneless Top Sirloin Roast or steak, Bottom Sirloin steak.

Ground Beef actually fits into both wet and dry cooking methods since we all know how wonderful a burger on the grill is, as well as a slow cooked pot of Chili or Spaghetti sauce on the stove.

Everything else on the carcass drawing above fits into the wet category of cooking. The reason for this is the hard working nature of the rest of these muscles since they are all used for support and mobility.

The heavy fat and sinew density of these muscle groups means that in order to render them fall apart tender and wonderfully flavourful you must cook them low and slow with moisture and a lid.

I hope this sheds some light on the differences between these two methods of cooking and the particular ways these cuts, whether its a roast or a steak can be prepared.

Remember: There are no bad cuts … just bad ways of cooking certain cuts.

I hope you’ll give these a try and let me know how you make out … I LOVE getting comments and questions so, keep ‘em coming. 🙂

Stay tuned and … please click “follow” at the top of the page (Carnivore Confidential). You’ll get an email notice every time I write something new.

Until next time Carnivores, stay hungry and as usual, please follow my posts on Twitter @DougieDee and like and share them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/carnivoreconfidential


Rib, Prime Rib, Standing Rib, Cap on, Cap off, Chef Style … what does it all mean ???

Greetings Carnivores

I know there has been a Carnivore Confidential void in Cyberspace of late, an impromptu hiatus if you will but … I’m baaaaaaaack !!

More about that later but for now, I just wanted to touch on a question I get asked a fair bit.

During the festive Christmas season an awful LOT of Prime Rib gets sold and, the inspiration for my post today comes from my friend Jenn (bartender extraordinaire at my FAVOURITE Wing Joint, Buffalo Wild Wing).

I stopped in for lunch today, needing to take a break from my last minute Christmas shopping and Jenn asked me a question I get asked A LOT.

What’s the difference between “Cap off Prime Rib” and “Chef Style Prime Rib”?

Well Jenn, you asked 🙂 …

Prime Rib, Standing Rib, Rib, Cap on Prime Rib, Cap off Prime Rib and Chef style Prime Rib, are all cut from the same 7 bone section of the front quarter beef carcass.

Carnivores, (and especially you Jenn), the answer to this question is really nothing except, the butcher has cut the bones OFF the “Chef Style” and tied them back on, and the Cap off, Cap on designation refers to two extra muscles on the top of the primal cut. I prefer to buy my Prime Rib “Cap off” because these two extra muscles covering the top side of the roast do more work than the rib eye and, as I’ve said many times before more work = less tender (tougher) meat.

The “selling point” behind the “Chef Style” this is: it makes it easier to carve.


A Prime Rib roast is DEAD EASY to carve so, why pay more of your hard earned money for the butcher to cut off the bones and tie them back on.

It’s an “up-sell” people so, save some money and do it yourselves.

If you really want to have the bones cut off, you can easily do this at home then tie them back on and roast away … fill yer boots as my buddy always says (whatever THAT means) 🙂

Keep the questions coming folks, in the meantime I would like to take this opportunity to wish each and every one of you a very Merry Christmas from my house to yours, and all the best for a happy and healthy New Year.

Stay tuned and … please click “follow” at the top of the page (Carnivore Confidential). You’ll get an email notice every time I write something new.

Until next time Carnivores, stay hungry and as usual, please follow my posts on Twitter @DougieDee and like and share them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/carnivoreconfidential

Rib Eye 101: How-To Grill A Great Steak

Greetings Carnivores,

I’ve been meaning to write something about the beef Rib section for some time now. Lucky you … today’s the day.

The beef carcass has 13 rib bones per side, and the front quarter includes 11 of them. The Chuck has 4 bones, which leaves 7 for the Rib section. I’m often asked the difference between a Rib roast, a Standing Rib roast and a Prime Rib roast. Truth is … they’re all exactly the same cut with the only ‘real’ difference being the “Prime” designation refers to restaurant quality.

Valentine’s day has come and gone for another year and I know many of you like to take your significant other out for a nice 5 star meal at a fancy-schmancy restaurant and for me, nothing beats a Rib steak. The Rib eye is the same steak, just without the bone.

Chef Jeff Parker, a fellow I have mad respect for, has written a great Rib eye post on his Blog, and it ties very nicely into what I wanted to say re: the Rib section so, today with his kind permission I present his post, re-blogged on my site.
I hope you enjoy it.

Please click “follow” at the top of the page (Carnivore Confidential) and you’ll get an email notice every time I write something new.

Until next time Carnivores, stay hungry and as usual, please follow my posts on Twitter @DougieDee and like and share them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/carnivoreconfidential

Get To Grilling!

Grilled-Rib-Eye-101 Rib eye is hands-down my favorite steak and a great one for the grill.  The marbling in a rib eye makes it juicy delicious and pretty hard to overcook – at least from a dried out point-of view. Personally, I think it is at it’s best when cooked to the rare-side of medium rare, however is still juicy and delicious when cooked to medium+.  You’ll have to keep an eye (pun intended) on them to watch for flare-ups – a small sacrifice for all that well-marbled flavor! If flare-ups do occur, simply move them over to a cooler part of the grill.

Butcher shop lesson: Rib eye steaks are cut from the primal forequarter rib/upper chuck portion of the beef.  From there, the primal is cut into a standing rib roast a.k.a.  prime rib (but only if it is prime grade beef!). If the roast is then sliced into…

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