So Johnny works for a construction company, he's in his late thirties, has a wife and three kids, he loves to go fishing when he has a chance, or play softball with the boys during tournament season. Like most locals here in Hawaii, Johnny and his wife's favorite vacation spot is Vegas, even his little kids tag along. So he's a very simple man, but he's so down to earth, I like brother Johnny.
ME: So brother Johnny, do you cookout at your house sometimes?
JOHNNY: (High fives me) Hell yeah!
ME: Like on Sundays, Super Bowls, NewYears?
JOHNNY: Whenever I get a chance bro! Me and my friends from work, my brother, his wife and kids, my in-laws, a few of my neighbors. We kickback, I set up our backyard so we can watch a big screen, sometimes it's movies for the ladies and kids, or sports for whoever. I just want people that visit to relax, and forget their problems, we all have problems, my job on this earth.... is to give light to everyone I meet.
ME: What's your specialty?
JOHNNY: Me, I don't hunt, but, when my friends bag a wild boar- I smoke em.
ME: What else?
JOHNNY: I love to do baby backs, beef short-ribs, salmon, chicken. But I have to say, it's smoking a huge prime rib before a sporting event, I love that.
ME: That's good stuff bro. So what's your secret to a good smoked prime rib?
JOHNNY: First of all, I have a big grill in the back yard. I'll get some kiawe wood, burn em. Have a lot of hot coals in a steel drum. You need hot coals at the ready, because my smoking takes all day man. Me and the family and friends, having a few, talking story, telling jokes, just taking turns adding hot coals to this thing. You know bro, slow cooking takes time. Like a good lady, it takes time (laughs). Waiting for the best is always the best. Always!
ME: Yeah I agree, sounds like you been smoking meats for awhile.
JOHNNY: Yeah, my dad and uncle always smoked meats and fish like Aku, Ahi, Ono, Marlin.. I'm more a fisherman than hunter. But when we were kids, dad guys would smoke huge pieces of deer, beef, pork. I love smoked meats man.
ME: OK, let's say you have a party next Sunday, pretend it's Super Bowl again, you are hosting, how big a prime rib can you smoke in your backyard?
JOHNNY: (laughs) Me and my wife we head to Costco, buy the biggest one we can get, with the bones as many bones (laughs).
1- Bone In 16- 16.5 lbs.
Mixed herbs+ Hawaiian Style Salt
Couple logs of kiawe wood (dried)
(That's all of the ingredients- the Hawaiian salt is the key, not too much herbs)
Start early in the morning, get the wood burning bright red hot.
Let the prime rib set out at room temperature (this will make it cook evenly)
Keep a pile of burning coals in a separate grill or flame proof barrel
Remove the grate and put a pile of hot coals on one side of the grill. Place the grate back then place the prime rib bone side down, add smoking chips soaked in water, and into a foil near the flamed coals. Cover grill.
By having the hot coals away from the meat itself creates slow cooking, and soaked wood chips creates smoke. Apple wood chips, Hickory chips work well for store bought chips.
Johnny says it takes him from 8 am in the morning to 4pm to get a perfect smoked prime rib, and because it's slow cooking, it can go longer, it's all about regulating the heat by adding or subtracting the hot coals.
ME: Johnny so after a long day of drinking beers, talking story, playing cards, how red is the inside of that prime rib?
JOHNY: Bro, it is slightly pink, if someone wants it well done, I'll slice a piece, and put that on the grill and finish it off like that, that's the only way. Most people like prime rib either red, or pink. If you over cook the whole thing, it's a waste.
ME: Yeah some people overcook a prime steak, to me it's a waste, but some people maybe have health issues and can't have less than well done cooked beef, I can respect that.
JOHNNY: Yes, but it's all fun, I love the grill, the smoking of meats, but to tell you the truth, just having the people I cook for enjoy the food-that's all that matters. I love the simple life bro, I don't like complications because life will present all of that stuff no matter how hard we pray. I work hard, and play hard. I'm not a wealthy man in terms of finances, but we more than get by, and I truly thank God for that.
ME: Amen bro. Amen!