Smoked Prime Rib Roast is ultimate holiday meal, and this is the best way to prepare this amazing holiday roast. We put together a comprehensive guide and video on smoking perfect Prime Rib Recipe every time.
Vindulge Recipe Highlights
- This recipe works for bone-in or boneless prime rib.
- You can use any smoker, from pellet grills to offsets, for this smoked prime rib recipe.
- Season the rib roast with an herbal paste for more flavor.
- If looking for something hot and fast check out our grilled prime rib recipe.
Prime Rib is one of the iconic celebratory or festive holiday meals. It’s dramatic, big in flavor, and delicious. Let’s be honest, it’s also an incredibly expensive cut of meat. So you want to make sure you get it right! If you are cooking this special occasion recipe for family or friends this holiday season this is your go-to guide to ensure a memorable meal.
- Vindulge Recipe Highlights
- The Process for Smoked Prime Rib
- What is Prime Rib?
- Rating Prime Rib – USDA, Wagyu, Local
- How to Select a Prime Rib
- Preparing a Prime Rib for Smoking
- Prime Rib Seasoning
- How to Smoke a Prime Rib
- Slicing Rib Roast
- How Long to Smoke Prime Rib
- Beef Temperature Chart
- Prime Rib Wine Pairing
- Leftover Prime Rib Ideas
- Holiday Meal Planning Ideas
- Smoked Prime Rib Recipe with Herb Paste
The Process for Smoked Prime Rib
The end to end process for smoked prime rib is pretty simple.
- Season the roast. We use an herb paste in this recipe.
- Smoke the roast. Smoke it low and slow until the desired finishing temperature, which for us is medium rare.
- Let the roast rest. This is key to keep the moisture.
- Slice and Serve.
Smoking meat is low and slow — low heat and a slow cooking process. So when I say “smoking” that is what I am referring to. Smoking is synonymous with barbecue, but I like to be specific in the technique. Grilling is a high heat cooking method and not to be confused with low and slow. Each has its time and place, but for me holidays are all about low and slow.
Related Article: Reverse Seared Prime Rib
What is Prime Rib?
Technically it’s a beef rib roast that comes from the central part of the cow off of the spine. The movement of the cow gives this cut great marbling. It can go by many names, including:
- Prime Rib
- Standing Rib Roast
- Beef Rib Roast
- Ribeye Roast or Roll
- Bone-In or Boneless Roast
“Prime”, as it refers to the Prime Rib roast, is a reference to the primal cuts versus USDA prime rating. Primal cuts are the larger cuts after initial butchering.
Rating Prime Rib – USDA, Wagyu, Local
Quality, as defined by the USDA, is the marbling quality of beef, which in turn also impacts tenderness and flavor.
When talking to friends and family I can’t help but notice that some of the meat they are purchasing is not in fact “Prime”. So first, let us discuss the finer points of the rib roast so it’s easier to understand what you are buying and how much you are buying it for.
In order of grade of beef quality per USDA you have Prime, Choice and then Select.
While Prime is certainly the highest quality, Choice also has tremendous flavor and is definitely not an “inferior” meat. It just didn’t rise to the occasion of marbling and quality as the Prime. When you get to Select, you begin to see a difference in the meat, the fat content, and other factors. It is still worthy of smoking, but I would be sure if going down this route, consider at least a Choice cut for a smoked prime rib.
You can also buy American Wagyu, like from Snake River Farms. The marbling for American Wagyu is beyond Prime. And, being based in the Pacific Northwest, we love supporting our local ranchers and farmers. American Wagyu contains even more marbling and has an amazing buttery texture that is incredible. Snake River also has Prime and Choice cuts.
At some stores you may see labels outlining the rancher, or the type of feed (grass, grain, etc.). Don’t hesitate to ask if the beef is rated, and if it isn’t, at least discuss with the butcher that you are looking for a Choice or Prime quality cut or its equivalent. Grain finishing adds marbling. Strictly grass fed beef will tend to be leaner and with less marbling.
Ranchers elect to have their beef rated this way. So you may have a local rancher with Prime quality beef, but haven’t paid for the stamp (it will have passed USDA inspection, just not getting a rating). That’s why looking at the actual marbling is key so you can make the best decision that works for your budget and quality.
Finally, look closely at the labeling. In the end it may say “Prime Rib of Beef” or “Standing Beef Rib Roast for Prime Rib” according to the USDA but not have to be derived from Prime grade beef. So when in doubt ask the butcher.
How to Select a Prime Rib
- Select the Size of Roast: When shopping for a roast for an event or party, we plan 1 pound of meat per person (pre-cook weight).
- What is your Budget: Having a budget can help guide where you want to find the most quality for the money. Look online if you aren’t finding what you want locally.
- Consider the Marbling: Look at the intramuscular fat. Be sure there is healthy marbling, but still a good amount of meat.
- Bone-In or Boneless: If buying bone-in, typically order the roast by number of rib bones, like a 3-bone rib roast. Bone-in has the benefit of a layer between the heat source and the meat to protect the meat while cooking.
There is no flavor difference between bone-in or boneless (so don’t let anyone tell you there is). The difference comes in presentation and having a small layer between the grill, the bones, and the rib roast.
The flavor differences are going to be defined by the quality of meat and marbling vs. whether or not your roast is boneless or bone-in.
Ordering prime rib online also makes it easy so it is delivered right to you in time for your meal.
Preparing a Prime Rib for Smoking
- Start by trimming away the excess fat cap off the outer roast if it is hanging or loose. There is plenty of marbling inside that rib roast to give flavor. By removing excess fat, it helps get seasoning closer to the meat.
- After trimming the fat, pat the roast dry. It’s not uncommon for the butcher to have trimmed off the bones already from the roast (and thus it is tied together with string). Be sure when you clean it, you include this area as well. Then the seasoning begins.
- If the bones have not been removed, you can do this now, or after the cook. Simply cut along the bone slowly to separate. Tie back using butchers twine to keep them together.
Prime Rib Seasoning
Start with a coat of olive oil and then finish with salt and pepper. Sound simple? It is, and this is due to the amazing flavor you get from the fat rendering as you slowly cook the meat. Want to add another layer of flavor? Consider a flavorful herb paste of olive oil, crushed garlic, thyme, sage, and rosemary for your Smoked Prime Rib, such as the one below.
A paste is simply a wet rub. Just blend all of the ingredients together in a food processor. It sticks easier to the meat, and when using smoke, the moisture from the paste helps the flavor adhere to the meat.
Remember to also season within that area of the bone that was removed by the butcher, coat everywhere. Seriously, be LIBERAL with your paste and seasonings! You can season the roast the day you will cook it or prep the day before.
Double this herb paste recipe if the roast is over 5 pounds.
Side note: I don’t have the bone removed prior to cooking, instead I cut it out after it’s done cooking. This is just my preference.
How to Smoke a Prime Rib
Whether you use a pellet smoker, electric, or a wood and coal based smoker, the technique is the same for this Smoked Prime Rib recipe.
- Prepare your fire in your smoker. The key is keeping the temperature in the cooking chamber at 225 degrees throughout the cooking process.
- Place the seasoned prime rib roast onto the smoker when it comes to temperature. I do this straight from the fridge. When smoking, the cooler meat will warm as it cooks and the colder temperature actually will infuse more smoke flavor than a roast that has been standing a while at room temperature. The reason is that it sweats as it goes from cold to warm, and that liquid helps with the smoke flavor.
- Smoke the roast until the internal temperature of the meat, when measured at the center, is at your desired level; I like 125 degrees for rare and 135 for medium rare.
- Once you pull the smoked prime rib roast from the smoker, tent the roast in aluminum foil and allow 30 minutes for the meat to rest. The temperature will continue to rise another 5 degrees or so and while the meat rests, the cells will reabsorb the juices as it cools keeping the sliced meat moist.
- Carve and serve with your favorite sides.
Always use a good instant read meat thermometer for a cut like this for a proper read. We love the Thermapen One for its quick and accurate read as well as the Thermoworks Smoke Unit to monitor the temperature throughout the cooking process.
Chef’s Tip: Remember, when cooking in a smoker or grill, you always cook to temperature and not time.
Slicing Rib Roast
Remove the foil and then remove the strings (if you wrapped your roast). Next, remove the bones from the prime rib roast (see video for how we do this). As much as I love the bone, I find a much more elegant (and easier) presentation without the bone. Place the roast on a cutting board and slice into desired thickness. Plate and serve with your favorite sides.
The great part of a Prime Rib Roast is the ability to cook the outer edges to medium while the center can be rare. So you can please a wide audience without over cooking the entire roast if some of your guests prefer a more med-well done slice.
How Long to Smoke Prime Rib
All time ranges are based on a finished internal temperature of 130 degrees Fahrenheit. As a reminder when cooking at low temperature, the guide to when the meat is done is the internal temperature, not the exact timing.
- 225 Degrees will take roughly 40 minutes per pound
- 250 Degrees will take roughly 30 minutes per pound
- 275 Degrees will take roughly 20 minutes per pound
The following times are a rough guide for how long a prime rib will take to smoke at 225 degrees F.
- 4 Pound Prime Rib = 2.6 hours
- 6 pound Prime Rib = 4 hours
- 8 pound Prime Rib = 5.3 hours
- 10 pound Prime Rib = 6.6 hours
Chef’s Tip: Be sure to add 30 minutes of resting time to the cooking time. If your rib roast is done early, then wrap the roast in butcher paper or a towel and place into a cooler with no ice. The roast will stay warm for up to four hours.
Sorry holiday ham… sometimes you just need to change things up. Be the hero this holiday season and wow your friends and family with this ultimate Smoked Prime Rib recipe and guide.
Beef Temperature Chart
Always cook beef to temperature, not time. Here is the Vindulge beef temperature chart for reference. For a large roast there will be carry over cooking, anywhere from 5-7 degrees from when you remove the roast from the smoker.
- Rare: 120-130 degrees F
- Medium Rare: 130-140 degrees F
- Medium: 140-150 degrees F
- Medium Well: 150-160 degrees F
- Well Done: 160 degrees F (and not recommended)
Prime Rib Wine Pairing
The best wine with Prime Rib is a big red such as a California Cabernet Sauvignon, Bordeaux, Merlot, or Malbec. You can read more about pairing wine with Beef Rib Roast, where we discuss all things wine and smoked prime rib.
You can also shop the perfect holiday wines at our own Vindulge Wine Marketplace.
Leftover Prime Rib Ideas
Holiday Meal Planning Ideas
Explore our entire article on holiday recipes for the grill and smoker for more holiday roast inspiration, appetizers, and cocktails. Here are some of our favorites.
- Mulled Wine Recipe
- Roasted Chestnuts Over Open Fire
- Grilled Bacon Wrapped Dates
- Duck Fat Roasted Potatoes
- Grilled Brussels Sprouts Recipe
*This post contains an affiliate link for the Thermapen Mk4 digital read thermometer and Snake River Farms. We only recommend products we use and love! And you can’t smoke meat to the perfect temperature without one! Seriously, the folks who cook to touch? No! You can always be certain if you have good thermometer and this one is awesome.
This post was originally published December of 2016, and updated with new details in September 2022. The original recipe remains the same.
If you like this recipe we’d truly appreciate it if you would give this recipe a star review! And if you share any of your pics on Instagram use the hashtag #vindulge. We LOVE to see it when you cook our recipes.
Jounayet Rahman says
Thank you for another beautiful recipe.
Outstanding! Followed this recipe exactly. 3 hours 45 minutes for a 6lb roast. 40 minutes resting time. Results were wonderful. The only charge I may consider next time is to reduce the salt in the rub.
4 Pound Prime Rib = 2.6 hours
6 pound Prime Rib = 4 hours
8 pound Prime Rib = 5.3 hours
10 pound Prime Rib = 6.6 hours
When using these times, are you calculating the weight of the meat with or without the bones attached?
Sean Martin says
It will always be based on temperature versus time, but generally it’s with a bone-in rib roast.
Dan Betting says
Awesome recipe! I was going to try a few different ones but after we used this one the first time, we’ve never tried another. We grow our own herbs which probably makes it even better.
Herb paste added a ton of flavor
Cathy Lee says
Happy New Year! Love your recipes. We’re smoking a prime rib today in our Mak Two Star General. It’s the best!
Sean Martin says
YESSSS Cathy!!! Thanks so much for following along and for the note.
Was nervous about smoking such an expensive cut of meat, until I watched your video. You made it look easy and it was! Was perfect for Christmas dinner. Thank you.
Tried it on my new Traeger smoker and it came out fantastic. Thanks mucho!
Sean Martin says
Congrats an your outdoor cooking investment! And thank you for the feedback!
Unless I missed it, you never described the wood used for smoking your Prime
Sean Martin says
It’s actually in the recipe details – we recommend a fruit wood like apple or cherry for the sweeter flavor. Oak works too. Hickory and Mesquite will certainly be a lot more smokier, which is why we like the lighter woods.
J R Malone says
Hi there from Sonora CA!
We just finished dinning on a Thanksgivings Prime Rib from your recipe. It was freaking delicious, perfectly cooked, 9 lbs. for 4 hours (127deg f.). Internal. We were a little early based on cooking at 225deg at 40 mins per lb. but it held well rapped in foil, towels and a blanket after taking off the CampChef smoker.
Oh baby so good!!!
PS: we had an organic table mountain beef prime rib from Rawhide meats. Get the grass fed organic for optimum taste!!!!!
Sean Martin says
Thank you for taking time to share your feedback and we are so glad it turned out! And that grass fed beef sounds like it was amazing.
Thank you for this recipe. We are doing a new tradition for Thanksgiving as my husband passed away in may fighting a battle of COPD for years. So, my son and I are learning how to Smoke (which I bought last year and my neighbor’s husband put it together for me) and BBQ. I use my Instant Pot and Ninja Foodi, but, we hardly every BBQ’d and I am loving it. Teaching my 20-year old son, and he smoked a Salmon on his own, and turned out pretty good. Was proud of him.
Sean Martin says
Kerri, first we are so sorry for your loss. What a great experience with your son to be able to cook together. We believe that cooking for and with each other is an act of love and I am sure your husband is with you as you continue with your new traditions. Thank you for sharing.
Ryan Mausolf says
Happy Thanksgiving Mary!
You knocked it out of the park with this recipe, and just helped us establish our yearly holiday tradition. I think turkey is taking a backseat.
Our family is a little pickier, and we smoked our 7 pound roast to medium doneness, in about 4.5 hours (143 degrees). Outstanding results! Thanks for the recipe!
Kathy Boden says
Your finished roast looked sooo good made my mouth water. I am making a 5lb Rib Roast tomorrow in our Traeger using your recipe. Thanks for your great recipes and videos.
Sean Martin says
Thank you Kathy, we look forward to seeing the finished photos! Remember to cook to your desired finishing internal temperature and let it rest!! 🙂
Oh my word. This was the most amazing prime rib and just melted in your mouth!! Thank you for this recipe! My 4.3 lb prime rib took about 3 hours to hit med rare. How much time would you add for each lb? I plan to do a much larger one for Christmas (this was practice).
We typically gauge roughly 45 mins per extra pound, and shoot for a 130 internal temperature. Hope this helps. Glad you loved the prime rib!!! 🙂
Rick D says
Be a bit more cautious on time for a much bigger roast, an 18 lb prime rib is the same size around as an 8 lber. This means the thickness of the meat that the heat has to penetrate is about the same on both. Start checking your thermometer at 4 to 4.5 hours just to prevent overcooking. Enjoy
Sean Martin says
Agreed – or consider cutting it in half.
Al W says
Hi Mary! Big fan here!
I am getting ready to do my first prime rib roast and I want to follow this recipe. I have a massive 16lb prime bone-in rib roast I’ll be making for a party this weekend. I’ll be smoking on a Big Green Egg XL at 225 as you recommend. With this roast being wider but not necessarily thicker than the smaller roast you use, what would you plan on for time? Will it really take 8+ hours to rare/medium-rare plus resting time?
Great question and I really don’t think you will take that much time even with it being so big. Because the heat will cook outside in from both the edges and outside, the cook time should be relatively similar to a smaller cut. You can also up the temperature to 250 if you would like. The nice thing with such a large cut, is you can plan a medium rare edge with rare middle for those who want variety. When can we come over ??? 🙂
Found your awesome recipe here on Pinterest. I’ve smoked a few prime ribs on my Treager, but not with such a tasty paste rub. My wife couldn’t say enough about the delicious flavor. It went well with the bottle of 2016 Chronic Cellars La Muneca from Paso Robles. Thanks for posting your recipe. The only thing I regret is that I forgot to take a photo to show off how beautiful it looked.
Thanks again for sharing you recipe
I recently purchased a pellet smoker and have had a great time trying out new smoking recipes from your site and fine tuning my already great bbq pork ribs. My family is skeptical on the whole smoking thing and always thinks the food will taste too smokey.
I decided to try your bourbon citris brined turkey for Thanksgiving (actually did 2 small ones) and it came out awesome with everyone liking it. So for Christmas dinner last night I did your prime rib recipe, again with some hesitation from the family. The father in law is a BIG meat lover and I told him I got the 3 bone-in, 8.5lb prime cut from costco, when actually I purchased a choice cut from the local grocery store on sale for 1/2 the price. I prepped the meat the day before per your recipe, cooked at 225 for about 4.5hrs, then pulled and wrapped for another hour while we had drinks & appetizers. I really like the idea of cooking the main course in the smoker so the kitchen is not too busy, plus I wrapped the vegitables & mashed potatoes in a foil covered pan and heated them in the smoker for about an hour at the same time, so minimal kitchen cleanup!
At the least, I myself was pleasantly surprised on how this rib roast turned out. Light smoke flavor, very tender & juicy, with the ends having the most amazing flavor. Everyone loved it and my father in-law commented numerous times on how outstanding it was. I thought it was the wine talking (we paired w/ a 2015 Savant from Justin Vinyards in Paso Robles,CA) but he commented again this morning. I even brought some over to my bbq/smoking connoisseur neighbor last night for him to try.
So easy & good, I will be saving this recipe for future cooks 🙂
Russell, thank you so much for taking the time to share your experience, and thanks for following along with us. We LOVE the feedback and appreciate it!!!! Perhaps today it is on the menu for leftover Prime Rib Steak sandwiches 🙂 !!!
First time smoking a prime rib, I started out by a slow smoke at low settings for almost three hours. Followed it by turning up the heat because dinner was getting delayed. Two hours later the alarm on the meat thermometer was telling me optimal temp was reached.
My whole family loved the smokiness and the rub.
We used hickory pellets
Jack that is great, and thanks for sharing!! Happy holidays.
Steve Gould says
I always wanted to smoke a prime rib, so this was the year, and this was the recipe. Absolutely the best prime rib I’ve ever had. The only problem I had was the cooking time…I had the correct temp on the pellet grill @ 225-230, but for a 6.5 lb roast, it went faster than I expected. I pulled the meat off at 140, double wrapped it in foil and placed it in a small insulated cooler for 1 hour. Incredibly moist, and for us, cooked to perfection. I wouldn’t change a thing in the recipe, and I look forward to having this meal again. Thank you very much for sharing such a delicious recipe.
Steve that is fantastic and thanks for sharing. You bring up a great point on cooking time, because the marbling of the meat can change that. Happy holidays!
Shay B says
Oh my goodness! This sounds delicious! We’re hosting a New Year’s Eve dinner and are serving prime rib. I have always cooked the roast in the oven with great success. But we recently got a Big Green Egg and I’d LOVE to use it to cook the prime rib this year! But my question is this: is this a direct or indirect cook?
Thank you so much!
Shay great question. We also have a BGE and will cook this with the indirect method. So add that EggVerter to the grill and smoke it low and slow!!!
I am making the big Christmas dinner for my family this year! My dad likes to say “Your 21 kid, if you can drink big you can now cook the big family dinner”, he tries to be a funny guy!
I would like to smoke the prime rib, but I am working with an older traeger pellet smoker that only has three settings. Smoke, medium, and high. Of course to make matters worse the temp gauge is shot. What setting would you suggest I cook the roast at and for how long?
Thanks so much!
Isabele have no fear!!! We used to cook on the older Traeger model. Smoke setting is going to run roughly 160 on a normal day. Medium will run 300. And High 375 – 400.
I would plan on using the smoke setting exclusively. It may take a little longer. Do you have access to any kind of thermometer? Digital or otherwise? We use the Thermoworks units, maybe a local store has the Thermapop or Thermapen? (Early Xmas gift ;))
I would say that is key, so you don’t overcook it. Hope that helps!!
Fartboy McGee says
This sounds like many gassy farts! hehe
Favorite comment ever. 🙂 Are you sure this isn’t one of our kids lol.
I’m thinking on trying this this Christmas for family. Based off your recipe, I’m thinking a 10 lb prime rib roast (boneless) is going to take a total of 7.15 hours smoke and rest time for medium rare at 225 degrees (135 final meat temp-if that’s the correct temp). Does that sound correct? Any other tips you can provide for this size cut? I wont be cutting it into smaller roasts, I want one big roast. I’ve never cooked a prime rib before and this will be my first try, so I’m hoping to get it right the first time. Also does outside temp affect smoke time if electric smoker is insulated? It’s cold where I live. I’ve smoked other types of meats (mainly chicken/turkey) in winter with no problems on time.
Michelle this is a great question. I would plan roughly 6 hours(ish). Internal temperature is going to be the most critical, with a 10 pound rib roast, be sure you are checking temperature in three spots consistently. Center, and a few inches from each side. The outer edges will cook faster, so if you like rare, but most like medium rare, I would pull the roast based upon how your two sides are temping. That way your center cut is rare, and your edges are medium rare. If you wait for the center to be medium rare in a roast that size your edges will be closer to medium or more. Also double or triple the herb paste for that size.
Outside temperature is going to impact the cooking time. It requires more fuel, and wind or cold will cool down the exterior of the smoker. It can ultimately slow the cook down by an hour.
If for some reason you plan for 7 hours of cook and rest time, and it is done at 5 hours, don’t stress! Make sure you have a clean cooler with no ice, you can place the rib roast wrapped in foil or a towel into the cooler (a towel you do not like :O) and it will hold in the cooler for a couple of hours pre-slice. Remember too that there will be some carry over cooking of five degrees. So if you hold in a cooler, expect the internal temperature to go up another 5 degrees. So if you like your internal temperature at 129, pull it at 124 and it will keep going to 129 in the cooler.
Jeremy Belko says
What do you do when someone wants their piece cooked more than others. Would you grill it or finish those pieces in over?
A great question and thanks for the comment. You have two options (among many) that we leverage. The first, is that your two sides will cook faster. It is common that while the center cut is medium rare or rare, your sides will cook to medium or higher. SO you can plan to serve those sides to anyone wanting a higher cooking temp. The other option is exactly your comment. Slice and then give a quick grill or cast iron grill if inside to bring up that temp faster. The oven will take too long IMO. In the rare case you are the outlier in wanting it cooked lower, you can always keep going on your cook, temping in three places (the sides, and center) so you can keep the center cut to your liking. Hope that helps!!
John Calloway says
I am feeding 80. I have purchased 10 5lb roasts and cut them in half to expedite the time needed to smoke. I am making a huge assumption that 20 2,5lb roasts will smoke a little faster than 10 5lb? I am using a Green Mountain Grill and a Traeger to accommodate the smoking.
John, great question. You are correct in that making the roasts smaller speeds up the cooking, plus gives you more crust! The internal heat will come up faster as the convection in the smoker doesn’t need to take as long to bring up temp the smaller roasts. Great that you have more than one smoker, if you over pack one smoker that counteracts the smaller roasts. So long as they are spaced out, you should see the cooking time happen faster.
Ted G says
Mary, I like the nice, simple recipe but you should put a timing estimate per pound rather than estimated total time. I’m putting the seasoning/paste recipe to use this weekend on a 15 lb bad boy in my Camp Chef.
Ted that’s a fair comment, sometimes though as you get to a rib roast that big it doesn’t always translate but we’ll definitely consider!!! Most importantly, take photos and post and tag us on the gram or on our Facebook page….15 lbs has to be a a five bone roast at least!!!!
Absolutely the best prime rib I’ve ever had. I didn’t use fresh herbs in the paste, but it was the perfect flavor profile. I did use Montreal Steak seasoning in place of salt and pepper as well. Thank you for this excellent recipe. I don’t know that I will ever be able to order prime rib again. It just won’t be as good as this.
See, you don’t need to go out anymore, go grab a good quality cut. And you made it your own with flavors you like. I hope you have yummy leftovers for sandwiches!!
Chris G. says
We made this for Christmas and it was one of the best meals I’ve made! Making it again this Easter. Thank you.
Curtis W Gabbert says
I made this for guests on Christmas day . Having not tried this recipe in advance I was very leary about serving it to guests, (and risking ruining a $50 cut of meat). I did modify my preparation by dry brining my roast for 12 hours using a generous amount of pickling salt. That firmed up the meat nicely. I then rinsed the meat and dried it thoroughly before continuing on using the recipe as written to rub a garlic, basil, oregeno,garlic, olive oil paste on it prior to smoking with pecan chips.
It turned out to be excellent! I didn’t time it but used a temperature probe. I removed it from the smoker at 145 degrees and let it rest for about 1/2 hour before serving. It was cooked perfectly with very red meat but no bleading, (I’d call it medium rare). I will definately use this same technique and recipe in the future. Everyone seemed to enjoy as much as I did as there were only scraps left f or the dogs …
That’s so great to hear! I’m so happy everyone enjoyed the Prime Rib 🙂
Michael Mundy says
Your recipe and instructions are spot on….. We smoked our 5.5 lbs of prime rib roast as per your instructions- including the herb paste. Our meal was outstanding! This was our first attempt at smoking a prime rib roast, WOW! WHAT? That meal was off the charts, Delicious! This is a recipe that we will use time and time again.
Thank you, and Merry Christmas!
That’s wonderful! So happy everyone enjoyed it! Merry Christmas to you too! 🙂
Just to clarify, the “prime” in prime rib does not come from the grade of meat. “Prime” refers to the cut coming from the primal rib section of the cow. Additionally, I would recommend you bring your roast out of the fridge about 30 to 45 minutes to help the meat come up to an even room temp prior to going on the smoker. This will help the roast cook to a nice even medium rare.
DJMC – thanks for the comment, I didn’t clarify as much on the primal section or the initial butchering of the cow, instead focusing on the clarification of the USDA systems so I updated for clarity. We also have not found getting room temperature first before smoking has been as flavorful. We definitely do that if we are roasting or cooking steaks for a sear as room temperature meat sears better, but for smoking as we noted in the piece, we like the cold meat to sweat while it comes to temperature and add more smoke flavor given liquid helps the chemical reaction. Thanks again for the primal catch and happy holidays!
I’m cooking a full rack!!! any tips? This recipe looks perfect so I’ll be trying it out on our smoker!
First, you can never have too much of the paste. So feel free to over do it! Second, key is taking the internal temperature to your liking. A lot of folk like it rare, so 120 – 125. I like 127, nice mix, let it sit covered when it is done, then slice. The ends will be more well done for those few who may like it.
Sam Baker says
Going to give it a try. We have a full rib, 12 pounds to be exact, they oven readied it for us by removing the bones and wrapping in string, will let you know how it turns out.
Awesome!! Post photos on our Facebook page!!!!
I love my smoker and love trying new things. This was the best thing I have ever made! Truly unbelievable! The prime rib was almost 5 lbs, it was done in 3 & half hours. I use pecan wood chips. This was the most delicious piece of meat, cooked to perfection, moist tender and the flavor was unbelievable! Typically I hate the ends, it’s cooked to much, it’s just not for me, this was best part! For a prime rib for two, there was only a small slice leftover, I ate it cold the next morning, still mind blowing. This was my practice run for Christmas dinner, now I really can’t wait for Christmas! Thank you so much for this recipe!
That’s so great to hear!! And I’m with you on the ends. I like to hoard the ends on this recipe 😉
They’re so full of delicious flavor!!
Brenda Urey says
What type of pellets should you use when smoking the prime rib? Hickory, mesquite, maple, ?
Brenda, we love using oak or hickory on the prime rib.
Craig Hood says
This is a great, easy to follow recipe that helped me with my first Smoked Prime Rib. I felt confident when I saw you were using a Traeger smoker (like mine). The meat cooked to perfection and my family really enjoyed it. Even the person who doesn’t like her meat “red/pink” thought it was good. We paired it with a Stag’s Leap Petite Sirah. It was so good.
Now I going to try your steak sandwich recipe.
Michael Messer says
I just bought myself the MK4 Thermapen. This sounds like just the recipe to try it out on! Yummy!
Bill Mason says
Simple and looks amazing. Will be using this recipe Christmas Day. Thank you and Merry Christmas!!
Marlynn | UrbanBlissLife says
GAH. I really need to stop reading your blog first thing in the morning and late at night because now I NEED that prime rib!! It looks amazing!
Krista Nicole says
Looks like a great recipe for the holidays! I wish I had a smoker. We always do prime rib on Christmas Day, love it.
Oooh, that sounds fabulous! Who says grilling is just for the summer months?! I need to do more with really nice rubs, that one sounds awesome!
Drrrrooooooooooooooool this looks like heaven. I love prime rib for special occasions and especially holidays!
B. Morris says
My husband hate red meat. Can In et it smoke a little longer til it is medium well and it still taste good?
Sean Martin says
Technically we don’t recommend prime rib to be cooked to well done as it will dry out and you start to lose some of the beefy flavor. However, if that’s how he likes it, then we encourage you to cook it the way you like. However, Skirt steak and Tri Tip are two beef cuts that actually retain a lot of tenderness if cooked to a higher temperature.