Smoked Prime Rib Roast Recipe

5 from 1 vote

This post may contain affiliate sales links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This Smoked Prime Rib Roast recipe with an amazing garlic herb rub is the only one you’ll ever need. Skip the oven and get ready to impress your guests by smoking your prime rib! It’s the perfect special occasion or holiday meal served along with favorite sides like a Classic Wedge Salad and Twice Baked Potatoes.

Smoked Prime Rib

Why You’ll Love This Smoked Prime Rib Recipe

Prime rib is an expensive cut of meat, no denying that. That’s why it’s generally reserved for special occasions and celebratory moments. Because of this, it can be intimidating, but don’t let that stop you! Simply follow my step by step instructions on how to smoke a prime rib and you’ll be on your way to success.

What is Prime Rib?

Prime rib is a large cut of beef that comes from the primal rib section of the cow. Prime Rib is generally known as a special and expensive cut of meat that is prepared and roasted (or in this case smoked!). Prime Rib is known for its beautiful exterior and rich, tender meat. Traditionally it is cooked rare or medium rare.

Where Can I Buy Prime Rib?

When you’re shopping for prime rib roast, go to a local butcher store or butcher counter at your local grocery store and ask them for a “standing rib roast”. It’s a big roast with bones (ribs) and fat layer still attached. The word “Prime” refers to the USDA Grade of the meat, specifically the abundant marbling. The next grade down would be “Choice”. If you can get a Prime grade, definitely do. If not, Choice grade would be the next best thing.

Sliced Smoked Prime Rib

When you buy ribeye steak, this is where it is coming from, just with the ribs and fat layer removed.

This cut is usually more expensive because it has a big “eye” of meat in its center (technically the rib-eye) and is well marbled. Also, because of its location in the cow, it isn’t a highly used muscle, leaving it extremely tender. 

Despite the price, it is so worth it.

Pro Tip: I highly recommend asking the butcher to cut and tie the rib bones for easier slicing and serving.

Main Ingredients Needed

It’s worth noting that a 15 lb prime rib is HUGE and quite a bit of meat, but great if you’re feeding a crowd like I did for Christmas! This recipe and smoking process will work with ANY size rib roast, you just won’t need as much of the rub so tailor that accordingly.

  • 15 lb bone-in prime rib roast– at the butcher counter ask for a standing rib roast.
  • coarse kosher salt- for the dry brine.

For the Garlic Herb Rub

  • butter
  • garlic cloves
  • sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • sprigs of fresh thyme
  • fresh parsley
  • black pepper
Prime Rib roast showing the ribs tied

Smoker + Wood/Pellet Choices for Prime Rib

I use a pellet smoker – the Traeger Wood Fired Pellet Grill to be exact. The Big Green Egg or any variation of that will do a great job as well. For choosing which flavor pellets or wood chips you want to use in your smoker- you generally want to choose one that has a light flavor so it doesn’t overpower the meat. Apple wood, which has a mild, slightly sweet flavor is a great option. Cherry wood or pecan wood are also great choices. Hickory, oak or mesquite wood flavors pair the best with prime rib if you’re wanting a strong and bold smoke.

How to Smoke Prime Rib Roast

For full recipe details, including ingredients and measurements, see the printable recipe card down below. Here are step-by-step directions to walk you through the process. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as you might think!

For Dry Brine (optional, but seriously – do it!)

This step is totally optional but if you have the time, I say go for it! A dry brined smoked prime rib is what will give you the most bang for your flavorful meat buck!! Anywhere from 24-36 hours before you want to begin smoking your meat, sprinkle all sides generously with coarse Kosher salt and place in fridge uncovered. Your results will be a juicy, fully seasoned piece of beef.

uncooked Prime Rib closeup

Let’s Get Ready to Smoke!

When ready to smoke meat, remove prime rib roast from the refrigerator to come to room temperature (about 1-2 hours). Do NOT rinse.

Preheat Smoker + Prep Garlic Herb Rub

Preheat smoker to 225° F according to your smoker’s directions.

1- Combine all garlic herb ingredients in a small bowl and stir until well combined.

2- Using clean hands, spread the rub evenly on 3 sides of the roast. (Adding rub to the fat cap is optional.)

Smoking Process For a Prime Rib Roast

Place beef directly on grill grate FAT SIDE UP and insert your smoker’s meat thermometer probe in the thickest part of the roast. 

smoked prime rib on smoker

Pro Tip: I like to put a disposable aluminum pan under the grate the roast is cooking on to catch any drippings. Just makes things easier to clean up later.

Smoke to Desired Doneness

Smoke for 35 minutes per pound (about 5 1/2 hours for a 15 lb roast) or until internal temperature of the roast reaches 120° F, for rare (with resting time). See the FAQ below for meat internal temperature ranges.

Remove From Smoker + Let Prime Rib Rest

Wrap the roast in non-coated butcher paper or aluminum foil and let the meat rest for about 20-30 minutes or until temperature reaches 125° F and juices are all redistributed. 

Unwrap Meat + Slice

Unwrap meat, place on a cutting board and with a sharp knife, slice into individual slices. Serve with au jus and fresh horseradish. 

Au Jus for Smoked Prime Rib

Even though I put a pan in the smoker to catch drippings, there really won’t be enough to make an au jus. While you can totally make your own homemade au jus with beef consomme or beef stock, I have found that store-bought is completely delicious as well. Just pour whatever pan drippings or juice from the cutting board after slicing to the store-bought au jus and you won’t miss a thing. This is my favorite brand.

Storing Leftover Prime Rib

Prime rib leftovers are best eaten the next day, but will store well in the fridge for up to 5-7 days. Allow any leftover prime rib to cool to room temperature. Store in an airtight container or wrap tightly in plastic wrap in the fridge.

To reheat in the oven: Preheat the oven to 250° F. Place prime rib slice in a baking pan with a few tablespoons of beef broth or water (or leftover au jus). Cover the pan tightly with foil and heat in the oven until the meat is warmed through, about 10 minutes.

Smoked Prime Rib resting

FAQ About Smoked Prime Rib

How long do I smoke prime rib?

The cooking times will vary based on the temperature you’re cooking your prime rib to. Most experts will say this particular cut of meat is too nice to cook to well done. Most people cook theirs to rare or medium-rare.
Here are the internal temperature ranges:
Rare: 120° to 125° F (pull when thermometer reaches 120 degrees)
Medium Rare: 130° to 135° F (pull when thermometer reaches 130 degrees)
Medium: 140° to 145° F (pull when thermometer reaches 140 degrees)
Medium Well: 150° to 155° F (pull when thermometer reaches 150 degrees)
Well-Done: 160° to 165° F (pull when thermometer reaches 160 degrees)

How much meat should I plan per person- I’m feeding a crowd!

Since your standing rib roast comes with big rib bones, you will use these as a guide for meal planning. Account for 1 rib bone for every two people
If you’re serving younger children (under 10), you can account 1 rib bone for every three children.
If your family happens to be big meat eaters, plan for 1 rib per person (but expect that to be a generous portion). Another formula you can use is 1 pound per person, calculating the total of the raw rib roast. Again, if you have children or small eaters, you can get away with less.

How do you reheat prime rib without ruining it?

Preheat the oven to 250° F. Place prime rib slice in a baking pan with a few tablespoons of beef broth or water (or leftover au jus). Cover the pan tightly with foil and heat in the oven until the meat is warmed through, about 10 minutes.

sliced Smoked Prime Rib

More Meaty Dishes to Try!

What To Serve With Prime Rib

This smoked prime rib is seriously the most flavorful, mouth-watering and tender roast I have ever had. This is the only recipe you’ll ever need for your special occasions. The printable recipe card is below. Enjoy, friends! 🙂

If you make this recipe, I would really appreciate it if you would give it a star rating and leave your review in the comments! If you have a picture of your finished dish, post it on Instagram using the hashtag #laurenslatest and tagging me @laurens_latest.

Smoked Prime Rib cooked and sliced
PrintPrint Pin ItPin It
5 from 1 vote

Smoked Prime Rib

This Smoked Prime Rib Roast recipe with an amazing garlic herb rub is the only one you'll ever need. Get ready to impress your guests.
servings 15
Prep Time 2 days 1 hour
Cook Time 5 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 15 lb prime rib roast I always grab PRIME (not Choice) beef
  • 1/2 cup Kosher salt for dry brine

Garlic Herb Rub

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 6 cloves garlic minced
  • 6 sprigs rosemary fresh, finely diced
  • 10 sprigs thyme fresh, finely diced
  • 1 bunch parsley fresh, finely diced
  • 1 tbsp black pepper

Equipment

Instructions

for dry brine (optional, but seriously – do it!)

  • Sprinkle all sides of meat generously with coarse Kosher salt and place in fridge uncovered for 24-36 hours.
    uncooked Prime Rib closeup with dry brine
  • When ready to smoke meat, remove from refrigerator to come to room temperature.
    Prime Rib roast showing the ribs tied

preheat smoker + prepare garlic herb rub

  • Preheat smoker to 225° F according to your smoker's directions.
  • Combine all garlic herb ingredients in a small bowl and stir until well combined.
    Smoked Prime Rib rub min
  • If you did NOT dry brine your roast, this is where you would add salt to taste.
  • Using clean hands, spread the rub evenly on 3 sides of the prime rib roast. Adding rub to the fat cap is optional.
    Smoked Prime Rib rub mixture
  • Place beef directly on grill grate FAT SIDE UP and insert your smoker's meat thermometer probe in the thickest part of the roast.
    smoked prime rib on smoker
  • Smoke for 35 minutes per pound (about 5 1/2 hours for a 15 lb roast) or until internal temperature reaches 120° F for rare (with resting time).
  • Wrap the roast in non-coated butcher paper or aluminum foil and let meat rest for about 30 minutes or until temperature reaches 125° F and juices are all redistributed.
    Smoked Prime Rib on a cutting board
  • Unwrap meat, place on a cutting board and slice into individual slices. Serve with au jus and fresh horseradish.
    Smoked Prime Rib slice on a plate with a dollop of horseradish

Nutrition

Calories: 1466kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 62g | Fat: 133g | Saturated Fat: 58g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 56g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 307mg | Sodium: 4074mg | Potassium: 1042mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 734IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 53mg | Iron: 7mg
Course: Dinner
Cuisine: American
Keyword: prime rib, smoked prime rib

Share a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




“logos”