Smoked Prime Rib is the crown jewel of many families’ holiday dinners. Make sure your Prime Rib is perfectly cooked and juicy every time with this foolproof method.
The holiday season is approaching, and this classic and delicious prime rib is made with a 10-pound roast, seasoning, and only 15 minutes of prep time!
Smoked Prime Rib Recipe
The best way to serve smoked prime rib is around a table gathering for special occasions like Christmas dinner.
No one wants to spend all day working in the kitchen just to sit down and eat in two seconds.
If that sounds like you? This recipe is for you.
With only 15 minutes worth of prep time and 6 hours of hands-off smoking. Once done, you will soon have the perfect prime rib, kissed with smoke flavor, and the best part of the holidays this season.
Prime Rib Roast Ingredients
Meat: For this recipe, the first thing you are going to need to start with is 10 lbs of USDA prime Bone-In Rib Roast (8-11 lb average).
For cooking: When cooking the roast, I used avocado oil before seasoning.
For the full list of ingredients and measurements, don’t forget to check out the recipe card down below.
How to make Smoked Prime Rib
Prep the prime rib. 2-3 days before cooking, unwrap the rib roast and pat it completely dry, and place it on a sheet pan with a cooling rack in the fridge.
Prep the smoker. On Cook Day, Preheat the Smoker to 225 Degrees F.
Season the prime rib. Rub the Rib Roast with avocado oil on all sides, including the bones, then liberally season the roast on all sides, patting the seasoning into the roast.
Smoke the prime rib. Place the temperature probe at a 45-degree angle so the point of the probe is in the center at the thickest part of the roast. Place roast on the smoker and cook for 4-5 hours until roast reaches an internal temperature of 125 degrees F.
Rest the meat. Once the roast has reached 125 degrees F. remove the roast from the pit and rest for 45 minutes to 1 hour before removing the bones and slicing.
Making Smoked Prime Rib with the Reheat Method
If you plan to use the reheat method you are going to want to preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. and place sliced prime rib on a sheet pan with about ¾ cup of au jus, and cook for 3-5 minutes, just long enough to warm the meat. For well done, you will need to cook sliced prime rib for about 18-22 minutes.
I know that seems low, but the key to an evenly cooked prime rib roast is to bring the temperature of the roast up evenly.
By doing this and using this method, you will avoid having the outside overcooked and the center raw.
Pro Tip: Ensure your prime rib is bone-side down, not sitting directly above the heat source, and with the probe placed into the center of the roast.
Serving the Smoked Prime Rib Roast
Once your roast has reached 125 degrees F, it’s time to pull it off the pit and let it rest for about 1 hour before slicing!
If you intend to serve the roast immediately, you can simply remove the string, then place the roast on its side and slice along the bone to remove it.
Slice the bones individually and set them aside. Place the roast flat on a large cutting board and begin slicing enough slices for the number of guests you’re serving.
Pro Tip: You don’t need to slice the whole roast if you have extra.
Different Finish Times for Different People
In my house, we have a few family members that like and need their prime rib served closer to well done.
…. I know, I know, but it’s my mother, and she gave birth to me. So I’ll burn her steak if she wants me to.
If you have someone like that in your house, give this a shot!
I always give my mom the end cut, which is normally my favorite because it has the most crust and seasoning, but it’s also cooked a little further than the center cuts.
Once you have cut off the pieces you want, place the slices on a sheet pan and pour over a few ladles full of au jus, and put it in a 400-degree oven until they reach an internal temp of about 160 degrees F.
Warming Up Prime Rib
Thanks to our well-done folks who need their meat cooked longer the rest of the meat has cooled down a bit.
However, don’t fret! Take what you are doing to be serving, slice it, place it on a separate sheet pan with au jus, and toss it in the oven.
The prime rib will only need about 4-5 minutes on the center rack to warm it up before serving.
You will have hot, juicy prime rib for everyone and plenty of time to get all the sides on the table and gather the family to the table.
Horseradish Sauce and Au Jus
If you have never made Au Ju, don’t stress, it doesn’t have to be anything too fancy!
I take some good-quality beef stock and jazz it up with some extra flavors. I love the beefy broth of the au jus and the creamy, spicy horseradish and find myself dipping the bites of smoked prime rib back and forth in both.
The Horseradish sauce is a must with my grilled french fries as well!
Some Tasty Sides to go along with your Rib Roast
Looking for more delicious sides that everyone will enjoy? Check out another great option:
- Cast Iron Roasted New Potatoes
- Bacon Cheddar Broccoli Bake
- Bobby Flay’s Grilled Home Fries Recipe
- Homemade Spicy Honey Cornbread Muffin Recipe
- Kale Rockefeller
- Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
Choosing a Prime Rib Roast
Picking out a prime rib roast can be a little confusing, but if you know what to look for, you can make an educated purchase and know you’re getting a great piece of meat.
Around the holiday, Rib Roasts will start to pop up in the sale section of your local grocery store.
There can be a wide variety of different quality grades and a wide price range. “Prime” is most likely the highest grade of beef you will find at the grocery store, followed by “Choice” and then “Select”.
I’ve made amazing smoked prime rib with all three grades of beef, so don’t be afraid if you don’t want to shell out the big bucks for Prime grade beef.
If you really want to live the high life and impress friends and family, you might look into ordering a Wagyu Rib Roast online but be prepared to take out a small line of credit to pay for it.
Once you have decided what grade of beef you want and where to buy it you will most likely see a large display loaded with Rib roasts of all different sizes.
Be sure to look for a bone-in prime rib if possible, but boneless prime rib is also tasty. Look at the cross-section of the Roast and look for bright red color with nicely marbled meat.
If it looks gray or discolored, avoid those cuts. The roast should be even from one end to the other so it cooks evenly.
Some Prime Rib Roasts will already be tied, and the rib bones will be partially separated. If not, you can ask the butcher to tie off your roast.
How Big a Prime Rib Roast Do I Need?
My general rule when deciding how large a roast you’ll need is each bone will serve 2-3 adults. If you have eight adults, then a four-bone Rib Roast will give everyone a healthy portion.
Then you can let everyone fight over who gets the bones. Most full rib roasts have 11 bones, so unless you serve more than 23-25 people, you should be fine with one roast.
If you are serving 3 guests per bone, you will be fine, but make sure you have a good sharp knife because you’ll be making half to three-quarter-inch slices.
I’m using my brand new Folded Steel Damascus Chef Knife and had no problem.
Prepping Your Smoked Prime Rib Roast
The rib roast prep begins days before it’s time to cook your roast. Alton Brown recommends pulling your roast out of the packaging one week before cooking.
I think that’s great, but 2-3 days seems fine for me. When you unwrap the rib, make sure to pat it dry and place it on a sheet pan with a cooling rack.
Do not season the meat; place it uncovered in the fridge to dry out. This will slightly intensify the beef flavor, but more importantly, it will firm up the roast for a better texture when smoked.
On the day of the cook, take the roast out about 60 minutes before you place it on the smoker. Ninety minutes on a more giant 8-11 bone roast.
Before seasoning the smoked prime rib, lightly rub a neutral-flavored oil ( I prefer Avocado Oil) all over the roast, including the bones and underneath.
For the seasoning, you can go with a spice rub or you can make your own. The flavors you want are pretty simple, including salt, pepper, onion, garlic, and rosemary.
I use the Prime Rib Rub from Spiceology. I’m a big fan of all of their spices and rubs and highly recommend their products (not sponsored…yet?)
What to do with Leftover Prime Rib
Allow what is left of the entire roast to reach room temperature.
Once the roast has cooled, place it in an airtight container, ideally uncut. If you don’t have a container large enough, chop it up and place it in the fridge.
When you are ready to refresh your leftovers, I recommend turning this flavorful prime rib into French Dip Sliders with Smoked Au Jus!
However, this is a large cut of beef, so you can also use the meat to make quesadillas, prime rib soup, steak frites salad, steak tacos, steak bowls, or even steak and eggs!
I recommend making as much prime rib as possible so you can enjoy refreshing the meat and making something new with it every night for a while and never getting bored.
Steak Temperature Chart
Helpful Kitchen Tools
Before you make this recipe, I recommend you grab the following kitchen tools and have them handy for when you need them!
- Baking Sheet
- Aluminum Foil
- Digital Meat Thermometer to check the temperature of the meat and ensure the internal temperature of the roast is right before pulling the meat off the pit
- Wire rack to let the meat rest on before serving
- Wood Chips or Wood Pellets (depending on your grill) – I recommend using apple wood or pecan wood
Perfectly Smoked Prime Rib Roast on the Pellet Grill
- Pellet Grill
- 2-3 days before cooking unwrap the rib roast and pat completely dry and place on a sheet pan with a cooling rack in the fridge.
- On Cook Day Preheat the Smoker to 225 Degrees F.
- Rub the Rib Roast with avocado oil on all sides including the bones then liberally season the roast on all sides patting the seasoning into the roast.
- Place the temperature probe in at a 45 degree angle so the point of the probe is in the center at the thickest part of the roast. Place roast on the smoker and cook for 4-5 hours until roast reaches an internal temperature of 125 degrees F.
- Once roast has reached 125 degrees F. remove the roast from the pit and rest for 45 minutes to 1 hour before removing the bones and slicing.
- If you plan to use the reheat method preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. and place sliced prime rib on a sheet pan with about ¾ cup of au jus and cook for 3-5 minutes just long enough to warm the meat. For well done you will need to cook sliced prime rib for about 18-22 minutes.