The Ultimate Smoked Prime Rib Recipe

In this ultimate smoked prime rib recipe article, we’ll walk you through the steps to achieve tender, juicy, and flavorful prime rib that will leave your guests craving for more.
Prime rib, also known as standing rib roast, is a classic centerpiece for holiday gatherings and special occasions. While traditional roasting methods yield delicious results, smoking prime rib takes the flavor to a whole new level.

What is a Prime Rib Roast?

Prime rib roast, also known as standing rib roast, is a popular and luxurious cut of beef that comes from the primal rib section of the cow. It mixes well with fat, and is known for its rich marbling, which translates to incredible flavor and tenderness when cooked properly. Prime rib roast is typically cut bone-in, due to its impressive presentation and delicious flavor Prime rib is often reserved for special occasions and holidays.

What Grade Prime Rib Should I Buy?

For best results, when purchasing prime rib, it is important to choose a high quality cut of meat. Prime provides the most marbling, resulting in the most juicy and flavorful meat. So look for USDA Prime or USDA Choice grade beef, as these grades indicate better marbling and tenderness. While USDA Prime is the highest quality grade available, USDA Choice Prime Rib can also produce excellent results when properly cooked and smoked.

How Much Prime Rib Per Person?

For a comfortable sit-down meal, as a general rule, plan to serve about 1 pound of raw prime rib per person when preparing prime rib and if you have a larger appetite, consider 1.25 pounds per person. Keep in mind that this is a rich and flavorful portion of meat, so the smaller portion size may be enough for some guests. If you have children then you must be aware that children eat less food, so depending on the total number of children you can reduce the total amount of prime rib a little.

Ingredients for Smoked Prime Rib

Here’s everything you’ll need to prepare this smoked prime rib roast. This recipe is quite simple:

  1. Prime rib roast (approximately 10-12 pounds)
  2. Kosher salt (1 Tablespoon)
  3. Freshly ground black pepper (1 Tablespoon)
  4. Minced garlic (4 cloves)
  5. Onion powder
  6. Olive oil or horseradish mustard (1/2 cup)
  7. Smoked paprika (optional)
  8. Worcestershire sauce (1 Tablespoon)

How to Smoke a Prime Rib

Now that you’ve chosen your prime rib roast and your ingredients are ready for use, let’s put this beef in the heat! Here’s how to smoke prime rib:

  1. Preheat: Preheat your smoker to 225°F to 250°F, using your choice of hardwood chunks for smoke flavor. Hickory, oak, or a blend specifically designed for beef are all excellent choices.
  2. Trim and Season: Make a dry rub by whisking together the smoked paprika, onion powder, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic in a small bowl. Then season well with salt and pepper, and rub the prime rib roast with olive oil or mustard oil on all sides, then generously season it with the dry rub mixture, making sure to coat it evenly on all sides.
  3. Smoke the Prime Rib: Place the seasoned prime rib roast directly on the grill grate of the smoker, fat side up, and close the lid. Smoke until prime rib reaches an internal temperature of 125°F to 130°F for medium-rare.
  4. Rest: Once the prime rib reaches the desired temperature, carefully remove it from the smoker and cover with aluminum foil and let it rest for 15 to 20 minutes before carving. Then increase the smoker grill temperature to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  5. Sear: For a beautiful crust, you can alternatively put the prime rib back on the smoker and smoke at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until the meat is seared with a nice crust on all sides.
  6. Rest and Enjoy: Now remove the prime rib from the smoker grill and let it rest for about 15 to 20 minutes before serving it to eat.

How Long to Smoke Prime Rib

Smoking time for prime rib will vary depending on the size of the roast and the temperature of your smoker. As a general guideline, prime rib takes about 30 to 35 minutes per pound. While the smoker remains constant at 225 degrees Fahrenheit. When cooking prime rib, the meat temperature needs to be checked frequently to see if it is cooked or not, and for this I use a meat thermometer.

Smoked Prime Rib Recipe

Follow the steps outlined above for the ultimate smoked prime rib recipe. With the perfect balance of seasonings and the slow-smoking process, you’ll achieve a tender, juicy, and flavorful prime rib that will impress your guests and leave them coming back for seconds.


Despite being a delicious dish, prime rib is a rich cut of meat and should be enjoyed in moderation. because it also contains high amounts of calories, fat and cholesterol. Pair it with lots of vegetables and whole grains for a complete meal and remember to savor each bite.

Here’s a general nutritional breakdown per 3-ounce cooked serving (estimates may vary depending on marbling):

  • Calories: 450-550
  • Fat: 30-40 grams (saturated fat: 15-20 grams)
  • Protein: 30-35 grams
  • Cholesterol: 120-150mg
  • Sodium: Varies depending on amount of salt used

If you found this article helpful to you then do appreciate the effort we have put in to make such delicious dishes.

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