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Published December 16, 2022. This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.
Sink your teeth into this incredibly full-flavored smoked prime rib recipe seasoned to perfection and coated in garlic and herbs. You will be amazed at how delicious this meat’s flavor is.
Meat is very expensive, so when I buy it and cook it, I want to ensure it’s spot-on and tasty beyond all belief. If you’re looking for foolproof beef recipes, you must try my Chateaubriand or Steak au Poivre.
Smoked Prime Rib
Smoked prime rib is a large boneless, or bone-in ribeye roast smoked at lower temperatures until the desired internal doneness is achieved. There are varying degrees of quality of the ribeye that you can consider when purchasing, such as choice, prime, aged, grass-fed, wagyu, etc. Prices will vary from around $15 to $100 per pound.
Since this is completely coated in seasonings and herbs and slow-cooked, it doesn’t make much sense to buy an overpriced piece of meat, so choice, prime or grass-fed, will work perfectly for this recipe.
If you do not have a smoker and this recipe is not an option, see how to make my oven-roasted Bone-In Standing Ribeye Roast.
Best Wood to Smoke With?
Almost any wood is good to smoke a prime rib with. My favorites are apple, hickory, pecan, oak, and mesquite. Do not be limited by these options; feel free to try a different wood, like cherry or alder.
How Long Does It Take to Smoke?
It will take between 35 and 40 minutes per pound to smoke a prime rib at 225° to reach a rare to medium-rare internal temperature. If you smoke it at 250°, it will take 30 to 35 minutes per pound to achieve a rare to medium-rare internal temperature. Add another 5 minutes per pound total if you want the prime rib to be medium. These temperatures and times per pound are for a straight smoke from start to finish. This procedure does turn up the heat at the end to create an outside crust.
- Ribeye – You will need an 8-10 pound boneless standing ribeye roast.
- Fat – I used olive oil to coat the steak before seasoning it, but you can use your favorite oil, tallow, or even lard. In addition, you will need olive oil for the herb crust.
- Herbs – I like to use a combination of fresh flat-leaf parsley, thyme, and rosemary. However, you can substitute with dry herbs.
- Garlic – Some finely grated garlic cloves will bring out a lot of flavors.
- Seasonings – You will need sea salt and black pepper for seasoning.
How to Make Smoked Prime Rib
Preheat your smoker from 225° to 235°.
Next, make the garlic and herb rub and set it to the side. Reserve 1/3 for later.
Trim the prime rib roast of any unwanted fat. It’s important to leave some fat still, as that will help flavor the meat.
Truss the prime rib using butcher’s twine.
Coat the roast on all sides with olive oil.
Generously season it on all sides with sea salt and black pepper.
Coat the ribeye roast on all sides with the 2/3 garlic and herb crust, ensuring it is completely covered.
Place the roast on the top rack of your smoker. If you have a digital thermometer, place it directly in the center of the beef.
Put an aluminum pan underneath the roast to catch any drippings.
Smoke the prime rib at 225 to 235° until it reaches an internal temperature of 100°, which takes about 2 ½ to 3 hours.
Bump up the smoker to 500° and finish cooking until it reaches about 118° to 120°.
Remove the roast and spread on the remaining 1/3 garlic and herb crust, and let it rest for about 20 minutes.
Slice the prime rib and serve with au jus and creamy horseradish sauce.
Make-Ahead and Storage
Make-Ahead: This recipe is meant to be eaten as soon as it is done resting.
How to Store: Store it on a platter covered in plastic and refrigerate it for up to 4 days. It can also be frozen for up to 45 days and covered in plastic. Thaw it in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or until thawed.
How to Reheat: While I never recommend reheating a hunk of beef, I realize you may not be able to eat it all at once. Slice the roast into desired portions and add it to a large sauté or roasting pan with about 1 cup of beef stock. Cover it in foil and cooked in the oven at 400° for 12 to 15 minutes. Reheating your steak will 100% cause it to increase in internal temperature, most likely past medium and into medium-well.
Chef Notes + Tips
- These times and temperatures above will render a medium-rare internal temperature.
- I highly recommend investing in a good real-time read thermometer.
- Your butcher can truss the roast for you.
- The roast does not need to be boneless. It can be bone-in. However, it will take longer to smoke.
- When resting the roast, once it’s done cooking, you can cover it with foil, but it isn’t necessary.
- I like to check the temperature of the meat after being in the smoker at 225° for 60 minutes.
- When the meat rests after cooking, it will rise another 5-10°.
- Trimming the prime rib before cooking will help create that desired Maillard bark or crust while smoking it.
- It’s important to have cold meat when placing it on the smoker to absorb as much smoke as possible.
- The fat cap is the outer fat on top of the roast that helps provide flavor.
More Beef Recipes
Smoked Prime Rib Recipe
- 1/3 cup olive oil + 3 tablespoons
- 3 tablespoons finely minced fresh thyme
- 3 tablespoons finely minced fresh rosemary
- 3 tablespoons finely minced fresh parsley
- 15 finely grated cloves of garlic
- 8 pound boneless ribeye roast
- 1 ½ tablespoons sea salt
- 1 tablespoon black pepper
- Preheat your smoker from 225° to 235°.
- Next, in a medium-sized bowl, mix together the 1/3 cup olive oil with the thyme, rosemary, parsley, and garlic. Reserve 1/3 for later.
- Trim the prime rib roast fat cap of any unwanted fat. It’s important to leave some fat as that will help flavor the meat.
- Coat the roast on all sides with the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil.
- Generously season it on all sides with sea salt and black pepper. Press it in with your hands.
- Coat the ribeye roast on all sides with the 2/3 garlic and herb crust, ensuring it is completely covered in it.
- Place the roast on the top rack of your smoker. If you have a digital thermometer, place it directly in the center of the beef.
- Put an aluminum pan underneath the roast to catch any drippings.
- Smoke the prime rib at 225 to 235° until it reaches an internal temperature of 100°, which takes about 2 ½ to 3 hours.
- Bump up the smoker to 500° and finish cooking until it reaches about 118° to 120°.
- Remove the roast and spread on the remaining 1/3 garlic and herb crust, and let it rest for about 20 minutes.
- Slice the prime rib and serve with au jus and creamy horseradish sauce.
I made this for my dad when he was visiting. It was phenomenal. He loved it! Thank you!
Great recipe. Will smoke our prime rib all the time now
Husband and son made it and it just melted in our mouths. Plain ole prime rib just isn’t gonna cut it anymore. Kicking it up quite a notch. Thank you.
According to my son-in-law (A barbeque junkie) and my other daughter’s boy friend “this was the best I’ve ever done!” I did this the day after Christmas on a cold day in Kentucky …temps getting up to the mid 20’s. (this scared the He__ out of me.) I used a 3 Burner Weber Grill with only the 1st burner on with Mesquite wood in a burner box. Everything turned out perfect! Thank you for all of your great tips!
Can this also be done in the oven at the same temps? No smoker here!
Hey Billy, My wife loves your videos. We are doing a prime rib for Christmas eve. However, ours is a Bone in Prime rib. would you adjust anything for bone in on this recipe? I am planning on smoking mine as well. Just watched your video as well and am very impressed. I want to try this! Thank you
No, still about achieving that 118-120 internal temp.