Smoked Prime Rib Roast

December 4, 2017

Smoked Prime Rib Roast will be the crowning glory of any table. Never underestimate the power of a perfectly roasted hunk of beef. I infuse this beautiful cut with flavor by slow smoking before finishing with a sear for that beautiful exterior crust that will have people fighting for the end piece. Put your friendly butcher to good use by having them slice the roast off of the bone and tie it back on for you. I like to keep the ribs for myself and have a little meat treat while I’m slicing the rest of the roast for my guests!  Slow smoked for amazing flavor and then flash roasted for a rich exterior crust, my method ensures perfect results every time!

The Ultimate Smoked Prime Rib Recipes

What is a Prime Rib Roast?

A rib roast is a large cut of beef that comes from the primal rib. The entire cut contains 7 rib bones and a whole bunch of marbled, tender muscle and can weigh up to 30 pounds. Rib eye steaks are individually sliced from the rib roast. The label “prime” rib roast refers to the fact that this cut comes from a while primal muscle, not necessarily the grade of the meat. Prime is typically the highest grade available at your butcher or big box warehouse. Most grocery store butchers carry the next grade down, which is choice, and below that you will see select grade beef. These lower grades are still technically “prime rib” and most recipes you’ll see treat them the same.

Prime Rib Roast


The grade of beef makes a BIG difference in your final product, with prime grade having additional marbling which means more flavor, tenderness, and moisture from that rendering fat. It also means a big difference in the final price of your roast. If you’ve got a big budget and are willing to pay the extra cash, go for the prime grade and treat yo’self! Especially if you are using this recipe for smoked prime rib roast. It’ll be worth every dollar. If you purchase a choice grade roast, you will still have outstanding results, so don’t fret or overthink it. The magic of this recipe is in the method and the final product will still be amazingly delicious and tender!

How Much Smoked Prime Rib Per Person?

Plan 1 pound of uncooked prime rib roast per person. This will account for any necessary trimming and volume lost during the cooking process, as well as leave you with enough meat leftover for sandwiches the next day. It seems like a lot, but that’s because it is. Prime Rib is an indulgence and I want my guests to feel well fed when they leave my table. If you’ve got kids, they will definitely eat less so plan accordingly.

Perfect Smoked Prime Rib Roast

How Long to Smoke a Prime Rib?

Plan 35 minutes per pound at 225 degrees F for smoking a rare roast. 40 minutes per pound at 225 degrees F for smoking a medium roast. Don’t forget to allow at least 30 minutes of rest time and another 15 minutes or so for the high heat sear before serving.

Tools Needed to Make Smoked Prime Rib?

I have a few tried and true products that I use to churn out a perfect smoked prime rib roast every time. First up is the type of grill I use. I’ve got a Camp Chef pellet smoker with an attached sear box, you can read my full review HERE. This allows me the versatility to slow smoke a roast and then sear the exterior for a great crust without overcooking anything.

I also rely heavily on good, accurate internal thermometers. For a roast this expensive, I wouldn’t trust anything other than my Thermoworks thermometers. I have the Thermoworks Smoke, which is a remote probe thermometer that can remotely tell me the temperature of both my roast and the grill simultaneously. I also take my Thermapen MK4 with me to spot check other parts of the roast to ensure even cooking.

ThermoWorks Deals

Prime Rib Side Dish Ideas:

Smoked Prime Rib Roast makes an unbelievable main dish, but you’ve got to have great sides to round out the meal. I’m including links to my favorite recipes that you can cook alongside your prime rib roast on the smoker. Just click the image to head to the recipe.

Smoked Chantilly Potatoes- Smoked Turkey Side Dish

Candied Sweet Potato Stacks- Smoked Turkey Side Dish


3.84 from 30 votes
The Ultimate Smoked Prime Rib Recipes
Smoked Prime Rib Roast
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
Smoked Prime Rib Roast will be the crowning glory of any table.
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Party Food
Servings: 10 people
  • 1 10 pound Prime Rib Roast the bones cut off and tied back on
  • 1/2 cup horseradish mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • Coarse ground salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Preheat your grill to 225 degrees F.
  2. While the grill is warming up, prepare your roast. Trim any excess fat from the top of the roast down to 1/4 inch thick.
  3. In a small bowl combine the mustard, Worcestershire sauce and garlic. Slather the entire roast with the mustard mixture and season liberally with the salt and pepper.
  4. Place the roast on the grill and close the lid. Smoke until the internal temperature of the roast reaches 120 degrees F for Rare or 130 degrees F for Medium. For a rare, bone-in roast, plan on 35 minutes per pound of prime rib.
  5. Remove the roast to a cutting board, cover the roast with foil, and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
  6. While the roast is resting, increase the temperature of your grill to 400 degrees F.
  7. Once the grill is up to temperature, return the roast to the grill and sear until you reach your desired internal temperature. Pull the roast off at 130 for rare, 135 for medium rare, 140 for medium. This process should go quickly, so keep an eye on your temperature.
  8. Remove your roast to the cutting board and let the meat rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
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68 thoughts on “Smoked Prime Rib Roast

  1. Hello, I have a bone on 12lb Prime Rib. On your calculation of 35 minutes per pound I am expecting the roast to be done around the 7 hour mark. Does that sound about right?

    1. Look the meat will only take in the smoke for about 3 to 4 hours after that wrap it on foil put it in the oven on 225 and cook it the rest of the way

  2. One more question…if I’m using the smoke thermometer and the instructions say set grill to 225 degrees what should the inside grill temperature (ambient) read?

      1. Thank you and merry Christmas. I’m almost ready to pull the roast then sear it when its ready, soo close , can’t wait to taste this lovely meat

    1. I don’t know if Jim tried this or not, but I just did. Using Masterchef electric smoker and electronic probe thermometer, and a small roast (3.1 lb.)

      I smoked with a combination of Hickory and Cherry.

      Because my smoker is having issues, I couldn’t get heat above 275 degrees. Smoking time was just over two hours at that temp for a medium rare cook.

      I finished the sear on a propane grill. The downside is this moved it more to a medium cook than medium rare, but nobody seemed to really care with all the flavor!

      This was an incredible dish. Tender and the seasoning was outstanding.

      Thanks for the recommendations!

  3. Good morning from Japan,
    I have a 12 pound rib roast, first time putting it on my pellet grill. Should I separate the bones from the roast (and tie them on) or just get at it like it is? I don’t want to mess this up!

    1. Hi John, you can separate and re-tie if you like, but it isn’t required. I definitely find it easier to slice and serve the roast if it was removed from the bone before cooking, so that is my preference.

  4. Phill, do you put the actual ribs in at the sameness time as the roast? I was thinking of putting them on the top rack while the rest of the meat is going. I’m using a Woodwind bty.


    1. Depending on the size of your roast, I would preheat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Drizzle with a high heat cooking oil like canola or grapeseed if you’ve got it. Then sear on all sides, probably for 3-5 minutes per side.

  5. If medium rare internal temperature is 135, at what temp should it be pulled out of smoker. How many degrees will it continue to cook till once off grill ?

  6. the recipe for the prime roast (return to the grill at 400 degree and sear. do you sear all sides or just top and bottom

  7. I have a a bradley smoker and an 18 pound rib roast. This would be 10-12 hours of smoking time. If I cut the roast in half and placed each half on its own tray in the smoker would thus cut the smoking time in half?

  8. I have a target grill I just bought do you set it on high smoke then to the temp of 225 before you place the meat on the grill I want to make this for our anniversary

  9. i am making this recipe today with a lamb loin (chop roast)- cannot wait- thanks for a recipe i can adjust for my weight– 6 pounds- 🙂

  10. i posted earlier today that i was making this recipe on a lamb roast- but i do not see it– anyway- i did- i have no smoker so i baked in the oven with this rub/marinade…at 325, my oven runs hot- my roast was almost 5 lbs.- i cooked to 120 degrees- covered with foil to 145–an hour and 20 minutes–it was the perfect medium-rare- moist and juicy- the most wonderful flavor– best yet- cut with a butter knife— thank you so for a great recipe..i may not have a smoker- but i will try more of your recipes–p,s,- and my hubs thanks you too!

  11. Somewhere above you probably answered but we have plain ole bbq charcoal pit. Would calculations be the same? Thank you

  12. When you call for a sear, do you reconfigure your smoker so you have it set for a grill versus a smoker? I have a heat diffusing plate blocking the flames? Yoder Smoker.

  13. Cooked a 12 lb boneless ribeye that had been dry aged 28 days. Turned out delicious!
    The major challenge was the cook time – the meat was up to temp in 2 hours, which was much faster than any estimate on this site. We completed the cook and sear, double wrapped in foil, wrapped in towels and stored in cooler for 4 hours. Then put back in warm Komodo for 1 hours to bring up temp and served.

  14. has anyone tried a marinated roast? I marinate my ribeye roast in redwine, lemon juice, olive oil and spices and marinate for 24 hours and cook in the oven. just wondering if smoked would be the better way to cook this roast

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