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posted December 04, 2017

Smoked Prime Rib Roast

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!

Smoked Prime rib roast sliced and served on a large wooden cutting board- text overlay reads "The Ultimate Smoked Prime Rib Roast Recipe."

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.

Uncooked cut of Prime Rib Roast resting on a wooden cutting board.

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.

Seasoned and Smoked Prime Rib Roast resting on the grill grate inside the grill.

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 topped with cheese and served on a metal baking sheet.

Brussels sprouts wrapped in bacon and held together with toothpicks.

Candied Sweet Potato Stacks.

Jalapeno Macaroni and cheese being scooped out of the fish with a wooden spoon.


Sliced prime rib roast smoked to medium rare.

Smoked Prime Rib Roast

Susie Bulloch
Smoked Prime Rib Roast will be the crowning glory of any table.
4.85 from 40 votes
Prep Time : 15 mins
Cook Time : 6 hrs
Resting Time : 30 mins
Total Time : 6 hrs 45 mins
Servings : 10 people
Calories : 1363kcal


  • 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)


  • Preheat your grill to 225 degrees F.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Remove the roast to a cutting board, cover the roast with foil, and allow to rest for 20 minutes.
  • While the roast is resting, increase the temperature of your grill to 400 degrees F.
  • 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.
  • Remove your roast to the cutting board and let the meat rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.


Calories: 1363kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 62g | Fat: 121g | Saturated Fat: 50g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 52g | Cholesterol: 274mg | Sodium: 297mg | Potassium: 1064mg | Fiber: 0.4g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 3IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 7mg
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