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


smoked prime rib roast

Smoked Prime Rib Roast

Smoked Prime Rib Roast will be the crowning glory of any table.
4.81 from 21 votes
Prep Time : 5 mins
Cook Time : 35 mins
Total Time : 1 hr 15 mins
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)


  • 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.
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167 thoughts on “Smoked Prime Rib Roast

      1. I replaced my sear box propane hose three times before I finally replaced with a metal mesh clad hose. The all rubber / black hose kept softening and then leaking propane. Heat from the searbox simply convected to propane connectors and melted the original black hose three times. The fourth hose I bought has metal covering and heavier duty connectors, all help to conduct heat around hose instead of directly to the first inch or two. I have use the metal clad hose only for two months and so far no leaks.

        1. I’m bout to smoke it and then sear in a cast iron pan nesseled in a campfire turning until temperature desiredusing the cast iron and camp fire to sear and roast after 🙂

  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. I followed your time per pound recommendation on a 16 pound prime rib, smoked at 225 on my Green Mountain Grill. The meat was at 130 degrees around the 5 hour mark, which is almost about 5 hours early. It’s now FTC’d. Seems that it cooked closer to 20 minutes per pound.

        Meat temp was verified with 3 different probes and the grill temp sensor was back checked with separate probes. All read the same. I personally use the Weber iGrill.

    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. I have cooked 2 boneless ribeye roasts using this recipe I and both took approx 10 minutes per LB. The first one was dry aged which I thought might have been a factor, The last cook was straight out of the packer bag, smoker pegged at 225 with the final temp at 130 – 12 lb roast done in little over 2 hours.

      1. Cook times for many recipes go much faster if you start with the meat near room temperature, which is a good thing. It also goes much quicker if your grill circulates the heat well; like a convection oven vs. a regular oven. I have a Memphis Grills pellet grill and cook times are always shorter than the recipes suggest. Just get a good thermometer and go by temperature!

      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. My Masterbuilt electric doesn’t go up to 400F for the final sear. Thinking of blasting it at 550F in the oven to crisp up the exterior. Your thoughts on this?

    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!

    2. I just bought an electric use masterbuilt grill. I’ve had 4 previous charcoal smokers. The electric is the best ever. Looks like a small refrigerator inside and out. Doesn’t get hot inside. Uses 1 or 2 handfuls of wood chips depending on size of roast. Head the same smoked taste of charcoal smoker or even more taste. I slightly open the top vent. Save money on charcoal and equal if not better flavor. Also use far less wood chips!

  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?

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  9. 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

  10. 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- 🙂

  11. 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!

    1. well- no one replied- but i am doing another lamb roast as stated above for new years–just sayin’ –if you like lamb use this recipe for that too- it is a wonderful dish:-)

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. Question: I am going to use an electric smoker, should I use a water pan for this recipe, or not?

    I typically use one for pulled pork or brisket, but not sure for Prime Rib!

  17. About to try this, two questions. I have a pit boss pellet smoker, the heat tends to be a lot hotter directly above the burn box, during smoking, should I put it off to the side so it dosen’t cook the bottom more than the top, and should I turn it at all during smoking? Also during searing, would you suggest opening my flame plate and sear directly with the fire, or leave it closed and just get the heat?

  18. Am just now finding this website. I have a very old Cajun Cooker with a water pan. The temperature gauge on it goes from low to high and I’m wondering if I could just set an oven thermometer inside to get the 225 degree mark before putting it on.

  19. This Rib roast looks great! I watched the video demo for the rib roast and noticed that the roast had some type of rack attached to the bottom
    When you put in in the smoker. What was that? Looks like a good tool.

    Thank You!!

  20. If we use 2 roasts that are 7lbs. each, should it take around 4 hours since each is 7lbs. or will it take closer to 8 hours since there will be 14 lbs. total? I understand it’s broken into 2 roasts, but I didn’t know if that affected the smoking time? Thank you very much!

  21. Made this last night for family visiting and followed the recipe to a tee. It turned out perfect and everyone was raving about it! This is now my “go-to” prime rib recipe. Thank you!!

  22. Hey grill, follow you all the time, just above a novice chef. Question: have a seven bone-in prime rib roast, have taken out bones, tied on, 10 pounds. I am putting on grill at 2:25°, cherry bombs for smoke. Do I put roast in foil, or put on roasting rack with pan? Will be on indirect heat. Using your new garlic butter recipe. Thanks for your help.

    1. I’ve found that the shape of the meat greatly influences the cook time. I did a 15lb prime rib recently which was long and flat (about 4 to 5 inches high) and it was done in a little under 5 hours at 225. It kind of messed up my dinner plans when it finished 3 hours sooner than expected but everyone seemed to like it nonetheless.
      I suspect a really thick cut could take up to 35 or 40 mins per pound but I’ve never cooked a prime rib like that.

  23. Hi there. I am going to make two roasts one this way and one with the garlic butter recipe u have. Unfortunately all I could get at the meat department was one 3.8 pound roast and one 2.5 pound roast. Obviously I will need to stagger the times. But for a smaller roast like the 2.5 pound one. Does the 35 minutes per pound still apply or will it take a different amount of time? Thanks and I look forward to some good eats. Happy holidays to u and yours.

  24. I am planning on doing 3 hunks of boneless prime rib that are 5 lbs each, should I still plan on 35 minutes per per pound ( 175 min) or should I adjust that since there will be 3 pieces on at the same time?

    1. Since this roast is cooking at a low temperature, you don’t really need to worry about losing juices during the slow cook. Additionally, if you sear a roast and then place it in the smoker, the smoke won’t influence the meat as much. The external edges of the meat will already be cooked and the smoke won’t penetrate.

  25. I have cooked many prime ribs in my life. I use this cooking method always low and slow then out to rest then turn the heat up. Before yesterday I had never smoked one and OH MY GAWD! First of all let me tell you the smell was enough to make you want to eat this for the rest of your life. I had to work so I trusted my husband to set it on the grill, which he did, however, he did not place the meat directly on the grill, he left it on the pan I used to bring the roast up to room temp. (Silly boy grills are for girls) anyway, I don’t believe this made a bit of difference. It did however show me that there were less than a tablespoon of drippings which I knew meant all those yummy juices were lock in that beautiful hunk of meat. Here’s what impressed me the most, when i cut the strings off the bones literally fell off the meat! I have never in my life cooked a more perfect piece of meat. It was rare all the way through the smoke flavor was amazing and the rub was so tasty. I can’t wait to do this again. It was absolutely perfect! Thank you for sharing.

  26. I have a GMG. I don’t have a sear box. I have a 15 pounder prime rib to cook for Easter Sunday. How could I sear it? I know it’s better to sear but is it necessary? And also it’s a boneless so figure 30 per pound? About 7-7.5 hours?

  27. Is it possible to let it rest for too long? We have 2 7lb bone in roasts for Fathers Day Sunday and are trying to figure out the timing as we’ll have to be gone for several hours during the day. So if we smoke it in the morning then take it out and wrap and put in a cooler with towels to keep warm will that mess it up?

  28. So just getting into the serious smoking and I have used your website Everytime. Not once have you steered me wrong. The prime rib I have done twice because it was such a huge hit. I have also done the beef ribs, and the Texas brisket. Don’t worry you guys get all the credit.
    Keep these recipes coming ????

    1. Heck yeah! Thank you so much for being here and for the killer review! We have big plans this year, so stay tuned!

  29. Big fan here! Your smoked salmon recipe changed my life 🙂

    I’m getting ready to smoke my first prime rib. I got a massive 16lb USDA prime bone-in rib eye roast I’m doing for a party this weekend. As you know these are longer (8 bone) than what you show here, but not necessarily thicker. Will it really take 8-9 hours at 225 on a Big Green Egg XL?

    Thanks for the help, and for all of the wonderfulness you share here!

    1. Wonderful! Yes, it will take about that long. Make sure you allow for plenty of extra time just in case!

  30. I tried this set up for prime rib, I did a 5# boneless with hickory blocks at 225-250 for smoker temp pulled it off at 120 let it sit for a while and seared it on the Webber grill at 450 till the IT was 135 let it rest for 20 minutes best I’ve done, and one person said they won’t buy prime rib from a restraint again

  31. Hey Susie! Been following you on FB for awhile now and just came across this recipe on Google and had to check it out. I actually plan on doing a 5lb bone-in prime rib tonight. Still debating on whether I should cut the bones out prior to cooking. In both scenarios, is there a certain way the meat should be positioned on the grill (more specifically, fat side up or down)?

  32. great tips, I just smoked a 18 lb boneless, started at room temp and it was done in under 4 hours, in a cook shack pellet feeding convection smoker, so watch your temp

  33. Hi Susie,

    I don’t think I’ve seen this question posted yet.
    I have a camp chef woodwind with attached searbox.
    Tomorrow, I’m smoking a 4.66 lb. bone in rib roast.
    After I smoke it, should I use the searbox to sear?
    If so what’s the method.


    1. You can if you’d like! The same steps in the recipe apply, but the sear box gets much hotter than 400 degrees. If you sear on it, just make sure to watch the temperature of your roast closely so you don’t over cook it!

  34. This my first time smoking a prime rib. Got a lot of great tips from comments above. Going big. 7 bone prime rib. While smoking prime rib, When or should I cover the rib with foil. Nobody ever mentions this.

    1. I only cover it for the rest time. It’s in the recipe. When the roast hits your desired temp, pull it from the smoker, cover it with foil and rest 20 minutes.

  35. Susie, I have 15 lb. Prime Rib to smoke on my Pit Boss. It is a Select and has no bone. I am targeting 25 minutes per pound times 15 for a total of 6:15 at 225 degrees if I followed the recipe. Have you ever put it on smoke for the duration and then reverse seared? Thoughts or advice for added smoke?

  36. Recipe worked out excellent. With the exception of timing. I smoked a 10.5 lb rib roast that had the bones cut off and tied back on at the butcher. It went straight from the fridge to the Camp Chef Smoke Pro DLX, which was set at 225, and was at 120 degrees in 4 hours. Roast was done 3 hours sooner than expected. Luckily, I pulled it out, waited for temp to stop rising, then FTC’d it for a couple hours. When dinner time approached, I pulled it back out and did the final sear. Turned out great!

  37. Turned out great but the time, as I suspected, is way off. I smoked a 14 lb prime rib and it reached 124 in about 3.5 hours. The large roast is not exponentially thicker but longer and does not take that long to cook. Really need to reevaluate the 30 minutes per pound which is only accurate up to maybe 5-7 lbs.

  38. Thanks so much for the sbs. This works with all quality cuts. The last grilling roast I did was about 85-15 fat. Timing was very very close. Of all the time sets, the worst is the final resting part. You have no idea how long 15 minutes is when you are staring down the length of a car ring knife! Lol


  39. Hey Bob, I have a 5lb boneless prime rib according to my calculations it’s gonna be a 2 hour smoke time. My only problem is I do not have a sear box. Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated

  40. I see several answers concerning alternate methods of searing. Which is better, oven on broil or using a cast iron skillet? Also would just turning up smoker without a sear box to 400 degrees do the trick?

    1. I like the cast iron skillet option better, or the sear box. You can get a pellet grill hot enough to sear, but it won’t do as good of a job as other methods.

  41. For some reason, this didn’t post first time (been about 20 minutes now, still not showing up), not sure if it’s because I didn’t rate, or just a glitch, or just that it’s not posted immediately, so sorry if this shows up twice.

    Wow!! So just found this site (saving to my fav’s). People been posting comments/questions since 2017 to just the other day. Going to make this way on my Kenmore Pellet Smoker (yes, like the fridge but few hundred dollars less with virtually same results every time).

    Only two questions as I start prepping my 6.5 boned & tied Prime Rib.

    1) Ever try injecting a little beef broth combo first, and if so, what results?

    2) More of an idea because I’m doing mine this way. But I happen to also have, on my 5 appliance grilling deck, an infrared oil-less turkey fryer (mine is the original design by Charbroil). That joker will sear all 6 sides at once. Actually have speed cooked several Prime Ribs over the years using only that. Today is Father’s Day, so I felt entitled to have a little “wild hair” idea, that’s how I found your postings. Let you know how it turns out.

  42. I am preparing your smoked prime rib with the honey mustard rub for a second time! It was the best prime rib my family ever tasted. I can’t wait to eat it again tonight! Thank you!

  43. Used this time table for a 10lb that turned out delightfully for Mothers Day. Today, I am doing a 14lb and have had to keep the heat lower than 225 in order to keep it from being done at lunch rather than dinner.

    Interestingly enough, I’ve found VERY little consistency in recommended cooking methods/times, but I suspect the circumference matters more than weight after a certain size.

  44. This recipe was easier than I thought! The prime rib came out the best I’ve ever had. I put the potatoes in about two hours before the prime rib was done and they came out perfect too. Thank you !! Looking forward to trying more of your great recipes!

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