Best Smoked Prime Rib Recipe: [Step By Step Guide]

Smoked prime rib is a perfect dish to grace any occasion. Be it a family get-together or a friend’s party, as long as you prepare it well, anyone present will enjoy the best smoked prime rib. So how do you make the best smoked prime rib?

To make a delicious prime rib, do the following;

  • Prepare the prime rib for the grill
  • Apply your favorite rub to impart the desired flavor
  • Smoke the prime rib
  • Reverse sear the smoked prime rib before resting it and serving it while hot.

Although the prime rib does not require a complex seasoning profile, adequate seasoning is significant in enhancing the rib’s flavor. Read to the end for more refined details on preparing the best smoked prime rib.

grill ribs

What Is A Prime Rib?

A prime rib is a term commonly used to describe the cut from the primal rib of the steer of an animal. It is one of the cuts of a cow best-cooked low-and-slow in the oven or on the grill. The prime rib is typically tender, succulent, and juicy as it contains plenty of marble fat. The high content of fats and marbling makes the cut quite flavorful.

How To Choose The Best Prime Rib

If you intend to smoke a prime rib, ensure you purchase the best quality for a delicious meal. While the smoking process plays a significant role in the taste of the smoked prime rib, the quality can also influence the flavor. The best way to choose the best prime rib is to go for the whole cut instead of opting for the one cut into smaller pieces. Additionally, pay attention to the marbling and the animal’s age for the intensified flavor.

Best Smoked Prime Rib Recipe

Making the best prime rib does not necessarily mean that you need a lot of ingredients to make it a success. Seasoning the roast with salt and pepper can result in a beautiful meal. However, for the best results, ensure that you have all of the following ingredients.


Prime rib – ensure that you invest in a well-marbled prime rib for the best results.

Dry rub – salt, pepper, rosemary, garlic powder, chili powder

Best wood for smoking the prime rib – you have a plethora of woods to choose from, including hickory, oak, mesquite, pecan, cherry, apple wood, and maple wood.

Step-by-step Instructions

One of the essential steps you should never forget when cooking your prime rib is cooking it low-and-slow. It is the ideal way to get the best results.

1. Prepare The Prime Rib

How you prepare your prime rib will directly influence the end results. Therefore, you should ensure that you get this step right.

The preparation entails thawing your prime rib to ensure even cooking, especially if it has been frozen. Rinse and dry the roast before trimming off the excess fat.

2. Apply The Dry Rub

Seasoning the meat is instrumental in elevating the flavor of the rib. Therefore, you should ensure that you get it right.

Combine the dry rub ingredients in a small bowl; salt, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, rosemary, and chill powder are enough to make a perfect dry rub. Put your prime rib on a flat surface and evenly apply the rub to taste. Massage the rub into the rib roast to ensure that it sticks well.

3. Smoke The Prime

Start by setting your smoker to 225 degrees Fahrenheit and ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Fill in your favorite wood chips/pellets as necessary. Next, transfer the prime rib into the smoker and close the lid. Smoke for about 3 hours per pound until the internal temperature of the meat attains your preferred level of doneness.

Remove the prime rib from the smoker, wrap it in aluminum foil and let it rest for about 30 minutes before slicing and serving.

Smoked Prime Rib Rub Recipe

If you have tried out the smoked prime rib rub recipe, you know that it’s incredible. Moreover, making a rub has never been complicated. For the smoked prime rib rub recipe, you need to do the following;

Brine The Prime Rib

Brining prime rib is one of the efficient ways to advance its flavor. You need about 1- 4 days to prepare the prime rib with salt brine for the smoker. Coat the meat with salt and place it in the fridge for not less than 24 hours. Keep the prime rib uncovered to allow the surface to dry out.

Brine is critical as it guarantees a spectacular result. It will tenderize the meat, elevate its flavor, and ensure a juicy meal. Moreover, a dry brine is easier to make, does not require special equipment, and gives your prime rib a delicious crust.

Prime Rib Rub

Once the prime rib is ready for the smoker, mix the ingredients and ensure that you coat the prime rib perfectly. Smoke the prime rib low and slow until it reaches your preferred level of doneness.

How Long To Rest Smoked Prime Rib

Once you get the prime rib out of the smoker, let it rest for about 30 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. Slicing the meat immediately after it is out of the grill will result in the juices escaping, and you will end up with dry meat.

What Temp Is Smoked Prime Rib Done

When smoking a prime rib, you should use a high-quality thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of the meat. Insert the meat thermometer into the center of the meat to get a thorough read. The smoked prime rib is done once the thickest part of the meat reaches your preferred level of doneness.

You can pull out the meat from the smoke once the internal temperature of the meat reads 130 degrees Fahrenheit for rare, 135 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare, and 140 degrees Fahrenheit for medium.

Tips For Making A Delicious Smoked Prime Rib

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced grilling enthusiast, following these simple tips will see you prepare a delectable smoked prime rib.

1. Picking The Right Wood

While picking the wood for smoking the prime rib may appear a minor step, the truth is that it can significantly enhance the meat’s flavor. The hickory is the best wood to infuse an incredibly delicious flavor to the meat. If you do not want to use hickory for whatever reason, you can try out other classic options, including oak, pecan, and mesquite.

2. Purchase The Best Quality Meat

Another critical step that most people ignore is purchasing the best meat. Premium ribs from different grocery stores are never of the same quality. Thus, if you are hoping for the best results, you should be keen on the quality of the meat you buy. Pay attention to the fat and marbling of the meat.

3. Boneless Or Bone-In Prime Rib

Fortunately, you do not have to worry about whether to go for boneless or bone-in prime rib because either of the two can provide you with a delicious meal. All you need is to ensure that you season the prime rib well for an intensified flavor.

4. User A Meat Thermometer

A meat thermometer is crucial because it will help you determine when the meat is well-cooked for your preferred level of doneness. You do not want to undercook or overcook the meat as that will significantly interfere with its flavor. Further, it can even have negative health implications.

rib recipe

5. Keep The Temperature Consistent

Another secret to smoking a delicious prime rib is to keep the temperature consistent. If you set your smoker at 225 degrees Fahrenheit, ensure that you keep it constant throughout the cooking process. Failing to keep the temperature constant may result in uneven cooking.


Preparing an incredibly delicious prime rib is very easy. All you need is to prepare the prime rib for the smoker, apply your favorite dry rub, and smoke it until it attains an internal temperature that conforms to your desired level of doneness. Further, remember to rest the roast before slicing and serving.