Slow Smoked Prime Rib


Who doesn’t love prime rib? This year for Christmas dinner we decided to go for the supreme beefy flavored prime rib. My butcher like most sells the prime rib by the amount of rib bones in the roast. To calculate how much you need a good rule of thumb is one bone per every two people you are feeding.  We weren’t doing a real big Christmas this year so I went for a 3 bone roast.

First lets talk about what prime rib is. Prime rib also known as a standing rib is from the primal rib or one of the primal cuts. Primal cuts are a piece of meat initially separated from the carcass of an animal during butchering. Examples of primals include the beef round, loin, rib, and chuck. Ribeye steaks are cut from the standing rib with most of the fat and lesser muscles removed.

I know a prime rib roast may be a bit expensive but the flavor is well worth it so splurge once in a while. Besides if you have leftovers I can guarantee there are plenty of ways to enjoy them, french dip sandwiches, prime rib sliders with a good smear of horseradish, add it to chili as just a few examples.

So let’s get into smokin’ this bad boy.  As with all meats remove the roast from the fridge about an 2 hours before you start cooking and let it come up to room temp. After the  roast has been sitting on the counter for about 30 minutes I like to trim up the prime rib. Smoke needs to be able to penetrate the meat in order to impart that beautiful smoke flavor. So I trim back the fat cap, which is the layer of fat opposite the rib bones.


After I get it all trimmed up I get it seasoned.  I don’t like to over season meat when I smoke it because I want the smoke to be present in the flavor. I only used a light dusting of coarse sea salt, fresh ground pepper and rosemary. Use what ever seasoning you like please remember that recipes are only suggestions unlike backing which is more of a science and needs to be followed closely cooking especially smoking is an art that you can make changes on the fly or as fits your mood.


Next I start my smoker going to get it up to temp. I used a combination of cherry and mesquite which is my go to for beef.  With the prime rib I use more cherry than mesquite because the mesquite is a bit strong for the prime rib so go heavier on the fruit wood.

This is going to be a true low and slow smoke I would estimate smoking time to run about 30 minutes per pound. Now especially because this roast it pricey I am going to stress the use of a thermometer. Here is a link to a great one from that I received this year as a christmas gift and I did a review of it on a previous post.

I get the smoker up to 225-250. I set a drip pan with water underneath where I will place the rib roast. Now smoking it will not produce as many drippings as would cooking it in the oven at high heat. Place the roast rib side down on the smoker grate, hence the name standing rib. Close up the smoker and DO NOT open until the roast is done because remember looking is not cooking.


Once your roast hits 120 remove it from the smoker and place on a platter and cover loosely with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes and the roast will continue to cook an it will hit about 125-130. Transfer to your cutting board and slice this up.

This cut of beef is wonderful by itself or with horseradish but thanks to my Manchester UK born and raised son-in-law he has gotten me hooked on Bisto gravy so I made some up for the beef and the Yorkshire pudding I made to go along with the prime rib.

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