Ultimate Smoked Rib Roast Recipe

Prime rib roast sliced
The secret to the ultimate smoked prime rib roast is to season early and allow the meat to come to room temperature before cooking. It should always be grilled bone side down. It takes 35 minutes per pound of prime rib for a rare roast at 225°F.

What is a Rib Roast?

A beef rib roast comes from the central part of the cow, off of the spine. This cut has excellent marbling due to the movement of the cow. A prime rib roast is the highest quality cut of rib roast available. The beef rib roast goes by several names including:

  • Standing Rib Roast
  • Ribeye Roast or Roll
  • Bone-In or Boneless Roast
  • Beef Rib Roast

If you’re looking to smoke a beautiful rib roast, the following recipe will allow that meat to shine.

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
prime rib roast

How to Make the Ultimate Smoked Prime Rib Roast

  • Total Time: 6 hours 45 minutes


Smoked Prime Rib Roast is the perfect food to serve for a special occasion or family gathering. There is nothing better than a crusty seared exterior, an unbelievably tender interior, and a hint of smoke flavor to make for the most amazing prime rib you have ever eaten.


Units Scale
  • 10 lbs Prime Rib Roast ((bones removed and tied back on))
  • 1/2 cup horseradish mustard
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper


  1. Turn your grill on and preheat to 225°F.
  2. Prepare your roast while the grill warms up. Remove any excess fat from the top of the roast.
  3. Combine mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic in a small bowl. Apply Kosher salt and pepper over the roast liberally and slather it with the mustard mixture with a touch of olive oil.
  4. Put the roast on the grill bone side down and close the lid.
  5. Pay attention to the temperature of the roast. It takes 35 minutes per pound of prime rib for a rare roast.
  6. Smoke until the meat’s internal temperature reaches 120°F for Rare, or 130°F for Medium.
  7. Place the roast on a cutting board, cover it with aluminum foil, and let it rest for 20 minutes.
  8. Heat your grill to 400°F while the roast is resting.
  9. Once the grill is hot, return the roast to the grill and sear the outside until it is caramelized. The roast’s internal temperature should reach 130°F for rare, 135°F for medium-rare, or 140°F for medium.
  10. Slice and serve your roast after it's rested for 15 minutes on the cutting board. It is delicious at room temperature!
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 6 hours

10 Tips for a Perfect Smoked Rib Roast

  1. Invest in quality beef. At the very least, a USDA Choice grade is required. Consult your butcher on the best cut of meat. If desired, have them remove the bones, trim the fat, and tie the rib bones back on using butcher’s twine.
  2. For even cooking, indirect heat is essential.
  3. Season the roast heavily and early – up to 24 to 48 hours in advance.
  4. Season the rib bones, then tie them back on for cooking.
  5. Keep it simple. When it comes to flavor, this is the ultimate premium piece of beef, so don’t cover it up with a marinade. You can add garlic and herbs to the exterior if you like, but keeping it simple with salt, pepper, and smoke allows the meat to shine.
  6. Let the meat sit out on the counter for 2 to 3 hours before cooking.
  7. If you want to know when the meat is done, use a remote probe meat thermometer.
  8. Medium-rare is the best doneness for prime rib. Remove at the desired “pull temp,” which is about 10 degrees lower than the desired finished temperature.
  9. Don’t skip your 30-minute rest. The roast will re-absorb the juices so they don’t run out when sliced.
  10. When ready to serve, slice against the grain.

What is the Average Cooking Time for a Rib Roast on a Pellet Smoker?

It will take 3 to 3 1/2 hours on average to cook a rib roast on a pellet smoker.

Reverse Sear for a Caramelized Crust

The secret to the best rib roast is reverse searing, which involves cooking the beef low and slow, allowing it to rest, and then blasting it with high heat at the end to brown the outside. A reverse-seared prime rib produces an evenly warmed interior and a browned, flavorful crust that is the best way to cook this delicious beef roast.

Smoked Prime Rib Roast Cooking Time and Temperature

If you are smoking a rare roast, plan to smoke it for 35 minutes per pound at 225°F. A medium roast should be smoked for 40 minutes per pound at 225°F.

Before serving, make sure to allow at least 30 minutes for the meat to rest and another 15 minutes for high-heat searing.

Temperature of SmokerHours per Pound
250°F1.5 hours per pound
200°F to 225°F 2 hours per pound

How Much Prime Rib Do You Need Per Person?

Plan to serve one pound of uncooked prime rib roast per person. It is important to do this to account for any trimming that was necessary and for any volume that was lost during the cooking process.

If you plan on serving 1 pound of meat per person, you will need to buy 4 pounds for 4 people, 6 for 6 people, and so on.

What is the Difference Between a Rib Roast and Prime Rib Roast?

The rib roast is a large cut of beef that originates from the primal rib. The entire cut includes 7 rib bones and a large amount of marbled, tender muscle. It can weigh up to 30 pounds.

From the rib roast, ribeye steaks are individually sliced. The term “prime” refers to the fact that the rib roast is derived from a primal muscle, rather than a specific grade of meat.

Typically, prime is the highest grade available from your butcher or big box retailer. It is common for grocery store butchers to carry the next grade down, which is choice, and below that, you will find select-grade beef. In most recipes, you will see that these lower grades of meat are still considered to be “prime rib”.

The grade of beef has a significant impact on the final product. Prime-grade beef has more marbling, which provides greater flavor, tenderness, and moisture from the rendering fat. It is the best meat for rib roast recipes.


Florida native, home to the Sunday all-day poolside grilling party. When I’m not working, I’m either on the water, minding the grill, or trying to devote some time to help keep our oceans clean.

Recent Posts