The Tastiest Smoked Prime Rib Recipe

My smoked prime rib is one of my favorite smoker recipe, but it was also the scariest. When you pay $50 to $100 for a succulent piece of meat, you don't want to mess it up. You especially don't want to ruin it when it's your first time cooking one on the smoker.

Smoked Prime Rib

It's all about the temperature and time when it comes to smoking the perfect prime rib. If done right, you will never eat a prime cut of rib out ever again. It literally melts in your mouth and keeps you coming back for more.

As with most smoker recipes,  they aren't a quick and easy choice for dinner. This dinner recipe takes a very short time prepare, but can take some time to cook. Let me tell you though, it's worth all of the time and effort put into it.

This recipe actually cuts down on time and creates the perfectly cooked prime rib I've ever tasted. When I first cut into it, all of the fears left and my mouth started watering. And by using apple wood (a fruit wood), it was not too smokey, leaving the flavor of the meat to be savored in your mouth.

Here is my smoked prime rib recipe for all to enjoy.

Smoked Prime Rib (Boneless)

Ingredients for 12 Servings:

One (6) Pound Boneless Prime Rib

Seasoning of Your Choice (Rub)

Water (to put in Grill)

Apple Cider Vinegar (to put in Grill)

Charcoal/Pellets/Electric (depending on the grill)

Wood Chunks (not chips)

The average serving size is 8 oz pieces, but divide it up as you see fit for your guests. Prime rib does contain a lot of protein, so be careful not to overdue it.


Leave prime rib out overnight in packaging to allow to come to room temperature.

At least 1 hour prior to cooking, remove the meat from the packaging and pat dry with paper towels. If there is any thick patches of fat on the meat, gently remove them. Unlike when you cook a prime rib in the oven, you want as little fat on the exposed meat as possible. Fat prevents the smoke and flavors from penetrating into the meat. Fat also absorbs more of the smoke which will taste acidic.

Next, add your preferred seasoning. I used Kroger brand Prime Seasonings Sweet Smokehouse Season and Rub (at least 30 minutes prior to putting the meat on the smoker.

Prime Rib After Seasoning

Smoking the Prime Rib

Now you are ready to for the longest part of smoked prime rib - slow cooking in the smoker.

I currently have an offset smoker (charcoal in a separate compartment from the cooking side) using charcoal and wood chunks for the preferred smokey flavor. I first add charcoal and starter cubes (from Weber) and light. This prevents the "gas" taste from using lighter fluid. Once the charcoal stops flaming and is bright red, I close the door and let the cooking side heat up to around 250 (the air intake fully open and the exhaust 3/4 of the way open).

Once the cooking section is up to temperature, place a 9 x 11 x 2 inch deep foil tray filled 3/4s of the way with 1/2 water and 1/2 apple cider vinegar, closest to where the heat is entering the grill. Add the prime rib directly onto the grill grates, thicker side toward the drip pan. Close the grill and don't open again for at least an hour and a half.

A a few chunks of apple or cherry wood to the charcoal to add smoke.

You should maintain an average temperature in the smoker of 225 degrees F. Cooking time varies, but should be around 40 minutes per pound (but I've found that the longer you leave the meat out, the faster its internal temperature will rise).

My smoked prime rib essentially started at 64 degrees F and the temperature went up 31 degrees in an hour. Once it hit 110 degrees, it slowed down.

Add more charcoal and wood chunks as necessary to maintain 225 degrees average heat.

About midway through smoking the meat, rotate the prime rib 180 degrees.

The temperature of the center part of the smoked prime rib should be 132 degrees when you take it out of the smoker. This will leave a nice rare to medium rare middle with a medium to medium well outside.

Once you take it out, let it rest 30 minutes (temperature inside the meat should continue to rise about 5 degrees while resting).

If you want to seer the outside of the prime rib (which wasn't necessary) at this point, do so in an oven as follows:

Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Add the smoked prime rib into the oven on a tray and seer for 10 minutes.

Remove and serve.

If you are not serving the prime rib immediately, tightly wrap it in foil until ready to cut and serve. Mine was wrapped in foil for two hours and was perfect. If you did not seer it, wrap tightly in foil to keep all of the juices in.

Prime Rib Finished

Nutritional Information

The above Smoked Prime Rib recipe makes about 12 meal servings (one 8 oz piece of prime rib per person). (The below nutritional facts are estimated for one 8 oz serving of prime rib.)

Calories 603

Total Fat 39.28g
Saturated Fat 15.45g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1.421g, and Monounsaturated Fat 16.681g

Cholesterol 174mg
Sodium 492mg

Total Carbohydrates 0g
Sugars 0g

Protein 58.77g

Iron 31% (based on a 2000 calorie diet)

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