Smoked Prime Rib Roast is the best way to celebrate any occasion and will be a crowd-pleaser. When this massive hunk of beef is adequately prepared, it will never miss. prime rib in a hand

I love to start off by frenching the bones, it’s the best result for presentation, with a few layers of salt, pepper and garlic powder for seasoning. The prime rib then gets slathered with a garlic herb butter paste before it gets placed on the smoker for a low and slow session of apple wood smoke. 

This recipe will provide you with the best results of any prime rib roast you ever had! The seasoning penetrates into the meat for a depth of flavor and the herb butter paste creates the perfect crust on the exterior for another elevated level of flavor! 


A rib roast is the most desired cut of beef from the whole cow. It is large and comes from the primal rib. The common rib roast will be 3-4 bones that the butcher will typically sell but the whole cut contains 7 rib bones covered with marbled rich tender muscle, weighing up to 30 pounds. 

When you hear the terminology “Prime” before the type of cut of beef it typically relates to the quality of meat or grade of beef. In this case, it is not related to that. The label ‘prime’ rib roast refers to the fact that this cut comes from the whole prime muscle. It is still a high-quality cut of beef and it is still graded for quality. The lowest grade of beef is select grade beef, and a step above that is choice. smoking prime rib

The grade of beef makes a huge difference in the final product with taste, tenderness and satisfaction from eating the meal. Prime-grade beef has an additional level of marbling that equals more flavor and tenderness from the amount of good fat that renders during the cooking process. 


Take the prime rib out of the fridge and keep it at room temperature for about one hour, or ninety minutes. Place it on top of a wire rack with a sheet pan underneath, allowing the juices to drip off the meat. Pat the prime rib roast dry and prepare for seasoning. 

Apply olive oil on the whole surface area of the prime rib and then season with layers of flavoring. Use kosher salt for the first layer, followed by pepper and then garlic powder. Place to the side for 30-40 minutes. During this time make the garlic herb butter paste.frenching a prime rib

Make sure there are two 8-ounce blocks of unsalted butter softened. Place them in a food processor and add rosemary, thyme, garlic paste, lemon juice, red pepper flakes and basil. Pulse the food processor until the butter becomes a whipped butter that is consistent with the levels of flavors.whipped butter paste

Apply the butter paste on the prime rib so it is completely covered, it is similar to putting the icing on a cake. Once the rib roast is covered, fire up the smoker to 250 degrees F with apple wood chunks. Use a 12×12” aluminum pan and place it on the smoker with a few cups of water in it. Leaving the Prime Rib on the wire rack, place it on top of the aluminum pan and shut the lid. The pan will catch the butter drippings and prevent the grill from catching fire. prime rib with butter paste

Now it is all about being patient and sitting back to let the smoker do its job. My rib roast weighed 6.5 pounds and it took about 3 hours to smoke. The internal temperature was 127 degrees and when I removed it I placed it on a sheet pan and wrapped it with foil. Once this takes place, I let it rest for 30 minutes and then slice it for serving. It came out perfect! prime rib on a resting pan


  1. Rare is the final temperature of 120-125 internal degrees F, which means it is pulled our at 112-115 degrees F with a 25-minute resting period.
  2. Medium rare is with the final internal temperature of 130-135 degrees F, which means you remove from the smoker at 125 degrees F internally and follow it up with a 25-30 minute resting period. 
  3. Well done is with the final internal temperature of 140 degrees F, which means it is being removed from the smoker at 135 internal degrees F with a 30-minute resting period.
prime rib with butter paste

Smoked Prime Rib Roast with a Garlic Herb Butter Paste

Total Time 3 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6


  • 1 3-4 bone prime rib roast
  • 3 tbsp Olive oil
  • 2 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp Garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp Black pepper

Garlic Herb Butter Paste

  • 2 8 oz Blocks of unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp Fresh rosemary
  • 2 tbsp Fresh thyme
  • 2 tsp Garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp Parsley
  • 1 tbsp Red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp Basil
  • 1 whole Lemon juiced


  • Start off by preheating your smoker to 250 degrees F.
  • While the smoker is heating up, prepare the rib roast. French the roast and then apply olive oil as a binder. Season in layers of salt, pepper and garlic powder.
  • Let the roast sit for 25 minutes, during this time make the garlic herb paste by adding the butter into a food processor with rosemary, thyme, parsley, red pepper flakes, basil and lemon juice. Blitz until it becomes like a fluffy consistency. 
  • Spread the butter paste to cover the whole rib roast. Place an aluminum pan (filled with 2 cups of water) on the smoker, now (with the prime rib on a wire rack) place the rib roast on top of the pan. Shut the smoker and smoke until the rib roast reaches 125-127 degrees F internally.
  • Remove and place on a sheet pan and cover with foil. Rest for 30 minutes.
  • Slice the prime rib for serving.
  • Enjoy with family and friends!


Keyword butter paste, christmas recipe, easy prime rib, garlic butter paste, holiday prime rib recipe, prime rib, prime rib recipe, smoked prime rib
Did you enjoy this holiday prime rib recipe? You’ll love my other beef recipes in the link below!

Beef Recipes

Items used in This Recipe

Cutting Edge Fire Wood

Hasty-Bake Grill

Knitted Gloves

Food Processor

Cast Iron Skillet 

Meater +

Charcoal Chimney

Charcoal Starters

Firestarter Guard

Heat Resistant gloves

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