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Hook & Barrel
A Lifestyle Magazine for Modern Outdoorsmen

H&B’s Smoker Series Continues With A Super Simple Garlic Herb-Crusted Prime Rib

As with brisket, prime rib also seems to intimidate some people from trying to cook, and with the price per pound, it’s easy to see why. It is known as the “rockstar” cut of beef due to its distinctive and rich flavor.   

Recall in my previous article that your meat thermometer will become your friend. When you learn to cook for internal temperature, that is when your smoking game and confidence will advance. In my opinion, medium rare is the go-to choice for prime rib, and I recommend prime or choice cut. 

prime rib

It is a good idea to begin by trussing the prime rib using butcher’s twine. Many meat departments have them ready to go, and most butcher shops will do it for you upon request. “Truss” is a fancy term for wrapping with butcher twine to help keep its shape during the cook. This cook should take 4-5 hours (30 minutes per pound average).  Remember, cook to internal temperature, not time. You can also factor 1 pound of cooked meat per person. 

You Will Need:

  1. Digital meat thermometer
  1. Disposable aluminum pan
  1. Disposable gloves
  1. Shallow aluminum pan or an oven rack, along with foil-covered sheet pan 
  1. Aluminum foil
  1. Grill gloves
  1. Fuel source
  1. Large cutting board
  1. Brisket knife
  2. Silicone brush


  1. Boneless prime rib roast  
  1. Kosher salt, coarse black pepper, and granulated garlic or minced garlic (SPG) 
  1. 3-4 packages of room-temperature Irish butter (my favorite)
  1. Fresh, finely chopped rosemary and thyme 
  1. Butcher twine to truss prime rib if it didn’t come pre-wrapped 
  1. Avocado oil

First Steps: 

  1. Trim unwanted fat
  1. Truss the prime rib
  1. Place meat in the aluminum pan or on a cooking rack and coat all sides with avocado oil. Season the entire prime rib with the SPG mix 
  1. Thoroughly combine the room-temperature butter, seasoning, and herbs in a mixing bowl. I recommend you wear disposable gloves for this and take the compound butter mixture and slather the meat’s sides and top generously with your hands or a spatula. Don’t skimp here!   
  1. Place the prime rib in the fridge in a pan you plan to use for the cook for 2 hours or until the butter firms up a bit 

Cooking Steps: 

  1. Preheat the smoker to 225-250°F
  1. Add pecan wood chunks to the firebox along with hardwood charcoal if using a non-pellet grill
  1. Cook to 120° F for rare, 125°F for medium-rare, or 130° F for medium. Baste with melted compound butter using a silicone brush every 30 minutes
  1. Pull the prime rib once you reach the desired internal temperature. Tent the top with foil so it does not disturb the crust and let it rest on the counter for 20 minutes   
  1. While the prime rib rests, crank the heat up in your smoker to 400°F   
  1. Once the rest is complete, move the meat out of the pan and into the smoker for a quick sear until the final internal temperature is achieved as follows, but for no more than 10 minutes: rare: 130°F, medium-rare: 135°, medium: 140°  
  1. Pull from the smoker and rest an additional 10-15 minutes. Use the drippings in the pan and more melted compound over the prime rib once again 
  1. Slice, serve, and enjoy! 

Roll that smoke and relish in being a dinnertime hero. You did it! 

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Smoker Series: How to Smoke Brisket
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