How to Smoke Prime Rib on the Traeger

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Understanding Prime Rib 

First, lets start off with the definition of Prime Rib. What is Prime Rib?  Is it Prime?

  • A standing rib roast, also known as prime rib, is a cut of beef from the primal rib, one of the nine primal cuts of beef. While the entire rib section comprises ribs six through 12, a standing rib roast may contain anywhere from two to seven ribs.

Depending on the budget you have for this holiday or celebration treat there is a quality level to meat your needs. We find that by placing our orders before the holiday season starts, we are able to get better pricing and then pickup as we need. Check with your local butcher, grocery store, grocery club or meat counter and see if this is something they can offer. Prices do increase during high demand seasons and holidays.

Here are the TOP 5 Quality Grades and some info for you to read:

  1. U.S. Prime – Highest in quality and Moderately Abundant Marbling, limited supply.
  2. U.S. Choice – Certified Angus Beef – This grade represents the upper 2/3 of the Choice range. Higher quality and Moderate Marbling
  3. U.S. Choice – High quality and Modest Marbling
  4. U.S. Select – Medium quality and Slight Marbling
  5. U.S. Standard – Lower quality and Trace MarblingSelecting the perfect prime rib I am having 6 people over, how much should I buy? Do I need to buy it with the rib bones on?

Selecting The Perfect Prime Rib

I am having 6 people over, how much should I buy? Do I need to buy it with the rib bones on?

  • A good rule of thumb is to plan on 1 bone per 2 people. That can equate to about 10 oz of cooked prime rib per person. Keep in mind there will be a small amount of shrink while cooking, so buy a tiny bit extra to ensure you have some leftovers for those shaved prime rib sandwiches the next day.
  • Bone or No Bone? While the bones do add a great flavor, it’s not necessary to cook a bone in rib roast. If cooking a boneless roast please follow the same methods as above and reduce total cooking time by 20-30 minutes depending on cooking tool used.
  • When choosing a size, we don’t recommend buying anything under a 2 bone portion, as this is more of a thick steak style cut and will be difficult to roast and keep from drying out.

PRIME RIB COOKING PERFECTION:

  1. Remove from the cryo-vac package and put onto a large cookie sheet pan, allow to drain any juices and warm up at room temperature for 20 minutes
  2. Next liberally rub on all sides with your choice of seasoning. Use our Prime Rib Rub-a-Dub or our Standard Rub-A-Dub or a blend of both.   We do not recommend SALT CRUSTED for our cooking process
  3. Allow the rub to sit on the Prime Rib for another 20 minutes, then wrap in plastic wrap and place on a cookie sheet pan and into the fridge. I suggest leaving wrapped for 16-24 hours
  4. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Preheat your grill/smoker/outdoor cooking tool to 350 degrees

DO NOT COVER THE PRIME RIB DURING THE COOKING PROCESS

PLACE PRIME RIB INTO A ROASTING PAN TO CATCH THE DRIPPINGS. Ribs or Rib Side Down. Fat Side Up. CAN BE PLACED ON A ROASTING RACK IN THE PAN

  1. For the oven, sear at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, then turn oven down to 325 degrees and cook until desired doneness is reached
  2. For the grill/smoker load at 350 degrees, sear at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, then turn smoker/grill down to 325 and cook until desired doneness is reached

Here is an approximate Prime Rib roasting timetable

Keep in mind oven and grill temps may vary, so use a good quality digital thermometer to best judge doneness. If planning to smoke, start off on low temp smoke to build flavor, smoke as long as desired to reach the level of smoke you enjoy, then adjust temp to 325 and finish to desired temperature

Weight with Bones Approximate Cooking Times
3 Ribs – 7-8 Pounds

4 Ribs – 9-11 Pounds

5 Ribs – 12-13 Pounds

6 Ribs – 14-16 Pounds

7 Ribs – 16 Pounds and UP

1 ½ – 1 ¾ Hours plus resting time

1 ¾ – 2 ½ Hours plus resting time

2 ½ – 3 Hours plus resting time

3 – 3 ½ Hours plus resting time

3 ½ – 4 ½ Hours plus resting

OTHER TIPS AND SUGGESTIONS

  • Beef will continue to Carry Over cook. Once removed from the oven it will continue to cook another 15-18 degrees in 20 minutes of resting. Be sure to pull slightly under desired doneness to allow the carry over cooking to end up at the exact temp desired. Rest 15-20 minutes total

 

DONENESS TEMP COLOR MOISTURE LEVEL
Rare 80-100 Blueish – Deep Red Highest
Medium Rare 125 – 135 Red with slight pink High
Medium 140 – 145 Pink with slight brown Medium
Medium Well 150 – 155 Mostly Brown Low
Well Done 160 and above Brown / Grey Lowest