Prime rib is one of the kings in the meat world, and today’s guide is all about it. Not just prime rib though, this is smoked prime rib. Settle in as I feel this is about to be a long post. For today’s post we will be using a huge 18-pound boneless rib eye but you will be using whatever size you decide to buy at the store. We will put a herb crust on it and get it in the smoker. If you are coming up to a holiday or any special occasion this is sure to be the party piece and the center of attention.
When you buy your ribeye there is a good chance it will be sold in a cryovac bag. If it is, when you get it home you want to take it out of the package, blot of the excess moisture and then you have to do a little trimming on it. It has a lot of fat on the outside due to it’s cut. We take a lot of this off so that we can expose those beautiful muscles on it. You need to leave some of course as we all know that fat is full of flavor.
You will also want to tie it up with a little butcher twine. This is going to help it hold its shape during cooking. When I do it I just simply pull some out and lay the roast on it and tie it up. I’m sure there are fancier ways to do it but this one’s easy enough for me. You can also ask your butcher to trim and tie it for you. It’s no problem for them.
Seasoning the Prime Rib
Now let’s talk seasoning. The first thing you need to do is get a little olive oil on the outside. You should just drizzle some on top. What we’re doing here is building just a little base bond so that the seasoning sticks to the outside. It’s going to help that roast brown up a little bit. You know we can’t forget about the bottom side so go ahead and roll the roast over. Add a little more olive oil and you are ready to start your seasoning on this side first.
The first thing that you want to do is get some salt on this prime rib. You should create an all-purpose seasoning. In it, you can put some black pepper, salt, and garlic. This is going to give it a lot of flavor. It’s a great base layer of seasoning and for a roast this size you want to go pretty heavy.
Pat that in just a little bit and then for just a touch of color you can hit it with some hot barbecue rub. You can substitute out any of these for your favorite seasonings to make this recipe your own.
Time to Make Sure it has a Herb Crust
Now its time for that herb crust that we are going to put on the outside of this prime rib. You should start with some coarse ground steak rub. You need probably about 1/2 a cup, which is about half a bottle (this is dependant on the size of your prime rib) and then the herb part is going to be made from some fresh seasonings.
Now you should finely chop some sage, some thyme, and some rosemary. Then you’ve got to have five or six cloves of garlic chopped up. Mix all this together to make a herbs seasoning. Take this herb mixture and put it all over the prime rib. Remember we flipped the prime rib over so this is the bottom side. This side is going to cook down the whole time so you should not go as heavy on this side. you definitely want to get some of that flavor all around this roast though. If any comes off the edges, just kind of take it and pat it back on.
With the bottom side finished you are going to flip it over. We already have the olive oil on it so we’re ready for the seasoning first. It’s going to be that all-purpose mix of salt, pepper, and garlic just like we had before, then you are going to run some hot rub just for some color and some extra kick and then the pepper. Don’t forget your sides you have got to season those too. Now you are ready for the herbs on top. Just use your hand and put a heavy layer right over the top of the prime rib. Make sure you get the sides and this is going to give you a great herb crust on the outside. It will give a ton of flavor, crusty and salty! All those savory notes to make it taste beautiful.
It’s Smoking Time
Now your prime rib is ready for the smoker. You are going to let it sit and rest for just a few minutes while you fire up the drum. You can cook prime rib on any kind of pit. It doesn’t really matter. You just need one that will hold the temperature steady. When you are doing this prime rib you need to get the cooker up to 275 to 300. Fire it up with some good lump charcoal. You will want to get some really good smoke flavor on a big roast like this so you can use a couple of chunks of hickory wood.
As soon as the pit gets up to temp you should get the prime rib on and it’s going to be heaven. When you put the prime rib on you should place it in the center of the drum. You should keep it straight but it’s going to cook however you set it down. The twine is going to help keep it round, but you want to make sure it’s laying on the rack as straight as possible. Now, get the lid closed and let that hickory smoke do its magic.
Watch Those Internal Temperatures
Once your prime rib has been on for about an hour this is when you want to start watching the internal temperature on it. This is the most important thing when you’re cooking a prime rib. You need to get your probe right down in the middle of the meat. You are going to watch it and you want to stop it at about 120-122. We are taking the prime rib to this temperature so it’s nice and rare in the middle and it will be a little more done outside the edges. If you want to go more than that you can, but hey you know that rare prime rib is where it’s at.
When you get to this temperature everything should be perfect and its time to take a peek. You will see the herb crust on it and you should still have a little bit of that hickory smoke rolling and it will have a beautiful bark on the outside. Go ahead and pull your probe out. Get the prime rib off the pit and you are going to go and rest it.
Time to Rest the Prime Rib
The next part of the cook is just as important as what you did to get here. You have to let it rest, especially with a piece of prime rib like this. Cover it up loosely with a little bit of aluminum foil. You are aiming to make a tent around the prime rib. You are not trying to get it really tight. Don’t worry if some of the air gets out. You are just trying to cover it up and let it rest for at least 15-20 minutes. It wouldn’t hurt to drop it in a cooler let it sit for two hours.
After 25 minutes you will see that it still has steam coming off of it. It’s still good and hot but it’s prime rib and us mere humans cannot wait much longer to get into this thing. The reason why you put it on a platter is that you want to catch all that good juice because you can use it.
Slice the beef rib into decent thick pieces and get ready to devour this thing. You will get a solid beef taste with a wonderful smoky flavor. This is exactly how prime rib should be.
For my taste, I like to serve it up with some creamy horseradish source. Get some mayo, add a little horseradish, a little bit of hot sauce and put it all together. Season it with some salt, pepper and garlic salt. It makes a wonderful sauce to go with prime rib.
A lot of people are intimidated by doing prime ribs, but they really are easy. You can do it outside on your smoker. Get yourself a good thermometer so you can watch those internal temperatures and I promise you everybody’s going to be happy!