Hickory Smoked Prime Rib

Hickory Smoked Prime Rib Recipe

Hickory Smoked Prime Rib Recipe

It’s a beautiful thing turning a whole ribeye roast into a delicious, smoked Prime Rib. This recipe is the best Christmas gift you can share with your friends and family; and it’s easily accomplished on your smoker. Tying a Prime Rib I start with an 18lb boneless whole ribeye from Sams club. Remove it from the cryovac packaging and use paper towel to soak up any moisture. Place it on a cutting board and remove the sinew and excess fat. Tie the ribeye with butcher Twine down the length of the entire roast spacing the twine 1 1/2” apart. This will help it cook more evenly and maintain shape. Coat the outside of the ribeye with with a light layer of extra virgin olive oil and season with a heavy dose of Killer Hogs AP Rub (or salt, pepper, garlic). Next layer on a light dusting of BBQ Rub (I used my Killer Hogs Hot Rub). Seasoned Smoked Prime Rib Recipe For the herb crust finely chop fresh rosemary, sage, and thyme. Place the herbs in a small bowl and add 6 cloves of fresh garlic minced and 1/2 cup of Killer Hogs Steak Rub. Give this mixture a quick stir to combine and apply it to the outside of the Ribeye Roast. Hickory Smoked Prime Rib on Smoker For this smoked prime rib cook I fired up my Gateway Drum but you can easily use any grill or smoker. Just set it up for indirect cooking at 275 degrees. I ran a bed of lump coals with a couple chunks of hickory for smoke flavor. As soon as the pit reaches temp, place the ribeye on the center of the cooking grate and let the smoke roll. At this point all you have to do is let it cook until it hits desired doneness. For me it’s 120-122 degrees internal. I use a wired meat probe stuck into the middle of the Prime Rib to watch the internal temperature with a close eye. The biggest mistake you can make is over cooking a gorgeous cut of beef like this. Hickory Smoked Prime Rib Recipe When the alarm goes off, transfer the Smoked Prime Rib to a large platter and tent it with foil. Wait at least 20 minutes before carving. (This step is crucial too!) Sliced Hickory Smoked Prime Rib When ready to serve use a large slicer knife to cut the Smoked Prime Rib into desired slices. I like to serve it with a creamy horseradish sauce and the left over juices from the platter. Prime Rib is one meat centerpiece that should be on every Holiday Table! Print
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Hickory Smoked Prime Rib Recipe


  • 18lb Whole Ribeye Roast
  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup Killer Hogs AP Rub
  • 1 Tablespoons Killer Hogs Hot Rub
  • 1/2 Cup Killer Hogs Steak Rub
  • 6 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 Tablespoon Rosemary chopped fine
  • 1 Tablespoon Sage chopped fine
  • 1 Tablespoon Thyme chopped fine


  1. Prepare smoker or grill for indirect cooking at 275 degrees, add 2 chunks of hickory wood for smoke flavor.
  2. Trim excess fat and sinew from ribeye roast and tie with butcher string to hold shape during cooking.
  3. Drizzle the outside with olive oil, season with AP Rub and Hot Rub.
  4. In a small bowl combine fresh herbs with Steak Rub; apply in a heavy layer to outside of ribeye.
  5. Place the whole ribeye on the smoker and cook until internal temperature reaches 120-125 or your desired doneness about 2.5 hrs.
  6. Rest the Prime Rib for a minimum of 20 minutes before carving. Serve with creamy horseradish or au jus.
Malcom Reed Connect on Facebook Follow me on Twitter Subscribe to my YouTube Channel Find me on Google+ Follow me on Instagram Buy Killer Hogs Products Here

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50 responses to “Hickory Smoked Prime Rib Recipe”

  1. Would you reverse sear for more of a crust being careful not to burn?

  2. Bill Clements says:

    Why no video. I really like to hear you describe the cook and always look forward to the taste test.

    • Jonathan says:

      It’s on youtube

    • Christian says:

      I think this is a great recipe but I also do love Malcom’s commentary and taste test… I am a master BBQ and griller, but still get many, if not most new ideas from Malcom. We love is expertise and the sound of his voice in our house! Thanks Malcom!

  3. Josh M says:

    Roughly how long on the smoker per lbs of roast? 20-25 min at 275? Keep up the great work Malcom!

  4. Ryan says:

    Would a 120 internal temperature produce a medium rare piece of meat? I would want it to be closer to the medium side rather than super rare. What do you think? In your previous prime rib one you used a smaller piece of meat but said to wait for an internal temp if 130. Thanks, I love your recipes.

    • Malcom Reed says:

      120 would be more on the rare side – but you will have carryover you need to consider. When I’m cooking prime rib I’m shooting for 122 – 125 and it will carryover 5-10 degrees during the rest.

  5. Does this recipe work for a rotisserie? I have one with a smoker box. will it over cook the crust?


  6. Donovan Deal says:

    How long did this take on the smoker?

  7. Jerry GnacinskI says:

    I’m going to try this recipe and I have a 10 lb roast would my time roughly be the same going to do it on a Traeger grill thank you

    • Malcom Reed says:

      yeah, around the same time. But every cook is different so give yourself plenty of time and plan to hold it in a dry cooler when it’s done. It will stay amazing in a dry cooler for 1-2 hours.

  8. Chad says:


    About how long did this cook take?

  9. JJ says:

    I want to do this for Christmas Eve but need to go to mass before dinner, can I smoke to an internal temp of 122 -125 then place in a cooler to keep it warm for 2 hours while we go to mass? If I have to warm it up when mass is over, what would be the best method to avoid drying it out

  10. Joe Palumbo says:


    Best BBQ website; love the vids! Cooking 7 bone-in prime rib for family Christmas dinner for 1st time on my new bge, following your methodology/recipe. The only thing… I have to heavily wrap in foil and towels, drop it in a cooler and drive 3 hours. Target temp is 130. I plan on pulling the roast off at 120.

    Will I get 10 degrees of carryover or more? And will the roast be ok to serve after 3 hours?

    All the best to you and you family in 2019!

  11. Joshua Eborn says:

    Thanks for all you do

  12. Frank Morris says:

    I just wanted to say thanks for helping me make a perfect Christmas for the family this year. I cooked a prime rib using half hickory and half cherry (Lumberjack) on my Yoder at 225 degrees. I used your AP rib along with Montreal stealing seasoning along with the olive oil. The only thing I forgot to do was to wear my Killer Hog T-Shirt! Keep up the good work!

    • Patrick says:

      Frank..at 225 how long did it take you and how much did it weigh? Malcom is cooking at a higher temp in this recipe. Thanks- Patrick

  13. Renee says:

    Thank you so much for your recipes. We made this for Christmas dinner and it was AMAZING, other people may have had a dinner as good, but no one had anything Better. I made the horseradish sauce too and it really complimented the meat.

  14. eric huber says:

    Holy hell!!! The best ever. My friends and family still won’t stop talking how great this was.

  15. Nick B says:

    What is your horseradish mayo recipe?

    • Malcom Reed says:

      Creamy Horseradish Sauce
      – 12oz Mayonnaise
      – 4oz Kraft creamy Horseradish
      – 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish from jar
      – 1 teaspoon Frank’s Hot Sauce
      – Pinch of Salt and Pepper to taste

  16. Mike says:

    Malcolm you are the king of the Q! Learned everything from you and now look like I know what I’m doing. Thank you for everything you and your team do!

  17. Robert Morgan says:

    Malcom I owe you a huge thanks for guiding me in my culinary pursuits. Following your easy to follow directions to the “T” has earned me much praise from my family.

  18. J B says:

    Can’t wait to do this one (although bone-in for presentations sake) this Christmas! Finally convinced the mother-in-law to let me take it over (she always cooks it by “feel” and therefore well-done at best).

    I’ve used your guidelines for temp targets as well as your rubs for 3+ years now and haven’t been letdown yet.

    Keep up the great work and can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next year!

  19. Patrick says:

    Malcom my man. You have been an inspiration for myself and my Yoder YS… I need your help once again bud. Christmas Prime Rib in in the making. It was just shy of 18lbs and has dry aged 30 days. I will have to trim it and then I imagine it will have only retained 14-15 lbs once it is ready to hit the grill. I was going to use your herb seasoning and was thinking a reverse sear method… However I need help with the timing on a roast that big- boneless.

    What do you suggest for temps and timing. Low and slow is fine I just want to have my timing right.
    Cooking on a YS640. Thanks in advance!

    • Malcom Reed says:

      At 250-275 degrees you’re looking at about 2.5 hours but go by internal instead of time. You don’t want to overcook it! I also recommend a rest for at least 1 hour.

  20. Ralph Neely says:

    Thank you!

  21. Brian Deegan says:

    You need to acknowledge the kudos you are getting. There’s a lot of people out here that are your pupils. You’re a great teacher and my go to guy when I smoke anything. Thanks for all you do and the great recipes. You have a lot of fans out here that appreciate what you do!!

  22. Jen says:

    When buying charcoal, in general not necessarily for this recipe, I’ve been told “lump” charcoal is the best. I am finding buying this confusing because I’ve learned that it’s made from wood and you can buy mesquite, hickory etc. When buying normal briquettes it does not seem they have any specific wood content and therefore does not affect the flavor. My first question is does the type of hardwood lump charcoal affect the flavor and if so do you not add the hardwood pieces if your using a single source wood lump charcoal?
    For example for this recipe we bought mesquite lump charcoal thinking it would not affect the flavor and added hickory wood. It was good but the smoke flavor was really intense.
    So we have more control over the flavor by adding hardwood, what should we look for in lump charcoal and do you have tips on where to find it at a good price? Thank you

    • Malcom Reed says:

      Anything mesquite tends to have a stronger flavor. We stick to Royal Oak all natural briquettes or lump. We use both lump and briquettes depending on the cooker and cook. Lump by itself does tend to add a little more flavor. I would try the Royal Oak lump. It is a mixture of hardwoods that are mild in flavor.

  23. John Zimmerman says:

    Malcolm, from reading your recipe, it sounds like you seasoned the roast and put it straight on the pit. Did you not let it sit overnight or at least several hours in the dry rub before cooking?

  24. Ben Hovey says:

    Have made this before, and am making it for extended family on christmas eve. We have a few people who won’t eat beef for health reasons, so I am also doing 2 beer can chickens. Would bumping up the temp to 300 on the prime rib be better, or should I smoke this, then rest it for ~3 hours while I do the chicken after?

  25. Hunter says:


    Could I accomplish a good cook by doing this in the oven? Then getting a nice crust by doing a quick sear at high heat on the grill?

  26. Mike H. says:

    I just picked up a prime rib roast from Sam’s Club but it is already pre-cooked. It looks to be on the rare side. What is the best way to warm it up (should it be wrapped?) ? Would you recommend placing it in my smoker with some hickory chips?

  27. Jay Scherer says:


    Thank you for all you do, I use your recipes for all my BBQ. Can I use this recipe for a bone in prime rib on my BGE? Assuming yes but would be curious to know if you have any recipes for bone in vs roast.

    Merry Christmas!

  28. RODNEY PORTER says:

    This Prime Rib recipe is awesome!
    I served it last year at Christmas Eve and there were no left overs.
    I will be doing this again this year.

    Thank You


  29. Dennis Speck says:


    I made this recipe, including the creamy horseradish sauce for my family this past Easter. This was my first time smoking a prime rib roast, and it came out great. The meat was juicy and tender.

    I do have one question, when I stuck my temperature probe into the roast after an hour, is there supposed to be resistance when sticking the probe into the meat?

  30. Chad says:

    This recipe was amazing and I smoke a prime rib every year for my mom and wife. The tenderness, the herb crust… It’s all phenomenal. Thanks for such a great take on a classic Malcolm!! We love it.

  31. Dustin Welch García says:

    Hey Malcolm! Looking forward to trying this recipe for Mother’s Day. I have two, five pound cuts. Do you recommend searing the outside first or just lay it on the grill and let the smoke roll?

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