Hickory Smoked Prime Rib

Hickory Smoked Prime Rib

Hickory Smoked Prime Rib

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.

Hickory Smoked 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).

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

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

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!)

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!

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Hickory Smoked Prime Rib
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Hickory Smoked Prime Rib


  • 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
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Comments 24

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    1. 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!

  1. 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.

    1. Post

      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.

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  2. 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

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      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.

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  3. Malcolm,
    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

  4. Malcom,

    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!

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  5. Malcolm:
    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!

  6. 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.

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