It’s a Traeger Smoked Prime Rib Recipe and you’re going to go nuts! A juicy, perfectly cooked and the most crazy flavorful prime rib you will ever make!

The recipe that has sealed the deal for me on prime rib forever. You guys, our classic prime rib went crazy on the blog two years ago, but let me tell you, this is the only prime rib I plan to make for the rest of my life. It’s flavor is absolutely unreal and it’s so much easier than you’d think!

A photo of smoked prime rib sliced and ready to serve.

You often think of prime rib being served around Christmas, which it should be, but I’ve been making this all year long! It is so easy and turns out perfectly every time! It impresses guests but also gets devoured by my children. That means it’s a winner!

How to Choose a Prime Rib?

When you head into your butcher to purchase the prime rib, definitely ask for a bone-in roast. Leaving the bones in provides so much flavor and the bones are pretty much a built-in roasting rack for the roast as it smokes. You’ll also have the option to choose chuck end or loin end. Go with chuck end for the best cut of meat!

What Cut Of Meat Is Prime Rib?

Prime rib is also known as Standing Rib Roast. A prime rib is a cut of beef from the primal rib, one of the nine cuts of beef. While the entire rib section comprises ribs six through twelve, a standing rib roast may contain anywhere from two to seven ribs, just depending on what you buy and how much roast you want.

A photo of a whole smoked prime rib sitting on a wooden cutting board garnished with fresh chopped parsley.

Ingredients for Smoked Prime Rib

It doesn’t take many ingredients to make this prime rib recipe. Prime rib is so dang good, it doesn’t take much! Here is what you will need…

  • Prime Rib: bone-in and 6-8 pounds
  • Kosher Salt: adds flavor
  • Black Pepper: freshly cracked, adds flavor
  • Dijon Mustard: used to create a paste to rub all over the meat
  • Worcestershire Sauce: adds flavor and richness
  • Garlic: adds flavor
  • Rosemary: fresh, chopped, adds fresh flavor

The measurements for all these ingredients are listed in the recipe card at the end of the post.

How to Smoke Prime Rib?


Prime rib is an expensive cut of meat, so you want to make sure you do it right. Doing it right starts with prepping the meat correctly. Take your bone-in prime rib, and use a sharp knife to cut diagonally into the fat pad and then rotate and cut diagonally in the opposite direction so that you make a diamond pattern.

Rub the Kosher salt and pepper all over the prime rib including in the slits you just created. Place the prime rib on a sheet pan and place it in the refrigerator uncovered for 12-24 hours. This allows the prime rib to dry out which gives it that delicious crust that is to die for.

When the prime rib has rested in the fridge and you are ready to smoke it, lather it in the mustard paste on all sides of the roast. The mustard paste is created by whisking together the dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic and rosemary in a small bowl.

A photo of a whole smoked prime rib sitting on a cutting board garnished with fresh chopped parsley.


Set the Traeger to 250℉, close the lid, and allow the smoker to preheat. It will take about 15 minutes to come to temperature. We like to use apple wood and hickory pellets for this recipe. They create the most delicious smoky flavor.

Place the prime rib roast directly onto the grill with the fat-side up. No need to sear the meat beforehand. The smoker will do all that work for you. Smoke the prime rib for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until a meat thermometer or the probe for your smoker shows an internal temperature for your desired doneness:

  • Rare: 125-130℉
  • Medium-rare: 135℉

Don’t let the meat overcook. A prime rib that is cooked past medium-rare will become tough and chewy. We like to pull ours out about 5℉ early because it will cook more while it rests.


If you take the time to prep the prime rib correctly, then you want to finish it correctly too. When the meat has reached your desired temperature, remove it from the Traeger and place it on a cutting board. Tent it with foil and allow it to rest for 20-30 minutes. Resting the meat is critical, don’t skip it! See next section for how to carve the prime rib.

A photo of a whole smoked prime rib sitting on a cutting board garnished with fresh chopped parsley.

How Do You Carve a Smoked Prime Rib?

After your prime rib has rested sufficiently, turn the roast fat side down onto a cutting board so that you can remove the bones. Carve along the bones to remove them from the roast all in one piece. With the bones removed, flip the roast back over so the fat side is up and then cut the roast into slices. We like to make the slices 3/4 to 1 inch thick for each serving. Horseradish sauce is a popular condiment for prime rib. I’m personally not a huge fan, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be!

What Do You Eat with Smoked Prime Rib?

Smoked prime rib is hearty, homey and pure comfort, so we like to make sure our side dishes are the same. Here are a few of our favorites:

A photo of a whole juicy smoked prime rib sitting on a cutting board garnished with fresh chopped parsley.


What is the Best Wood for Smoking Prime Rib?

We prefer a combination of apple wood and hickory pellets, but you really can’t go wrong. Use your favorite flavored wood(s) – oak, mesquite, pecan, etc.

How Do I Know How Much Prime Rib I Need Per Person?

The general rule of thumb is to plan on 1lb of prime rib per person. So if you get a 6-8lb roast, you can plan on serving 6-8 people. If you are serving little kids, it will go a little farther.

How Long Do You Smoke Prime Rib?

As a general rule, it will take about 30 minutes of Traeger time per pound of meat. Depending on how big of a roast you purchase, it will take about 3 1/2 to 4 hours to smoke a 6-8lb prime rib at 250℉.

Should Smoked Prime Rib Be Red When Done?

Prime rib is best cooked to rare or medium rare. It should never be cooked past medium (140°F) because all the fat will melt out and the meat will be left tough and chewy. So yes, it will be a little pink, possibly a little red. As long as it has reached temperature (125-130°F), it is perfectly safe to eat.

Is Prime Rib and Rib Eye The Same?

The “Prime Rib” is basically just a marketing term. It refers to a standing rib roast from that section or cut. The Ribeye Roast is a rib roast that has been carved off of the bone. It is the same piece of meat as a standing rib roast. A ribeye has just been removed from the bone and cut into a steak.

Do You Eat The Fat On Prime Rib?

If the prime rib has been cooked properly, the fat on the outside will be packed with flavorful and will melt in your mouth. You can eat it if you want. If fat is tough and inedible, then skip it.

Do You Smoke Prime Rib With Fat Up Or Down?

Smoked the prime rib with the fat side up with the bones down on the grill.

Storage and Reheating

Leftover prime rib should be stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container. It will keep for 4-5 days.

The best way to reheat prime rib is in the oven. Preheat your oven to 250F, and add the sliced prime rib to a baking dish and with a few tablespoons of beef broth. Cover the dish with foil making sure it is sealed completely and let it warm up for about 10 minutes.

I will be eating my prime rib smoked for the rest of my days. I love prime rib cooked in all ways, but smoked prime rib is my new absolute favorite!

More Decadent MAIN DISHES You Must Try:

Smoked Prime Rib

4.29 from 32 votes
Servings: 6
Prep Time: 1 day
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 1 day 4 hours


A juicy, perfectly cooked and the most crazy flavorful prime rib you will ever make!


  • 6-8 pounds Prime Rib, bone-in
  • 1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Black Pepper, freshly cracked
  • 3 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire
  • 5 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Rosemary, fresh, chopped


  • Cut just into the fat pad on top of the meat at a diagonal and then turn the opposite direction and cut again to make a diamond pattern. 
    6-8 pounds Prime Rib
  • Rub the salt and pepper all over the meat and place in the fridge for 12-24 hours. 
    1 Tablespoon Kosher Salt, 1 teaspoon Black Pepper
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the Dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, and rosemary. 
    3 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard, 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire, 5 Cloves Garlic, 2 teaspoons Rosemary
  • Rub the outside of the roast with the mustard paste.
  • Set the Traeger to 250℉ and preheat, lid closed for 15 minutes using apple wood and hickory pellets.
  • Put the prime rib directly on the grill grate, fat-side up. Roast for 3-1/2 to 4 hours, or until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 125-130℉ for rare, or for medium-rare, 135℉. Do not overcook.
  • Remove to a cutting board and tent with foil for 20-30 minutes, slice and serve. 


You can reheat prime rib in the oven.  Cover with foil and reheat in a 300 degree oven for 20-30 minutes.


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 1365kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 62gFat: 121gSaturated Fat: 50gCholesterol: 274mgSodium: 1478mgPotassium: 1045mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 46mgIron: 7mg
Author: Sweet Basil
Course: 100 + BEST Easy Beef Recipes for Dinner
Cuisine: American

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