How to Smoke Prime Rib
Prime rib is an impressive, delicious, and expensive cut of meat. Try smoking the prime rib to give it a great flavor with little effort. Mix up a quick seasoning paste that uses fresh herbs and olive oil. Rub the seasoning over the meat and then put it in your smoker or charcoal grill. Smoke the meat for three to four hours, so it becomes tender and juicy. Let the meat rest before you cut away the bones and slice the meat into pieces.
5 pounds (2.26 kg) prime rib or rib roast
1/2 cup (120 ml) extra virgin olive oil, divided
2 tablespoons (14 g) coarse ground pepper
2 tablespoons (36 g) kosher salt
3 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon (2 g) fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon (2 g) fresh thyme
1 tablespoon (2 g) fresh sage
Makes six to eight servings
Trimming and Seasoning the Prime Rib
Combine the herb seasoning in a food processor.Measure all of the herb seasoning ingredients into a food processor or blender. Put the lid on and pulse the mixture several times. It should blend into a chunky sauce. You'll need:
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon (2 g) fresh rosemary
- 1 tablespoon (2 g) fresh thyme
- 1 tablespoon (2 g) fresh sage
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) of the extra virgin olive oil
Trim the meat.Get out a five-pound (2.26 kg) prime rib or rib roast. Look for any layers of fat that are more than 1/4-inch (6 mm) thick and trim them off with a sharp knife. Pat the prime rib with a paper towel to get rid of any excess moisture.
- Most butchers will sell prime rib already wrapped with twine. If your prime rib isn't wrapped, wrap pieces of twine between the bones of the roast.
Cover the prime rib with olive oil, salt, and pepper.Pour the remaining 1/4 cup (60 ml) of olive oil evenly over the prime rib. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons (14 g) of coarse ground pepper and 2 tablespoons (36 g) of kosher salt over the meat. The entire piece of meat should be covered with oil and seasoning.
Spread the herb seasoning over the prime rib.Scoop the thick herb seasoning out of the food processor and onto the prime rib. Use your fingers to rub the herb seasoning evenly over the entire prime rib.
Using a Smoker
Preheat the smoker.Once you've seasoned the meat, let it rest at room temperature and turn on your smoker to 225 degrees F (110 degrees C). Let the smoker heat for 10 to 15 minutes before you begin to smoke the meat.
Put the prime rib in the smoker.Set the seasoned prime rib right on the grill grate. The fat side should be facing up while the bones should be facing down. Put the lid on the smoker and ensure that the temperature remains a steady 225 degrees F (110 degrees C) during the smoking process.
Smoke the prime rib for three to four hours.When you think the prime rib may be done, insert a thermometer into the thickest part of the meat. If you want the prime rib to be rare, smoke it until it reaches 125 to 130 degrees F (50 to 55 degrees C). If you want the prime rib to be medium-rare, smoke it until it reaches 135 degrees F (60 degrees C).
- Keep in mind that the prime rib will still be very pink inside. Avoid overcooking this tender meat.
Wrap the prime rib and rest the meat for 20 minutes.Carefully lift the smoked primed rib out of the smoker and set it on a large sheet of aluminum foil. Wrap the meat in the foil and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes.
Carve the prime rib.Cut off the kitchen twine and use a sharp knife to carefully away the bones from the prime rib. Slice the meat into 1/2-inch (12 mm) slices against the grain. Put the meat on a platter and serve it with your favorite sides.
- If you'd like to store the leftovers, refrigerate them in an airtight container within two hours of smoking the meat. You can store the meat for three to four days.
Using a Charcoal Grill
Set up a two-zone fire in your charcoal grill.Fill a chimney completely full with briquettes. Heat the briquettes until they're tinged with white ash. Carefully dump half of the coals on one side of the grill and the other half on the other side of the grill. The center of the grill shouldn't have any coals.
- If you don't have a chimney to heat the briquettes, you'll need to light about 100 briquettes.
Arrange a drip pan and add smoking wood to the grill.Take a disposable aluminum tray and fill it halfway with water. Place the tray in the middle of the grill where there aren't any coals. The coals should be on both sides of the drip pan. Scatter a handful of smoking wood chips to the coals or place three or four large chunks of smoking wood on the coals.
- You can use hickory, apple wood, or mesquite smoking wood.
Smoke the prime rib for three to four hours.Set the seasoned prime rib on the grill right over the water pan. Put the lid on the grill and smoke the prime rib for three to four hours. Use a thermometer to check the temperature of the thickest part of the meat. For rare, smoke it until it reaches 125 to 130 degrees F (50 to 55 degrees C). For medium-rare, smoke it until it reaches 135 degrees F (60 degrees C).
- If you have a thermometer inside the grill, adjust the vents until the temperature reaches 250 degrees F (120 degrees C).
Consider searing the prime rib.If you'd like the prime rib to have a crisp, golden crust, sear it over direct heat. Open all of the vents on your grill to increase the heat. You might need to add several briquettes of charcoal. Put the smoked prime rib back on the grill directly over the hot coals. Cook the meat for a few minutes or until the outside is browned.
Wrap and rest the meat.Remove the prime rib from the grill and place it on a big piece of aluminum foil. Wrap the foil over the meat and leave it to rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
Carve the prime rib.Snip off the kitchen twine and carefully slice away the bones from the prime rib. Cut the meat into 1/2-inch (12 mm) slices against the grain. Place the sliced prime rib on a platter and serve it with your choice of sides.
- You can refrigerate leftovers in an airtight container for up to three or four days. Ensure that the meat is refrigerated within two hours of smoking it.
Do you use a drip pan with this recipe?
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