Smoked Prime Rib, Willow Style

Smoked prime rib is always the crowning glory of every holiday table. Slow-smoked for amazing flavor and then flash-roasted for a rich exterior crust, my method for smoked prime rib ensures perfect results every time!

What Grade Prime Rib Should I Buy?

The grade of beef makes a BIG difference in your final product, with Prime grade having additional marbling which means more flavor, tenderness, and moisture from that rendering fat. It also means a big difference in the final price of your roast. If you’ve got a big budget and are willing to pay the extra cash, go for the Prime grade and treat yourself!

If you purchase a Choice grade roast, you will still have outstanding results, so don’t fret or overthink it. The magic of this recipe is in the method and the final product will still be amazingly delicious and tender. Choice-grade prime rib will still give you a delicious roast and not cost you (as much of) an arm and a leg as Prime grade beef.

I usually stick with Prime and Choice grade beef when I’m cooking a fancy roast like this, but if your budget is on the lower end, a Select grade roast will work just fine, though it may not be as tender or flavorful as the other grades.

Ingredients for Smokes Prime Rib

Here’s what you’ll need to make this smoked prime rib roast. This recipe is very simple.



  • Preheat. Fire up the smoker and allow it to preheat to 225 degrees F while you prepare the prime rib.
  • Trim the meat. Trim any excess fat from the top of the roast down to 1/4 inch thick.
  • Season. In a small bowl combine the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic. Slather the entire roast with the mustard mixture and season liberally with salt and pepper.
  • Smoke. Place the roast on the grill and close the lid. Smoke until the internal temperature of the roast reaches 120 degrees F for Rare or 130 degrees F for Medium. For a rare, bone-in roast, plan on 35 minutes per pound of prime rib.
  • Rest. Remove the roast to a cutting board, cover the roast with foil, and allow it to rest for 20 minutes.
  • Increase temp in smoker. While the roast is resting, increase the temperature of your grill to 400 degrees F.
  • Sear. Once the grill is up to temperature, return the roast to the grill and sear until you reach your desired internal temperature. Pull the roast off at 130 degrees F for rare, 135 degrees F for medium rare, or 140 degrees for medium. This process should go quickly, so keep an eye on your temperature.
  • Rest, slice, and serve. Remove your roast to the cutting board and let the meat rest for at least 15 minutes before slicing and serving.


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