Smoked Standing Rib Roast

Rib Roast

 Phillip Jones / Getty Images

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 3 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yield: 1 rib roast
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
513 Calories
15g Fat
18g Carbs
71g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 513
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g 20%
Saturated Fat 3g 15%
Cholesterol 1057mg 352%
Sodium 1364mg 59%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 7%
Dietary Fiber 1g 5%
Protein 71g
Calcium 173mg 13%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Few things are better than a good prime rib. This standing rib roast is smoked for several hours and has the great flavor of the prime rib mixed with a mellow smokiness. It is the perfect main course for the holidays and special occasions.

Before you decide to smoke the roast, make sure you have a big enough smoker. You will need two inches on either side of the meat so the heat and smoke can surround it properly. Choose a smaller roast if you have a smaller smoker. Plan on one bone serving two people, or about 1 pound per person.

A mild wood or a fruit wood such as cherry works well with a rib roast. Stronger woods such as hickory or oak may overpower this cut. The smoke level should be light to medium because a heavy smoke will create acidity, especially in the fat.


  • 4 to 6 pounds standing rib roast
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup black pepper (coarse ground)
  • 2 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. Prepare the smoker for a 3-hour smoke at 225 F to 250 F (107 C to 120 C).

  2. Trim any loose fat off the roast, but leave all of the attached fat.

  3. In a small bowl, combine olive oil with black pepper, minced garlic, and sea salt.

  4. Rub the seasoned oil all over the roast, especially concentrating on the top side.

  5. Place the roast into the smoker, fat side up (bone side down). If your smoker's heat is from one side (an offset smoker), place the bone ends away from the heat to start.

  6. Rotate the roast halfway through the cooking time to ensure it is cooking evenly. Smoke the roast until the thickest part reaches 125 F (52 C), about 2 to 3 hours.

  7. Remove the roast from the smoker and place it onto a cutting board or into a large baking dish. Loosely cover with aluminum foil and let rest in a warm place for about 20 to 30 minutes before carving.


  • This is a great roast to carve right at the table for a dramatic flair. One thing to keep in mind is that thinner slices dry out quickly but are more tender. Thicker slices will remain juicier but can be tougher.
  • There are a couple of other ways to finish the roast. Some cooks like to wrap the roast tightly in aluminum foil near the end of the cooking process. This keeps in the juices and produces a rich, smoky roast. But if you wrap the roast it won't have a glazed, caramelized surface. If you wrap the roast, monitor the temperature to remove it before it overcooks.
  • For a crusted exterior, you can do a reverse sear. Remove the roast when it is 10 degrees below the target temperature. Roast it in an oven at 400 F or on a hot grill for about 10 minutes.