Smoked Standing Rib Roast

Smoked Standing Rib Roast

The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 3 hrs
Resting : 30 mins
Total: 3 hrs 45 mins
Servings: 4 to 6 servings
Yield: 1 rib roast
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
1638 Calories
132g Fat
3g Carbs
103g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 1638
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 132g 170%
Saturated Fat 51g 254%
Cholesterol 376mg 125%
Sodium 1344mg 58%
Total Carbohydrate 3g 1%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 0g
Protein 103g
Vitamin C 0mg 2%
Calcium 80mg 6%
Iron 11mg 64%
Potassium 1529mg 33%
*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.)

A standing rib roast smoked to perfection and covered in a crusty and flavorful exterior is hard to beat on special occasions. The ideal main course for the holidays or other celebrations, the standing roast requires some patience, but it's easy to prepare and requires very few ingredients. This main starts with the meat itself. There is no need to add spices and other flavorings, as the beef has everything needed to be simply delicious. For our take on standing roast, we went with a smoked version. Be sure to have a large enough smoker with at least two inches of space on each side of the cut so the heat and smoke can flow adequately. Use a mild wood or a fruitwood such as cherry and a light to medium level of smoke to avoid creating an acidic taste in the meat, especially in the fat.

A standing rib roast is also known as prime rib, beef rib roast, ribeye roast, or boneless or bone-in roast. These are all the same cut of beef. From this primal cut comes the ribeye steak, but it has to be cut from the standing roast to become a steak. The bottom line is that the roast, or the subsequent steaks that come from it, are succulents pieces of beef that shine in various cooking methods.

Plan on one pound of uncooked roast per person in order to have plenty at mealtime and some generous leftovers. This is a great roast to carve right at the table for a dramatic presentation. Keep in mind that thinner slices dry out quickly but are more tender, whereas thicker slices will remain juicier but can become tougher faster. Serve with your favorite sides like potatoes and roasted vegetables.


  • 4 to 6 pounds standing rib roast

  • 1/4 cup olive oil

  • 1/4 cup black pepper, coarsely ground

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon sea salt

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Smoked Standing Rib Roast ingredients

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  2. Prepare the smoker for a 3-hour smoke at 225 F to 250 F. Trim any loose fat off the roast, but leave all of the attached fat.

    trim fat from the rib roast

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

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

    combine olive oil with black pepper, minced garlic, and sea salt in a small bowl

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  4. Rub the seasoned oil all over the roast, paying special attention to the top side.

    rub the rib roast with the seasoned oil

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  5. Place the roast into the smoker, fat side up and bone side down. If your smoker's heat comes from one side place the bone ends away from the heat to start the cooking process.

    rib roast on the smoker

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  6. Rotate the roast halfway through the cooking time to ensure it is cooking evenly. Smoke the roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted in the thickest part reads at least 125 F, or about 2 to 3 hours of smoking.

    rib roast in the smoker

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  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.

    Smoked Standing Rib Roast covered with aluminum foil

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  8. When ready to serve, plate and slice.

    Smoked Standing Rib Roast

    The Spruce / Maxwell Cozzi

  9. Enjoy!

Can I Finish the Roast in the Oven?

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 on top of a roasting pan at 400 F or on a hot grill for about 10 minutes. Rest as directed.

To Foil or Not to Foil

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. When you wrap the roast, it won't have a glazed, caramelized surface like it would when you don't wrap it. If you wrap the roast, monitor the temperature to remove the foil before it overcooks.

Ultimately the decision is up to personal taste, but a crusty exterior is always delicious and the slight change in texture between meat and crust is a welcome addition to the plate.