Whiskey Smoked Prime Rib

Smoked Prime Rib
Jason Poole / Getty Images
  • Total: 8 hrs 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 8 hrs
  • Servings: 6 servings

Whiskey smoked prime rib is a delicious and tender dish that is worthy of serving to dinner party guests. It may be a little time-consuming, but it's well worth the wait—the slow method of smoking over bourbon-soaked wood chips takes the flavor to a whole new level. Prime rib is a special (read expensive) cut of meat, so take your time, follow the recipe directions, and invite some friends to enjoy this delicious dish. Serve with chateau potatoes and garlic brussels sprouts.


  • Wood chips
  • 1 1/2 cups bourbon
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 standing rib roast (about 5 pounds)
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons coarse ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Prepare smoker for an 8-hour cooking time. Soak wood chips in bourbon and 1/2 cup water.

  3. Rub roast with sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, paprika, and coarse black pepper and place on the top grate. Put a few handfuls of wood chips onto the fire.

  4. Close the lid and check every 40 to 50 minutes, adding more wood chips each time. Smoke the roast for about 8 hours or until internal temperature reaches 130 for rare, 135 for medium-rare, and 140 to 145 F for medium.

  5. Allow prime rib to rest for 10 minutes before carving.

  6. Serve and enjoy!


  • Prime rib will cost you a pretty penny so you want to be sure you are purchasing the best cut for the money. Although the name "prime rib" originally signified that it was a prime—or the best—grade of meat, nowadays, the term has become a generic name for the rib roast. If you are purchasing from a butcher shop, you will most likely find true prime rib; however, if the grocery store is where you are shopping, the beef will be labeled "choice" or "select" grade; talk to the butcher if you can. You also may need him or her to trim the roast and cut it down if it is too large.
  • You can use any wood you prefer for your smoker, but since you are adding whiskey you don't want the flavors to compete; oak or hickory are good choices. If you do not want to soak the wood chips in whiskey yourself, you can purchase Jack Daniels wood smoking chips; they are made from the oak barrels in which their whiskey has been previously smoked.
  • If you don't own a smoker, you can use your grill—charcoal or gas—and set it up to mimic the functions of a smoker. You will need an aluminum tray to hold the soaked wood chips; place this over the heating element, which should only take up half of the grill. Place another tray for drippings on top of the cooler side and then add the grill grate. Put the prime rib roast over the drippings pan, cover the grill, and let cook for several hours. Keep an eye on the temperature and adjust as needed.