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Smoked and Seared Prime Rib

smoked and seared prime rib sliced and ready to serve

This post is sponsored by Omaha Steaks. Sponsored posts, along with affiliate links, are what enable bloggers like me to maintain and operate sites that are free to the public. That said, I only work with products and brands that I personally use and would feel proud to give as a gift.

Prime rib is considered by many to be the epitome of fine dining. The perfect Christmas or New Year’s Eve dinner, smoked and seared prime rib is also a great dish for a dinner party when you want to impress. Oh, and impress you will by the way, when cooking prime rib the way I’ll outline below. In fact, prepare to enter legendary griller status after serving this perfect medium rare rib roast.

Bone-in or Boneless Roast?

First things first, let’s tackle the question of bone in or boneless prime rib. That’s really just personal choice and doesn’t matter near as much as the quality of the beef. For me, that starts with either the boneless or bone-in roasts from Omaha Steaks. I’ve been using their products for years (well before they sponsored this post) and I’m never disappointed.

Raw prime rib from Omaha steaks

For more information about the boneless prime rib, click the picture above.

There are of course advantages to both the bone-in and boneless cuts of meat — see my blog here for a breakdown in the differences. In short, don’t get caught up in the commonly handed down misconception that the bone adds flavor. My blog about this will explain in greater detail, I highly encourage you to check it out.

Cooking Method

Next, let’s talk about the method we’ll be using for this prime rib recipe. Today we’re going to start with just a hint of smoke, and then use the reverse sear method to finish this beauty off. If using a charcoal grill use one to two wood chunks, if using a gas grill then use a smoke tube. We’re not going for traditional smoked bbq flavor here so there’s no need to get carried way with the smoke.

I’ve advocated for the reverse sear method on large cuts of meat for years, and have blogged about it extensively. Just remember, the idea of searing first to “lock in the juices” is bad information of epic proportion that just seems to keep being handed down by those who don’t know any better. If you’ve never tried the reverse sear method, try it now and I promise you won’t cook differently again.

Preparation

Now let’s talk about seasoning the beef. Keep it simple here, you’ve paid good money for this incredible piece of prime beef, why mask its robust flavor with a ton of seasoning? Seasoning should enhance a meat’s flavor, not mask it. I recommend just salt, fresh garlic, fresh rosemary and pepper.

One final note on the pepper, I prefer to pepper after the searing because I don’t care for the bitter flavor burnt pepper produces as a result of being exposed to high direct heat. Others prefer that flavor so that’s a personal preference as well.

 

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How to Smoke and Sear a Prime Rib

Serves: 8-10 | Prep time: 15 mins. | Cook time: 90 mins.

Ingredients:
1 four-pound prime rib roast
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp kosher salt
3-4 cloves fresh garlic, cut in half lengthwise
1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
2 sprigs rosemary, leaves pulled from stems

Step-by-Step Instructions for Cooking a Smoked and Seared Prime Rib

Step 1: Preheat your grill to 225-235°F. If using a gas grill, place the smoke tube over direct heat at this time in order to get the pellets smoking.

Step 2: While the grill is preheating, prepare your prime rib by applying a light coat of olive oil over the entire prime rib. Using a sharp knife, make several evenly spaced apart incisions (about one inch deep and one inch wide) along the prime rib.

Step 3: In each incision, push in half of a fresh garlic clove. Season entire roast with salt and pepper as well as fresh rosemary.

prime rib from Omaha Steaks seasoned with rosemary and garlic

Step 4: Insert a reliable meat thermometer (like the Thermoworks Signals or the ThermoWorks Smoke X4 RF) in the roast, place roast in cast iron pan (or any oven safe pan) in order to collect the drippings and place the cast iron pan on the grill over indirect heat. I can’t stress enough the importance of using a reliable meat thermometer, it can be the difference in perfection and disaster with an expensive cut of meat. Don’t ask me how I know. If using a charcoal grill, place your wood chunk on direct heat.

prime rib being seared on a cast iron skillet

Step 5: Spoon juices collected in pan over roast about every 20 minutes. When internal temperature reaches 125 degrees, remove roast from grill and increase direct heat to high.

TIP: You’ll want this portion of the grill to be as hot as possible in order to quickly sear the roast. For a gas grill this simply means turning the knob to the maximum heat position. For a charcoal grill you may need to add more charcoal. You’ll want to get the hot coals as close to the grate as possible for this.

Step 6: Place roast directly over high heat for a total of 5 minutes, turning often so that all sides get a nice crust built up.

Step 7: Remove roast from heat, place on cutting board and tent with foil. Allow to rest for 10 – 15 minutes before slicing. While resting the roast will continue to cook and will be a perfect medium rare when sliced.

smoked and seared prime rib ready for slicing

Step 8: Using a sharp knife, slice roast in ½ inch slices and serve.

smoked and seared prime rib ready for a holiday feast

Cook a Smoked and Seared Prime Rib:

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smoked and seared prime rib sliced and ready to serve
Smoked and Seared Prime Rib
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr 30 mins
Total Time
1 hr 45 mins
 
Course: Entree, Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10
Ingredients
  • 1 four pound prime rib roast
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 3-4 cloves fresh garlic cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
  • 2 sprigs rosemary leaves pulled from stems
Instructions
  1. Preheat your grill to 225-235°F.

  2. While the grill is preheating, prepare your prime rib by applying a light coat of olive oil over the entire prime rib. Using a sharp knife, make several evenly spaced apart incisions (about one inch deep and one inch wide) around the prime rib.

  3. In each incision, push in a half of fresh garlic clove. Season entire roast with fresh rosemary as well as salt and pepper.

  4. Insert a reliable meat thermometer in the roast, place roast in cast iron pan (or any oven safe pan) in order to collect the drippings and put the pan on the grill over indirect heat.

  5. Spoon juices collected in pan over roast about every 20 minutes. When internal temperature reaches 125°F, remove roast from grill and increase direct heat to high.

  6. Place roast directly over high heat for a total of 5 minutes, turning often so that all sides get a nice crust built up.

  7. Remove roast from heat, place on cutting board, and tent with foil. Allow to rest for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

  8. Using a sharp knife, slice roast in ½ inch slices and serve.