If you’ve never made Prime Rib on the Traeger, Pellet smoker or any kind of grill, well now is the time to do it and this recipe from Taylor Carroll from @firepittsandovenmitts will set you up for success! If you are looking for directions on how to cook Prime Rib on your Big Green Egg, Check out this recipe.

prime rib on the traeger

Learn how to smoke prime rib like a BOSS with our guide!

 

Prime rib is the pride of many holiday tables, but I’m sure we have all been there—sitting on the edge of our seats watching the host (let’s call him Bob) carve his prized roast, and lo and behold, it’s UNDERDONE (or so overdone you might as well call the dogs).

Either way, it’s a travesty.

The good news is that you can always put something underdone back on the grill, but when it’s overdone, all you can do is slice it thin and drown it in sauce and tears. Don’t be like Bob this holiday season and follow my holiday guide to cooking prime rib—you are going to nail it!

Prime Rib on the Traeger

Prime rib on the grill, slathered in a delicious rub using Robyn’s Sunshine State of Mind BBQ rub.

What is prime rib?

Did you know that the name is not indicating it is all prime grade, but referring to the fact that it comes from one of the nine primal cuts, the primal rib?

Where does the Prime Rib come from on a cow?

smoked prime rib on the traeger

This diagram, taken from my cookbook, Healthy Electric Smoker, shows where the Prime Rib comes from on a cow. You can buy signed copies of my cookbook here.

 

If you were to ask your butcher for a whole prime rib, it would be seven bones and weigh between 15 to 20 pounds. When choosing your delicious showstopper, always choose the highest grade you can afford—you can taste the difference! If it’s not prime, don’t worry, the reverse sear method when cooking prime rib will give you delicious results no matter what!

 

Prime Rib on the Traeger

This recipe will set you up for success to make a Prime Rib on Your Traeger, Green Mountain Grill or any kind of smoker or grill.

Where to buy Prime Rib?

I always recommend the best grade you can afford. At GrillGirl.com, we recommend Snake River Farms American Wagyu Beef for Special Occassion dinners like a Holiday Prime Rib Roast! Crowd Cow is another great resource for prime rib. I like to order from Crowdcow for organic and grassfed beef.

What Temp to Smoke Prime Rib?

In this recipe we advise smoking at 225 until you’ve reached a nice medium rare and then finishing the outside at 475 for browning and crisp edges. This provides the perfect rare inside but nice crust on the outside. 

Substitutions for Prime Rib on the Smoker

Great alternatives to Prime rib on the smoker for the holidays are Filet Mignon, Tri Tip and Brisket. Checkout our “Filet Mignon, How to Grill” recipe post, our Brisket Style Tri-Tip Recipe our our Better Than Sex Brisket Recipe as alternatives to making Prime Rib on the Traeger.

Prime Rib dipping sauce

After you’re done cooking the prime rib, don’t forget to make the dipping sauce! For my recipe, I use a delicious mix of sour cream, horseradish, lemon, salt and better, and dill (that’s totally optional though).

Ingredients for Prime Rib on the Traeger, Pellet Smoker or Any kind of Grill

  • 1, 3-bone Prime Rib roast

Rub

Dipping sauce

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup horseradish
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1½ tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp. chives, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. coarse ground pepper
  • Optional: 1 tbsp. dill, finely chopped

How to Cook Prime Rib on the Smoker:

  1. Be sure your smoker is clean; this means taking out the drip tray to remove the fire pot cover and clean out any ash remaining in the pot. This is important to ensure you don’t have any overflow that could result in a flare up.
  2. Fill the hopper all the way with pellets and ignite the smoker to heat to 235F. At this temperature, it will take about 30-35 minutes per pound to reach medium rare and be ready to sear.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the horseradish, mayo, flaky salt, kosher salt, Sunshine State of Mind rub, ground sage and peppercorns.
  4. Pat the prime rib dry with a cloth or paper towels, then cover it in the horseradish mix.
  5. Place the prime rib on the grill, putting the temperature probe in the thickest part of the meat, and set the temperature alarm to 115F for medium rare results or 120F for medium.
  6. Once the roast has come to temperature, remove it from the grill and allow it to rest.
  7. While the meat takes a nap, refill the pellet hopper and crank the heat up to 475 F.
  8. Once the meat temperature has dropped at least 10 degrees, return to meat to the hot grill and cook 5 to 7 minutes per side, depending on preferred done temperature.
  9. For the dipping sauce, whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl, if you would like to thin it out, just add 1 tbsp. of whole milk at a time until it reaches desired consistency.

NOTE, if you are looking for directions on how to cook Prime Rib on your Big Green Egg then check out this recipe. If you love smoked meats, and who doesn’t (!!?) check out our GRILLED BEEF RECIPES page- we’ve got tons of ideas and recipes to give you inspiration for your next cook!

 

Print
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How to Make Prime Rib on the Smoker


  • Author: Taylor Shulman Carroll
  • Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 servings 1x

Description

This recipe by Taylor Carroll will set you up for success to make Prime on a Traeger Pellet Smoker or any kind of grill or smoker.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1, 3-bone Prime Rib roast

Rub

  • ¼ cup horseradish
  • 2 tbsp. mayonaisse
  • 1 tbsp. flakey salt
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp. Sunshine State of Mind rub
  • ½ tbsp. ground sage
  • ½ tbsp. mixed ground peppercorns

Dipping sauce

  • ½ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup horseradish
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1½ tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp. chives, thinly sliced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tbsp. coarse ground pepper
  • Optional: 1 tbsp. dill, finely chopped

Instructions

  1. Be sure your smoker is clean; this means taking out the drip tray to remove the fire pot cover and clean out any ash remaining in the pot. This is important to ensure you don’t have any overflow that could result in a flare up.
  2. Fill the hopper all the way with pellets and ignite the smoker to heat to 235F. At this temperature, it will take about 30-35 minutes per pound to reach medium rare and be ready to sear.
  3. In a small bowl, mix the horseradish, mayo, flaky salt, kosher salt, Sunshine State of Mind rub, ground sage and peppercorns.
  4. Pat the prime rib dry with a cloth or paper towels, then cover it in the horseradish mix.
  5. Place the prime rib on the grill, putting the temperature probe in the thickest part of the meat, and set the temperature alarm to 115F for medium rare results or 120F for medium.
  6. Once the roast has come to temperature, remove it from the grill and allow it to rest.
  7. While the meat takes a nap, refill the pellet hopper and crank the heat up to 475 F.
  8. Once the meat temperature has dropped at least 10 degrees, return to meat to the hot grill and cook 5 to 7 minutes per side, depending on preferred done temperature.
  9. For the dipping sauce, whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl, if you would like to thin it out, just add 1 tbsp. of whole milk at a time until it reaches desired consistency.

Notes

Notes: Affiliate links have been used

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: approximately 3.5-4 hours
  • Category: Prime Rib, Smoked Prime Rib
  • Method: Smoke/Grill
  • Cuisine: American, Holiday Dinner

Keywords: Prime Rib on Traeger, Prime Rib on Pellet Smoker, Prime Rib on Smoker, Prime Rib in Smoker, Prime Rib Traeger, Prime Rib How To Cook

Want more grilled beef recipes? Check out these posts!