We get it. You’ve decided to host Christmas dinner this year and you’re looking for a new twist on a holiday classic. Well, we’ve got the perfect solution. Instead of roasting your prime rib in the oven, we recommend smoking it! Not only are the flavors incredible, but just think about all that extra room you’ll have in the oven for your sides!

Now before you go all in here, make sure you have the capacity in your smoker or grill for the roast you need to buy. If you’re serving eight plus people (one rib bone usually serves two people), you may have to measure your smoker or grill to make sure it’ll fit the roast–and remember you’ll need at least two inches clearance on either side of the roast for air circulation.

Here’s What You’ll Need

Prime Rib Roast

You can pre-order these from Goodstock By Nolan Ryan butcher shop for pick-up but if you’re not close to Round Rock, visit your local butcher or meat market and ask them to tie the roast to ensure the bones are tight against the roast.

Smoker or Grill

Honestly, either should work as long as your roast fits inside and it keeps a consistent temperature. Obviously smokers are ideal since they were built exactly for this method of cooking but if you don’t have one, you can still perform this recipe! And if you happen to be off-grid while cooking this recipe, try the new space-age NOMAD Grill, available in-store at Goodstock. This portable grill/smoker can slow smoke any roast (permitting the size) just about anywhere.

Meat Thermometer

The smoking process will take about 20-30 minutes per pound but this can vary quite a bit based on the smoking conditions so make sure to keep that meat thermometer handy–you can also refer to Beef Loving Texans ‘Determining Doneness’ page for help.

Aluminum Foil & Disposable Aluminum Pan

As a general rule, it’s always a good idea to keep these on hand if you like to smoke or grill!

Large Cutting Board

Not every cutting board is created equal. In fact, we’re quite certain that this is one tool that will make or break your serving experience. We recommend Goodstock’s magnetic brisket board for this job.  Not only does it have perfect juice grooves for less mess, but it was designed to be on the move. From kitchen to smoker and back again, you can easily handle the board with two convenient handles built-in, but also it has this incredible magnet under the G logo that keeps your knife from sliding off the board–brilliant!

Carving Set

This is another set of tools that will make your life infinitely easier while serving your guests. You can easily order a good quality, not too expensive set of carving tools from Goodstock who will ship them straight to your door.  

High-Temperature Food Safe Gloves

These are useful for plenty of reasons in the kitchen and can completely replace pot holders in our opinion–check out Outset leather grill gloves if you want a pair that will look good and last. Also available in-store at Goodstock By Nolan Ryan butcher shop.

Prime Rib Rub

For an occasion like this, it’s best to keep it simple. You don’t want to hide the flavors of smoke, plus you’ll likely have an array of sides for your holiday meal so we recommend something as simple as Goodstock’s No Fuss BBQ Rub. A perfect balance of salt, pepper and garlic that will never overpower the meat. 

Photo courtesy of Goodstock By Nolan Ryan


  1. Season your roast. Apply your seasoning evenly over the meat and focus a good portion of it on the top which will allow for basting. Make sure to get into all those little grooves for maximum flavor! It’s best to leave the roast at room temperature for an hour or so as well which will kick-start the smoking process.
  2. Prepare your smoker or grill. It’s important to set up your smoker or grill to run thirty minutes per pound and keep the temperature low (around 250° F). You’ll want to give it at least fifteen minutes to get to your desired temperature. Don’t worry about adding any wood until the roast is ready to go on so you don’t waste any of that smoke. Use a light fruitwood like cherry so you don’t overpower your prime rib flavor since it’s the star of the show.
  3. Place the roast on the smoker or grill. Make sure it’s bone-side down. Place the bones as far away from the direct heat as possible to start. Remember to rotate your prime rib roast halfway through cooking time as well for even heat.
  4. Go tend to your sides! Since you’ve got all that extra space in your oven, go crazy with the sides! Here’s a recipe for Yukon Gold Smashed Potatoes or Green Bean Casserole that will complement your roast nicely.
  5. Check the internal temperature of the roast. Your target temp should be around 100° F to 120° F but remember the meat’s internal temp will continue to rise after you’ve removed it from the heat so ensure you’re taking that into consideration as you calculate your time. As the roast approaches doneness, decide if you want to wrap it up in tin foil and retain the moisture, or get an extra crispy bark. If you’re done with it and want that moisture, allow it to finish its last 10° F or so on the grill wrapped in tin foil. Keep reading if you want a crispy bark!
  6. Optional – reverse sear! If you want that extra crispy bark, now is the time to reverse sear. So BEFORE it gets to its final desired temperature (leave 10° F to go), remove it from the smoker or grill and place it on that tin foil pan or cutting board. Place a cast iron skillet, (Smithey makes exceptional cast iron skillets, also available in-store at Goodstock) on the stove at high-heat and get it nice and hot. Sear for about 10 minutes, rotating the exterior of the roast every few minutes.
  7. Allow roast to rest. Before serving, you should allow at least ten minutes to rest under a clean piece of tin foil.
  8. Carve. Now’s the time to get busy with that special cutting board and carving set. Slide the knife along-side each bone for an even cut and remember the pieces closer to the sides will be more done than those in the middle. So if you have folks at the table looking for well to medium-well, the outside pieces will suit them best.
  9. Enjoy. Happy holidays!