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Disclosure: Barrel House Cooker sponsored this post. Opinions are my own.

Prime Rib Roast Sliced with grill in background

A prime rib roast is basically an uncarved collection of tomahawk ribeye steaks – the most flavorful, marbled part of the cow.

You can’t go wrong by keeping things simple with just salt and pepper, but it’s fun to play with new flavors. In the recipe below, I used some whole spices along with sea salt. By grinding the whole spices just before rubbing the meat, you get flavor freshness, creating a really tasty crust.

seasoned prime rib roast on metal rack

Apply the rub to the prime rib roast and let it roast overnight. This will help the fat render and crisp up. This is the same technique I use for my crispy grilled chicken wings. Be sure to rest the roast on a baking rack set on a rimmed baking sheet. This way if there are any juices, they don’t drip all into your fridge.

seasoned prime rib roast with EZ-loader inserted through center

This is a big hunk of meat, so the Barrel House Cooker E-Z-Load Turkey Hanger works much better than the hooks. Pierce the meat through the hanger, and screw the cross bars onto the second thread from the bottom. Create an X to balance the meat.

When cooking ribeyes, the reverse sear method yields juicy beef with a crispy crust. I use the same technique with a prime rib roast.

The Barrel House Cooker smokes at around 250-300F degrees when you set it to your elevation setting. You’ll keep it at this temp for the first part of the cook. Add a cherry or hickory wood chunk for added smokiness. Just one will do. You don’t want to overpower the beef.

One important tip for big, fatty cuts of meat is to use the lower portion of the cooker to collect the drippings. Just add a grill grate to that level, and place a pie tin inside. This will keep the drippings from burning on the coals.

thermometer probe in left of seasoned prime rib roast

Be sure to use a thermometer probe to keep track of your meat temp. As soon as it reaches 100F degrees, it’s time to change things up to create a crust.

Barrel House Cooker vents wide open

Slide those bottom vents wide open and crack the lid. This will allow more air to flow through the cooker, raising the heat.

hand holding cooked prime rib roast hanging by Barrel House Cooker

Keep on smoking until the meat reaches your desired doneness. I pull it off at 135F for medium rare. If you prefer more doneness, keep on cooking. Just remember the temperature will raise 5-10 degrees after you remove it from the cooker.

smoked prime rib roast

Let the smoked prime rib roast rest in a rimmed pan and tent with foil to keep it warm. Resting allows the juices to redistribute.

Prime Rib Roast Sliced with grill in background

If you want an impressive presentation, carve off one bone per person. To serve more realistic-sized portions, slice the bones off the entire smoked prime rib roast, and then carve the roast into 1/2-inch-thick slices and slice in half again.

And don’t forget the bones. They are a delectable meal all by themselves.

5 from 1 vote

Barrel House Cooker Smoked Prime Rib Roast

The crowd will go wild for this smoked prime rib roast. We take the best part of the cow, smoke it slow and low and crank up the heat to create an herbaceous salty crust.
Prep Time: 8 hours
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 11 hours
Servings: 22


  • 7 lb ribeye roast
  • 2 tsp whole peppercorns
  • 1 tsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 tsp raw sugar
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp whole allspice
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp granulated garlic


  • In a spice grinder, combine the peppercorns, rosemary, sugar, mustard seeds, allspice and pepper flakes. Pulse until coarsely ground. Mix in a small bowl with the sea salt and garlic powder.
  • Coat the entire roast with the spice rub. Set on a baking rack over a rimmed baking sheet. Refrigerate uncovered overnight.
  • Light the Barrel House Cooker according to manufacturer’s instructions. Just before adding the meat, add a chunk of cherry or hickory wood.
  • Place the grill grate in the lower third of the cooker. Add an aluminum pie tin onto the grate to catch the juices.
  • From the top of the roast, pierce the rod of the EZ-Load Turkey Hanger through the center of the roast. Screw the two cross bars onto the second to last threads, making an X to hold the roast. Hang the roast onto the H-frame, and load it into the cooker.
  • Insert a temperature probe into the center of the roast, being careful not to touch the metal hanger.
  • Close the lid and smoke to an internal temperature of 100F degrees, about 2-2 1/2 hours.
  • Open the bottom vent all the way and crack the lid. The goal is to raise the heat to create a crust. If the cooker gets above 425F degrees, just close the lid back to normal. Continue smoking until the meat temperature reaches 135F degrees, about 30-45 minutes.
  • Remove from the cooker. Tent with foil and rest for 30-45 minutes before slicing.


Placing an aluminum tin on the bottom rack will prevent flare-ups. When juices hit the coals, they burn and can create an overwhelming flavor that takes away from the perfect smokiness you’re trying to achieve.
Barrel House Cooker manufacturer’s instructions for lighting the grill.
If you have people in the crowd who don’t like medium-rare meat, you can either serve them the end pieces (my favorite part because it has maximum rub) or you can throw their pieces back on the grill or into a 450-degree oven.
Serve with a variety of dips like creamy horseradish, shallot and herb sauce, peppercorn sauce or chimichurri.


Calories: 551kcalProtein: 34gFat: 44gSaturated Fat: 17gCholesterol: 136mgSodium: 577mgPotassium: 10mgVitamin A: 5IUCalcium: 3mgIron: 0.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Did you try this recipe?Be sure to rate it, leave a comment and save it so you can make it again. Show off your awesome results on social by tagging @girlscangrill

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christie vanover standing against wood wall.

Hey BBQ Family

Hi. I’m Christie, the head cook and award-winning competitive pitmaster for Team Girls Can Grill. I have won multiple grand championships and have dozens of top ten category finishes. People know me as the girl who is forever hovering over a grill, smoker or campfire with tongs in one hand and a glass of wine in the other.

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