Cherry Smoked Prime Rib

I smoked a 5 pound prime rib yesterday and took some pictures with my new T2i.. just thought I would share the love;-)

A cut was made down next to the ribs.. then it’s all tied up with butchers twine.

I would normally do this myself.. but yesterday the butcher asked me if I wanted him to do it so I just let him.

The outer layer of meat likes to pull away from the rest of the meat.. if this happens it will not cook evenly and the part that pulls away will end up being overdone. To prevent this from happening, you tie it up with butchers twine about every 3/4 inch or so for the full length of the roast.

The cut is just one that I like to make before the fact… a clean cut right next to the feather bones.. those large bones that are on one side. I don’t cut all the way through but just down to the end of the bones. Once the prime rib is done cooking, it makes it easy to just untie the roast and make the final cut through the meat to remove the bones leaving you with a nice piece of meat that you can slice into pieces.

Look at that marbling..Sweeeeeeeet!!

Sprayed with extra virgin olive oil very generously.. all over.

I wanted to use something a little different so instead of my rub.. I used Emerils Steak Seasoning. Delicious!!!

I could also have just used kosher salt, course pepper and garlic powder.

Sitting on the Weber grate.. cherry smoke is hard to beat!!

Took it off at 135 since everyone was starving to death and I knew it would not be resting as long as it normally does.

In most case, I would remove it at 125-130 and let it creep up to 135 with some foil tented over it.

Look at that beautiful coloration!

Man! Does that look juicy or what!!? It was so tender you could cut it with a fork and it melted in our mouths.

Overall.. the best prime rib I have ever had. I kept the smoke going throughout the entire cooking session. The smoker was maintained at 225 degrees and it took almost exactly 4 hours to reach the 135 degrees. Top vent was all the way open and I used (1) cherry split at a time approximately 3″ x 12″ in size.


  1. mitch bourin says:

    the only thing I don’t understand is the cut made before cooking. Is it a cut to nearly remove the bone from the roast?

    • Yes.. the cut is made right next to the bone and all the way down to the end of the bones but not all the way through the meat so that the meat stays intact. The meat is tied up with butchers twine to keep it from separating then once it is done smoking/cooking, you remove the twine and finish the final cut through the meat leaving you with a beautiful piece of meat that is ready to slice into individual portions.

  2. Where do u find the cherry wood or is it a liquid smoke flavoring?

  3. I usually find large bags of cherry at my local Westlake Ace Hardware here in central Oklahoma. You have to really look around to find it and sometimes it’s the smaller, local places that carry the best stuff.

  4. Was the cut made at each rib bone?

    • one single cut is made in a straight line on the inside of the row of bones. The cut is made so that the whole row of bones just needs a small snip all the way across to remove them completely once the meat is cooked.

      I will try to shoot a picture of that particular cut the next time I do a prime rib.

      • i want to cook a prime rib for the holiday-do you put it on the grill-in foil for 4 hours, and do you use all cherry wood- or are all chips good

  5. Jeff,
    great action smoking that nice piece of meat! Did you used electric smoker? I don’t like to deal w/coal…lol
    Nice job.

  6. Doug Engel says:

    Jeff , Maybe tou could help me . I will be cooking for Aprox. 450 peopel at my Buddys son wedding. Oct . 15 2011. Would like some info on cook times. I have cooked for up too 175 , But never a group of this size.250# Pork Butt 150# beef briskit 100# chicken breast .HELP !!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. C Clark says:

    Just had a Wild Cherry tree fall.

    Any other good recommendations on uses for Cherry wood in smoking? I’m a newb, but looking to learn!

    • Hey Clark!
      your lucky to be able to get a tree like that, great smoke flavor. 1st thing i would do is let it season for a year, (dry out). but cut it up first it will dry faster. i use cherry on pork only, i will smoke pork shoulder, pork ribs with hickory and throw in a couple of chucks of cherry for that nice dark smoke ring and sweetness.


  8. Here is a Ribeye Roast I did this week. It was a Choice grade I bought at Costco. It was 7.1 pounds and I paid $60 for it. I rubbed it with french’s mustard and applied a rub. I smoked it at about 240 degrees for 2hours and 45 minutes. I pulled it at 128 degrees ( i wanted a cutting board temperature of 135) and wrapped it in 2 sheets of heavy Aluminum foil, put it in an ice chest with no ice but lots of crumpled newspaper for insulation and drove to my sons house (30 minute drive) and served him and his quests. I got many compliments for the perfect wellness and taste. I also prepared a bernaise sauce at his house to serve with it.

    Sorry… I tried to send the picture but it would let me. E-mail me for a pic. It is beautiful.

  9. I have a full ny strip and was wondering what you would think about smoking a ny vs a ribeye. The obvious issue is marbeling, I don’t know if you have experience with smoking a ny?

    • Mara was asking about smoking a full NY strip versus a Ribeye. I have roasted, smoked and barbecued/grilled both the strip and ribeye and have had excellent results with both cuts. I am not a big fan of the New York strip steak versus a Ribeye steak (not usually as tender and juicy as a ribeye steak), but as a roast the NY strip stayed moist, juicy and tender. I only cook mine to around 125 to 130 degrees max, before letting it rest for 20 to 30 minutes. I wouldn’t recommend cooking the strip too much higher (but that is only my opinion).

  10. About the cutting of the bones …. any descent butcher shop, for free, will cut off the bones then re tie them back on to the meat. I’ve have been requesting this for years and whether i’m at Smith’s (krogers outside of LasVegas) or my local butcher block, they are happy to do it. In this scenario you don’t have to leave the bones connected to the meat… the bones can be cut completely off and then retied.

    Never smoke a prime before, just got and OLD SMOKEY and can’t wait to try this.

  11. Edward M. Foster says:

    Jeff, I have questin for you. I want to smoke Prime Rib for Thanksgiving and Christmas, I want to use fresh herbs for the meat and try not to use any salt ( if at all possible. If I have to use salt what kind) I want to cut back on salt for my family, So what fresh herbs do you recommend to use???
    And Found out my family wants me to Smoke a 7 – 8lb turkey too in my Masterbuilt electric smoker….


  1. Your Garden says:

    Cherry Smoked Prime Rib…

    I found your entry interesting do I’ve added a Trackback to it on my weblog :)…

Speak Your Mind