Best Smoked Prime Rib Au Jus Recipe
Best Smoked Prime Rib Au Jus Recipe – Juicy, tender prime rib is simply the best when cooked in a Traeger smoker. Our easy recipe includes pro tips, plus steps for making a savory beef gravy to complete this classic holiday dish!
The Best Smoked Prime Rib with Au Jus
Special occasions deserve an extra special main dish. Something that sets a festive tone and adds a flair of deliciousness to your celebrations.
I mean, seriously… Who would want to eat a basic grilled chicken breast for Christmas dinner? There’s no pageantry there.
Yet put a juicy, perfectly rare Prime Rib on the table? This classic holiday staple is guaranteed to bring some joy to your dinner party and make your guests’ sleigh-bells ring!
And, in my humble opinion, the BEST Prime Rib is smoked in a Traeger smoker and served with a beefy, rich au jus. (Or smoked in a classic charcoal or wood-burning smoker.)
Although prime rib seems fussy to make, this recipe with a simple beef rub, makes preparing prime rib a breeze – so you can impress your holiday guests without breaking a sweat.
Why Smoke a Prime Rib Roast?
First… What is a prime rib roast? It’s basically a whole ribeye that’s cut from the central part of the cow. Therefore it is a very well-marbled, incredibly flavorful “steak” roast. When bought with ribs, it’s technically called a Standing Rib Roast.
Cooking a large, meaty Prime Rib in a Traeger smoker helps to ensure that a wonderfully even cook is achieved, and it lessens the chances of overcooking this prized cut of beef.
Plus, using an electric smoker allows you to accurately control the temperature, and frees up precious oven space for preparing the rest of your holiday feast!
And did I mention the brilliant smokey essence infused in every luscious slice of beef?
What Ingredients You Need
The beef is really what you want to shine through when smoking. To make the most mouth-watering, utterly delicious smoked Prime Rib recipe you only need:
- Prime rib roast – you can use bone-in or boneless in this recipe, although we prefer boneless for the smoker
- Worcestershire sauce – enhances the wonderful deep flavor of a smoked Prime Rib
- Seasonings – salt, ground black pepper, fresh or dried thyme leaves, fresh or dry rosemary leaves, and garlic powder
Au jus is a luxurious beef gravy that can be served ultra thin, or slightly thicker so it sticks to the meat.
Just a few key ingredients are needed to make a perfectly savory Au Jus beef gravy:
- Beef drippings – saved from the smoked Prime Rib
- All-purpose flour – or your favorite gluten-free all-purpose flour replacement
- Beef broth – to thin out the gravy
- Red wine – optional
How to Make the Best Prime Rib in a Traeger Smoker
Supplies: For this Smoked Prime Rib recipe you’ll need a charcoal or electric smoker, large pan, and a meat thermometer.
First, preheat a smoker to 250 degrees F. If you are using a charcoal smoker and wood chips, this may take some time. If using a Traeger or electric smoker, this usually only takes 10-15 minutes. *You can use any sort of wood chips or electric smoker pellet you like. I personally prefer hickory, cherry, and mesquite.
Set the prime rib roast on a large rimmed baking sheet. If the top has a thick fat cap, or tougher silver skin you can trim it off, but it is not necessary. Some people like the extra smoked fat around the edges. If you decide to trim the fat, leave at least ¼ inch around the roast.
Next, in a small bowl mix together the seasonings. Set aside.
Generously drizzle the Worcestershire sauce all over the surface of the roast. You can use your hands or a basting brush to get a nice, even coat.
Then sprinkle on the spice rub, making sure to coat the Prime Rib roast on all sides.
Once the smoker reaches 250 degrees F, set the roast on the grates. Insert a meat thermometer deep into the center of the roast. Close the lid and smoke until the internal temperature reaches 120-130 degrees F.
Smoke to 120 degrees for rare and 125-130 degrees for medium-rare. Prime rib is special, and IMO should not be cooked above medium-rare. If you want well-done, just buy a cheap chuck roast and enjoy a Crockpot Roast Beef recipe instead.
How Long Should I Smoke Prime Rib?
At 250 about 25-30 minutes per pound… But it’s also determined by the width of the prime rib and if it has bones. So don’t just trust the timer, use a thermometer!
PRO TIP: Check the temperature after 2 hours. Although prime rib usually takes 25-30 minutes per pound, there are several variables that can affect the cooking time, including how consistent your smoker heats, whether your prime rib roast is bone-in or boneless, and the actual dimensions of the roast itself. If the roast is done much earlier than expected, you can rewarm it on the grill for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Once the roast reaches 120 degrees F, take it off the smoker and place it on a clean rimmed baking sheet. Cover with foil and allow the prime rib to rest for 20-30 minutes before slicing.
When ready to serve, slice thick or thin rounds, from top to bottom. A serrated knife, long chef’s knife, or an electric knife will work well for this.
How to Make Au Jus
Use the succulent juices from the Prime Rib to quickly make a simple, satisfying beef gravy. Here are 3 steps for the best homemade Au Jus:
- Collect the juices from the prime rib as it rests on the baking sheet, and measure out at least ½ cup, or as much as you can get. You can add more drippings to the au jus after you slice the meat if needed.
- Place the drippings in a small saucepot and set over medium heat. Add in 1 tablespoon flour for thin au jus, or up to 3 tablespoons of flour for a thicker gravy. Whisk well and cook for 1-2 minutes, whisking continuously.
- Then whisk in the beef broth and wine (if using), making sure there are no clumps. Bring to a simmer as you continue to whisk.
Once the au jus is as hot and as thick as you like it, turn off the heat. Transfer to a gravy boat or covered serving dish to keep warm.
Serve the sliced prime rib with au jus over the top, or on the side for dipping.
We love to enjoy the BEST Traeger Smoked Prime Rib and homemade beef gravy with the Best Mashed Potatoes. This classic meat and potatoes combination pairs perfectly with a simple veggie side dish, like a Roasted Vegetable Medley or Lieutenant Dan’s Steakhouse Salad.
How Can I Use Leftover Smoked Prime Rib Roast?
Leftover Prime Rib will keep well stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days.
Tender slices are terrific to use in French Dip-style sandwiches, or for adding a delicious protein to a fresh green salad.
Can I Freeze Prime Rib?
Yes! Prime Rib cooked in a Traeger smoker will keep well in the freezer for up to 4 months. Wrap well in plastic wrap, and then keep in a plastic freezer bag.
Looking for More Classic Holiday Dinner Recipes?
- Spatchcock Smoked Turkey Recipe
- Candied Smoked Salmon
- Brown Sugar Ham (Baked Ham Glaze)
- Mom’s Best Beef Pot Roast
- Bistecca alla Florentina (Florentine Steak Platter)
Best Smoked Prime Rib Au Jus Recipe
For the Smoked Prime Rib –
- Preheat a smoker to 250 degrees F. If you are using a charcoal smoker and wood chips this may take some time. If using a Traeger, or another electric smoker, this usually only takes 10-15 minutes.
- Set the prime rib roast on a large rimmed baking sheet. If the top has a thick fat cap, or tougher silver skin you can trim it off, but it is not necessary. If you decide to trim the fat, leave at least ¼ inch around the roast.
- In a small bowl mix the salt, pepper, thyme, rosemary, and garlic powder.
- Drizzle the Worcestershire sauce over the top of the prime rib roast and rub it over the surface. (Or brush it on with a basting brush.) Then sprinkle the spice rub over the surface, making sure to coat the roast on all sides.
- Once the smoker reaches 250 degrees F, set the roast on the grates. Insert a meat thermometer deep into the center of the roast. Close the lid and smoke until the internal temperature reaches 120 degrees F, usually 3-4 hours. Do not exceed 125-130 degrees.
- Once the roast reaches 120 degrees F, take the proime rib off the smoker and place it on a clean rimmed baking sheet. Cover with foil. Allow the prime rib to rest for 20-30 minutes before slicing.
- When ready to serve, slice thick or thin rounds, from top to bottom. A serrated knife, long chef’s knife, or an electric knife work well for this.
- For the Au Jus: As the prime rib rests on the baking sheet, it will produce drippings. Collect the juices and measure out ½ cup, or as much as you can get. You can add more drippings to the au jus after you slice the meat if needed.
- Place the drippings in a small sauce pot and set over medium heat. Add in 1 tablespoon flour for thin au jus, or up to 3 tablespoons flour for thicker au jus. Whisk well and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Then whisk in the beef broth and wine (if using.) Whisk to make sure there are no clumps. Then bring to a simmer. Once the au jus is hot, and as thick as you like it, turn off the heat.
- Serve the sliced prime rib with au jus over the top, or on the side for dipping.
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