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Reverse Sear Prime Rib

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Indulge in this holiday centerpiece with our reverse sear prime rib recipe—slow-cooked, seasoned to perfection, and finished with mouthwatering compound butter!

Get ready to elevate your holiday feast with our reverse sear prime rib! Whether you’re hosting a Christmas dinner or a special occasion, this roast recipe promises to stand on business.

Marrekus has truly mastered the art of slow-smoking, ensuring that this rib roast reaches tender perfection. The magic doesn’t stop there—a final sear creates a delectable crust. We’ve also included an herby compound butter recipe (my favorite), that’s an indulgent addition, enhancing the richness of each slice.

What you’ll love about this recipe:

  • PRESENTATION – This recipe yields a beautifully presented roast with a perfect pink center and an appealing crust. It’s a showstopper that will take center stage at holiday gatherings and special occasions.
  • JUICY & TENDER – Slow-cooking at a lower temperature before searing helps create a remarkably tender and juicy end result.
  • CRUST – The final reverse sear at high heat creates a glorious crust on the exterior of the meat.
  • VERSATILITY: This recipe can be adapted to different cooking equipment, including ovens, smokers, or grills, making it accessible to home cooks with various kitchen setups.


Note: Compound butter can add an extra layer of flavor to your reverse sear prime rib! Customize it with your favorite herbs and spices, and experiment with different combinations.

What is Reverse Sear?

The reverse sear method is a cooking technique used primarily for large cuts of meat, such as roasts and thick steaks. The process involves first cooking the meat at a low temperature to bring it close to the desired doneness and then finishing it with a high-temperature sear to develop a flavorful crust on the exterior.

How to Reverse Sear Prime Rib Roast

Alright, y’all, let’s get down to business with this rib roast recipe.


First things first, take it out of the fridge and let it rest at room temperature for at least 2 hours. Then, give it a good rubdown with olive oil so our Soul Food Seasoning (“Soul Dust”) sticks like it’s meant to be there – trust me, it’s our secret weapon.


Now, onto the smoker – fire it up to 225°F (110°C). Put your roast on the smoker rack, fat side up. Stick a thermometer into the thickest part, avoiding the bone. We’re looking for an internal temp about 10°F below your desired doneness. We pulled ours off at 118°F, but you do you.

Just a heads up, it can take 2 to 3 hours to smoke, depending on the size of your roast. Oh, and if you’re feeling fancy, use compound butter! Add a couple of slices on top about halfway through the smoke.


Once that thermometer reaches the desired temperature, take the prime rib roast off the smoker, wrap it up in aluminum foil, and let it rest for a good 20-30 minutes.


Heat your grill or cast-iron pan. Sear the smoked prime rib for a quick 1-2 minutes on each side. If you’re in the mood for extra indulgence, throw on some more slices of compound butter. Keep an eye out to avoid any accidental overcooking!

For medium-rare, aim for an internal temperature of 130°F to 135°F (57°C). Keep in mind that the temperature will rise a bit during the resting period.

Slice and Serve

Transfer that masterpiece to a cutting board. Grab a sharp knife, and slice it up just the way you like it.

Prime Rib Compound Butter

A compound butter can add an extra layer of flavor to your smoked reverse sear prime rib. Here’s how you can make and use a compound butter:

Compound Butter Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (such as rosemary, thyme, and parsley)
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 small shallot, diced
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Zest of 1 lemon


  1. In a bowl, combine the softened butter, chopped herbs, garlic, shallot, Worcestershire sauce, and lemon zest. Mix the ingredients thoroughly until well combined.
  2. Lay out a piece of plastic wrap and place the compound butter in the center. Roll the butter into a log shape, using the plastic wrap to help form it. Twist the ends of the plastic wrap to seal the compound butter log.
  3. Set it aside until ready to use. If not using it that same day, place it in the refrigerator.

Slow Roasting Instructions

Slow roasting and smoking are both cooking methods that involve low temperatures and longer cooking times. Choosing between the two depends on personal preferences and the equipment available. Here’s how to make this recipe in the oven:

  1. Preheat your oven to 225°F (110°C).
  2. Place prime rib on a sheet pan with a wire rack or in a roasting pan, fat side up. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast without touching the bone.
  3. Roast in the preheated oven until the internal temperature reaches about 10°F (5-6°C) below your desired final temperature (about 2 to 3 hours depending on the size of the roast).

Recipe Tips & Tricks

  • Choose a Quality Cut: Start with a high-quality meat. Look for well-marbled meat with a good fat cap, as this will contribute to flavor and tenderness.
  • Use a Meat Thermometer: Invest in a good meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature accurately. This is crucial for achieving the desired level of doneness.
  • Reverse Sear Timing: Plan your timing well. Start the smoking or slow roasting process early enough to allow for the slow-cooking phase before the final reverse sear. This might take a couple of hours, depending on the size of the roast.
  • Resting Period: Let the roast rest after smoking. This allows the juices to redistribute within the meat, ensuring a juicier end result. Cover it loosely with foil during this time.
  • Hot and Fast Searing: When it’s time to sear, make sure your grill or pan is very hot. This ensures a nice crust without overcooking the interior.
  • Basting with Butter: If using compound butter, baste during the searing phase for an extra flavor boost. Be mindful not to let the butter cause flare-ups.
  • Rest Before Slicing: Allow the meat to rest for a few minutes after searing before slicing. This helps the juices settle and ensures each slice is juicy.

Is Standing Rib Roast the Same as Prime Rib?

The terms “standing rib roast” and “prime rib” are often used interchangeably, but there is a slight difference.

Standing Rib Roast

A standing rib roast refers to a cut of beef that includes several ribs, usually from ribs 6 through 12. The “standing” in the name comes from the fact that the roast is often cooked in a standing position with the ribs pointing upward.

When you purchase a standing rib roast, you are essentially getting the whole rack of ribs, providing a larger and more inclusive cut of meat. This roast includes both the ribeye muscle and the bone, which adds flavor during cooking.

Prime Rib

Prime rib, on the other hand, specifically refers to the portion of the standing rib roast that is cut and served. It’s usually cut from the ribs near the loin end of the standing rib roast, typically starting from ribs 10 through 12. These ribs are closer to the loin and are known for their tenderness and excellent marbling.

What to Serve with Prime Rib Roast

For a festive touch to your Christmas prime rib dinner, explore a curated selection of delectable side dishes from our favorite food bloggers. Mix and match to complement your preferences!


How much prime rib to buy per person?

The recommended serving size for boneless prime rib is typically around 1/2 to 1 pound per person. However, this can vary based on a few factors like appetites, side dishes, and leftovers.

How long can a prime rib roast stay in the fridge?

For raw prime rib, it’s recommended to be stored in the refrigerator for no more than 3 to 5 days. Cooked prime rib roast can be stored in the refrigerator for about 3 to 4 days. Allow it to cool to room temperature before refrigerating and store it in airtight containers or wrap it tightly with plastic wrap to prevent it from drying out.

What can I do with leftover prime rib?

Sandwiches, breakfast hash, salad, or pasta are all creative and delicious ideas for using leftovers.

What is the difference between prime rib and ribeye?

Ribeye is the individual steak cut from the prime rib.


Whether you prefer slow-smoked or the classic roast, this reverse sear prime rib roast offers the flexibility to choose. Join us on this flavorful journey and create unforgettable moments around your holiday table!

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Reverse Sear Prime Rib

  • Author: cooks with soul
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 4 hours
  • Yield: 4-8 servings


Slow-smoked to tender perfection, this reverse sear prime rib roast features a mouthwatering flavor profile enhanced by a custom seasoning blend and a final sear that creates a glorious crust. Perfect for the holidays, especially a memorable Christmas dinner!



  1. Take the prime rib out of the refrigerator at least 2 hours before cooking to bring it to room temperature.
  2. Rub with olive oil and season generously with Soul Food Seasoning (“Soul Dust”).
  3. Preheat your smoker to 225°F (110°C). Place the rib roast on the smoker rack, fat side up. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast without touching the bone.
  4. Smoke meat until the internal temperature reaches about 10°F (5-6°C) below your desired final temperature.
  5. If using compound butter, place a couple of slices of butter on top of the roast halfway through smoking. This will infuse it with additional flavor.
  6. Once the desired internal temperature is reached, remove the roast from the smoker and cover it loosely with aluminum foil. Let it rest for at least 20-30 minutes.
  7. Preheat your grill or a cast-iron pan on high heat.
  8. Sear the smoked prime rib on the hot grill or pan for 1-2 minutes per side, or until a crust forms. Baste the meat with more slices of compound butter if desired. Keep an eye on the roast to avoid overcooking.
  9. After searing, transfer the prime rib to a cutting board. Slice the roast into your desired thickness and serve.


Roast (Oven) Instructions: Preheat your oven to 225°F (110°C). Place rib roast on a sheet pan with a wire rack or in a roasting pan, fat side up. Insert a meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast without touching the bone. Roast in the preheated oven until the internal temperature reaches about 10°F (5-6°C) below your desired final temperature. This slow roasting process could take 2 to 3 hours depending on the size of the roast.

Keywords: prime rib, prime rib roast, reverse sear, compound butter, christmas

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