Traeger Prime Rib

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If you haven’t had the opportunity to dig into a prime rib smoked on a Traeger, you are missing out! This giant piece of beef was coated in a dry rub made from fresh herbs, giving it that wonderful flavor and slightly salty bark that we have all come to expect from a perfect slice of prime rib.

After smoking on the Traeger for 8 hours, the prime rib soaks up the smokiness from the Trager and is a perfect medium-rare. This Traeger smoked prime rib will melt in your mouth!

Slice up the prime rib and pair it with some delicious sides for an exquisite dinner that will make everyone happy. Serve it up alongside these air fryer green beans with bacon or these air fryer parsley baby potatoes.

For a unique spin, top off your Traeger smoked prime rib with a slice of this blue cheese butter.

Traeger smoked prime rib sitting on a cutting board with some fresh sprigs of rosemary and thyme next to it.

For the best prime rib of your life, try this American Wagyu prime rib. Wagyu meat has the highest level of marbling, making for an exceptionally tender and flavorful prime rib. Or for the next best thing, Snake River Farms also has a USDA Prime prime rib roast. Either way, this Traeger prime rib will be the hit at your next family gathering!

Why This Traeger Prime Rib is So Good!

  • It is cooked to a perfect medium-rare, just like prime rib should be
  • Tender and juicy – it melts in your mouth
  • The fresh herb crust forms a savory bark
  • Traeger smoked prime rib is an impressive centerpiece at the table
Prime rib with thermometer stuck in it, resting on the Traeger grill grates.


Prime rib is a special cut of meat. There is so much flavor packed inside, so we really do not want to overwhelm it with too many other flavors. The Traeger will also impart a smoky flavor in the prime rib, so we can keep the ingredients simple while still turning out a fantastic roast!

  • Prime rib roast
  • Kosher salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder
  • Fresh thyme
  • Fresh rosemary

Tools to Perfect This Recipe

For a Traeger smoked prime rib, you can imagine that you might need a Traeger. Really, any pellet smoker will do. I enjoy cooking on my Traeger Pro 780. It has tons of space so that you can load it up with way too much food. If you don’t have a Traeger, you can also use a charcoal kettle grill or a stick-burning smoker.

When it comes to the perfect Traeger prime rib, the internal temperature is crucial. So do yourself a favor and get a reliable thermometer. I love to use this ThermoWorks leave-in thermometer while doing long cooks on the smoker. It connects via WiFi, and you can monitor your cook from the comfort of your couch!

For shorter cooks or extra reassurance, I also have a ThermoWorks instant-read. These are essential tools to have in your BBQ arsenal!

Ingredients for Traeger smoked prime rib: prime rib roast, salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme, rosemary

How to Smoke Prime Rib on the Traeger

Step 1: prepare the prime rib and Traeger

Remove the prime rib from the fridge and allow it to rest at room temperature before grilling. Preheat your Traeger to 225°F using your favorite pellets. You can use either a boneless or bone-in prime rib. My local butcher cuts the bones off the prime rib roast and ties them back on with twine. Tying the bones on with twine makes it easy to trim after the prime rib is taken off the Trager. It also allows you to season all sides of the prime rib with the dry rub, even underneath the bones. Be sure to trim off any excess fat from the prime rib before seasoning.

Step 2: coat the prime rib in the dry rub

Finely chop the fresh thyme and rosemary. Combine the fresh herbs with kosher salt, coarse ground black pepper, and garlic powder. Coat all sides of the prime rib with the dry rub.

Step 3: smoke the prime rib

Place the prime rib on the Traeger, bone side down. Cook the prime rib at 225°F for 3-4 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 120°F. The prime rib will continue to cook to a perfect medium-rare while it rests. The USDA and FDA recommend cooking beef to an internal temperature of 145°F, but I prefer my prime rib to be medium-rare.

Step 4: rest and serve

Remove the prime rib from the smoker and allow it to rest for 20 minutes before slicing and serving. While the meat is resting, the carry-over cooking will bring the internal temperature up several more degrees.

Traeger smoked prime rib sliced and plated with mashed potatoes and salad

Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Prime Rib

  • For a more smoky prime rib, set your Traeger for low and slow. I smoke mine at 225°F, which allows the Traeger to impart more smokiness into the meat. If you prefer less smoke, you can cook your prime rib at a higher temperture. Try 275°F or 325°F and pull the prime rib once it reaches an internal temperature of 120°F and allow it to rest.
  • Be sure to slice the prime rib against the grain. After removing the bones from the prime rib, lay it down on it’s side where the bones were detached. Cut the prime rib into 1/2″ slices in a directoin parallel to the bones orientation.

Other Recipes You Will Love

I love ribs! Nothing quite says BBQ like these Traeger smoked beef short ribs. These are the ultimate dino ribs that you see all over the gram. Trust me, if you make this recipe, you won’t be able to keep yourself from digging in, but make sure you grab that insta-worthy photo first!

For the turkey lovers out there, this wet brined Traeger smoked turkey will blow your mind. The turkey spends some time bathing in a brine to make it extra juicy and tender. After coming off the Traeger, the turkey is beautifully browned and super moist. If you want a spin on a classic, try out this brown sugar bourbon brined Traeger smoked turkey.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can you buy prime rib?

You can find prime rib at most of your grocery stores, but I recommend going to your local butcher or premier meat shop. Fat equals flavor, so look for a USDA Prime prime rib roast. You may see that your local grocery store only has USDA Choice roasts.
For a real treat, check out this American Wagyu prime rib from Snake River Farms. It is exceptionally marbled with fat and incredibly juicy and tender. It is definitely worth the splurge to make a statement at your next family dinner!

What internal temperature should prime rib be?

I like my prime rib to be a delicious, juicy, and tender medium-rare. I pull my prime rib off the Traeger once it reaches 120°F and then allow it to rest until it reaches a temperature of 130°F. If you like your prime rib to be rare, take it off between 110°F-115°F and if you like it medium or medium-well, pull it off between 130°F-140°F.

What are the best pellets for smoking prime rib?

I like to use the Pit Boss Competition Blend, but you can use any pellets and get great results. Try out some cherry, hickory, or pecan for excellent smoke flavor.

Traeger smoked prime rib sliced and plated with mashed potatoes and horseradish with sliced roast aside it


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Traeger smoked prime rib resting on cutting board

Traeger Prime Rib

Yield: 8-10 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Rest Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes

Why wait for a special occasion to dig into this delicious Traeger smoked prime rib? This is not your traditional prime rib. Instead, this Traeger smoked prime rib is slow-cooked on the Traeger, allowing it to soak up the sweet smoke while producing a savory fresh herb crust from the dry rub seasoning. The inside is cooked to a tender medium-rare, ensuring that every bite will melt in your mouth!


  • 8-12 pound prime rib roast (4 bones)
  • 5 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 5 tablespoons coarse ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped thyme
  • 3 tablespoons fresh chopped rosemary


  1. Preheat your Traeger or another pellet grill to 225°F using your favorite pellets. You can also use a charcoal grill or wood smoker. Read the notes below for some tips.
  2. Trim any excess fat from the prime rib. I like to remove the bones from my prime rib to season it on all sides before tying the bones back on with twine. Read the notes below for some tips on how to prepare a boneless prime rib.
  3. Combine the ingredients for the fresh herb dry rub. Coat the entire prime rib roast with the dry rub mixture, ensuring that all sides and crevices receive some seasoning.
  4. Place the prime rib on the Traeger, bone side down. Place in your thermometer for easy monitoring throughout the cook. Allow the prime rib to cook for 3-4 hours or until it reaches an internal temperature of 120°F. The prime rib will continue cooking to reach a medium-rare while it is resting.
  5. Remove the prime rib from the Traeger and allow it to rest. If you have a bone-in prime rib, trim the bones before slicing and serving.


  • If you use a charcoal grill, place some wood chunks on the charcoal to help get more smoke while cooking. I will often use the snake method to allow the charcoal to burn slowly and last longer without adjusting the charcoal as frequently.
  • The USDA and FDA recommend cooking beef to an internal temperature of 145°F. I prefer a medium-rare. Use a reliable thermometer like this ThermoWorks Thermapen ONE for perfect results.
  • If you have a boneless prime rib, trim the fat before seasoning it. If the bones are still attached to the prime rib, you can leave them on or remove them. If you leave the bones attached, you will have to cut the bones away and trim the fat after the prime rib cooks. Alternatively, you can remove the bones before cooking, trim the fat, and tie the bones back on with twine. If you tie the bones on, be sure to rub some seasoning on the prime rib beforehand so that you get more flavor packed in.

    For exceptional prime rib, check out Snake River Farms prime rib. They have a great selection of high-quality beef, perfect for any occasion.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 20 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 939Total Fat: 74gSaturated Fat: 30gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 35gCholesterol: 226mgSodium: 1117mgCarbohydrates: 2gFiber: 1gSugar: 0gProtein: 62g

Nutrition information is a guideline only, is calculated automatically by third party software, and absolute accuracy is not guaranteed.

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About Joshua Boquist

Josh is an outdoor enthusiast and food fanatic. A License To Grill is his passion project where the outdoors intersects food - grilling, smoking, and all things tasty!

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