Prime Rib Smoking Time Calculator (Cook Your Beef To Perfection)

Do you want to know EXACTLY how long to smoke your prime rib?

Prime rib is an expensive cut and you want to make sure you cook it right!

So below are the time calculations for all levels of doneness.


The Smoking Time Calculation for Rare Prime Rib

Smoke at a temperature of 225F for 15 min per pound of meat for a medium prime rib.

The finished internal temperature of the meat should be 125F so remove from heat at 115F to allow for carryover. 

If you plan to cook at 250°F allow 15 min per pound

The Smoking Time Calculation for Medium Prime Rib

Smoke at a temperature of 225F for 20 minutes per pound of meat for a medium prime rib.

The finished internal temperature of the meat should be 135F so remove from heat at 125F to allow for carryover.


The Smoking Time Calculation for Well-Done Prime Rib

Smoke at a temperature of 225F for 25 minutes per pound of meat for well-done prime rib.

The finished internal temperature of the meat should be 145F so remove from heat at 135F to allow for carryover.


Smoked Prime Rib Recipes

Looking for a perfectly smoked prime rib? Make sure you follow this recipe

Smoked prime rib recipe

What Is Special About a Prime Rib?

The prime rib or standing rib roast is one of the 9 primal cuts of beef.

This piece of meat typically contains whole rib bones with a beautiful outer layer of fat.

A bone-in roast from a prime rib is a delicious treat.

So that is why I want to share some tips when calculating the smoking and cooking times.


What Is the Importance of Calculating the Smoking Time?

Calculating the temperatures when cooking is probably the utmost important thing you can do.

As it affects the quality of your food concerning the taste, texture, and whether it’s edible.

Managing the internal temperature, ambient temperature, and finished temperature ensures you don’t end up with over or undercooked meat.


Using a Meat Thermometer & Knowing the Exact Weight

It’s all well and good knowing the average cooking time!

But what’s the point if you don’t constantly manage and monitor the internal temp of the prime rib as it is cooking?

A digital thermometer is a useful tool to accurately monitor smoking temperatures.

Then you can adjust for variables or if you were inaccurate at the start. 

The meat temp and cooking temp go hand in hand and might need adjustment through the long cooking process which can be 6-7 hours.

Also, make sure you know exactly the weight of the raw rib roast by asking the butcher or using good kitchen scales. 


Calculating Carryover Cooking

Carryover cooking is when the meat continues to cook after you remove it from the heat.

To calculate this you use the average temperature increase of 10F during the resting period of 30 minutes.  You can use a cooler to hold the prime rib if your guests or other food isn’t ready yet.


Cooking Prime Rib For An Event?

You will need to know how much prime rib you need per person.

There are many variables to consider.

See all the variables here to determine how much prime rib you need per person.,

Variables to Consider When Calculating the Smoking Time

What other variables are there when working out the target temperature and timings?

Temperature variation will happen and is something usually out of our control.

I have highlighted some factors to consider that might vary when calculating.  

These calculations are for medium and indirect heat but you may have hot spots within your grill or be cooking with direct heat.

– Using a charcoal grill or charcoal smoker makes controlling the internal temp in the cooking chamber less accurate.

– Wrapping the prime rib in aluminum foil during the cooking process may defer some heat into your meat.

– Resting the meat in a cold environment will decrease the amount it carryover cooks. 

Smoke On!


Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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