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How to do a 3lb prime rib

Joined Feb 26, 2013
I've searched around but couldn't find anything on a small prime rib. What's the best way to go about this? Low for a couple hours then finish in a hot oven for a crust? Sear in hot oven then low in the smoker? Any tips from some experienced guys?

bama bbq

Master of the Pit
Joined Sep 24, 2011
I sear them in cast-iron, add my rub, then placed them in a 350*F smoker to finish it up to temp

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Last edited:


Smoke Blower
Joined Nov 6, 2013
Hi Michael,

I'm new here, but not new to smoking meat and cooking in general.  Last Christmas, I did a 5-bone prime rib using Guy Fieri's dry-age method.  It was absolutely the best prime rib I've ever had, and really not that hard to do.  The key is making sure your fridge stays in the 36-38 degree range.  Here's the link for his recipe:


Last year, due to really bad weather, I cooked it in the oven @ 210 to an internal temp of 135, then pulled and wrapped in foil to rest while the oven heated to 500 (about 30-minutes).  I then reverse-seared @ 500 until it had a nice bark.  The advantage of cooking low and slow first, then finishing with a reverse-sear, is that the pink center goes all the way to the edge of the meat.  The dry age process made it fork tender - didn't even need a knife!  The reverse-sear is not part of Guy's recipe.

This year, I'm going to dry age, then smoke (weather permitting) to 135, then finish in the hot oven.  My mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Let us know which way you go, and how it turns out!


Smoke Blower
Joined Nov 6, 2013

I still have that other piece of meat in the freezer..... its not at the top of the to do list at the moment.
Hi Foamheart,

I read your thread.  I'll give you my 2-cents (that may be all it's worth).  Did you wrap the rib in cheese cloth while it was aging, and did you change the cloth after day 1 (and then every few days after)?  Also, I don't believe the salt is necessary during the process.  I placed my bone-in rib on a baking rack inside a baking pan, wrapped in cheese cloth, for a total of 8 days.  I know you can age longer, but I'm not sure I can see the need for it.  The main concern, during the process, is keeping the meat clean, and at the right temp.  I unwrapped mine every couple of days to inspect it, then wrapped with fresh cloth.  As the "crust" forms, the moisture will stop coming out - that's the idea.  You don't want to use anything to make it excrete more moisture (salt).  During the aging process, the moisture is held in by the crust, and helps break down the connective tissue.  At least that's how I understand the mechanics of it, and it worked in practice.

The other thought is on the cook itself.  You definitely can't rush a low & slow cook like prime rib.  Next time, allow enough time, and cook it to internal 135 at no higher than 200-210 smoker temp.  Critical step:  double-wrap in foil for 30 minutes between the smoker and oven - don't skip this!  Resting unwrapped allows way too much heat to escape, and the meat will toughen and lose a lot of juice.  When you unwrap it for the oven, don't worry that it looks a little funny on the surface (no bark) - the reverse sear takes care of that.  I do the same thing when I smoke pork loins, and they come out great.  In that case, though, I sauce them and reverse-sear on a hot gas grill to caramelize the rub and sauce.

So, age that next one 8-9 days without salt, and cook it low and slow - you'll be amazed at the results.

Tony from NW Arkansas
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