There aren’t many things in life that are better than a perfectly cooked prime rib.
A good prime rib should be seasoned well and have flavor in every bite with a nice exterior crust.
To help you achieve that, I’ll run you through the process I follow and give you a great prime rib rub recipe to use, so you’ll have awesome flavor in every bite!
Should you dry brine prime rib?
Prime rib is a large cut of meat. I’ve smoked some as heavy as 15 lbs. That’s a lot of meat to season!
Because of the size and thickness of prime rib, I recommend dry brining for 24 hours.
For more information on dry brining meat check out the link here.
I like to trim the prime rib by removing most of the fat cap on the top side and sprinkling on a nice even layer of Kosher salt over the entire thing.
I like using Kosher salt because the bigger granules are not immediately absorbed into the meat and you can gauge how much you are applying.
Then I place the prime rib into my refrigerator uncovered for 24 hours on a drying rack.
While the prime rib sits in the fridge the salt will start to penetrate the meat, flavoring it throughout.
To make the prime rib rub
To make the dry rub, just mix black pepper, smoked paprika, mustard powder, granulated garlic, fresh rosemary, and fresh thyme. Follow that up with a teaspoon of Kosher salt and onion powder.
This rub does not have much salt since I’ve factored in the dry brine process. However, if you decide to skip the dry brine process then you will need to add another tablespoon of kosher salt to your rub.
This rub should make enough for any sized prime rib, but if you are smoking multiple prime ribs and need more rub, just double the recipe to ensure you have enough.
We have a step-by-step smoked prime rib recipe using this rib you can check out as well.
How to season prime rib
You can sprinkle your rub generously over the entire prime rib and let the meat come to room temperature before placing it onto your smoker.
If you are smoking prime rib that has the bones tied on, you can remove them, season underneath, and tie them back on with butcher’s twine.
Another great option is combining 1 stick (½ cup) of unsalted butter with the rub mixture and then covering the entire prime rib with it.
As the prime rib cooks the butter will baste the meat and bring additional flavor.
You can make the rub ahead of time if you want and store it in a mason jar or air-tight container.
This rub will last up to 4 weeks.
The Best Prime Rib Rub
- 1 tbsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika
- 1 tbsp mustard powder
- 1 tbsp granulated garlic
- 1 tbsp rosemary fresh, chopped
- 1 tbsp Thyme fresh
- 1 tsp Kosher salt
- 1 tsp onion powder
- Place all ingredients into a container and mix well together to combine.
- NOTE: if not dry brining first, add an extra tablespoon of kosher salt to the rub.