Smoked Ribeye Roast Recipe (Make in 5 Easy Steps)

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Matt Richard

What’s better than a ribeye roast? A smoked ribeye roast! Cooking this delicious cut of beef in your smoker imparts it with even more flavor you and your guests will love.

Keep reading for the recipe and detailed steps to get it right the first time.

Smoked Ribeye Roast

Smoked Ribeye Roast Recipe

An easy-to-make, tender ribeye with a depth of smoke flavor.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 6
Calories 853 kcal


  • BBQ smoker
  • Wood chips
  • Knife
  • meat thermometer


  • 1 boneless ribeye roast (5 pounds)
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 4 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 cup butter (softened)


  • Preheat your smoker to 250°F for approximately 20 minutes before preparing the meat.
  • Trim excess fat, leaving a thin layer for flavor, using a sharp knife. Use a meat tenderizer to ensure an even fat layer.
  • Mix softened butter and garlic, then rub onto the meat. Coat with salt and pepper or your preferred seasoning.
  • Cook until the center reaches 135°F (for rare) to 145°F (medium). Cooking time is 3-4 hours.
  • Allow the roast to rest for 20 minutes before cutting, ensuring the juices are distributed evenly. You can also wrap it in tinfoil to prevent drying out.


Calories: 853kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 82gFat: 58gSodium: 1173mg

How to Pick the Best Ribeye Roast

Meat quality is one of the most critical factors affecting your dish’s final taste. So here are some aspects to consider when choosing ribeye roast.

  1. Find a reputable butcher or meat market: Start by visiting a reputable butcher or meat market known for their quality meats. They’re more likely to have a good selection and can provide guidance based on your preferences.
  2. Look for marbling: Marbling refers to the white streaks of fat running through the meat. A well-marbled ribeye roast will be more tender and flavorful. Look for even distribution of fat throughout the meat, indicating a higher grade of beef.
  3. Check the color: The color of the meat should be a bright cherry red, indicating freshness. Avoid meat that appears grayish or discolored.
  4. Consider the grade: Ribeye roasts are often graded by the USDA based on their quality and marbling. The highest grades are Prime and Choice. Prime grade has the most marbling and tends to be the most tender and flavorful, but it can be harder to find and more expensive. Choice grade is also a good option, offering good marbling and tenderness.
  5. Assess the fat cap: The ribeye roast will have a layer of fat covering one side, known as the fat cap. Look for a reasonable amount of fat that’s firm and creamy white. Avoid roasts with excessive or yellowish fat, as it could indicate poor quality or age.
  6. Consider the size and shape: Choose a ribeye roast with a consistent shape and thickness. This ensures even cooking throughout the roast. Additionally, consider the size based on the number of people you plan to serve.

Remember, personal preferences may vary, so it’s a good idea to experiment with different cuts and grades to find the one that suits your taste best.

Detailed Instructions: How to Make Smoked Ribeye Roast

Got your smoker and the ingredients ready? Let’s get started.

1. Preheat Your Smoker to 250°F

Your smoker needs time (approx. 20 minutes) to reach the desired temperature of 250°F. So preheat it now, and then you can begin preparing the meat.

2. Trim the Excess Fat

You want enough fat that it melts into the meat, imparting flavor and juiciness. Still, not so much that it overwhelms the meat’s flavor or makes it hard for the meat to cook evenly.

Use a sharp knife to trim away thick parts of the fat, leaving behind a thin layer. You can use a meat tenderizer to pound the remaining fat and make sure it has an even layer.

3. Mix the Butter with Garlic and Add Seasoning

Combine the softened butter in a bowl with the garlic and mix them. Next, rub this mixture onto the outside of the meat.

Then, evenly coat with salt and pepper or your preferred seasoning.

4. Cook Until the Center Reaches 135°F to 145°F

The most effective way to gauge the internal temperature is with a meat thermometer. Before you start cooking, insert the meat thermometer into the thickest part of the roast.


It’ll take 3-4 hours to cook. An internal temperature of 135°F is rare, and 145°F is medium.

5. Remove the Roast and Let It Sit for 20 Minutes

Always let your meat rest before cutting it, allowing the juices to distribute properly. Typically, the larger the meat, the more rest time it needs.

I recommend about 20 minutes for a large roast. You can also lightly wrap it in tin foil to prevent the exterior from drying out.

Tips and Tricks

Here are some other things to keep in mind as you smoke your ribeye roast.

  1. Be careful not to overcook your roast: Overcooked ribeye roast is tough and flavorless. A meat thermometer is the best way to ensure that the meat is safely cooked so you don’t let it overcook out of fear.
  2. Ribeye roasts are sold either cap-on or cap-off: Some butchers sell the cap separately because it is a coveted price of meat that fetches high prices. Pre-cut ribeye roasts with the bones on top have the cap off. Cap-off roasts are still delicious for smoking and are actually more affordable.
  3. Consider the number of people you’re cooking for: A good rule of thumb is to budget about eight ounces of ribeye per person. If you get too much, you can have smoked roast beef sandwiches for leftovers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few FAQS to answer more questions about ribeye roast.

How Long Do You Smoke a Ribeye Roast for?

It’ll take 3-4 hours to cook ribeye roast in the smoker.

Is a Ribeye Roast Good to Smoke?

Absolutely! Smoking a ribeye roast adds a rich and smoky flavor to the already delicious cut of meat.

Should I Brine Ribeye Roast Before Smoking?

Brining ribeye roast is less common than brining poultry or leaner cuts of meat. While some people choose to brine ribeye, I believe adding the seasoning is adequate for this cut of meat.

Final Thoughts

The smoked ribeye roast is a flavorful and succulent dish perfect for special occasions or an evening cookout.

This recipe guarantees a tender, juicy, smoky flavor that’ll impress your guests and leave everyone asking for seconds.

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Hey, I'm Matt Hollingshead, a BBQ enthusiast, beer connoisseur, and the founder of Grill Mentor. When I'm not trying new recipes with my Traeger or sampling a craft beer, I'm publishing articles for this site.

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