Smoked Prime Rib Roast with Bordelaise Sauce

This wonderful dish combines a naturally tender and flavorful, primal cut of beef with that same smoky flavor that makes a brisket so delicious. The prime rib roast is smoked with oak wood for 4 1/2 hours and then browned beautifully on a hot grill. The smoke adds a subtle depth of flavor while  the “low and slow” method along with the “reverse sear” are fantastic techniques to achieve a perfectly cooked roast. We collected the drippings from the meat in a pan with some red wine and shallots while it was smoking.  Then we used them to make the smoky bordelaise sauce that really sends this roast over the top.

By Russ Faulk, Kalamazoo Outdoor Gourmet
Serves 10 to 12
Image of Smoked Prime Rib Roast with Bordelaise Sauce

  • 1 4-bone prime rib roast or Choice grade standing rib roast, about 11 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely-ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 750ml bottles of “fruity” red wine
  • 2 large shallots, quartered and separated into layers
  • 3 tablespoons turbinado sugar
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 foil roasting pan

Prepare the smoker for 250°F smoking with oak wood for flavor. We recommend preheating the Kalamazoo Smoker Cabinet for 1 hour before putting in the food.

Trim the beef roast to leave very little external fat. A layer of fat on the outside of the beef will prevent the smoke from penetrating the meat. I suggest trimming to less than 1/8 inch thickness wherever possible.

Use a knife to lightly score a cross-hatch pattern on the outside of the roast. This scoring increases the surface area for better browning.

Coat the outside of the roast with the olive oil. Season liberally with salt and pepper, massaging it in with your hands. Let the beef rest while the smoker comes up to temperature.

Combine 1 bottle of red wine with the beef broth and shallots in the roasting pan.

If available, insert a smoker-compatible meat thermometer (the Kalamazoo Smoker Cabinet includes one with the pit computer) into the center of the roast through the side. Set the meat thermometer alarm to 120°F. You’ll be pulling the roast out of the smoker before it reaches medium rare so that you can finish it on the grill.

For the Kalamazoo Smoker Cabinet, remove the top shelf. Place the roasting pan on the bottom shelf, and set the beef on the shelf above the roasting pan. If your smoker does not have multiple shelves, place a roasting rack in the roasting pan, but make sure the beef is not touching the liquid in the pan.


Smoke the beef, maintaining moderate smoke, until the internal temperature reaches 120°F, about 4 1/2 hours.

As the roast nears its target temperature, prepare the grill for roasting indirect grilling) at 500°F. Transfer the roast directly from the smoker to the indirect zone of the grill. Roast there, rotating once or twice, until the exterior is nicely browned and the internal temperature reaches 130°F for medium-rare. Remove from the grill and let rest on a carving board for 20 minutes before slicing.

Prepare the bordelaise sauce while the roast rests. Use a fine mesh colander to strain the drippings from the roasting pan into a large skillet. Add the second bottle of red wine and reduce over medium-high heat, about 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Once thickened, taste for flavor. Add the turbinado sugar one tablespoon at a time until the sauce is balanced to your liking. Whisk in the butter immediately before serving.

To carve the roast, begin by separating the rack of bones from the meat. I suggest leaving an inch of meat on the bones for serving. Slice the boneless meat to whatever thickness you desire, and cut the rack into individual bones. Transfer to a platter and drizzle with the smoky bordelaise sauce.

Note: If you would like to smoke the prime rib roast in the Hybrid Fire Grill, we have described a few methods in our Barbecue Techniques Grilling Guide. We recommend using our barbecue wood pellet adapters and following option one.