Best Wood for Smoking Rib Roast | 7 top choices & a few to avoid

by Joost Nusselder | Last Updated:  March 28, 2020

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Prime rib roast is one of the most popular types of smoked meats.

This beef cut can weigh up to 30 pounds, but the meat is tender and juicy, and that’s why people love it!

Many people agree that that prime rib is the best cut of beef available. Smoking rib roast takes time because you need to smoke slowly at a low temperature, but it’s a great option to make because it brings together the flavors of herbs, spices, and the distinct notes of smoke wood.

But, which woods are best?

Let’s find out in this post.

What is the best wood for smoking rib roast

Best wood for smoking rib roast

For smoking red heavy meats like beef, it’s best to use hardwoods or a combination of hardwoods and fruitwoods. It’s important to remember that

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For rib roast, use a small quantity of wood (2-3 logs) for smoking.

Mixing woods while smoking rib roast is common. Expert smokers suggest combining hardwoods with lighter fruitwoods. An example of a great combination is pecan and peach or oak and cherry.

Hardwoods for smoking rib roast

Here is a list of popular hardwoods for smoking prime rib:

Here are some of the top choices I use when smoking:

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Oak is also great for smoking nuts like these almonds we wrote about earlier.

Fruitwoods for smoking rib roast

The best fruit woods to combine with hardwoods:

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Which woods to avoid when making rib roast?

How long do you need to smoke rib roast?

How long you should smoke the meat depends on how much it weighs.

An ideal family sized rib roast should weigh between 10-15 pounds. Plan on smoking for 35 minutes per pound at a temperature of 225 degrees Fahrenheit (107 Celsius).

So, let’s say you have a 10-pound rib, you’ll need to smoke for a good four hours if you want a medium roast, smoke for five extra minutes per pound.

You must also set aside time for a 15-minute-high-sear at the end of the smoke. The high-temperature sear at the end ensures you get that nice exterior crust.

For the best results, make sure the temperature is continuously between a minimum of 225 F and 250 F. It’s best to use a thermometer to check the interior temperature of the meat, which should be at 130 F in the center.

Now that you’ve chosen your wood, it’s time to fire up the grill!

Joost Nusselder, the founder of Lakeside Smokers is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with BBQ Smoking (& Japanese food!) at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.