During the holiday season, there are few pleasures greater than serving Herb Crusted Prime Rib on your holiday table. Whether it’s your first time smoking a prime rib for Christmas Dinner or New Year’s Eve, this bone-in roast recipe is as straightforward (and good!) as it gets.

For this holiday dinner feast, we’ll be firing up the Oklahoma Joe’s Bronco Drum Smoker to make the magic happen. We’ll also be making our delicious meal complete with easy recipes for Cheesy Mashed Potatoes and a Red Wine Sauce.

Prime rib with a red wine sauce and cheesy mashed potatoes.

Why You’ll Love Herb-Crusted Prime Rib Roast 

​The beauty of this special occasion recipe starts with the Oklahoma Joe’s Bronco, one of my all-time favorite drum smokers. This solidly built rig with a unique airflow system delivers consistent heat control with mind-blowing precision.

When making the perfect prime rib, this workhorse of a smoker doesn’t even know how to disappoint.  

The Herb Crusted Prime Rib is a work of art on the Oklahoma Joe's Drum Smoker.

Whether you decide on a boneless rib roast or to keep the rib bones intact, this relatively expensive cut of meat is worth all the expense. Thanks to the lower temperature held steady by the Bronco, you can expect a tender beef roast with lots of flavor that simply melts in your mouth. 

Juicy prime rib paired with my Cheesy Mashed Potatoes and Red Wine Sauce makes for an unbeatable flavor combination! 

Love Prime Rib as much as me? Try these other variations on the same, so freakin’ delicious, food theme, Dry Aged Prime Rib Roast, Deep Fried Prime Rib, Stuffed Prime Rib, Hanging Prime Rib, or Peppercorn Herb Rotisserie Prime Rib.

Encrusted Prime Rib with Cheesy Mash and Red Wine Gravy Ingredients

  • The Cut – A bone-in prime rib or boneless prime rib is a choice I leave for you to make. I used a bone-in roast as I like the structure it provides to the roast as it sits on the smoker.
  • Herb Crust – The herbaceous crust is what turns this good-looking roast into the best prime rib recipe ever. A good amount of fresh herbs like thyme, rosemary, and tarragon add an earthy, fresh Mediterranean flavor to the meat.
  • Seasonings – Garlic cloves, kosher salt, black pepper, and red chili flakes are the basic seasonings that bring tons of succulent flavor to the meat.
  • Neutral Oil – A generous amount of canola oil, grapeseed oil, or another cooking oil with a high smoke point helps the herbs stick to the prime rib and create a beautiful crust. 
  • Cheesy Mash – Golden potatoes, some sharp cheddar, and unsalted butter along with salt and pepper are all you need for this easy side dish.
  • Red Wine Sauce – You’ll need to share about a cup of your good red wine with this simple recipe, along with some beef broth, olive oil, unsalted butter, fresh thyme, shallots, garlic, salt, and black pepper.
The prime rib meat crust starts with fresh Mediterranean herbs.

These straightforward ingredients yield the kind of results that are better than any restaurant! That’s the beauty of cooking over the fire from the comfort of your own backyard.

Now, let’s get to the fun part, making it!

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How to Make Herb-Crusted Prime Rib

The Crust

In a blender, make a nice paste with the rosemary leaves, thyme leaves, tarragon leaves, garlic cloves, salt, black pepper, and oil. If the paste is too runny, go ahead and add more herbs. If it is too thick, drizzle in more oil. Aim for the consistency of homemade pesto. 

The herb mixture is slathered on the prime rib, fat side up.

Slather the herb paste onto the sides of the meat so that the outside of the prime rib is covered. Place uncovered in the fridge for at least 1 hour. 

The Smoke

Pre-heat your Oklahoma Joe’s Bronco drum smoker to a temperature of 250 degrees F for indirect cooking. 

After letting your prime rib come up to room temperature on the counter for 15 minutes, next place roast on the smoker. The total cooking time depends on the size of the roast. About 25 minutes per pound is ideal, which translates to a little under 3 1/2 hours for an 8-pound roast.

The crusted prime rib before and after on the Oklahoma Joe's.

With your meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the roast once you see an internal temperature of about 125 degrees F, the meat is ready to rest. Leave it loosely covered with foil for about 20 minutes before slicing it into thick slices with a sharp knife. 

Three slices of sliced prime rib fanned out on a cutting board.

How to Make Cheesy Mashed Potatoes

This mash recipe couldn’t be any easier! Start by boiling 5-6 peeled golden potatoes in water with a little bit of salt added. Cook them until fork tender, about 25-30 minutes, and no longer.

The cheesy mashed potatoes come together easily in a pot with some butter and cheese.

Once tender, strain and mash the potatoes. Then add the 1/2 cup of sharp cheddar cheese and half a stick of butter. Mix with a spoon or spatula until smooth, and voila!

Set aside and keep warm before serving.

How to Make the Red Wine Sauce

  1. While roasting the prime rib, carefully collect the pan drippings in some aluminum foil beneath the grill grates.
  2. While the meat is resting, take about 2-3 tablespoons of that fat to a saucepan, and combine it with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter.
  3. Sauté finely chopped shallots until softened, then add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  4. Pour in 1 cup of red wine, simmering until reduced by half, while scraping flavorful bits from the pan. Add 1 cup of beef or vegetable broth and fresh thyme leaves, simmering until the mixture reduces by half.
  5. Reduce the heat, stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter, and season with salt and black pepper.

For a smoother consistency, be sure to strain the sauce before pouring it over the meat.

The red wine sauce or gravy is poured over the thick prime rib slices with a side of cheesy mashed potatoes.

What to Serve with Perfectly Roasted Prime Rib

Beyond the Cheesy Mashed Potatoes and Red Wine Sauce that provide contrast to the rich flavors of the prime rib, a green vegetable like Brussels sprouts or roasted green beans adds some vibrant color to the holiday feast. 

Don’t forget to sprinkle some fresh chopped parsley over the plates. And, a Pinot Noir would be the perfect complement to serve with this juicy and tender cut of meat!

The juicy prime rib is served with mashed potatoes and a red wine sauce, and sprinkled with fresh chopped parsley.

Leftovers, Reheating & How to Make Leftover Prime Rib sandwiches

After any leftover prime rib cools, wrap it tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. Store the meat in an airtight container in the fridge for 3-5 days. You can also freeze it for up to 6 months if you use a good-quality vacuum sealer.

When ready to serve the meat again, warm the prime rib in the aluminum foil packet over the grill or in a warm oven. While it reheats for about 10 minutes, add a little liquid like some Chipotle Beef Bone Broth in the foil packet for added moisture and flavor.  

Your leftovers may also be the start of a beautiful Leftover Prime Rib Sandwich. Smear some homemade horseradish mayo onto a large crusty French baguette, layer in the prime rib (warm or cold), and then top with some caramelized onions (optional) and arugula before slicing into tasty sandwiches.

Recipe FAQs

Why is Prime Rib such a premium cut of beef?

The “prime” grade for this standing rib roast is the highest quality beef designated by the USDA. In other words, this cut of meat has abundant marbling, tenderness, and flavor, making it highly sought-after, especially during the holidays. 

How do I choose the right size of prime rib for my gathering?

When selecting the size of prime rib, a general rule of thumb is to get 1 pound per person but feel free to increase the size if you’re aiming for leftovers or have some heartier eaters in your crew. The number of ribs in the roast can also help determine its size. For example, a four-bone roast serves about eight people.

What’s the best wood to use in an Oklahoma Joe’s Bronco? 

Opt for hickory or mesquite to infuse that prime rib with a robust, smoky flavor. The wood is your secret weapon, so make it count!

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The herb crusted prime rib sliced and ready to serve.

Herb Crusted Prime Rib

For your next holiday gathering, treat your friends and family to the best Herb Crusted Prime Rib smoked on the Oklahoma Joe's Bronco Drum Smoker.
Author:Derek Wolf
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 people


Prime Rib:

  • 8 pounds Prime Rib
  • 2 tbsp Rosemary Sprig Leaves
  • 1 tbsp Thyme Sprig Leaves
  • 1 tbsp Tarragon Sprig Leaves
  • 4-5 Garlic Cloves
  • 1 tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tbsp Black Pepper
  • 1.5 tsp Red Chili Flakes
  • 1.5 tbsp Neutral Oil

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes:

  • 5-6 Golden Potatoes peeled
  • ½ cup Whole Milk
  • ½ cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese
  • 4 tbsp Unsalted Butter

Red Wine Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp Fat from Pan Drippings
  • 1 cup Red Wine
  • 1 cup Beef or Vegetable Broth
  • 2 tbsp Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil extra virgin
  • 2 Shallots finely chopped
  • 2 cloves Garlic minced
  • 1 tsp Thyme finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper


Prime Rib:

  • In a blender, add your rosemary, thyme, tarragon, garlic cloves, salt, pepper and oil. Blend until you have a nice paste. Slather the outside of your prime rib with the paste then set in the fridge uncovered for at least 1 hour.
  • Preheat your Oklahoma Joe’s Bronco to low heat (around 250F) for indirect cooking.
  • Pull the prime rib out of the fridge and set on the counter for 15 minutes. Place the herb-coated meat on the smoker and then cook for about 3.5 hours until reaching an internal temperature of 125 degrees F.
  • Cooking Time: Depending on the weight of your prime roast, adjust your cooking time to 25 mins per pound.
  • When the prime rib is at temperature, pull it off and loosely cover it with foil. Let the meat rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing.

Cheesy Mashed Potatoes:

  • Heat up a pot with water and 1.5 tsp of salt to boiling.
  • Peel your potatoes, cube into quarters and add to the boiling water. Cook until fork tender (about 25-30 minutes).
  • When tender, strain out the water and mash the potatoes. Add the butter and milk in batches while stirring. Finally add the cheese and mix together thoroughly.
  • Keep warm until ready to serve.

Red Wine Sauce:

  • After roasting a prime rib, transfer pan drippings to a bowl, letting the fat separate.
  • In a saucepan, heat about 2-3 tablespoons of the beef fat along with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter. Sauté finely chopped shallots until softened, then add minced garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Pour in 1 cup of red wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to incorporate any browned bits. Allow the wine to simmer and reduce by half.
  • Add 1 cup of beef or vegetable broth and thyme. Simmer until the mixture reduces by half.
  • Reduce the heat, stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter, and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  • Strain the sauce to remove any solid pieces and serve from a gravy boat or small pitcher.


  • Drizzle the red wine sauce over the sliced prime rib and cheesy mashed potatoes before finishing with some chopped parsley. Enjoy!



Serving: 3Oz | Calories: 2181kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 91g | Fat: 182g | Saturated Fat: 77g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 78g | Trans Fat: 0.5g | Cholesterol: 408mg | Sodium: 2236mg | Potassium: 2150mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 777IU | Vitamin C: 33mg | Calcium: 206mg | Iron: 11mg

Derek Wolf

Derek is the driving force behind Over the Fire Cooking. He started cooking with live fire in 2016 and decided to start a social media page so his friends and family could follow the journey. Fast forward to today and Over the Fire Cooking has spread across multiple platforms with millions now following Derek's fire cooking journey. He's a southern fellow who enjoys everything from classic BBQ to Central and South American inspired dishes. Whatever he's cooking up, it's guaranteed to be so freakin' delicious!

5 from 3 votes (3 ratings without comment)

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