Smoked forerib

Smoked forerib

The Hang Fire Cookbook

So this is the Daddy Mac of beef roasts. The mighty forerib, or prime rib as they call it in the US. This is proper ‘treat meat’, not quite up there with remortgaging or selling your first born, but it can be expensive depending on how many you’re feeding. However, you’ll forget about all that when it forms the centrepiece to a big cook-out and looks magnificent, in all its primal, meaty glory. This recipe is inspired by two of our barbecue heroes, Kelly and Roni Wertz, who for our money pioneered barbecue prime rib at their now-closed Kansas restaurant. What we wouldn’t give today for a table at that restaurant (and two extra stomachs!). You’ll need to order this cut of beef at your local butchers (see recipe note).


Quantity Ingredient
6-8kg bone-in beef forerib
4 tablespoons sea salt flakes
3 tablespoons olive oil

For the rub

Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chilli powder
1 tablespoon fine sea salt
2 tablespoons soft light brown sugar
2 teaspoons garlic granules
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried oregano


  1. Start by mixing all the rub ingredients together in a bowl. Set aside. Scrape the bones clean, if they aren’t already, with a paring knife. Leave about 3–5mm of thick fat along the back of the roast and diagonally score through the fat, then repeat in the opposite direction, being careful not to cut through the binding string, creating a diamond-shaped pattern.
  2. Generously coat the meat with your rub mixture, rubbing the seasoning into the joint and pressing it firmly into the scored fat section on the back. Cover with cling film and rest in the fridge overnight.
  3. The next day, bring your forerib out and let it come to room temperature for about 15 minutes. Sprinkle with the salt flakes.
  4. Prepare your smoker for indirect heat. You want the temperature to settle at 108°C before you put your joint in. Put in a handful of wood-chips, or a couple of blocks of oak (you can repeat this hourly or as and when the wood has burned out). You’re looking at a 5–6-hour smoke time, and an internal temperature for the meat to be no greater than 60°C on an instant-read thermometer.
  5. When your forerib is medium rare, add some extra coals to your grill. With heatproof gloves and some tongs, move the joint over to the direct-heat side of your grill and sear all over for 5 minutes on each side. Loosely tent the joint in foil and let it rest over a wire rack in a pan for 20 minutes. The juices in the pan can then be used to make a tasty gravy.
  6. Transfer the forerib to a chopping board, slice thinly and wait for the ‘ooohs’ and ‘aaaahs’ from your hungry guests. Serve with mashed potatoes with Bone Marrow Butter or some Hassleback Potatoes, Southern-style Barbecue Greens with Pork and Maque Choux for a beautifully vibrant dinner table.

Cooking methods

  • Indirect Grilling/Smoking


  • Oak

Flintstone Forerib

  • When ordering the forerib, you’ll probably be asked how many bones you want or if you want it boneless. Sometimes the butcher will ‘French trim’ the bones, remove the meat from the shin and tie it all back together so the cut stays in shape through its cooking process. You can, of course, use a boneless rib roast, just make sure it’s tied up so it doesn’t start to unravel and dry out during the smoking process. You may find that a boneless joint will go further as you can cut the slices thinner, however, you won’t get that ‘Flintstones’ effect with all those magnificent bones!
Deep South
Back to top
    No results found
    No more results
      No results found
      No more results
        No results found
        No more results
          No results found
          No more results
            No results found
            No more results
              No results found
              No more results
              Please start typing to begin your search
              We're sorry but we had trouble running your search. Please try again