If you’re unfamiliar with pork ribeye roast, now would be the perfect time to introduce yourself. Meat lovers—especially grilling aficionados—should find plenty to love about this cut, which offers the perfect blend of leanness and flavor.
Pork Ribeye Roast Smoked
The pork ribeye roast has just enough dark meat to keep it from drying out during its time in the smoker. The meat is lean, but it doesn’t lack for flavor. If you choose to smoke the meat using wood pellets or chips, try experimenting with different fruit woods to get the effect you’re looking for.
What Is Pork Ribeye Roast?
Although the pork ribeye roast is cut from the loin, it’s taken from the rib area, hence the “ribeye” designation. As a result, the meat has a tender texture but a stronger pork flavor than a center-cut pork loin roast would.
A good pork ribeye roast should have a decent amount of marbling, as well as a combination of white and dark meat. If the roast is primarily white meat, it won’t have as much flavor. Also, look for the small fat cap that will contribute moisture to the roast as it cooks.
You can expect a pork ribeye roast to weigh in the neighborhood of 2-3 pounds. Since this is a boneless cut, that should give you enough pork to serve 4 to 6 people.
Is Pork Ribeye Roast A Good Choice For The Smoker?
We like to experiment with the smoker whenever possible, but even if you’re a novice, you should get superb results when smoking a pork ribeye roast. The roast is lean enough to carve and serve with a sauce or gravy, but the marbling and fat cap will keep it from drying out during the smoke.
Be aware, however, that this isn’t a good cut if you’re planning on making pulled pork. While the meat has plenty of flavor when it’s cooked right, it may dry out if you push it past the 165-degree mark. Since pork needs to cook to at least 195 degrees before it’s tender enough to shred, it’s best to choose a different cut if pulled pork is your goal.
What’s The Best Cooking Temperature For Pork Ribeye Roast?
Set the smoker temperature to 225 degrees Fahrenheit when making a pork ribeye roast. The meat should cook at a rate of about 90 minutes per pound at this temperature. Therefore, if you have a 2-pound roast, it should be finished cooking in about 3 hours.
We would recommend taking the pork roast off the heat when the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the recommended safe temperature for pork products. The meat will continue to cook slightly as it rests, so it’s fine to take it off the heat at 140 degrees if you prefer.
Remember that time estimates are just guidelines. Actual cooking times may vary depending on the reliability of the smoker, ambient temperatures, and the cut of meat itself. Your best bet is to rely on a quality instant-read thermometer.
Also note that the meat may still be a bit pink in the center, even if it’s fully cooked. This is normal. The pinkish color is likely the sign of a high pH factor, and doesn’t necessarily mean the pork is underdone.
Should You Wrap The Pork Ribeye Roast In Foil?
Not until you take it off the smoker. When you see pitmasters wrapping meat in foil, it’s usually because they’re trying to speed the cooking process along. It’s a common practice with larger cuts like beef brisket and pork butt because it allows the meat to reach the optimum temperature more quickly.
However, you’re not trying to cook the pork ribeye roast to 200 degrees. If you wrap the roast in foil for the duration of the cook, you’ll prevent the smoke flavor from permeating the meat.
What Are The Best Woods To Use When Smoking Pork Ribeye Roast?
If you’re using wood chips or pellets to smoke the pork, you’ll want to choose the right flavor. Since this is a leaner cut than pork butt or picnic shoulder, it’s important to choose a relatively mild wood that won’t overpower the pork flavor. Here are a few suggestions.
Apple wood has a mild, sweet flavor with subtle hints of fruit. It’s one of our favorites for smoked pork ribs, but it should also pair well with the ribeye roast.
The pecan will impart a gentle smoky taste without the intensity that you’d get from a hickory or maple wood. It also works nicely when paired with apple or cherry.
The sweetness of maple provides a nice counterbalance to the pork, particularly if the roast contains a lot of dark meat. If you can find chips or pellets made of sugar maple, try substituting those for a special treat.
This is another mild wood that delivers light, fruity notes to the smoked meat. Be forewarned that the wood might leave behind a dark residue on the exterior.
Pork Ribeye Roast Smoked: A Step-By-Step Guide
- 1 pork ribeye roast, 2-3 pounds
- Prepared yellow or Dijon mustard
For the Spice Rub:
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
*Note: This recipe will make more pork rub than you need. Store the remainder in a tightly sealed container, making sure to keep it in a cool, dry place. You can use it to spice up pork or chicken the next time you grill.
1. Trim the pork, if desired, making sure to leave a decent amount of fat intact. Pat the meat dry with paper towels.
2. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the spice rub. At this point, you may set half of the rub aside to avoid cross-contamination. You can always add more if the roast needs it.
3. Rub the entire surface of the roast with a thin layer of prepared mustard. This step will help the spice rub stick to the meat. Yellow mustard will work fine, but you can also use Dijon or whatever type you have on hand.
4. Coat the pork with the spice rub and set on a large platter. Refrigerate for 2 hours or overnight.
5. When you’re ready to begin the cook, set the smoker to 225 degrees. You might want to set the temp a bit higher if it’s cold or windy outside, or if you know the smoker runs on the cooler side.
6. Once the smoker has reached the proper temperature, set the pork ribeye roast on the cooking grate and close the lid. Smoke for about 90 minutes per pound, or until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees on an instant-read thermometer.
7. Remove the roast from the heat and wrap it in foil. Let it rest for 30-45 minutes before carving into thin slices. Serve immediately.
The Bottom Line
Smoking a pork ribeye roast isn’t that different from smoking any other type of pork roast. As long as you keep an eye on the internal temperature and remove it from the heat before it overcooks, you should be well pleased with the results.
Best of luck with your pork ribeye roast!