Grilled Prime Rib Roast is a premium cut of beef, marinated in herbs and spices, grilled to perfection with tender juicy meat and crusty on the outside.
Usually when I grill, I prefer to season with only salt and pepper or just salt alone. This time though, I’d like to marinate the prime rib which I have tried from a friend. I like to experiment with different things, why not!
Thanksgiving and Christmas is a few months away. If you are looking for something different than the usual turkey and ham, prime rib is something to consider for the holidays.
In the South and Southwest, it is a great time to grill prime rib roast but in areas with wintery weather, check my other post How to Slow Cooked Prime Rib in the Oven.
During summer, it is great to cook outdoors instead of oven roasting in the kitchen. I don’t mind grilling when temperature is in the 90’s. That is a perfect weather for us after many days of over 115 degrees F.
For a few days, it was wonderful. Way cooler and perfect grilling time. I was enticed to get prime rib and some other meat so I can barbecue. I prepared 2 marinade and as always I prepared some meat seasoned only with salt which I love.
I had the prime rib marinating overnight in the fridge and hoping to grill the following day.
Timing was not great, it was too windy and hot at 105 degree F. The 90’s were gone which was a teaser.
Unfortunately, I had to postpone grilling the following day which is not a big deal. Meat will be more tastier marinating for a full day.
Instead, I decided to clean the grill. Remove old charcoal and ashes from previous grilling. Opened lid and bottom vents halfway and added layers of charcoal on one side of the grill. I prepped the grill ready for the following day.
It was 107 degree F not as windy, but it was hot. This is the last time I will grill when temperature is over 100. I can do it at night but prime rib takes a while to cook.
Anyway, I was hoping I would be lounging outside, relaxing and sipping a cold beer. It was too hot to be seating outside so I was running back and forth in the house to cool off.
On a whim, we decided to get prime rib even though it was quite expensive.
We have been cooking our food for many months now since we are not comfortable going to a restaurant. Splurging on this delicious meat is not a bad idea but I better grill it right.
Tip: The best time to get cheaper prime rib is the day before or after Thanksgiving or Christmas. I have more luck one day before the holidays and they are a great deal.
How to Grill Prime Rib Roast
(1) Get bone-in prime rib. The bones act as a protective barrier from the heat so meat at the bottom cooks slower, cooking evenly as the rest of the meat making it extra juicy and tender.
You can get bone-in prime rib in 2 ways: Some stores sell it with the bones attached labeled Standing Rib Eye Roast or the rib bone is already detached from the prime rib and tied with a butcher twine.
If you buy it with the bones attached, you can request the butcher to detach the bone or do it yourself. Use a sharp long knife and slide it close to the bones. You can also grill with the bone-in attach. It is easier though to carve without the rib bones.
If you are going to spend this much money look for USDA Prime Rib. Your other option which is a little bit cheaper is USDA Choice. Both of them are great for roasting or grilling that yields a tender, juicy and flavorful meat. Prime rib though is a better cut with abundant marbling.
(2) Remove the thin silvery film called membrane under the bone. I was not able to take a picture since the butcher has removed it already. It is similar to the membrane of a baby back rib.
(3) If prime rib is frozen, place on a tray and thaw at the bottom of fridge for 2 days. Some people don’t wash their meat. I do and I use a paper towel to dry it.
(4) Combine all the prime rib marinade in a huge zip lock bag. A 6 pound meat fits the biggest zip lock bag. After a few hours marinating in the fridge, flip the zip lock bag to the other side so meat can evenly marinate. Otherwise, use a bigger container and manually flip the prime rib. Marinate overnight.
Note: I removed the twine so I can easily fit the meat and bones in one zip lock bag.
Remove zip lock bag from fridge an hour before grilling and place it in room temperature.
Before grilling, don’t forget to reattach the rib bone from meat using a butcher twine.
(5) Prime rib will be grilled in charcoal, I have half of the grill with 3 layers of charcoal enough to cook the meat.
Once the charcoal are in flames, this is the time to clean the grate with a brush or with foil formed into ball using a long tong. Then turn the other side of grate and clean it too.
Make sure the grate is clean especially if you plan to catch the drippings to make gravy. If you do, use a disposable tray and add about 2 to 3 cups hot water. Place the disposable tray on the side without charcoal.
Note: If you plan to use the drippings, before marinating trim some of the fat on top of prime rib but not all. The fat helps baste the meat while grilling.
I don’t keep the drippings when grilling. It was a hot day, all I wanted was to be done grilling.
(6) Once charcoal is ready, no more flames. Cover grill for 5 minutes. Then place prime rib fat side up on the side without charcoal with dripping pan below. Don’t discard marinade – use it to baste prime rib.
Use a thermometer to check the internal temperature of prime rib. Allow it to smoke for a few hours depending on your cooking preference medium rare, medium or well done.
Internal Temperature to Cook Prime Rib Roast
Medium Rare – 125 Deg. F
Medium – 135 Deg. F
Medium Well – 145 Deg. F
Check meat with a thermometer after 30 minutes, also check the drip pan. Make sure you always have at least ½ inch of liquid in the pan or it will dry and burn. The side closest to the charcoal will cook quicker so rotate the meat to cook evenly.
This is a good time to baste meat with marinade. Baste it a few times.
(7) Once in a while check the thermometer. Once it reaches the internal temperature of your preference, you are ready to sear the prime rib.
By this time, I have about 1 layer of charcoal. Most of the charcoal had burned out already.
Move the prime rib under the charcoal and sear for 10 to 20 minutes, grill uncovered. This process is reverse searing and it will crisp up the outside of prime rib.
If charcoal starts to flare up, move meat to the other side.
Sear grilled prime rib roast on all sides between 3 to 5 minutes.
With one layer of charcoal usually it doesn’t flare up anymore. Once doneness is achieve, transfer meat to a platter, loosely covered with foil and rest for 10 to 20 minutes. Resting will keep the juice distributed evenly in prime rib.
Note: Took me 3 ½ hours for a medium well done. When grilling, don’t base it on how long it took to cook, base it on the internal temperature. A thermometer is a must if you like a perfectly grilled prime rib roast.
Try another delicious recipe Lemon Pepper Rosemary Rib Eye Roast.
Grilled Prime Rib Roast
- 5 ½ to 6 pounds prime rib roast rib bones detach and attach with butcher twine
Prime Rib Marinade
- ⅓ cup soy sauce
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- ⅓ cup fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon onion powder optional
- ½ cup fresh basil chopped or 3 tablespoons dried basil
- 1 ½ tablespoons dried parsley flakes
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon hot pepper sauce or cayenne pepper powder
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- Combine marinade ingredients in a huge zip lock bag.
- Place prime rib in zip lock bag and marinate overnight. After a few hours, flip bag on the other side to evenly marinate prime rib. Note: It is easier to fit in zip lock bag if rib bone is detach from prime rib then reattach with butcher twine before grilling.
- Place zip lock bag in room temperature 1 hour before grilling.
- Prep charcoal grill. Open lid and bottom vents halfway. Add 3 layers of charcoal on one side of grill. Note: I’m using the biggest kettle grill.
- Fire up charcoal and clean the grates. Note: If catching drippings to make gravy refer to blog.
- Remove prime rib in marinade and salt lightly. It was marinated in soy sauce which is quite salty already. Don’t discard marinade if you like to baste prime rib.
- Once charcoal is ready, no more flames place prime rib fat side up on the side without charcoal and cover grill with lid. Smoke prime rib until desired temperature is reached. Use a thermometer inserted on one side at the center of prime rib.
- Internal Temperature
- Medium Rare – 125 Deg. F
- Medium – 135 Deg. F
- Medium Well – 145 Deg. F
- Check thermometer after 30 minutes and baste prime rib. The side closest to the charcoal will cook quicker so rotate prime rib so both sides cook evenly. Continue grilling and baste a few more times until desired temperature is reached. In my case, once thermometer reads 145 deg F (medium well). Time to sear.
- Move prime rib under charcoal and sear between 10 to 20 minutes with grill uncovered. By this time, I only have about a layer of charcoal. Sear all 4 sides from 3 to 5 minutes depending on how much charcoal is left.
- Transfer to a tray or platter and cover loosely with foil. Rest prime rib for 10 to 20 minutes so juice can be distributed evenly.
- Remove butcher twine and rib bones then slice prime rib. Enjoy!
Adapted: AllRecipes - slightly improvised