How to BBQ Prime Rib Roast on Any Grill

prime rib on cutting board
Properly cooking a prime rib roast is pivotal. This expensive cut requires careful preparation and temperature monitoring to achieve your desired doneness, but the end result of butter-soft, luscious beef is well worth the effort.

Whether it’s Christmas, New Year, or any other food-filled event, learning how to BBQ or smoke prime rib roast can make your event even more memorable. Whether you want to know how to BBQ prime rib on a gas grill, charcoal, or on a rotisserie, it is easy to do!

How to BBQ Prime Rib Roast on a Gas Grill

Making prime rib roast on the grill is a great way to make any event truly memorable. Also known as a rib roast, ribeye roast, or standing rib roast, this classic cut promises a tender texture and rich flavor.

This expensive cut of meat is best served rare or medium-rare. Overcooking will leave you disappointed because it will become dry.

With the high cost of prime rib roast, you will want to ensure you cook it properly. Ensure that you purchase the meat a few days before you need to grill, so you can encrust it in salt.


  1. Start by trimming off any excess fat from your roast.
  2. Rub a light coating of salt all over the meat and keep it wrapped in plastic or butcher’s paper in the refrigerator for 2 days before cooking. This salt will penetrate into the meat and be delicious.
  3. On the date of cooking, combine some olive oil, mustard, and garlic powder to create a paste. 
  4. Rub the paste around the beef. Make sure both the meat and bones are properly coated to increase flavor. 
  5. Let it come to room temperature. 
  6. Prep the gas grill by setting it to 225 degrees F.
  7. Grill your prime rib using indirect heat until an internal temperature of 120 degrees F is reached. Do not cook prime rib beyond this temperature because it will continue to cook during rest time. Remove it from the gas grill 5 degrees before your desired internal temperature. 
  8. Then, rest the prime rib roast for about 15 minutes to give the juices an opportunity to redistribute evenly throughout the beef, adding to its flavor.
  9. Lastly, cut the meat from the rib bones and slice the meat into equal portions and serve. 
  10. Prime rib is best served medium-rare or rare. Serve your delicious prime rib with simple sides like corn on the cob and roasted potatoes to let the meat shine.
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prime rib roast

BBQ Prime Rib Roast on a Charcoal Grill Recipe

  • Total Time: 7 hours
  • Yield: 10 1x


This classic prime rib roast is cooked on a charcoal grill, has an amazing smoky flavor, and is one of the best ways to cook a prime rib. The key is indirect cooking; the meat is not placed directly over the heat. Keep the temperature low during the cooking process and remove it from the grill immediately once it reaches the desired level of doneness. 


Units Scale
  • 8 lb Prime rib roast
  • 2 tbsp black pepper
  • 2 tbsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil


  1. Rinse your rib roast and pat dry with a paper towel. Cover with paper towels and place in the refrigerator until the meat surface is completely dry. 
  2. Remove your cut of meat from the refrigerator and rub it with olive oil, black pepper and kosher salt. Allow it to rest for one hour at room temperature. 
  3. 20 minutes prior to the meat coming to room temperature, prep your charcoal grill. You will need around five quarts of charcoal to fill the average chimney starter. 
  4. Once the coals are hot place a drip pan beneath the grill grates to catch any drippings. Please note the drip pan and meat will not be directly over the charcoal, but adjacent to them. The meat will be cooked over indirect heat.
  5. Place the meat on the cooking grate. The meat should sit with the bone side facing down on the grate and above the drip pan. Close the grill.
  6. Flip the roast every thirty minutes to ensure each side is exposed to the heat. Continue flipping the meat until a meat thermometer stuck in the center of the roast (without coming into contact with the bones) registers 125 degrees F for medium rare. This takes around 2 hours (depending on the heat source, you may want to add more time to the total cooking time). 
  7. Transfer your roast to the cutting board, wrap with aluminum foil, and allow it to rest for 10-15 minutes. Cut the meat from the bones, slice the meat, and serve.


  • For grilling the perfect prime rib roast, you want it to reach a rare to medium-rare level of doneness. Therefore, remove your roast from the charcoal grill once the temperature reaches 115 degrees F and let it rest for 10 to 15 minutes. 

  • For a well-done prime rib roast, take it off the grill at 125 degrees F and allow it to rest for 30 minutes. 

  • The resting step is extremely important. If you slice the beef right away, you risk losing all of those wonderful juices on the cutting board

  • By properly resting your beef, those magical juices will redistribute and reabsorb into the meat, making every bite extra juicy.

  • Serve with horseradish or au jus for the perfect accompaniments to your meat.

  • Prep Time: 3 hours
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Category: Main Course

How to Grill Prime Rib On a Rotisserie

There are certain differences between cooking prime rib roast on the grill and cooking on the rotisserie that you should be familiar with. To start with, you need to follow the owner’s instruction manual for your specific grill.

Keep in mind that while grilling is often done over a lot of heat, less heat is needed when cooking on a rotisserie because it is a slower cooking method.

Boneless prime rib is an excellent cut of meat to cook on a rotisserie. The slow cooking method with gentle heat enables the meat to baste itself both externally and internally, leading to some amazing results.


  1. 24 hours before grilling, season the prime rib roast with salt.
  2. Let it come to room temperature before grilling.
  3. Skewer the prime rib roast on the rotisserie spit through the center, and then attach the forks before carefully securing the meat with the lock screws. 
  4. Turn on the rotisserie, and set the infrared heat to medium-high. 
  5. Sear the outer part of the prime rib for around 20 minutes or until a brown crust starts forming. 
  6. Turn the heat off, and grill to 300°F using indirect heat with the lid closed. 
  7. Continue roasting the meat at 300°F until the internal temperature of the meat reaches 120°F. 
  8. Turn off the heat. Using an infrared burner, finish searing the outer part until the meat is brown and crusty. At this point, the center of the roast will have reached 125°F. 
  9. Remove from the grill and place on the cutting board. Carefully remove the prime rib from the spit and allow the meat to rest for around 15 minutes. Then, slice and serve with your favorite side dishes.

How Long Does it Take to Barbecue Prime Rib?

A 4-pound prime rib roast should take about two hours and 45 minutes to barbecue to medium rare at 130°F.

If you’re dealing with a large piece of meat, you need to grill it for a longer period. To know when your meat has reached your desired doneness, use an instant-read meat thermometer.

What Temperature Do You Grill Prime Rib?

Internal temperature is a major consideration when cooking any kind of meat, so make sure to invest in an instant-read meat thermometer.

Medium rare is the perfect temperature for grilling prime rib roast, about 130 to 135 degrees F. This means you can remove it from the gas grill at around 125 degrees F because the internal temperature continues to increase as the meat rests.

What is the Best Way to BBQ a Prime Rib Steak?

A simple preparation is best. Season the steak with kosher salt, black pepper, and olive oil. Place the prime rib steak on a hot grill, browning both sides. You will grill for 5 minutes on the first side and around 3 minutes on the other side.

Do you Flip Prime Rib on the Grill?

Yes. Make sure to flip your prime rib roast during the cooking process. Each side of your prime rib must be exposed to the fire to allow it to cook properly and form a well-browned crust.

How Do You Know the Prime Rib is Done?

A digital meat thermometer is the best way to know when a huge piece of meat like a prime rib is cooked to perfection.

A meat thermometer will help you avoid overcooked or undercooked meat.

The prime rib is usually done once an instant-red meat thermometer stuck in the center of the roast reads 125 degrees F for medium-rare. The internal temperature of the meat rises as the meat rests so you may want to pull it from the grill at 120 degrees F.

Always avoid coming into contact with the bones when using a meat thermometer since bones are hotter and can give an inaccurate internal temperature reading.

What are the Benefits of Grilling Prime Rib?

Grilling prime rib provides juicy and tender results every time, whilst crisping up the exterior to deliver an impressive texture.

We strongly recommend selecting a roast with a USDA-grade of prime or choice for the best results.


At heart, Patrick is a passionate cook, adventurous eater, recipe writer, and bargain hunter. He aims to provide creative ideas on how to how to cook amazing food with everyday ingredients in a hassle-free manner.When not writing or standing over a grill, Patrick enjoys traveling and exploring nature in all its beauty.

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