Prime Rib On The Grill

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Prime Rib on the Grill combines the best of both worlds — a gorgeous crust and tender bites that melt in your mouth. It’s the perfect alternative to more traditional holiday entrees and is fancy enough for any elegant occasion. Give this grilled prime rib roast a try yourself!

titled: Prime Rib on the Grill


Prime Rib on the Grill

Enjoy this entree for a special occasion or serve it at a holiday meal instead of turkey or ham.

Not only is grilled prime rib roast a stunning centerpiece for the table, but using this method keeps your kitchen cool — or frees up much-needed oven space!

Plus, the flavor of the herbs and spices crusting the surface won’t compete with any of your favorite sides.

If you’re new to outdoor cooking, I have another post with tips for grilling all kinds of steaks.

It’s a great place to start if you’re a bit intimidated by this recipe for prime rib on the grill.

standing rib roast on tray with bowls of spices and seasonings

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions

  • Prime Rib Roast – Also known as a standing rib roast, this cut comes from the primal rib and can contain anywhere from 2 to 7 rib bones. I typically cook one that has 3 ribs.
  • Oil – Any vegetable oil will do. Personally, I like to use grilling olive oil — it has the best flavor!
  • Kosher Salt & Garlic Powder – Before cooking prime rib on the grill, do a dry brine overnight! Salting prime rib makes it extra juicy and tender, and it adds flavor too!

    Always use a high-quality kosher salt. I like to add some garlic powder for extra flavor as well.
  • Dry Rub – Combine smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, dried parsley, and thyme, plus ground black pepper for a smoky herbed seasoning with just a little heat.

    There’s only the tiniest amount of cayenne, so I wouldn’t consider this rub spicy. However, you can leave it out if you prefer.
prepping a prime rib for the grill

Prep Ahead

  • Dry marinate roast overnight
  • Mix dry rub

What You’ll Need For This Recipe

  • BBQ Tray – Use this for both marinating the roast and transferring it back inside once it is done.
  • Roasting Pan – A good quality roasting pan can be used to make so many amazing meals. You’ll need the rack that sits inside as well.
  • Heavy Duty Aluminum Foil – This is thicker and sturdier than regular foil, meaning it won’t tear as easily.
  • Digital Meat Thermometer – Grill prime rib with confidence and accuracy by watching the internal temperature.
prime rib roast coated in dry rub

How to Make Perfect Prime Rib on Grill

  • Marinate overnight.

Apply salt and garlic powder over the entire surface of the standing roast, then let it sit uncovered on a rack in the refrigerator. This allows the cold air to dry out the beef — like a shortcut to dry aging it.

  • Apply a dry rub.

Coat the surface in oil first to help the spices adhere. Be sure to work the rub into the meat for better flavor.

  • Cook over low heat.

Set your BBQ to 250°F on indirect cooking. Transfer the meat to a roasting rack — bone side down — with a drip pan underneath, then grill prime rib for 3 to 4 hours.

  • Let it rest, then reverse sear.

Transfer off the heat and wrap the roast in foil. Let it sit for about 30 minutes while you crank up the heat on the BBQ.

Once rested, remove the foil and place your prime rib on the grill grate to sear. It’ll take about 10 minutes or so to form a nice crust.

Since it already rested, you can start slicing grilled prime rib right away. I like to cut out the ribs and set them aside for another meal.

thermometer stuck in prime rib roast sitting in roasting rack on grill

Serving Suggestions

You can never go wrong with potatoes — baked, mashed, or au gratin would all be delicious with grilled prime rib roast!

Add a green salad or a side of vegetables like tender asparagus, glazed carrots, or crispy Brussels sprouts with garlic.

If you’re feeding a crowd, include a pan of mac and cheese and have a basket of my copycat Texas Roadhouse rolls waiting on the table.

Grilled Prime Rib Roast FAQ

How long does it take to grill prime rib?

It takes 4 to 5 hours to grill an 8-pound bone-in prime rib at 250°F. This includes a 30-minute resting period and a final 10-minute reverse sear to reach medium rare.

Understand that it will take longer if you choose to cook the meat to a higher internal temperature.

Should I sear prime rib before grilling?

You can, but it’s not necessary. Instead, sear prime rib on grill grates just before slicing to develop that irresistible crust!

How do you know when prime rib is done?

Always use a digital meat thermometer to get an accurate internal temperature. The final temp should be around 135-140°F, which is a perfect medium-rare.

If you prefer yours to be a bit more cooked, leave prime rib on grill a bit longer before wrapping it in foil. When it’s about 15 to 20 degrees shy of the final temperature, it’s ready to pull.

135° – 140° = Medium-Rare
145° – 150° = Medium
150° – 155° = Medium-Well
160° – 165° = Well

Storing and Reheating Grilled Prime Rib

I like to slice the whole roast before storing leftovers — it helps the meat cool faster and makes reheating easier.

Place grilled prime rib in an airtight container, then refrigerate for 3-4 days or freezer for up to 3 months.

The best way to reheat prime rib is in the oven. Add thawed slices to a baking pan with a little bit of water or broth, then cover with foil. Bake at 250°F for about 10 minutes or until warmed through.

juicy grilled prime rib on cutting board

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close up: slice of grilled prime rib roast cooked to medium rare

Prime Rib On The Grill

Donna Elick
Prime Rib on the Grill combines the best of both worlds — a gorgeous crust and tender bites that melt in your mouth. Give it a try yourself!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours 25 minutes
Total Time 1 day 4 hours 35 minutes
Course Main
Cuisine American
Method Grill
Servings 6


  • 8 pound standing rib roast with 3 bones
  • 3 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, I like using grilling olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme


  • Take the Prime Rib out of the packaging and place on a platter (I like using my marinade tray from William Sonoma). If you don’t have one, make sure to use a plate or tray big enough for the meat to stay on it but also small enough to fit in your fridge.
  • With a paper towel, pat dry the roast.
  • Mix Kosher salt and garlic powder together.
  • Sprinkle Kosher salt and garlic powder mixture on top, gently rub it in.
  • Repeat for all sides.
  • Put on a rack in the fridge uncovered overnight. I used my BBQ roasting/rib rack.
  • *NOTE* Putting the roast on a rack allows air to dry out the meat overnight. Think about like a cheating fast way to dry age the meat.

Morning of the cook

  • Take the prime rib out of the fridge.
  • Prepare your BBQ for indirect cooking and bring to 250 degrees F.
  • In a small bowl combine all rub ingredients.
  • Coat roast with vegetable oil (in our case olive oil)
  • Sprinkle the top of the roast with the dry rub. Gently rub it in. Repeat for all sides.
  • Once the BBQ is at temperature, place the meat on a roasting rack in the middle of the grill with a drip pan beneath.
  • When placing your roast in the rack, make sure the bones are down on the rack.
  • Place an oven safe thermometer in the center of the roast.
  • Cook for 3 to 4 hours or until the internal temperature is 120 degrees F. Our roast took 4 hours and 15 minutes.
  • Wrap the roast in aluminum paper and let it rest for 30 minutes. The residual heat will continue to cook the meat. Our roast internal temperature after 30 minutes of resting rose to 130 degrees F, which per USDA is a medium rare.
  • While the roast is resting, increase BBQ temperature to 500 degrees F still using indirect heat.
  • Unwrap the roast and place it rib side down directly on the grill (NO NEED FOR ROASTING RACK). You want to create a crust (this method is called reverse sear)
  • Cook for 10 minutes or until internal temperature indicates 135-140 degrees F or until you have a good crust on the roast.

Donna’s Notes

The beauty of this technique is the meat has already rested, so as soon as you take it off the grill you can slice immediately.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 1851cal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 82g | Fat: 166g | Saturated Fat: 68g | Cholesterol: 366mg | Sodium: 3760mg | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 1g | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 9mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image (and shown): prime rib on the grill

Originally published October 2021, updated and republished April 2024

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  1. 5 stars
    Cooked this up last night for company. There was not a scrap of it remaining by the time everyone left. The meat came out just right, moist, tender, juicy, and full of flavor. A+ recipe for me.

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