How to Cook the Best Prime Rib Steak on the Grill

In this guide, we'll explain how to cook a great prime rib steak on the grill . Try out this delicious recipe!
Jeremy Bivens
Jeremy Bivens
Research Writer
Jeremy Bivens is a passionate writer and grilling enthusiast. He's been working as a freelance journalist for over 15 years now and has a particular interest in food writing read more
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Bruce Williams
Bruce Williams
Expert Consultant
Claims that grilling is the art that he has been learning all his life long and is not planning to stop. Has been grilling for as long as he can remember. Author of numerous read more
Last updated: August 11, 2023
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Prime rib is one of those expensive cuts of meat you see at the butcher’s, and that might put you off from buying or cooking it. However, the first time you put a piece in your mouth, you start to understand why it costs so much. It’s one of the tastiest cuts of beef if cooked right. Also, you can enjoy this treat more often if you figure out how to cook prime rib on the grill.

The knowledge on how to do it may not be freely available to everyone, but you can easily pick it up from the recipe below. After that, you can make the beefy treat in backyard cookouts, barbecues, and for your family as much as you want to.

How to grill prime rib: recipe

How to Cook the Best Prime Rib Steak on the Grill

Learning how to cook prime rib steak on the grill begins with learning to get the right meat for the recipe. Most butchers will take your instructions on how you want the rib roast trimmed. However, they tend to carve out the bones before tying them back in after they’re done trimming. This works especially well for the seasoning since you can add your spices between the roast and the bones.

Also, some of you prefer to do the trimming yourselves, which isn’t against any rules. However, if you’re going to do this, ensure you get rid of the fat cap first, as it might prove a barrier between your seasoning and the meat.

There are other essential steps to making excellent grilled prime rib. One example is seasoning. You need to get it right, especially since rib roast is often thick. If you apply seasoning with the surface area rather than the mass of the meat in mind, then you might not get the most out of the recipe.

Next is the type of oil to use. Admittedly, prime rib comes with a lot of fat. However, you still need to add olive oil. It not only holds the seasoning in place while your meat cooks, but it also adds a rich brown color to the surface of your roast.

Also, there will be no shortage of drippings as your prime rib is cooking. You need to make sure they don’t end up burning in the grill. For that, you can place an aluminum pan filled with water under the grate. These drippings can also be used in other recipes. However, they need to be clean, which means you’ll have to clean your grate before cooking.

Keep in mind the fact that you need to avoid direct heat. How you achieve this is dependent on the type of grill you use. There are charcoal, pellet, gas, smokers, and more. For something like a gas grill controlling the temperature and lighting the flames is easier.

Users and experts seem to recommend the Weber Genesis II E-335 gas grill for such recipes where you will need to shut off some burners while one or two remain on. The side burners included are also handy for keeping food warm after cooking.

If you’re using charcoal or wood pellet grills, you’ll need to move the fuel to one end of the grill then use the opposite end for cooking. Additionally, you should expect the heat not to be even. As such, you’ll need to turn the prime rib periodically as it is cooking.

A meat thermometer can help you confirm that the food is well cooked before you take it out of the grill. Next, you need to ensure the heat is just right. This requires the use of a thermometer. According to reviewers, the ThermoPro TP20 is great since it is wireless, and you don’t have to be close to the grill to check the meat temperature. Also, since it has two probes, you can check the temperature of two types of meats at the same time.

If the exterior of the meat is pale and grey while the interior temperatures are rising steadily, you need to increase the heat. In contrast, if the exterior browns quickly and is crusty while the internal temperature is low, you need to lower the heat. Make adjustments until you find the right temperature, although a good point to start is 250°F.

Notably, prime rib steak on the grill is best served as medium-rare. However, it is understandable that some people prefer their meats well done and you can cater to their needs as well. Everything else about how to cook a prime rib roast on the grill is given in the recipe below.

Useful info

First, you’ll need to prepare the meat, which takes roughly 2-3 hours. After that, you can cook the prime rib for about 20 minutes for each pound. As such, if you have a 6-pound piece of prime rib, you’ll need to cook it for about 2 hours, not accounting for the rest time. Lastly, remember that you need low indirect heat for this recipe.

Equipment you’ll need

You’ll need a grill, a cutting board, knives, fuel, aluminum foil, cling film, a meat thermometer, and a disposable aluminum pan.


As for the ingredients, they are as follows:

  • Prime rib Trusted Source Standing rib roast - Wikipedia standing rib roast, also known as prime rib, is a cut of beef from the primal rib, one of the nine primal cuts of beef. While the entire rib section comprises ribs six through 12, a standing rib roast may contain anywhere from two to seven ribs. – How much you get is dependent on the size of the grill and who you intend to serve, and that will affect the proportions of the other ingredients.
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil
  • Herbs
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 6 garlic cloves crushed


How to Cook the Best Prime Rib Steak on the Grill

The preparation for cooking prime rib on the grill is fairly straightforward. You remove the fat cap with a knife and get rid of it. Next, you rub your spices onto the meat.

You can wrap the result in cling film and let it sit for 2-3 hours. At the very least, you want to make sure the insides of the meat are at room temperature before you start cooking. However, letting it sit on your cutting board for more than four hours is highly discouraged.


Preheat the grill. For a gas grill, you turn all the burners on and leave it like that for a while. For charcoal and wood fuel options, light the fuel and let the grill heat up. Just before you add the meat, turn the burners in a gas grill off, leaving one or two depending on the size of the grill and size of the meat. For four-burner grills, for instance, you can turn the two in the middle off while leaving the burners at the sides of the grill on.

For charcoal grills, you’ll have to lift the grill and push the fuel to one side or corner using tongs or a similar tool. Next, the meat goes onto the areas of the grill that are furthest from the heat. Remember that you need to put an aluminum pan with water directly under the meat. After that, you can close the grill.

Check the internal temperatures every so often as you turn the meat for it to cook evenly. Also, you might need to refill the water in the aluminum pan periodically. If so, add boiling hot water, so you don’t affect the cooking temperatures.

When the internal temperature of the prime rib reaches 128°F, you can take it out. The right temperature for medium-rare is 135°F, and it might seem premature to take it out at 128°F. However, the internal temperatures should rise a few degrees during rest to make up the difference.

After that, wrap the meat in the aluminum foil to lock in the heat, then let it rest. The juices and flavor are also well distributed within the meat during this time. The larger the prime rib, the more you let it rest. Nevertheless, for smaller roasts, between 10 to 15 minutes is enough.

Carve the meat along the bone before cutting it into smaller pieces to serve your family or guests.

Final Thoughts

There are other recipes for learning how to cook prime rib on the grill, and in fact, you can even create some of your own. You experiment with different herbs, spices, cook times, temperatures, and more until you find the result you love the most. The recipe above is just to get you started.


Standing rib roast - Wikipedia
standing rib roast, also known as prime rib, is a cut of beef from the primal rib, one of the nine primal cuts of beef. While the entire rib section comprises ribs six through 12, a standing rib roast may contain anywhere from two to seven ribs.

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