Prime rib is widely regarded as the pinnacle of gourmet dining. An ideal choice for a festive holiday meal; learning how to cook a prime rib on a rotisserie is sure to impress your guests at a dinner party.
You’ll certainly leave a lasting impression when you follow the steps I’ll describe below for cooking prime rib to medium-rare perfection. Get ready to earn the reputation of legendary griller after serving this impeccable rotisserie prime rib.Jump to Recipe
What’s Better, Bone-In or Boneless Prime Rib?
When it comes to prime rib, the true advantage of its bones lies in their role as insulators, guarding against excessive heat and protecting the meat from overcooking.
The distinct flavor imparted by a rib bone is really only apparent within the immediate vicinity (approximately 1/8″) right next to the bone.
So, for a grilled prime rib, I love using bone in. For the rotisserie however, I prefer the boneless prime rib — here’s why:
The bones that insulate the meat when on the grill, also hold the meat in its original shape which is more of an oval. For the rotisserie you want to get the meat into a more cylindrical shape for even cooking. More on that later.
Second, the bones also create an uneven load on the rotisserie motor. While that’s fine on occasion, consistently running a rotisserie with an uneven weight distribution will eventually wear out the gears in the motor.
Why Use A Rotisserie?
Using a rotisserie offers many benefits, and some drawbacks. In my opinion the good outweighs the bad so I’m a huge fan of this technique.
Self Basting: As the meat spins and the fat renders, the roast will simply baste itself in its own juices. This keeps the roast moist.
Even Cooking: Because of the constant spinning of the meat, the meat will cook evenly.
All Over Browning: As the meat spins over the fire, it will start to brown. Because there aren’t any hot spots on a rotisserie, the browning is very even.
Flavorful Steam: You can of course use a drip pan to catch any juices dripping from the meat, and use that for an au jus. But, you can also allow the meat to drip directly onto the fire. This creates a steam (like in my 90 minute pork ribs) that adds a great flavor to the meat.
It’s Entertaining: There’s not a lot that’s more impressive than watching a beautiful cut of meat spinning over a fire. Guests love it, and so do I.
Clean Up: It’s kind of a hassle to clean the rotisserie spit and forks. Not terrible, but not painless either.
Handling: The spit is going to be very hot, and it’s somewhat cumbersome to handle when cooking is complete. Plan ahead and have a drip pan ready or you’ll drip juices all over the deck, floor, patio, etc.
Serving Presentation: There’s no way around it, when you slice a cut of beef that’s been on the rotisserie spit, it’s going to have a hole in it.
How Long Does Prime Rib Take On a Rotisserie?
There are so many factors that go into “how long” I’m generally not one to offer advice on that specific question. As a general rule of thumb you should plan for 15-18 minutes per pound of meat, but that’s not ironclad.
Many factors such as temperature of the oven or grill, size of the roast, grade of meat, outside air temperature, wind, etc. will all play a part in how long the prime rib roast will need to cook.
So, my best advice is to make use of a reliable instant read thermometer and cook to a specific internal temperature, not to a specific time.
Do You Close the Grill Lid When Using a Rotisserie?
If you’re using a rotisserie simply for the benefits the process offers, it’s advisable to close the lid when using the rotisserie. That will lead to a much faster cook time.
Having said that, it’s not a requirement. So, if you’re like me and enjoy the interaction of watching the meat slowly spin and cook, leave the lid open.
Sure it will take longer to cook, and you’ll use a little more fuel in a gas or charcoal grill. But for me and those I entertain, watching a big chunk of meat spin over an open fire is just very primal and contributes to the overall experience.
Tips For Making Rotisserie Prime Rib
- Take the roast out of the refrigerator an hour before cooking and allow it to sit at room temperature.
- Ensure you tie the roast with butcher’s twine into as tight of a cylinder shape as possible. This helps to promote even cooking of an otherwise oval shaped cut of beef.
- Place the meat on the spit before seasoning it. Seasoning it first will result in much of the seasoning being wiped away when securing it onto the spit.
- If using a charcoal grill, be sure to get the coals lit and into a hot coal bed before placing the rotisserie on the grill. This can take 20 minutes to 30 minutes depending on the grill and charcoal used.
- If possible, place the roast at 18-24” directly above hot coals, or 12-18” away from indirect coals.
How To Cook Prime Rib On A Rotisserie
Serves: 6-8 | Prep Time: 15 mins | Cook Time: 60-90 mins
1 4-5 lb Boneless Rib Roast
¼ cup Dijon Mustard
2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp fresh ground black pepper
1 tbsp granulated garlic
2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes, optional
3 sprigs fresh rosemary, stripped and finely chopped
2 cups horseradish cream sauce
1 stick unsalted butter
¼ cup wagyu beef tallow
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 sprig fresh rosemary, stripped and finely chopped
2 tsp anchovy paste
Step 1: Using your hands, form the oval shaped boneless prime rib roast into a cylinder shape.
Step 2: Tie the rib roast with butcher’s twine in order to hold the cylinder shape, then place it on the spit.
Step 3: In a mixing bowl, combine the salt, pepper, garlic and chopped rosemary. Mix well and set aside.
Step 4: Evenly coat the roast with dijon mustard. Season the dijon covered roast with the seasoning mixture, ensuring the ends and entire roast are evenly coated.
Step 5: Insert the rotisserie forks on both sides of the roast, then place the roast on the preheated grill, and turn on the rotisserie motor.
Step 6: While the roast is spinning, combine the ingredients for the butter sauce in a small saucepan. Place over medium low heat and whisk till the butter and tallow melt together. Keep warm and set aside.
Step 7: Allow the roast to spin until the internal temperature reaches 100°F. Then, start basting the roast with the butter sauce every 5-7 minutes until the internal temperature is 5°F less than desired temperature.
Step 8: Remove the roast from the grill, tent with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
Step 9: Remove the roast from the spit, cut and remove the butchers twine, slice meat and serve with garlic mashed potatoes.
- 1 4-5 lb boneless prime rib roast
- ¼ cup Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp coarse kosher salt
- 2 tbsp fresh black pepper
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes optional
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary stripped and finely chopped
- 2 cups horseradish cream sauce
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- ¼ cup wagyu beef tallow
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary stripped and finely chopped
- 2 tsp anchovy paste
- Using your hands, form the boneless rib roast into a cylinder shape. Then, tie the roast with butcher’s twine in order to hold the shape.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the salt, pepper, garlic and chopped rosemary. Mix well and set aside.
- Place the roast on the rotisserie spit, and secure with forks. Then, evenly coat the roast with dijon mustard. Season the dijon covered roast with the seasoning mixture, ensuring the ends and entire roast are evenly coated.
- Place the roast on the preheated grill, and turn on the rotisserie motor.
- While the roast is spinning, combine the ingredients for the butter sauce in a small saucepan. Place over medium low heat and whisk till the butter and tallow melt together. Keep warm and set aside.
- Allow the roast to spin until the internal temperature reaches 100°F. Then, start basting the roast with the butter sauce every 5-7 minutes until the internal temperature is 5°F less than desired temperature.
- Remove the roast from the grill, tent with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for 10 minutes.
- Remove the roast from the spit, cut and remove the butchers twine, slice meat and serve with garlic mashed potatoes.