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How To Cook Prime Rib

prime rib reverse seared and ready to serve

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Cajun-Style Prime Rib

This prime rib recipe is another foundational recipe. By that I mean I personally enjoy the Cajun flavors. This is a Cajun prime rib recipe, but you can change the seasoning and flavor profile to whatever you want. What’s more important than the Cajun style is learning how to cook prime rib.

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I’ll answer a few questions about prime rib in this blog, and hopefully make cooking prime rib as simple as ordering one from Omaha Steaks. I’ve been getting mine from there for years now and they never disappoint, especially when you want that trophy piece of meat for the holidays or a dinner party.

What’s the Best Way To Cook a Prime Rib Roast?

By far, this is the question I am most often asked when it comes to prime rib. There are a number of different ways to cook prime rib. I’ve outlined a few of them here on Grillseeker, including garlic studded smoked and seared prime rib and grilled prime rib. For me, the best way is what you prefer, and this blog is all about my favorite way to cook prime rib.

Start by cooking the meat at a low temperature and bring it slowly up to almost the point of being rare. Then blast it with intense indirect heat to get that beautiful crust without overcooking the best part of the roast: the rib cap.

What Temperature Do I Cook Prime Rib At?

This is another very common question when it comes to cooking prime rib. You’ll find no shortage of advice that will recommend placing the meat in the oven or on the grill at a very high temperature (500°F or so) to sear it first, then allowing it to finish cooking at a lower temperature. If you prefer medium, medium-well, or even well-done meat, that’s good advice.

If you’re cooking for a group of people and want to have some meat done to medium-well and some done to medium-rare, this technique also works. However, I don’t like the results one bit. The initial high temperature causes the outside of the beef to cook to at least medium-well, before the rest of the roast is done. I much prefer a more even medium-rare from edge to edge.

If some at your dinner table prefer a more well-done piece, simply grab a slice of this medium-rare prime rib and place it back on the grill over direct heat for a minute on each side. Trust me, the grill will still be plenty hot.

The short answer to this question is that you should cook your prime rib at two different temperatures, starting with the lower of the two. In this technique I start cooking the prime rib at 225°F and then finish it with a blast of 700°F indirect heat.

If you’re using an oven, you won’t likely be able to get the 700°F, but you can set your oven to broil (which is usually 550°F) and let it preheat for 20 minutes. Then, turn the broiler off before placing the roast inside to finish. Just be sure the broiler is off or it will burn the meat closest to it.

Is a Rib Roast the Same Thing?

Another question that is surrounded by misinformation on the ol’ internet. Listen, there are only so many cuts of meat on a steer—no new ones are being created. The bottom line is the meat from a rib roast or a standing rib roast is the same as the meat from a prime rib…the same. Now, a prime rib can either be boneless or bone-in, whereas a rib roast is always bone-in, but the meat itself is the same.

medium-rare roast, seared perfectly and sliced to serve

Cooking Tips

The Temp: Keeping the temperature stable and low during the initial part of the cook, and removing the meat at 110°F internal temperature, are important. Be sure you’re using a reliable leave-in meat thermometer to monitor these two crucial temperatures.

The Smoke: I like a nice oak smoke for prime rib, especially this Cajun-style prime rib. That said, if you don’t like smoky meat, forgo the wood chunks all together.

The Position: For the best results without overcooking any part of the meat, the position of the meat on the grill is critical. You want to ensure the bone side of the rib roast is facing towards the heat source. The bones will help to insulate the meat. In this position, the precious rib cap is kept as far away from the heat as possible and that’s a good thing because it cooks much faster than the rest of the meat.

The Tie: It’s important to tie the roast with butcher’s twine to ensure it holds as close to a cylinder shape as possible. Naturally, the roast will take on an oval shape and that makes it more difficult to cook the roast evenly. With a few pieces of butcher’s twine, the roast can easily be tied in a cylinder shape that is more conducive to even cooking.

The Rest: When the meat is pulled off the grill using the technique here, you can slice into it almost immediately. Resting of the meat has already taken place while you stoke the coals as outlined below.

Cajun-Style Prime Rib Recipe

Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook time: about 2 hours

Ingredients
1 4-pound bone-in prime rib roast
1 tbsp olive oil 

Cajun Rub:
2 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tbsp kosher salt
2 tbsp garlic powder
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp cayenne powder
1 tbsp red pepper flakes 
1 tbsp fine ground black pepper 
1 tbsp white pepper
1 tbsp dried parsley 
1 ½  tbsp oregano
2 tsp hot paprika

How To Cook a Prime Rib Roast on a Grill

Step 1: Combine all ingredients for the Cajun rub into a shaker bottle and shake to mix well; set aside. Take the roast out of the refrigerator and allow it to start coming up to room temperature.

Step 2: Light your grill and set up for two-zone cooking, establishing the temperature at 225°F.

Step 3: While the grill is preheating, tie the roast with butcher’s twine. Then, evenly coat the roast with olive oil and liberally season the entire roast with the Cajun rub.

bone in roast tied with twine and then seasoned

Step 4: Add optional oak wood chunks to the hot coals. Insert the meat thermometer probe into the thickest portion of the meat and place the roast on the grill over indirect heat as far away from the heat source as possible. Position the roast with the bones facing towards the heat source. Allow the roast to cook until the internal temperature reaches 110°F (about two hours).

prime rib roast on grill over indirect heat

Step 5: Remove the roast from the grill and stoke the coals (possibly adding an extra chimney of hot coals) in order to increase grill temperature to 700°F. This will take about 15 minutes and the roast will continue to cook as it rests.

Step 6: Return the roast to the grill over indirect heat. Allow the roast to cook for 7-10 minutes in order to achieve a dark overall char.

reverse-seared prime rib roast

Step 7: Remove the roast from the grill, slice, and serve with garlic mashed potatoes and horseradish cream sauce.

sliced and ready to serve roast

prime rib reverse seared and ready to serve

How to Cook Prime Rib

4.86 from 7 votes
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 2 hours
Total Time: 2 hours 20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American, Cajun
Servings: 4

Ingredients

  • 1 4-pound bone-in prime rib roast
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Cajun Rub:

  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp cayenne powder
  • 1 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp fine ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp white pepper
  • 1 tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 ½ tbsp oregano
  • 2 tsp hot paprika

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients for the cajun rub into a shaker bottle and shake to mix well; set aside. Take the roast out of the refrigerator and allow it to start coming up to room temperature.
  • Light your grill and set up for two-zone cooking, establishing the temperature at 225°F.
  • While the grill is preheating, tie the roast with butcher’s twine. Then, evenly coat the roast with olive oil and liberally season the entire roast with the Cajun rub.
  • Add optional oak wood chunks to the hot coals, insert the meat thermometer probe into the thickest portion of the meat, and place the roast on the grill over indirect heat as far away from the heat source as possible. Position the roast with the bones facing towards the heat source. Allow the roast to cook until the internal temperature reaches 110°F (about two hours).
  • Remove the roast from the grill and stoke the coals (possibly adding an extra chimney of hot coals) in order to increase grill temperature to 700°F. This will take about 15 minutes and the roast will continue to cook as it rests.
  • Return the roast to the grill over indirect heat. Allow the roast to cook for 7-10 minutes in order to achieve a dark overall char.
  • Remove the roast from the grill, slice, and serve with garlic mashed potatoes and horseradish cream sauce.

Notes

This prime rib recipe is another foundational recipe. By that I mean, I personally enjoy the Cajun flavors. This is a Cajun prime rib recipe, but you can change the seasoning and flavor profile to whatever you want. What’s more important than the Cajun style is learning how to cook prime rib.

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