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Cooking with Fire

Cooking With Fire: Holiday Prime Rib

Justin Cary

Prime rib. Just saying these words makes me salivate. For many of us it brings back memories of holidays spent with families, or trips to fancy restaurants where the server would slice your portion off of the whole roast while standing right next to your table.

It is a meat that has ascended beyond all others to take its place as the most prized cut of beef. Had Dickens written “A Christmas Carol” today, Ebenezer Scrooge would not be sending the local boy off for the prize turkey at the end of the story; instead he would be sending him off for a 19-pound prime rib from the butcher.

Whether you are celebrating Christmas with your family or Chinese New Year with your closest friends and a glass of baijiu, prime rib is the perfect choice for your feast.

But what makes this beef roast so wonderful? I mean, if I sliced it into steaks they would be ribeyes, and I don’t usually get that excited about ribeye steak. But when slow-smoked and then seared whole, this cut of meat is transformed into something glorious.

Sure, prime rib can be cooked simply, with a little salt and pepper and placed into your oven to roast until it hits 120 degrees internal, or you can take this cut to the next level by slow-smoking it for a few hours for extra flavor and then searing it over a hot fire on your grill to create a perfect charred, crusty exterior.

Listen to the latest episode of Cooking with Fire as my co-host Chef Tom and I break down exactly how to prepare the perfect prime rib on your grill.



Reverse Seared Prime Rib


  • 1 whole boneless prime rib roast (about 13 lb)

For the rub:

  • 1/2 cup kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup black pepper
  • 1/4 cup garlic powder
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tbsp celery salt
  1. Preheat your grill/smoker 250ºF, set up for indirect grilling/smoking.
  2. Trim the fat cap, silver skin and chain (if desired) from the roast. 
  3. Mix together the rub ingredients. Rub a thin layer of vegetable oil all over the surface of the roast. Season all surfaces of the rub. Let the rub set up for 5-10 minutes.
  4. Smoke the prime rib roast until the internal temperature reaches 110ºF, about 3 hours. Remove the roast. Place in a large pan and cover loosely with foil. Turn the grill up to 425ºF. 
  5. When the grill comes up to temperature, return the grill to the cooker and grill over direct heat. Grill on both sides to achieve nice grill marks. Remove the roast when the internal temperature reaches 120ºF-125ºF. Place in a large pan. Cover loosely with foil and rest 30 minutes before slicing.

This commentary originally aired on December 16, 2016.