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The Best Damn Prime Rib in the World

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Prime Rib is probably the best man food there is.  Lets get to it.....

This is THE grill

Over the last several years I have developed the ability to create the worlds best Prime Rib.  In order to preserve this process for the future of man-kind I offer the following:

Items Necessary:


1.                  A large BBQ grill designed for the use of wood or charcoal, not Gas.  Gas grills need not apply.

2.                  A good meat thermometer.

3.                  Mesquite wood or charcoal and lots of it.  I use Kingsford Mesquite charcoal with great results.

4.                  Mesquite wood scraps or chips.  (necessary when using charcoal)

5.                  Aluminum pans, disposable and oval shaped.

6.                  Huge cutting board and sharp knife.

7.                  Wire cutters


1.                  One whole prime rib roast.  Usually 17 to 20 pounds.

2.                  Dry seasoning mix containing equal parts (enough to generate one cup total) of the following:

a.       Black pepper

b.      Lawry’s seasoning salt

c.       Salt

d.      Garlic salt

e.       Lemon Pepper

3.                  Beef broth


Great BBQ’s require the use of great BBQ grills.  A quality grill has nothing to do with age.  I prefer a grill that allows plenty of room for the use of charcoal or wood.  The ability to raise and lower the coals under the food is a must as well.  The BBQ grill in the photos is my personal unit.  This 1968 Charbroil 940 is the finest example of a grill I have ever seen.  Please note the original stainless steel drawer that easily provides for the removal of ash.


Cooking large items on the BBQ grill require the use of indirect heat.  A whole prime rib roast in the 17 to 20 pound range can take up to 5 or 6 hours to cook on the BBQ grill so plan accordingly.

In order to create indirect heat you need to place your coals on both sides of the grill but not in the middle.  There should be no heat whatsoever directly under the roast.  Reference the photo below for placement of the coals.  This method can easily be applied to a wood fire by moving the coals when ready.  Note that my grill has multiple cast iron grates.  I just remove the grates on either end for easy access to the coals.  It is important to note that there are no coals under the grates where the roast will be placed.


The placement of coals for indirect heat is somewhat more difficult when using a Weber type round grill but it can be done.  Here is the trick.  When using a Weber, lower the coal tray all the way to the bottom and remove the food grilling rack.  Place in the center at the bottom of the grill (where the coals go) a disposable oval aluminum roasting pan.  Push this pan down in the center to allow it to contour (bend) itself to bottom.  Since this pan is oval and the Weber is circular there will be a pocket at either end of the roasting pan between the roasting pan and the exterior of the grill.  These pockets are perfect for placing your coals.  Just fill these pockets with coals with as many briquettes as you can without them falling into the center of the roasting pan.  The roasting pan itself will act as a barrier to keep the hot coals from under the cooking meat.


Light the coals and allow them to mature.  This is the time to prepare the roast.




It is not very likely that you will find a whole prime rib roast at the meat counter.  Usually you must order this from the meat counter and give them a couple of days to set you up.  Unwrap the roast leaving the tie straps attached and place the roast into the aluminum roasting pan with the bones down.  Don’t forget to remove and discard the thing that looks like a feminine napkin from under the ribs.  The last thing you want is to pull the cooked roast from the pan with onlookers everywhere and find a burned kotex under the damn thing.  Place generous portions of the dry seasonings on the entire roast being careful to coat all exposed sides pressing the dry seasonings into the meat as best possible.




When the coals are mostly white or the wood coals are ready and in position, place the roast in the center of the grill.  Now is a great time to ice down your beer or mix a pitcher of your favorite cocktails for consumption during the cooking process.  Did I mention close the lid of the grill during cooking?


Since the cooking process will take several hours and there is a minimal amount of coals on the grill you will have to baby sit the meat during this process.  Keep your wood or coals nearby (and your drink) and check the coals from time to time, adding coals on top of retiring coals as needed to maintain the approximate amount of coals you started with throughout the process.  In the photo below you can see the new coals which have been placed on top of the retiring coals.  There is no need to apply additional lighting fluid.  The retiring coals will take care of this.


After you place the roast on the grill take your mesquite wood chips or scraps and place them in a bowl or bucket of water.  These will need at least 40 minutes of soaking in water before you can use them.  From time to time, sprinkle liberal amounts of mesquite wood chips onto the coals to generate huge amounts of smoke.  The lid should only be raised when you have to add coals, wood chips or to check the temp of the meat.  Keep fans and onlookers at bay.  There is no need to drag every person who shows up out to the grill and open the lid to receive praise.  There will be plenty of time to be “The Man” later.  The photo below shows the roast cooking with mesquite wood chips burnt on top of the coals.


During the cooking process, carefully pour some beer across the top of the roast so as not to wash off the damn dry seasonings.  This soaking should be followed by a sprinkle of left over dry seasonings.  After a few hours, you should begin to use a meat thermometer, to check progress.  A digital unit is best because the time it takes to give an accurate reading is significantly less than a dial unit.  When checking the meat temp always push the probe into the center of the roast and only half way into the meat in an effort to get the point of the probe in the center of the roast.  Never push the damn probe so far into the roast that it sits on or near the rack of bones at the bottom.  Don’t be a dumbass.

We want the center of the roast to be rare.  When the center is rare, there is a slice of roast that will be perfect for everyone, from rare to well at the ends.  Most references will tell you that rare beef is 140 degrees.  While this may be the case I advise that the roast be pulled from the BBQ grill when the center has obtained a temp of 130 degrees.  Below is a photo of my roast (Christmas 2003) after it has obtained a temp of 135 degrees (I was finishing my drink).  As you will see when sliced these last 5 degrees cost me.  In my opinion a perfectly cooked prime rib roast should have a VERY rare middle.

Crowd Roars.JPG


After the roast has sat for about 10 minutes, start the preparation of beef broth using the damn dry cubes or the canned crap.  Pull the roast from the roasting pan and place on a great big sturdy cutting board.  Use a pair of wire cutters to cut the strings holding the thing together and remove them.  Take several spoons of juice from the roasting pan and add to your beef broth for use as Au Jus.


After the strings are removed you will be able to lift the roast and the rack of rib bones should almost fall off.  It is a beautiful moment, depicted below.

The crowd roars when the bones fall away!

After the rack of bones has been removed, cut that monster into the dream slices you have always wished you would be served at those high dollar restaurants.  As the photo below shows, I got 12 huge dream slices from this 18 pound roast.  Please note that the center most slice is not quite as rare as it should have been.  At best, this middle slice could be described as “medium rare”.

If this does not bring a tear to your eye.....nothing will.

The last photo has my son Jake pointing out the red color on the outer edge of the slice caused from the penetration of the mesquite smoke.




Now sit and enjoy the best damn prime rib in the world.  Check out the Man Food Hall of Fame for a couple of Glam shots of a monster Prime Rib we did for Easter of 2005.

Junior Fab                    "In The Game"