How to Grill Prime Rib

Learn how to grill the perfect prime rib using Kingsford Charcoal. This simple five step prime rib recipe will wow your family and guests.

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There are two choices when picking a rib roast: bone-in or boneless. A boneless rib roast can lead to easier browning and cooking, but nothing wows like a perfectly cooked bone-in rib roast. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect to feed 2–3 people for each bone on the roast.


If you’re using a kettle-type grill, use an indirect technique like the 2-zone parallel fire configuration to set up your grill. Be sure to use a drip pan with water directly underneath the meat to stabilize the temperature. For backyard smokers, set it up for a long smoke. Learn more about smoking here. With either method, add 3-4 large wood chunks to the top of the charcoal prior to placing the meat on the smoker or grill.


A big cut of meat can take a lot of seasoning. There are countless beef rubs available, but a simple combination of kosher salt and ground black pepper will let the beef taste shine. You can add salt up to 24 hours in advance or just season right before putting on the grill.


Open the smoker or grill vents fully to bring the temperature to 450°F, adding additional charcoal if needed. Place the roast on the smoker or grill and cook directly over the heat until browned on all sides.


When it comes time to cook the rib roast, place it bone-side down directly above the water pan (if using the 2-zone method on a grill), cover with the lid and bring the temperature up to 250°F by using the vents to regulate the temperature. Allow the rib roast to smoke in the cool zone for about 3.5 hours until it reaches an internal temperature of 130°F (or as desired using the temperature chart at the top of the page). Remove the rib roast and loosely tent with foil. Allow the roast to rest for 10–15 minutes before removing the rib bones and slicing the roast.

Cooking for 2 people


  • bone-in rib roast, size depending on how many people being served
  • kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • Kingsford® Original Charcoal
  • Cherrywood Chips
  • water pan
  • meat thermometer

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