When it comes to prime rib, can you cook it on a traditional gas grill and still get tender medium-rare slices filled with flavor? Yes. And with a few easy tricks, this smoked prime rib on a gas grill just may be the easiest way to cook the traditional holiday roast.


The standing rib roast is a holiday classic. It’s the big brother to the favored rib-eye steak, with tons of marbling and tons of flavor. Unlike the beef tenderloin, which has a more mild beef flavor, this cut packs tons of bang for the buck.

Due to its size, it requires a slow cook for the internal temperature to get to the recommended 125F for rare, which can make cooking this roast tricky. It’s not just a rare to medium-rare center that makes this one, it’s the flavors you use to layer on the outside that permeate the meat.

Prime rib is perfect for grilling over indirect heat so that it reaches a slow and steady temperature. And by using a gas grill, you can easily control the ambient temperature and infuse flavors by using wood chips for smoke.

What You Need For This Recipe

For the smoked prime rib

  • Prime Rib – I ordered mine from Porter Road for this recipe
  • Salt
  • Olive Oil – if you have rosemary infused olive oil, try it for this.
  • Mustard – use a creamy Dijon for best flavor
  • Ooomami Umami Powder – for a base of extra flavor
  • Garlic Junkie – for an amazing crust
  • Cowboy Crust (or other steak seasoning)
  • Rosemary

For the Horseradish Cream Sauce

  • Prepared horseradish – read the label for real horseradish, not horseradish condiments.
  • Mayo
  • Heavy cream
  • black pepper
  • Chives
  • Salt


How to Make Prime Rib on a Gas Grill

Start a few days ahead to brine the beef. First, trim excess fat from the rib and then score the remaining fat.

Rub a liberal coating of salt on all sides of the beef and place it on a wire rack, on a baking sheet. Set it in the fridge for up to 48 hours before cooking.

On the day of cooking, mix the mustard, oil, Ooomami powder, a tablespoon of garlic junkie spice mix, and the Cowboy Crust spice together to form a paste.

Rub the mustard paste all over the roast.

Whisk the remaining garlic junkie seasoning with the minced fresh rosemary in a bowl and coat the rib roast with it on all sides. Make sure even the bones are coated as it all adds flavor.

Then, let the roast come to room temperature before grilling.

Prep the grill for 225 degrees F and make your foil packs for the wood chips or prep a smoker box or tube with Jack Daniel’s wood chips, or wood chips of your choice (but who doesn’t want a little Jack Daniels with their holiday feast, so we suggest sticking with those).

Next, grill the prime rib over indirect heat until it reaches an internal temp of 120F or your desired temp. It will continue to cook in when seared and resting. Pull it from the grill 5 to 10 degrees below your preferred temp.

Finish the prime rib with a sear by heating the cast iron over direct heat and placing the roast back in the pan, searing evenly on all sides.

Then rest the meat for a good 20 minutes to allow the juices to return. While the meat rests, whisk the ingredients together for the horseradish cream sauce.

Finally, slice the bones from the roast and slice the smoked prime rib into even portions for serving.

Allow everyone to spoon the cream sauce on to their plates as desired over the prime rib or on the side.

Add a layer of flavor to your gas grill by using wood chips in a smoker box or foil packet to ‘smoke’ on a gas grill.

How to Smoke on a Gas Grill

Smoking on a gas grill is easy. See my full article on how to smoke on a gas grill using foil packets for in-depth tips.

In short, use foil to make a packet or a smoker box over the direct heat side of the grill to infuse your gas grill with smoked flavor. You can add that classic barbecue flavor to anything you grill from burgers to chicken wings using this trick.

Make sure to swap out the wood chips every 25 to 30 minutes and keep an eye on them as when they are directly over heat, they can catch fire.

Recipe FAQs

How to Order a Prime Rib

When choosing a rib roast for a holiday feast, aim for about a half pound per person. Take into account that the bones will be removed before slicing and serving the roast.

Have the butcher prep the roast for you

You can have the butcher slice the bones from the roast and tie the toast back up for grilling. This makes slicing the roast so much easier at home!

What wood chips to use with prime rib?

When it comes to prime rib, the meat can handle strong flavors. I used Jack Daniels wood chips for this for oak with a sweet touch but would also use post oak, hickory, and maybe even add some pecan or maple for an extra layer.

How long does grilling a prime rib take?

Weather, elevation, and weight of the roast will all play a factor in your cook time for grilled prime rib. Once the grill is holding temp at around 225F, the roast should take about 30 minutes per pound. Use an internal probe thermometer while cooking this to ensure success (one that watching internal temp and ambient temp is the best option as the gage on the grill is often incorrect).


GirlCarnivore Pro Tip: Prime rib goes on sale the week leading up to Christmas and New Years Eve making it a great time to pick one up from your local market if you aren’t ordering from a sepciality retailer online.


Serving Suggetions

Prime rib will definitely be the show stopper on the table, but add a few sides just to round things out. Try this with hearty smoked brussels sprouts (can be made on the same grill), duck fat domino potatoes, a smoked baked potato, or mama’s homestyle mashed potatoes, blanched green beans, and if you’re sticking to keto, try mashed rutabagas and turnips with chives.

Prime rib is best served fresh, while hot, sliced, and enjoyed. However, leftovers can be stored wrapped in foil in the fridge for up to 3 days.

To reheat, slice off the needed portion and chop to use in nachos, omelets, hash, or even on loaded Philly cheesesteak fries, or reheat wrapped in foil with a spritz of beef broth to keep moist in an oven preheated to 325 until hot about 15 minutes.

More Holiday Recipes to Try

Smoked Prime Rib on a Gas Grill

4.90 from 19 votes
Prep: 2 d
Cook: 3 hrs 30 mins
Resting Time: 25 mins
Total: 2 d 3 hrs 55 mins
Servings: 10
Prime rib coasted in a thick garlic crust with an umami kick, slowly smoked on a gas grill with Jack Daniel's wood chips finished with a cast iron sear to lock in flavor and served with a spicy horseradish cream sauce. A classic holiday recipe.

Recommended Equipment

  • Gas Grill

Ingredients  

For the prime rib

  • 5 to 8 pound bone in prime rib roast
  • 1 tbsp Salt
  • 1 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tbsp Mustard
  • 1 tbsp Girl Carnivore Ooomami Umami Powder
  • 4 tbsp Garlic Junkie
  • 1 tsp Cowboy Crust or other steak seasoning
  • 4 tbsp fresh Rosemary minced

For the Horseradish Cream Sauce

  • 4 tbsp Prepared horseradish
  • ¼ cup mayo
  • 1 tbsp Heavy cream
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh chives minced
  • ¼ tsp Salt

Instructions 

Brine the Prime Rib

  • Remove the Prime Rib from packaging and pat dry. If there is excess fat on the outside, consider trimming it off now, leaving a layer at least ¼” thick.
    5 to 8 pound bone in prime rib roast
  • Score the prime rib fat cap by running a knife gently along the fat, pressing about ¼” in and then rotating the roast, and making a cross hatch pattern by running the knife again perpendicular to your previous cut.
  • Season the beef liberally with salt on all sides.
    1 tbsp Salt
  • Place the roast on a wire rack sitting on a rimmed baking sheet in the fridge for 24 to 48 hours.

Season & Bring to Room Temperature

  • Mix the Olive oil, mustard, umami powder, 1 tbsp Garlic Junkie and Cowboy Crust (or steak seasoning) in a small bowl.
    1 tbsp Olive Oil, 1 tbsp Mustard, 1 tbsp Girl Carnivore Ooomami, 4 tbsp Garlic Junkie, 1 tsp Cowboy Crust
  • Rub the mustard spice mix all over the prime rib in an even layer.
  • Whisk the chopped rosemary and remaining Garlic Junkie seasoning in a bowl together.
    4 tbsp fresh Rosemary, 4 tbsp Garlic Junkie
  • Sprinkle rosemary mix over the meat, pressing as needed, to form a thick crust on all sides.
  • Allow the roast to come to room temperature, about 1 hour.

Prep the gas grill

  • Prep the grill for indirect heat by setting 1 burner to high and the others off, to maintain 225F with a cool side and a hot side.
  • Make your foil packet, or arrange your wood chips in a smoker box and place over the direct heat.

Grill the Prime Rib

  • Place the prime rib in a cast iron skillet, bone side down.
  • If using a probe thermometer, make sure it is properly inserted into the meat and set up now.
  • Place the skillet on the cooler side of the grill.
  • Close the lid and allow the prime rib to cook until the internal temperature reaches 120F. About 30 minutes per pound with a grill running at 225F.
  • Carefully remove meat from the skillet and set aside.

Sear the Prime Rib

  • Turn the heat up on the burners until the cast iron skillet is just smoking. The cast iron skillet will have drippings from the meat in it and can get smokey.
  • Sear the roast on all sides, about 2 to 4 minutes a side, until a good crust forms.

Rest

  • Remove the prime rib from heat and tent with foil.
  • Allow the prime rib to rest for 20 to 30 minutes before slicing.

Make the Horseradish Cream Sauce

  • While the meat rests, whisk together the horseradish, mayo, heavy cream, black pepper, minced chives and salt to taste.
    4 tbsp Prepared horseradish, ¼ cup mayo, 1 tbsp Heavy cream, 1 tsp black pepper, 1 tbsp fresh chives, ¼ tsp Salt
  • Add more or less horseradish for your desired taste.
  • Cover and chill until ready to serve.

Slice and Serve

  • Slice the bones from the prime rib in an even cut by running the blade of your knife along the edge of the bones.
  • From there, slice the beef into even portions and serve with horseradish cream sauce on the sides.

Notes

We used Ooomami, an umami powder to add a subtle extra beefy flavor. Garlic Junkie because it’s an amazing chunky garlic spice blend (read, no mincing required), and Cowboy Crust because it has a little kick of coffee for a really savory crust for this prime rib. If you don’t have those, use 4 to 6 cloves of freshly minced garlic, coarse sea salt, and a robust steak seasoning as the blend to coat the meat. 
Make sure to check your prime rib as the weight of the meat, your elevation, and weather will influence the cook time on the grill. 
This recipe also works on pellet smokers and traditional grills.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 748kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 31g | Fat: 67g | Saturated Fat: 27g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 28g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 142mg | Sodium: 937mg | Potassium: 550mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 78IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 4mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Author: Kita Roberts
Keyword: gas grilled prime rib, grilled prime rib, prime rib, smoked prime rib on gas grill

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