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When it comes to choosing a holiday main course, a Primo Smoked Prime Rib is definitely the answer! Not only does this show-stopper hunk of beef deliver tenderness, juiciness, and flavor, it is one of the easiest cuts of beef to smoke on a Primo Ceramic Grill. In fact, the only preparation is to rub the beef roast with mustard and generously season with Primo Grills Garlic Pepper. Yes, that’s it! The prep simplicity along with the hands-off grill time is definitely valued during the holiday rush! 

Sliced Prime Rib is sliced and plated for a holiday dinner.
Primo ceramic grills is such a classic holiday dinner!

Thank you Primo Ceramic Grills for sponsoring this post. As everyone knows by now, I LOVE MY PRIMO CERAMIC GRILL. I like to say it is magical….as it covers for any grilling mistake I make. 

A holiday roast is on the grill in Primo's V Rib Rack
Smoking a prime rib roast is my favorite way to grill a holiday roast.

But what do you need to know about buying,  preparing, and smoking,

the ultimate Holiday Prime Rib Roast on a Primo Ceramic Grill? 


What’s in the Name?

A prime rib roast is also known as standing rib roast. Its close “cousin” is a Bone-In Ribeye Roast! When it comes to buying a holiday roast don’t panic and get confused! Any roast labeled “Prime Rib” or “Ribeye Roast” will smoke to perfection on a Primo Ceramic Grill by following the steps below. 


Is Prime Rib Roast the Same as USDA Prime Beef?  

No! The label “Prime Rib” on a beef roast does not mean it has been given the sought USDA “prime” quality grade. A holiday prime rib roast comes from the best part of the rib cage, which is the middle, between the 7th and 11th rib bones known as the PRIMAL muscle (thus prime). This rib has a thick cap of marbled meat that is flavorful and rich. After the roast has been cut away the remaining meat is cut into ribeye steaks! And that’s my favorite steak!

Most likely, you will be buying a prime rib or bone-in ribeye roast that has been ranked CHOICE. Trust me, a “choice” prime rib, smoked in a Primo Ceramic Grill, on the Primo V-rack, will deliver a scrumptious, tender, juicy flavorful bite of superior beef! .

An uncooked rib roast is on a V Rack with whole grain mustard and pepper seasoning nearby.
Seasoning Prime Rib is quite simple due to the rich delicious flavor of the beef.

6 Tips on Buying a Prime Rib Roast 

  1. Buy your holiday roast from the source you can afford. For some of you, a high-end online meat company will definitely give you an outstanding cut of beef at a premium price. For others, we might head to the grocery store for our holiday roast when it goes on sale for less than $7.00 a pound. That’s me! 

  2. Grocery stores will feature Bone-in Prime Rib and Bone-in Ribeye Roasts 2 weeks before numerous holidays (Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas). When the price drops below $10 a pound it is an ideal time to pick up an extra roast for the freezer and one for the holiday table! Tip: A grocery store  butcher will wrap a roast for the freezer! 

  3. I like to smoke a prime rib that is around 7-pounds. I always buy bone-in because I love the added flavor plus gnawing on the bone is fun, in our home we call it “beasting it”. In addition, bone-in beef roasts are less expensive than boneless. Lastly, at Thanksgiving I smoked an 11-pound prime rib roast with the same technique in this blog and it smoked to perfection. 

  4. As mentioned above, check the USDA grade of the beef. One year, before I was familiar with meat grades, I bought a Prime Rib Roast at a grocery store that is known for running great sales. It was a few dollars less per pound than other local stores. Strangely, when I grilled the roast it wasn’t flavorful or juicy. I scratched my head until I asked the butcher. The to-good-to-be-price was graded “select” not “choice” or “prime”.. That means it was the leanest of the primary grades. Since then I always make sure I purchase “choice” or when my pocket book has a few more bills I eagerly buy the higher grade, prime!

  5. I have bought plenty of prime ribs in my life  from the local grocery store! But I must admit, a “choice” Prime Rib from Costco is juicier and more flavorful than what’s on sale at the grocery store! Mind you, Costco’s price might be $8 more per pound so as stated, buy what you can afford! 

  6. Buy a prime rib roast 3 days before serving. I highly encourage you to buy fresh not frozen!

A prime rib roast has been seasoned. It is in a rack inside a roasting pan with celery and onion.
If possible, allow prime rib roast to sit, seasoned, in the refrigerator overnight.

8 Tips on Preparing a Prime Rib Roast

  1. A prime rib has a wonderful deep beef flavor and needs minimum seasoning or toppings. In the photo you see the roast has been rubbed with whole grain mustard, about 1/4 to 1/3 cup. After the mustard is rubbed on a generous portion of Primo Grill’s Garlic Pepper Seasoning is sprinkled on all 4 sides, about 1/4 cup!

  2. If the butcher has cut between the rib bones and meat, open that cavity and season. I’ve prepared prime ribs with the slit and without, and do not see a notable difference. If you want to get fancy then season the night before and leave it uncovered in the refrigerator. 

  3. Remove the prime rib from the refrigerator an hour before placing it on the grill. 

  4. You don’t need to add fat when cooking a prime rib. A prime rib is well-marbled throughout which means that it has a plenty of fat content that keeps the beef tender. Believe me there is enough fat within the meat to declare it self-basted!

  5. Place the  ribs down in the Primo V Rib Rack. This allows the fat cap to slowly penetrate the center of the meat. 

  6. For those of you who own the Primo Rotisserie Attachment, and are considering using it for your holiday roast, I want to share this thought. I absolutely love my Primo Rotisserie, however, in a holiday roast I do not want to have a spit rod hole in the center of the sliced meat. There ya go, my 2-bits on why I use the Primo V Rack instead of the rotisserie.

  7. And no, you don’t have to grease a V Rib Rack before placing a fatty piece of meat into it. However, I highly suggest rotating the V Rib Rack every 30-45 minutes. 

  8. And yes, a drip pan below the V Rack is a must!  My Primo V Rack fits right inside my stainless steel roasting pan. Fill the drip pan with about 3 cups of liquid. Add whatever aromatics you have in the refrigerator; carrots, onions, garlic, celery, and fresh horseradish is what I had on hand.

A close up of a prime rib roast on a rack in the grill that has been partially smoked.
The fat on the prime rib roast turs into a crispy crust.

10 Tips on Smoking a Prime Rib

  1. I like to smoke a prime rib or bone-in ribeye roast at 300°F indirect heat. To do this, I place the deflector rack and plates above the hot coals. I use a full bed of Primo Lump Charcoal and 2-3 hickory smoking chunks. 

  2. After the center of the smoked roast reaches 110°F to 120F I remove it from the grill.  Remove the deflector rack and plates. Open the bottom and top vents to increase the heat to 400°F or a bit higher.

  3. Place the prime rib back on the center of the grill and fire away until the desired temperature has been reached. I enjoy prime rib roast with a 130°F internal temperature.

  4. Lastly, give the smoky prime rib at least 30 minutes to rest. 

  5. What to do with those dripping in the pan? First taste it, it might need to be diluted with extra  water, broth or red wine. Taste it! I chop and add the smoked garlic and some of the onion from the roasting pan. I place the pan over burners, either on your stovetop or grill, and reduce the liquid. 

  6. For me, I don’t want Au Jus Sauce over my perfectly smoked prime rib because it interferes with the delicious pure beef flavor. What I do love to make with a smoky Au Jus broth is mushrooms. Simply cut 2-inch brown mushrooms into halves. Combine the au jus sauce  and the mushrooms in a skillet and cook until mushrooms are slightly soft and full of smoky beef flavor. 

  7. Concerning horseradish! I love fresh horseradish mixed with sour cream and a few other ingredients. However, if you are after that pure rich flavor of smoked beef don’t serve the traditional creamy horseradish! Think! Horseradish and sour cream are quite dominant in flavor and the sauce will overpower the flavor of this expensive cut of tender beef. Instead, grate fresh horseradish over the beef for that hint of horseradish flavor. 

  8. The standing prime rib roast in the photos is a seven-pound roast. It took a total of 3 hours cooking/resting time. The first two hours of the cook were at 300°F then 30 minutes at 400°F and 30 minutes to rest the roast. MAKE SURE TO REST THE MEAT.  

  9. If you’d like to grill a prime rib larger than 6-7 pounds large prime rib, cook it on low for 30 minutes per pound then cook over high heat for 45 minutes, and rest it for 30 minutes. At Thanksgiving I smoked an 11-pound bone-in prime rib and it was perfect! 

  10. How many people will a prime rib roast feed? By the book, plan on one pound of beef per person. However at our holiday table there are sides, desserts and appetizers so I serve less! Ten ounces of meat per person is plenty at a holiday feast! A 7-pound roast will easily feed 10  people. An eleven-pound prime rib will feed 11 -14 people.

A sliced prime rib roast is ready to be eaten.
Allow a prime rib roast to rest 30-45 minutes before slicing.

Christie, from Girls Can Grill says, “If you plan to serve additional meats and a lot of sides,

you can slice the meat thinner and get three servings per bone.



Deflector plates are shown in a Primo Ceramic Grill with a prime rib partially smoked.
Primo Grill's deflector plates allow for an even roasting.

But Why Smoke Prime Rib in a Primo Ceramic Grill?

As I have stated I have grilled, smoked, rotisserie grilled, and oven baked so many prime ribs in my many years of life. By far my favorite method - smoking Bone-In Prime Rib Roast or Bone-In Ribeye Roast in my Primo Ceramic Grill. The #MadeInAmerica Primo Grill delivers  moist, flavorful holiday roast every time! But Why? 


DESIGN! With the high quality of design in a Primo Grill an efficient heat circulation is formed. The even circulation in the ceramic firebox reminds me of convection heating in my oven; it’s that efficient. On my Primo Grill I am able to evenly cook a 5-12 pound prime rib roast every time! Magical! My Primo Oval Grill XL 400 consistently performs beyond what I think it will.  


CREATES FLAVOR! Every time I lift the Primo Grill dome lid an alluring aroma greets me. That means the ceramic shell has absorbed a peasant smoky delicious scent. As compared to a steel drum Primo’s ceramic firebox will aid in infusing proteins and produce with a light smoky flavor. By the way, I’ve found that the need for added wood chunks isn’t mandatory. Primo Lump Charcoal will infuse smoked dishes with a gentle smoke that flavors food in a delicious way. 


RETAINS MOISTURE! The ceramic shell helps food to retain natural moisture, unlike metal grill basins that pull out the moisture. 


TEMPERATURE CONTROL! The Primo Grill has an easy to use draft system. The top vent is called the daisy wheel. It’s easy to slide it back and forth to adjust heat within a 25°F margin. The bottom vent is easy to slide, and contributes to the amount of air that is needed to feed or wane the fire. 

A Primo Ceramic Grill sits in the backdrop with a holiday prime rib feast in front. Green beans, mushrooms, cranberry sauce and brown bread.
A holiday feast is extra delicious when smoked in a Primo Ceramic Grill.


In conclusion, Primo Smoked Bone-In Ribeye Roast will not only deliver tenderness, juiciness, and mouthwatering flavor it will stand out as the holiday table centerpiece! And why I love to serve smoked prime rib is almost fail proof! 


A prime roast is done smoking in a rack on the grill.
A high heat finish helps build a delicious crust on a prime rib roast.



A centerpiece of sliced beef roast is in the center with green beansw, mushrooms, brown oat bread, and cranberries.
Be my guest, it's time to eat Primo Grill's Christmas Prime Rib Dinner!

Recipe Primo Grill's SMOKED PRIME RIB ROAST 
Download DOCX • 11KB

Smoked Prime Rib Roast


1 (7 pounds) bone-in prime rib roast or bone-in ribeye roast

1/4 cup whole grain mustard

1/4 cup Primo Ceramic Grill Garlic Pepper 


Optional Ingredients: 

Drip Pan: 1 cup water, 1 cup beef broth, 1 cup red wine 

Drip Pan Aromatics: celery, carrots, whole garlic, onions, fresh horseradish  


Smoking Equipment:

Primo Lump Charcoal and QuickLight Starters

Optional Smoking Wood Chunks: 2 or 3 Hickory Smoking Chips

Primo Deflector Rack and Deflector Plates 

Grill Gloves 


Optional Side Dishes: Parmesan Mashed Potatoes, Smoked Green Beans, Cranberry Sauce  


Quick Info 

Serves: 8 

Prime Rib Internal Temperature: 110 to 120°F remove from grill before browning Medium rare (125 to 130°F after resting)

Occasion: Easter, Christmas, Thanksgiving, any life celebration 

Category: Beef



Prep the Beef: Crosshatch the fat on the beef by cutting diagonally in two directions. Remove the silver skin from the bones. 


Prep the Rib Bones: Remove the silver skin from the rib bones. If the butcher has made a slit between the bones and the meat add the seasoning mentioned in Step-3. If there is no slit it is optional to cut between the bones and the meat. Do not cut between each individual bone. Secure the bones to the meat with butcher twine, it has been slit after seasoning. 


Season the Beef: Rub the roast with whole grain mustard on all sides. Place the roast on a Primo Grill V Rib Rack, and place the rack into a roasting pan. Tip: line with aluminum foil for easier clean up. Generously sprinkle all sides of the roast with Primo Grill’s Garlic Pepper Seasoning. The roast can be left on the counter for 1 hour or refrigerated, uncovered, overnight. 


Prep a Drip Pan: Add to the roasting pan 1 cup of the following liquid: water, beef broth and red wine. If desired, add aromatics such as onions, garlic, fresh horseradish, and celery. 


Prepare Grill: Fill the bottom of the firebox with Primo Lump Charcoal. Wedge 1 or 2 Primo Quick Light starter cubes in the charcoal, and light on fire. Wait 5-10 minutes for the charcoal to build a small bed of embers. Close the dome, and fully open the draft door on the bottom. Adjust the top and bottom vents as the thermometer begins to reach 275°F, and add 3 hickory smoking chunks. Insert heat deflector rack and plate. Wait 2 minutes for the temperature to stabilize. Increase or decrease the airflow on the top vent as needed to retain indirect 300°F. Heat. 



Place prime rib roast, bone side down, on a V Rack, in the center of the grill.  

Close the lid and cook, for 2 hours, or until internal temperature has reached 110°F to 120°F. Tip: Rotate the pan every 30-45 minutes. The beef has not finished cooking at this point.

Remove the roasting pan with the roast from the grill, and set aside. Remove the reflector plates. Increase grill temperature to 400°F to 450°F by opening the draft vents and the daisy vent. 

Once the grill is extremely hot, place the roast in the V rack onto a rimmed grill sheet or simply place a piece of aluminum foil under the rack. Brown the prime rib roast for 30-45 minutes or until desired temperature. 

Remove the prime rib roast from the grill when the internal target temperature range reaches: 125°F for rare, 130°F for 138°F for medium, and  140°F to 145°F for medium well.

Rest the prime rib roast for 30 minutes before slicing! Enjoy!

Author: Merry Graham

A Merry Recipe for Primo Ceramic Grills

December 2022



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