Christmas Prime Rib

Updated February 23, 2016
This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

The English have served prime rib as their Christmas dinner for centuries, and many of us are bringing that tradition home to our holiday table. Even if you live in Michigan or Maine and there’s a foot of snow on the ground, taking that prime rib out to the gas grill adds yumminess to a holiday classic and gives you the added benefit of freeing up your oven for other dishes. Don’t overlook the possibility of sticking a casserole on your grill while the prime rib is cooking as well.

Serves6 to 8

Cooking Methodgrilling



Total Timeunder 4 hours

OccasionFamily Get-together, Formal Dinner Party

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationegg-free, gluten-free, halal, kosher, peanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Equipmentfood processor, grill


Taste and Textureherby, meaty, smoky


  • One 5- to 6-pound bone-in standing prime rib roast, trimmed of excess fat
  • 6 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • ¼ cup lightly packed fresh rosemary leaves
  • ¼ cup lightly packed fresh basil leaves
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


Allow the roast to stand at room temperature for 30 to 45 minutes.

Put the garlic, rosemary, basil, salt, and pepper in a food processor and pulse to finely mince. Add the mustard and olive oil and process to form a paste. Smear the paste all over the top and sides of the roast.

Oil the grill racks. Preheat your grill using all burners set on high and with the lid closed for 10 to 12 minutes.

When the grill is hot, cut off the center or back burner and adjust the heat to medium.

Put the roast on the grill, bone side down, close the lid, and cook to your desired doneness, 1½ to 2 hours for medium-rare (the meat will register 135°F to 140°F on an instant-read thermometer). Transfer the roast to a cutting board and remove the bones. Loosely cover the roast with foil and let rest for 20 to 30 minutes. The internal temperature will rise 5°F to 10°F. Carve the meat into slices and serve.



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