Grill a Roast

How To: Grilling the Perfect Rib Roast

While everyone with a grill is comfortable grilling steaks, chops, burgers, and hot dogs, cooking a roast on the grill might seem like a daunting task best left to the intrepid.

But grill-roasting a beef roast is easier than you think—the preparation is streamlined. In principal, the biggest difference between grilling a steak or a roast is the amount of time required to bring it to golden-brown, aromatic perfection—the juiciest and most tender roast you can imagine with unique flavors only cooking with smoke and flame can impart.

You do not need to sear a roast over direct heat. In fact, you should not sear a Boned & Tied Rib Roast—it will burn off the twine that holds the ribs to the meat—unless done very carefully.

If you choose to sear the roast, do not sear the fat side. Sear only the meat/bone side and each end.

While grill-roasting, the roast will render a considerable amount of juice and fat so you need to use a drip pan. Fill the drip pan about half full with water, wine, beer, or any other liquid. Replenish the liquid as needed to maintain a consistent level for the duration of the cooking time. The drip pan will prevent flare ups, and the juices in the pan can be the basis of a great sauce to serve with the roast.

To watch a video of this tutorial, click here.

Refer to this chart when determining how long to cook your roast:

Desired DonenessCooking Time (at 350°F)Internal Temperature
Rare 15-16 minutes per pound 125° F
Medium Rare 16-17 minutes per pound 130-135° F
Medium 18 minutes per pound 140° F
Medium Well 19 minutes per pound 150° F
Well Done 20 minutes per pound 160° F


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The Steps

  • Step 1 Arrange your fire on either side of the grill and put a drip pan in the middle. If using a chimney-style charcoal starter, just distribute the coals evenly on each side. You can also build a large central fire and then push the coals to each side.
  • Step 2 After removing the roast from the refrigerator, allow it to come up to room temperature—from 1 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the roast. Assemble with olive oil, sea or kosher salt, and pepper just before putting the roast on the grill.
  • Step 3 Brush with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and fresh-cracked pepper.
  • Step 4 Grill-roast in the center of the grid, over the drip pan, with the grill lid on. After about 80% of the estimated time has elapsed, check the roast's internal temperature. Don't poke the roast too early, you'll lose precious juices.
  • Step 5 After removing the roast from the grill, allow it to rest for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the size of the roast, so the juices can redistribute within the meat for the juiciest roast you've ever tasted.
  • Step 6 For a Boned & Tied Rib Roast, snip the twine that holds the ribs to the roast just before slicing and serving. Separate the meat from the bones, and you have a boneless roast for serving and a delicious rack of beef ribs as a special treat.