Grilled pork roast? No big deal. Grilled prime rib roast? Easy. If you love grilling, turn off the oven and grill the best roast you’ve ever served!
Imagine sitting down to your favorite holiday dinner—say, a nice bone-in prime rib roast—when you notice something’s different. For starters, the kitchen is filled with the familiar aromas of baked squash and a savory casserole, but is missing the hazy presence of seared meat threatening to set off the smoke detectors. Also, the side dishes are piping hot and ready at the same time. That’s different; they usually have to fight for oven space with that mammoth roast. And when the roast is served, it has that unmistakably smoky fragrance that could only have come from…a grill?
Yes, roast on the grill is definitely a thing: not only special-occasion grilled prime rib roast, but grilled pork roast. And once you’ve mastered it, you may not go back to the oven method.
Pork is a favorite on the grill, from quick-and-easy pork chops to the Boston butt roasts pitmasters convert to pulled pork after hours of smoking. What we’re talking about here is somewhere in-between: a grilled pork loin roast.
To grill a pork loin roast—or any roast, for that matter—one thing’s for sure: you want indirect heat as we described in Grilling 101. What you’re doing is basically using your grill as an oven. Note also that grill roasting can only be done on a grill that has a lid. It’s also nice—but not necessary—if it has a thermometer to let you know the grill temperature, but the important thing is the temperature of the meat (more on that later).
If you really want to pull out all the stops and impress dinner guests, there’s nothing like a grilled prime rib roast to deliver that “wow” factor and show them you love them. The fact that this roast is a substantially higher investment shouldn’t scare you; the technique is essentially the same. And if you trust your thermometer, it’s hard to go wrong…though we won’t blame you if you watch it a little more closely. Simply follow the same process above, with the following possible exceptions:
Sear. If you’re doing a bone-in prime rib roast, do not sear the fat side. This does not improve the quality of your roast, and can cause a major flare-up. Just put the roast bone/meat-side down and close the lid.
Temperature. Most people don’t want to cook a premium cut of beef to the temperature they would cook pork. An internal temperature of 130–135 degrees F will yield a medium-rare roast (although the United States Department of Agriculture recommends that whole cuts of meat be cooked to at least 145 degrees and rested for three minutes, so consider yourself warned).
This traditional method of grill roasting will produce great results—but wait…
Remember when we taught you how to reverse sear a steak? Turns out the method that works for large steaks is also perfect for grilling prime rib roast (or chateaubriand, or any other premium beef roast). Note that this is best done on a gas grill, but it is possible—and more complicated—with charcoal.
To reverse-sear your prime rib roast on the grill, simply:
* Note: After slow-roasting, you may decide that searing is not necessary. Most restaurants only slow-roast their prime rib roasts without the extra step of searing. It depends on your personal taste and how deep a brown you want.
See, that’s not so scary, is it? If you’re a first-timer, you may want to try your hand at a grilled pork roast before investing in a premium aged beef roast…but again, if you know your way around a grill, trust your thermometer and watch the process, you’ll be just fine.
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