Prime rib roasted over a campfire.

Prime Rib Recipe

How to Cook Prime Rib

Or should I say, how to rotisserie prime rib? An open fire is not only a fun way to cook prime rib but adds a rich smoky flavor to the meat that is absolutely amazing.  There are a couple of tricks to cooking a prime rib over an open fire. First, make sure you prepare the fire well enough ahead of time so that you have plenty of coals. Hot coals will be doing most of the cooking, not the fire. Think of it the same way you would if you were cooking with charcoal over a grill. You want enough coals to produce enough heat to cook the meat. Add some wood to watch the flame kiss the roast and add a little smokey flavor, but don’t rely on the flame to do your cooking

How Long Do You Cook Prime Rib On A Rotisserie

The general rule is to cook the roast for 15 minutes per pound. This of course also depends on your fire and how intense the heat from the coals are.  If your roast is cooking too fast, make sure to have a water pan underneath it. Make sure it is a pan you do not mind being in hot coals as it may ruin the pan. I keep an old pan around just for such uses. You can add water to the pan so that the dripping do not flame up when it touches the pan. This will also cool the cooking area directly beneath the roast. Decide on a heat high enough to cook the meat and watch it carefully. This is not a recipe you want to toss on and leave alone.

When I make prime rib in an oven, I usually start it off at around 475 degrees F. for the first 15 minutes to sear the meat. After 15 minutes I reduce the heat to about 325°F to roast for the remaining time. When cooking over a fire, try to achieve about 325°F. This can be difficult to determine, but use your best judgment and be sure to use a cooking thermometer to determine when the roast is fully cooked.

What Temperature Should The Prime Rib Be?

There are a few degrees of doneness you want to achieve with a roast. Here is a handy little chart to help you decide when to remove the roast from the heat. Remember to remove the roast about 5° before the desired doneness. As the roast rests, it will continue to cook and rise about 5 more degrees to the desired temperature. Cover the roast with foil while it rests.

Rare 120-130°F – Red interior which may fade to pink at the outermost edges

Medium Rare 130-135°F – Pink with a deeper, nearly red center

Medium 135-140°F – Mauve, uniformly colored interior

Well-done 145°F+ – Brown, no pink

What Side Dishes to Serve With Prim Rib?

So what do you serve with Prime Rib? I generally serve this with green bean casserole and my Garlic Caper Mashed Potatoes. If you have an oven available you can serve this with Yorkshire Pudding. I have never tried Yorkshire Pudding over a fire, but I supposed it could be done with the Dutch oven. If anyone tries it, please let us know how it turns out in the comments below. My favorite vegetable to serve with beef is either broccoli, cauliflower, or asparagus. And of course, baked potatoes are always a favorite with any beef dish.

prime rib

Useful Equipment

Be sure to have some sort of rotisserie for an evenly cooked roast. My favorite prime rib rotisserie is this battery operated rotisserie. It also works great for poultry and other roasts. Make sure that if you use a rotisserie to use the forks for it too. You will regret it if you don’t have a set of rotisserie forks as they keep the meat in position as it spins and cooks. This rotisserie really makes a great gift if you are looking for something for the outdoor chef in your life.

Recipe Rating

  • (5 /5)
  • 3 ratings

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