Rotisserie, Sunday dinner
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Rotisserie Beef Rib Roast with a herb crust


This is one of my first recipes, and is appropriate for a small roast – no bigger than 4 pounds. For a larger roast, see my Rotiserie Beef Prime Rib Roast recipe; for a boneless roast, see my Rotisserie Boneless Ribeye Roast with Garlic Crust recipe.

I’m a big fan of my rotisserie. My favorite recipe is using it to roast whole chickens – nothing else I’ve done gets the skin as crispy, and cooks the chicken as quickly, as my rotisserie on my Weber kettle grill.When I saw Steven Raichlen cook an herbed beef rib roast using a rotisserie on his show, Barbecue U, I knew I had to try it.

What I didn’t know is I’d spend the afternoon on, trying to tell when the rain was going to stop.*
*”Hmm…the storm has moved (measuring on monitor with fingers) this much in the last hour, so that means it should move (measuring with fingers again) to about here…it’s going to be close.”

Recipe: Rotisserie Beef Rib Roast with a herb crust
  • Grill with Rotisserie attachment (I used a Weber Summit 650 with an infrared rotisserie burner. Here it is.)*
  • Aluminum foil drip pan (9″x11″, or whatever fits your grill)
  • Butcher’s twine for trussing the roasts


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Rotisserie Beef Rib Roast with a herb crust

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 2 hours
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x


Rotisserie beef rib roast with herb crust. A small rib roast, rubbed with salt and an herb paste.


  • 3.5 pound beef rib roast (23 bones)
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt

Herb Paste

  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tablespons fresh Thyme
  • 2 tablespoons fresh Rosemary
  • 1/4 cup fresh Parsley (a good handful)
  • Zest from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1/4 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil


  1. Pre-salt the beef: Two hours before cooking, trim any excess fat off the outside of the rib roast, then sprinkle evenly with the 2 teaspoons of kosher salt.
  2. Apply the herb paste: One hour before cooking, make the paste, and rub it all over the meat.
  3. I make the herb paste in a food processor. Drop the garlic through the feed tube into the running processor, and let it mince completely. Turn off the processor, add the thyme, rosemary, parsley, and lemon zest, and pulse to mince, scraping down the sides as needed. Turn on the processor, and while it is running pour the olive oil in through the feed tube. Stop when it forms a thick paste – you want enough olive oil for it to come together, but you don’t want it to get so thin that it turns into a viniagrette. Rub the paste on the meat. Cover the whole thing evenly. (Messy, but fun.)  Leave the rubbed roast out at room temperature until it is time to cook, which will help it cook evenly.
  4. Prepare the grill: Set your grill up for rotisserie cooking at high heat (450°F+). For my Weber Summit, this means removing the grates, turning the two outer burners (burners 1 and 6) to high, and turning the infrared burner to high. Then I put my drip pan in the middle, over the unlit burners.
  5. Spit the roast: While the grill is preheating, skewer the roast on your rotisserie spit, aiming for center mass. Secure the roast to the spit with the spit forks.
  6. Rotisserie the rib roast: Put the spit on the rotisserie, start it turning, and cook with the lid closed. Check the roast after 30 minutes, and at most every 15 minutes thereafter. You want the outside to be browned and crusty, and the inside to measure 120°F for medium rare, or 130°F for medium. (Make sure, when you use your instant read thermometer – you do have one, right? – that you try to hit center mass, but away from the spit. The spit gets very hot, and conducts heat through the center of the roast, which really speeds up cooking time.)
  7. Carve and serve: Remove the spit from the grill, remove the roast from the spit, and let the beef rest for 15 minutes before carving.  First, I cut the ribs off the roast, leaving me with a boneless roast for carving.  (See the picture below).  I cut the slab of bones into separate ribs, then put them on the platter for anyone who likes to gnaw on the bones.  (Like, say, me.) I slice the roast about 1/2″ thick, making sure that each slice gets some of the herb crust on it. The end pieces are particularly good.  I would recommend sprinkling a little salt on the sliced roast after it’s been cut – the roast is very thick, and could use a little seasoning on the inside of the meat. If you have a good sea salt, use it here.
  • Category: Rotisserie
  • Cuisine: American

Pre-salt the beef:
Making the herb paste:

Rub the roast:

Skewer and Cook the roast:

Carve and serve:
*The herb crust on this roast was amazing. The end pieces were almost as good as the bones, which you won’t hear too often from me. Next time, I’m going to use a trick I read in Cook’s Illustrated: I’m going to cut the ribs off before I cook the roast, rub the paste on the roast an the ribs, then tie the ribs back on with some butcher’s twine. That way, the paste gets onto an extra surface on the meat.
*You can cook this recipe with a bigger roast; I was only serving the five of us, and we had a lot of leftovers.  That being said, I would consider getting two 2-3 bone roasts instead of one big one.  The browned herb crust you get from the rotisserie is why you want to cook a beef roast this way, and you get more surface area with two roasts then you would get with one big one.
*I’m going to check the temperature more often. Meduim. I can’t believe I overcooked it.
*The spit conducts heat into the middle of the roast, which results in it cooking quicker than it would if you were just roasting it.  If you like your meat rare, or medium-rare, keep checking it, and make sure you get it off the spit as soon as the roast is off the grill.
*If you’re worried about food safety, keep the roast in the refrigerator while it rests with the salt, and with the paste. I kept it out of the refrigerator after I salted it, since I’ve read that two hours is safe. Also, it’s a big roast – it needed the two hours to come up to room temperature.
*The rib roast will cook more evenly if it’s at room temperature before you start cooking it. By evenly, I mean that the inside of the meat will all be the same doneness – you won’t have a little “medium rare” ring in the middle, with gradations to well done before you get to the edge – it will have a much larger medium rare section in the middle, with just a little ring at the edge going to well done.
*This is obviously a “sunday dinner” type meal – it takes a while to prepare. We’re having leftover roast beef sandwiches later in the week, though. Mmmm…beef with horseradish sauce…I’m drooling again.
*You don’t need the food processor for the paste, but it makes it easier. If you don’t have one, or don’t want to use it, mince the garlic, herbs, and lemon zest, add the salt and pepper, then mix with the olive oil.

*The herbs are variable – just try to get the total volume right. Use whatever you’ve got available-thyme, rosemary, chives, scallions, parsley… The only one I wouldn’t use too much of is the rosemary – it has a very strong taste.

*Rib roast is “prime rib”, but if it’s not Prime meat, then it’s not Prime Rib.
(That didn’t come out right. Let me try again.)
*Rib roast is the cut of beef that ribeyes come from, and that Prime Rib comes from. But it should only be called Prime Rib if the meat is USDA Prime grade meat. If not Prime grade, it should be called a rib roast. And since choice grade is pretty good, and doesn’t cost its weight in gold (or oil?), that’s usually what I buy for roasts.
*Due to the weather, I went with my gas grill with its infrared rotisserie burner. I prefer the taste of the charcoal grill, but this worked well with the gas grill, so I won’t complain.
**OK, maybe a little. Curse you!  Curse you, “30 percent chance of afternoon thunderstorms!” Why do you always have to rain between 4 and 6PM, and then clear up so I can see how nice it is after I can’t grill any more?!?!
Questions? Comments?  Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.
Related Posts:
Click here for my Rotisserie Beef Prime Rib recipe.
Click here for my Rotisserie Beef Tenderloin recipe.
Click here for my rotisserie pan root vegetables recipe.  (You see them under the roast in the pictures above.)
Recipe inspired by Steven Raichlen’s: Primal Grill: One Good Turn. []

Check out my cookbook, Rotisserie Grilling.

Everything you could ask about the rotisserie,
plus 50 (mostly) new recipes to get you cooking.

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Filed under: Rotisserie, Sunday dinner


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.


  1. Halex says

    Love your recipes & your rotissere book. I think its hard to get the exact cooking time on the rotisserie, just have to practice more:) Thanks again Mike.

  2. Great! I’m glad it worked out – even if you had to help it along a bit in the oven. Don’t tell anyone, but I’ve had to do that myself – for some reason, it’s usually undercooked chicken legs that need to be microwaved until they’re not bloody at the joint…

  3. Halx says

    Good one, lol. It was slightly under, so we threw it in the oven for 10 mins perfect. You cant beat a prime beef rib eye, you certainly dont want it overcooked. Another great recipe, thank you:)

  4. If you’re desperate, try the “nick and peek” method – use a paring knife to cut into the roast, and take a look. You’ll lose some juices, but I’d want to know where the roast is.

  5. Halex says

    Taking it off the bbq at 1hr 10. Our meat probe isnt working! Will let you know how it goes

  6. For those weights, it should cook for about an hour, maybe an hour and 15 minutes. But, that’s a guess – the best way to measure doneness is to use a meat thermometer. For a pink center, you want medium, which is about 55°C/130°F. Take it off the grill, and let it rest for 15 minutes to finish cooking.

    Good luck!

  7. Haex says

    Trying the herb crusted prime rib eye on the rotisserie. I have 2 pieces with 3 bones each. Hoping it wil be pink. One weighs 1.78kgs the other 1.5kgs. Cooking times please. Tanks

  8. Anonymous says

    I wanted a brisket for the day after Thanksgiving. The only store open that night was out, but they did have a nice rib roast. I roughly followed your directions, cooked it on my Weber charcoal rotisserie, and served it with grilled asparagus and a horseradish/sour-cream sauce. Very nice. Thanks for the inspiration.

  9. @Anonymous:
    Wow – that’s a lot of questions! Here we go…

    What temp?
    I want 450*F to 500*F for a smaller roast, and 400*F to 450*F for a larger one.

    Why not lengthwise?
    No reason, other than I’m used to larger roasts, which won’t skewer that way. With a smaller roast, going lengthwise would be good.

    Smoking wood?
    I’ve used hickory; it’s good, but it reminds me just a little of bacon. My favorite wood for beef is oak.

    Boneless roast?
    Not yet – check out my Rotisserie Strip Loin Roast recipe for what I would use.

    Would I truss a boneless roast?
    Yes, to hold it in a cylinder shape, which would help it cook evenly.

  10. Anonymous says

    Both the regular prime rib and this herb crusted one look good! I have a Weber Genesis. What temp are you aiming for on the gauge? Is there any reason the spit couldn’t run through the prime rib length wise? Have you tried smoke boxes with Hickory? Have you tried a boneless prime rib roast? Any reason to truss a boneless? Thanks for all the cool recipes!

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