Start to finish: 6 1/2 hours
First-cut beef rib roast is also known as prime rib, loin end, or small end. If your butcher doesn’t trim excess fat from the roast and remove the bones (which you need for this recipe), see below for information on removing the bones. If all you have is a boneless roast, see our tip at right for making a false bone. If you’d like to use wood chunks instead of wood chips when using a charcoal grill, substitute 2 medium wood chunks, soaked in water for 1 hour, for the wood chip packet.
1 (7-pound) first-cut beef standing rib roast (3 or 4 bones), meat removed from bones, bones reserved, exterior fat trimmed to 1/8 inch
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Kosher salt and pepper
2 cups wood chips
1 (16 by 12-inch) disposable aluminum roasting pan (if using charcoal)
Cutting the meat off the bone with prime rib:
If your butcher doesn’t remove the bones from the prime rib for you, here’s how you can do it yourself: Holding meaty lobe in one hand and sharp boning or chef’s knife in your other hand, run knife down length of first bone, following contours as closely as possible, to separate it from meat.
Flip roast so uncut portion faces you. Holding bones back with your hand, cut meat from remaining ribs. Once meat is removed, proceed with seasoning and tying as directed in recipe.
Pat roast dry with paper towels, rub with oil, and season with pepper. Spread 1/4 cup salt on rimmed baking sheet and press roast into salt to coat evenly on all sides. Place meat back on ribs so bones fit exactly where they were cut; tie meat to bones with 2 lengths of kitchen twine. Refrigerate roast, uncovered, for 1 hour, then let sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
Just before grilling, soak wood chips in water for 15 minutes, then drain. Using large piece of heavy-duty aluminum foil, wrap soaked chips in foil packet and cut several vent holes in top.
For a charcoal grill: Open bottom vent halfway and place disposable pan on 1 side of grill. Light large chimney starter two-thirds filled with charcoal briquettes (4 quarts). When top coals are partially covered with ash, pour evenly over other half of grill (opposite disposable pan). Set cooking grate in place, cover, and open lid vent halfway. Heat grill until hot, about 5 minutes.
For a gas grill: Turn all burners to high, cover, and heat grill until hot, about 15 minutes. Turn primary burner to medium and turn off other burner(s). (Adjust primary burner as needed to maintain grill temperature of about 325 F.)
Clean and oil cooking grate. Place roast on hotter side of grill and cook (covered if using gas) until well browned on all sides, 10 to 15 minutes, turning as needed. (If flare-ups occur, move roast to cooler side of grill until flames die down.)
Transfer roast to second rimmed baking sheet. If using charcoal, remove cooking grate and place wood chip packet on pile of coals; set cooking grate in place. If using gas, place wood chip packet directly on primary burner. Place roast on cooler side of grill, bone side down, with tips of bones pointed away from fire. Cover (position lid vent over meat if using charcoal) and cook until meat registers 115 F to 120 F (for rare) or 120 F to 125 F (for medium-rare), 2 to 2 1/2 hours.
Transfer roast to carving board, tent loosely with aluminum foil, and let rest for 20 minutes. Remove twine and bones, slice meat into 1/2-inch-thick slices, and serve.
Nutrition information per serving: 619 calories; 276 calories from fat; 31 g fat (11 g saturated; 2 g trans fats); 242 mg cholesterol; 415 mg sodium; 0 g carbohydrate; 0 g fiber; 0 g sugar; 85 g protein.