Introduction: Rock Salt Roasted Prime Rib Roast in a Camp Dutch Oven

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Cooking Prime Rib in Rock

The key is keeping the meat and everything else DRY this is very, very important. I let the roast set out for about 2 hours before starting the cooking process. This makes a more tender piece of meat when it is cooked. I rub the prime rib roast with my favorite mixture of seasonings and set the roast aside. In the mean time I start 1 Weber charcoal chimney full of charcoal. Next, I place 1" of rock salt into the bottom of my 14" Deep Dutch oven. Then I put the roast onto the rock salt in the bottom of the oven. I pour in more rock salt to cover the roast about 1/2". Then I fill the oven with more rock salt and cover with more rock salt. It takes about 15 to 20 pounds of rock salt and I use water softener salt because its $8.00 per 40 pounds compared to 3.59 per 5 pound box of ice cream salt. NOTE there is no difference! Cover the Dutch oven and place ring of briquettes in a ring around the bottom and 1 1/2 on the lid. 3 hours later you will have 8 to 11 pounds of delicious prime rib ready to be devoured!

Here is why the meat does not get salty. MOISTURE. Plain and simple. You need moisture to get the saltiness into the meat, that’s why the rub flavors get into the meat and not the rest of the salt. I've heard many cooks who spray water over the salt to "harden it" what that moisture does is allow the salt to penetrate the meat and makes it more salty. When you pack the roasts into a dry oven, the rock salt acts much like cast iron and transfers the heat directly to the meat in an even fashion all around the meat, leaving no hot or cool spots. The rock salt also makes a great moisture barrier, keeping the juices inside the meat. That's how it works in a nutshell.


1 14" Deep Camp Dutch oven (a camp oven has 3 legs under the bottom and a rimmed lid to hold charcoal)

1 40# water softener rock salt (DO NOT USE SALT PELLETS)

3 Tbs. Kosher salt

2 Tbs fresh ground black or tri-color pepper

2 Tbs garlic powder

2 Tbs onion powder

1 Tbs. Lawery's Hamburger seasoning

1 bag high quality charcoal briquettes ( Royal Oak or Kingsford) never use matchlight, it burns up way to fast

Step 1: ​Make Sure It Fits, Then Rub With Seasoning Mixture

Seasoning any meat is to your taste. The recipe I've provided is a great basic Dry Rub recipe to get started with. You can add any other spices and or, herbs to your own liking.

The PRIME quality rib roast used here is a PRIME grade roast that I've dry aged for 14 days before trimming, seasoning and roasting. Dry aging is a personal preference and when done properly will use up about 25% or more of your net weight from when you first got your roast from the butcher. Dry aging can be easily done at home and you can look up directions on any web browser.

So, first set your roast into the bottom of the Dutch oven to make sure it easily fits inside without touching the walls. If its to large , you can use a larger Dutch oven or trim about 1" off of one end and throw that new Rib eye steak on the grill. Remove the roast and mix up the rub and rub on all sides of the roast. Let rest with the rub for 1 to 2 hours.

Step 2: Layer Rock Salt in the Bottom

Pour in enough rock salt into the bottom of the Dutch oven to a layer of about 1" thick

Step 3: Put the Roast in the Dutch Oven and Cover Then Cook

place the seasoned roast into the Dutch oven, on top of the 1" layer of rock salt. Next fill and cover the roast with rock salt all the way to the rim of the Dutch oven making sure to cover the top of the roast with at least 1/2" rock salt, 1" is best.

Cover the Dutch oven with its lid


There are 2 ways to roast this roast, the first is inside your kitchen oven set at 350 F. degrees for 2 hours for medium rare.

Or to use Charcoal Briquettes to keep the Dutch oven at 350 F. degrees to roast the rib eye roast. Place 1 ring of lit briquettes under the oven and 1 ring on the lid. Bake the roasts for 2 ½ hours to 3 hours adding hot and fresh coals as needed.

Step 4: Remove From Rock Salt and Let Rest

Open the lid and you'll notice the level of the salt dropped a little from the fat melting and dissolving some of the salt, this is normal. photo1

Scoop out the salt just until you see the top of the roast and place the salt in a box lined with a plastic bag to throw away. Then with a pair of tongues or a couple large spatulas remove the roast onto a cutting board, lightly brush any remaining rock salt off the roast, then cover with aluminum foil and let rest for 30 minutes. THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT TO KEEP ALL THE JUICES INSIDE THE MEAT.

Step 5: Slice and Serve

slice your roast into portions for each person and enjoy

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