This Showstopper Grilled Crown Pork Roast is the perfect entrée for your holiday meals or any special occasion. It is mostly hands-off leaving you open for handling the rest of the dishes, absolutely delicious, and best of all it feeds a crowd with little effort.
The holiday season is here, a wonderful and crazy time of the year. Blustery cold winds outside and the cheery fire popping on the hearth warming the house and our souls. Family coming together from all over the country and friends dropping by for parties. Children trying hard to behave, their excitement growing as the days count down. Songs linger in our minds leaving us humming fragments as we work in the kitchen creating magical memories with every meal we make and cookie we decorate.
Each year we work hard to plan the big family meals. There is never enough room in the oven with huge turkeys and roasts needing hours to cook, challenging us to figure out how to get everything cooked and on the table hot. We juggle the dishes going in and out of the oven, using the microwave to reheat after they have been sitting on the counter waiting for the main course to finish. If we could free up the oven, everything would be easier. That’s where our grills come into play.
Using the barbecue in place of the oven is an obvious solution but it can be intimidating to trust our huge birds and expensive roasts to a piece of equipment that is used primarily for grilling hot dogs and hamburgers in summer. It is one of my favorite tools for cooking all year long and the flavor it adds to meats makes everything taste better.
Gas grilling’s consistent heat is the best at creating an environment remarkably close to what we are used to with the oven. A stable heat source is the trick to perfectly cooked larger cuts of meat. And be sure to use a good instant read thermometer to know exactly when the meat is at the perfect temperature.
To make it easy to get the roast on and off the grill as well as capturing the delicious juices as it cooks, I cook it in a grill-proof roasting pan instead of directly on the grates. Cooking it over low heat (about 250°F) will help keep it moist and tender. You may need to adjust the burners occasionally as it cooks, but resist the urge to lift the lid and peek. Instead listen for the sizzling sound and you’ll know the roast is happily cooking away.
A crown pork roast is one of the most impressive dinners we can serve and it is big enough to feed a crowd. Made by rolling a long rack of ribs into a circle, their frenched (cleaned) bones creating the characteristic points associated with royalty and earning its regal name. A typical roast will have about 18 ribs and each rib makes a generous serving. This will feed a substantial gathering and still leave you with delicious leftovers. A crown roast makes any party even more special.
If you want to add stuffing in the center for an even more elegant presentation, you can use a traditional bread dressing, one made with rice and fruit, a bread and sausage blend, or even chunky homemade cranberry sauce. Cook the stuffing separately and spoon it into the center after the roast comes off the grill before you cover it and let it rest (pile it on top of the foil plug).
This grilled crown pork roast is such a beautiful thing that it deserves to be presented whole to the crowd, no doubt earning you a round of applause. You will definitely feel regal as you carve chop after chop from the roast and your guests will be delighted as they hungrily wait for their plates to be filled with the delicious feast you’ve prepared.
I hope that 2020 is a year filled with joy, magic, and incredible food for each and every one of you. Happy Holidays!
How to make Grilled Crown Pork Roast:
- Prep the roast and fill center with a ball of foil to hold its shape; place bones up, in a grill-safe heavy roasting pan
- Mix the dry rub and spread it over all the surfaces of the roast; set out at room temperature for 45 min to an hour to warm up
- Preheat the grill to 400°F; set roasting pan with pork in the center; reduce heat to medium to hold the temperature at about 300°F
- Cook 12 to 15 min per pound until it reaches 140°F on an instant read thermometer; when there is about 20 minutes left, you can brush the roast with BBQ sauce if desired
- Remove from the grill and set aside to rest for 30 minutes
- Cut between the bones and serve 1 to 2 chops per person
Where do I find a crown pork roast?
You can order one from your butcher. Call a week ahead so they have time to prepare the racks of ribs and wrap them into a crown for you. Be sure you have enough room in your refrigerator to hold the roast before you cook it.
Can I cook the roast in the oven instead of grilling?
Yes, you certainly can. Set the racks in the oven to the lower level to leave plenty of room for the tall roast. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Fill the cavity with stuffing if desired. Roast for 12 to 15 minutes per pound, or until it reaches 140°F on an instant read thermometer. Rest for 30 minutes before cutting between the bones and serving 1 to 2 chops per person.
Call your butcher a couple of weeks in advance (if possible) to order this roast. They will need some time to get the pork rib rack(s), clean the tops of the ribs (called Frenching) and get it tied up. Ordering in advance is especially courteous during the busy holiday season.
Key Ingredients for this Recipe
- Crown pork roast
- Dry rub made from paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, and pepper
- Your favorite BBQ sauce, optional
- Your favorite stuffing, optional
Kitchen Tools I Use to Make This Recipe (affiliate links)
- Cutting board
- Heavy duty roasting pan
- Mixing bowls
- Silicone brush
- Gas grill
- Instant read thermometer
- Chef’s knife
If you are cooking for anyone with gluten-sensitivity or Celiac, try a rice and dried cranberry stuffing for a festive, light side dish. Don’t use any wooden utensils or cutting boards to eliminate potential cross-contamination.
- 1 crown pork roast (bone-in pork loin rib rack rolled and tied)
- 1/4 cup paprika
- 2 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tbsp onion powder
- 1 tbsp garlic powder
- 1 tbsp kosher or sea salt
- 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- Your favorite BBQ sauce (gluten-free if needed)
- Your choice of bread or rice stuffing
- Prepare the Roast: Remove roast from the refrigerator and set it on a cutting board, bones up. If there is a space in the center, roll up a ball of aluminum foil and insert it in the middle to help the roast hold its shape during cooking. This will also help hold the stuffing if you decide to add it. Brush the underside (meaty end) with a little oil and place, bones up, in a grill-safe heavy-duty roasting pan.
- Make the Rub: In a medium bowl, combine the rub ingredients, mixing until thoroughly combined.
- Spread the dry rub mixture over the whole roast, concentrating it on the inside surfaces, and let sit at room temperature for 45 minutes to an hour for the most even cooking.
- Grill the Roast: Remove the warming rack from your grill and preheat to about 400°F. Set the roast (in its roasting pan) on the grill in the center, pushing it to the back of the grill and close the lid. Reduce the heat to medium or medium-low to hold the temperature about 300°F, adjusting the burners as needed.
- Cook the roast for 12 to 15 minutes a pound or until it reaches about 140°F on an instant read thermometer inserted into the center of the meat without touching a bone. My 18-rib roast took about 2 hours. When there is about 20 minutes left of cooking time, brush the entire roast with your favorite BBQ sauce, if desired. This will glaze the meat and add another layer of flavor.
- Pull the roast off the grill, transfer to a cutting board designed for roasts (with a moat to catch the juices) and lightly cover with foil. Leave it for 30 minutes before carving. The temperature will rise as it rests and the juices will be reabsorbed into the center. You want it to be about 150°F, the meat moist, and with a little pale pinkness is perfect.
- To Serve: If you are adding stuffing, cook it separately and you can spoon it into the center of the roast for presentation, then scoop it out before carving. Use tongs or a fork to remove the foil ball and using a very sharp knife, cut down between each rib. Serve 1 to 2 ribs per person with some of the stuffing if using.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 86Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 8mgSodium: 816mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 4g
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First Published: 30 Dec 2015
Last Updated: 20 Dec 2019