How Long Can Prime Rib Last? [In Fridge & Freezer]

Prime rib is a large beef cut found at the primal rib area of the beef. It didn’t just pride itself as the king of all beef cuts; the prime rib earned this by sitting majestically at the center stage during holidays.

However, if not properly preserved, it could be a source of disease, hence, it is highly essential to know how long your uncooked prime rib can be refrigerated.

The right temperature should be maintained if it won’t be cooked immediately to prevent the development of bacteria.

There have been many arguments about how long prime rib should stay in the fridge.

The USDA says three days, and some say a week or more. How long your raw prime rib lasts depends on the method of preservation.

Generally speaking, prime rib can last in the fridge for 3 days if it was stored properly using the wet-age method.  However, if you choose to use the dry-age method, then raw prime rib can be kept in the fridge for 3 months maximum time based on USDA.

If you choose to keep your raw prime rib in the freezer using the wet age method, it can stay for up to 2 weeks, but with the dry-age method, you can keep it for up to 6 months.

Dry-Age Method Of Raw Prime Rib

This method requires you to completely dry your uncooked prime rib before refrigerating. With this method, you can keep it for as long as 3 months in the fridge, but you must remember to uncover it.

However, this method is applied only when you have plans of keeping your uncooked prime rib for that long.

Wet-Age Method Of Raw Prime Rib

If you won’t be keeping your prime rib for more than a week or two, then the wet age method is your best option.

This method does not take time. After the entire process, feel free to refrigerate for about a week or two and ensure you cook well before eating to kill outer bacteria.

How To Properly Thaw Prime Rib?

When you’re finally ready to devour your prime rib, You can thaw it in the fridge or at about 68 degrees Fahrenheit (room temperature).

You can also melt in water. When you use the water or room temperature method, ensure you cook immediately to avoid spoilage.

Thawing at room temperature is the traditional way of defrosting, and some believe it’s the best way to leave the prime rib tender.

It can take as long as 16 hours to defrost with this method. 


However, if time is not on your side, your best bet would be to thaw in water; it will take about 3 to 4 hours, depending on the size of the beef. This is a natural method of defrosting.

How Long Can A Defrosted Prime Rib Stay In The Fridge?

So, what if you’ve defrosted your prime rib? Would it still be safe in the fridge? If yes, for how long?

Your raw prime rib can last as long as five days in the fridge after defrosting. Keep a tray beneath the meat to collect leaking juice while defrosting.

How Can I Prevent My Raw Prime Rib From Going Bad In The Fridge After Defrosting?

Refrigerating defrosted prime rib is not the best, because it might alter its flavor, quality, and freshness.

You may also introduce molds into it accidentally due to a change in temperature.

However, you can always stay on top of the situation. Leave your standing rib roast in the fridge for about 18 hours.

This way, you can be sure to get an even thaw and also keep the beef at a perfect temperature, less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, although the process is slow.

Can I Freeze My Prime Rib Roast?

Uncooked prime rib lasts longer when frozen than when kept in the fridge. Hence, it’s safe to conclude that your raw beef can last up to 6 months or even more in the freezer.

Prime Rib Roast

However, for cooked beef, you can’t get that long duration. Cooked meat can only last about 2 to 3 months in the freezer and less than five days in the fridge.

When you’re freezing, the temperature should be at 0 degrees Fahrenheit or below.

How Long Can I Keep My Prime Rib At Room Temperature?

If you are one of such people who forget meat outside the refrigerator, remember bacteria grow within a very short time, leading to food poisoning or severe infection. This is because bacteria in foods thrive better at room temperature.

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), meat, pork, beef, chicken, among others, should not stay more than two hours out of the refrigerator.

In a situation where the outside temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit, your prime rib should not be kept out of the refrigerator for more than an hour.

Can I Cook My Prime Rib Frozen?

Okay, so you forgot to bring out your prime rib from the freezer, and there’s no time to start defrosting, right? Not a problem.

You can cook your prime rib directly without defrosting, but it must be cooked at a high temperature.

All you have to do is boil the frozen rib for 4 to 5 minutes, after which you can go ahead to cook in a pot or pan.

This method only takes about 15 minutes to cook; however, ensure the beef is newly frozen.

How Long To Refrigerate Cooked Prime Rib

Once cooked, you should have the intention of consuming it as soon as possible. In situations where there are leftovers, you can still keep them intact for a week.

Ensure you cover it with a paper towel or cheesecloth; better still; leave it uncovered to avoid build-up moisture that leads to bacteria.

How To Reheat Prime Rib

Fortunately for you, after eating to your satisfaction, you have leftovers, but you’re worried about maintaining the hard-won moist, center pink.

Worry not, for you we have more than one option to maintain the quality of your favorite beef cut.

Reheat On The Stovetop

This is done with the help of a steamer basket. Add a little amount of water to the bottom of the pot; consider the size of your pot when adding water.

Place the steamer basket over the pot and allow the liquid to simmer. Cut the leftover prime rib into slices and wrap the pieces in an aluminum foil-made pouch.

Place the pouch in the basket and cover it properly. Steam the meat for about 6 minutes.

You can check through the pouch to confirm if it’s warmed evenly. If not, rewrap the pouch and leave it for another minute or two.

Continue to check until you’re satisfied with the result, but be careful not to overcook it.

Reheat In The Oven

To employ this method, you have to preheat the steaming is a gentle way to warm up a sliced prime rib to around 250F.

Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of broth to a small baking pan and place the slices of prime rib on it.

You can also use leftover pan gravy or water in place of broth, although water tends to reduce the quality of the meat.

Place an aluminum foil tightly on the pan and leave it in the oven for about 10 minutes, after which you transfer the rib to a serving platter immediately to avoid overcooking.

Reheat In Microwave

I would only recommend this method if you’re in a hurry. The microwave is so powerful that it can cook out all delicacies from your prime rib and leave you to almost nothing.

You would also notice the pink center turn to gray in no time.

Although, if you’re careful enough, you can still pull through with this method. Get a clean heat-resistant bowl, add few tablespoons of broth and place your slices of prime rib in it.

Cover the bowl with the perfect lid or plastic wrap and microwave at high temperature for less than 2 minutes.

This should be enough to remove the chill, depending on the number of slices you have. Transfer to a serving platter immediately to discontinue cooking.

Enjoy It Cold

It might interest you to know that your prime rib can also be enjoyed cold some people prefer to eat it cold.

You could add your thinly sliced prime rib to sandwiches or main dish salads. You could also chop it and add it to a stir-fry.

How Can I Tell If My Prime Rib Has Gone Bad?

So, you’re all set to eat your favorite beef cut. Unfortunately, you can’t find the pink color at the center, and it’s now gray. Just before you give up on your prime rib, read the following few lines.

Beef, when it comes in contact with oxygen, is red. In the absence of oxygen, it gives a gray shade. Hence the color change could be a result of a lack of oxygen rather than spoilage.

The red color can be preserved by packing the prime rib in an oxygen-permeable plastic wrap so that oxygen can come in contact with it. It is also important to note where the gray color is.

Your prime rib might just be fine if it’s a little bit gray on the inside, but if the outer part is gray, there’s a probability that it’s spoilt. 

If it has a slimy texture, you can carry out a sniff test to be sure. A smelly beef should be discarded. 

Final Words

Prime rib can last for up to six months depending on how you preserve it. It could last for more than 6 months in the freezer, and up to 3 months in the fridge, when you use the dry-age method.

If you’re using the wet-age method, it can stay for up to two weeks in the freezer and three days in the fridge.

However, if you are not careful enough or you’re not sure if it’s still safe to consume, feel free to carry out the simple sniff test and make the right decision.

This is because, as delicious as prime rib is, it’s only enjoyed with its quality still intact. Go ahead and do the needful with your beef. 

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