How Long Does Prime Rib Last in Fridge? A Timeline on Freshness

June 29, 2023
Written by Kristy J. Norton

Uncooked prime rib can last 3 to 5 days in the fridge while cooked meat can be stored safely for up to 4 days. If you want to store the meat for longer than this, it is best to freeze it.

After working so many years in a restaurant food safety has become second nature to me. However, I know that far too many people don’t understand the basics of storing meat in their fridge. Well, I am here to help!

In this post, I will answer the question of how long does prime rib last in fridge. I will also provide tips and tricks for storing the meat in the refrigerator, including how to age meat. Let’s get started!

how long does prime rib last in fridge

How Long Can You Store Raw Prime Rib in the Fridge?

According to the USDA, you can keep uncooked prime rib in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. After this, you should cook the raw prime rib.

If you are not going to be using the uncooked prime rib during this period, it is best to freeze it. When stored properly, the frozen raw prime rib can be kept in the freezer for up to 12 months.

However, for the best taste and texture, I would suggest that you use it within 6 months’ time.

How Long Can You Store Cooked Prime Rib in the Refrigerator?

Cooked prime rib will last in the fridge for up to 4 days.

If you are planning on storing prime rib for a longer period, then you will need to freeze the meat.

Cooked prime rib can be stored for up to 6 months in the freezer. For a better result, though, I would recommend reheating it within 3 to 4 months.

How to Store Uncooked Prime in the Refrigerator?

The first thing to remember is that you should place the raw prime rib in the fridge the moment you bring it home. Don’t leave it out at room temperature for any longer than necessary.

If the prime rib is in vacuum sealed packaging, then leave it as is. You may want to place the packaging in a tray to catch any liquids that may seep out.

In case the prime rib isn’t encased inside of its original packaging, then place it in an airtight container and refrigerate until it is needed.

How to Store Cooked Prime Rib in the Fridge?

Make sure to refrigerate cooked prime rib as soon as possible. For instance, if you know that you have cooked too much meat before the meal has even started, then carve out a section and store it then and there.

Otherwise, wait until the meat is over and you have leftover prime rib.

After you cook prime rib, place it in an air-tight container. Then, place it at the back of the refrigerator, where the temperature is the coldest.

How to Freeze Uncooked Prime Rib?

If the prime rib is in its original packaging, leave it as it is. You can always wrap it in an extra layer of plastic wrap if you like.

Otherwise, wrap the raw prime tightly in plastic wrap. You can also place it in a freezer bag but first, make sure to squeeze the excess air out of the bag before sealing it. This will help to prevent freezer burn.

I always like to write the date of freezing on the packaging beforehand. This lets me know when I should use the prime rib.

Then, go ahead and freeze prime rib until needed.

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How to Freeze Cooked Prime Rib?

It is pretty much the same process for freezing leftover prime rib.

Wrap the prime rib in aluminum foil, plastic wrapping, or freezer paper. Make sure to do so tightly so that you can prevent freezer burn.

You can also place the prime rib in a Ziploc or freezer bag. Squeeze out any excess air before sealing it up. Then, write the date of freezing on the packaging and place it in the freezer.

Sliced Prime Rib Roast

Ageing Beef vs. Storing Prime

Before you can figure out how long uncooked prime rib roast can last in the fridge, you have to think about why you are refrigerating the meat in the first place.

For instance, are you simply storing the prime rib roast or standing rib roast until you cook it? If so, then you should follow the above guidelines.

On the other hand, if you wish to age the uncooked prime rib, then the rules are a little different.

So, what does it mean to age prime rib and why would you want to do it?

Ageing prime rib means storing prime rib in the fridge using certain processes. In doing so, you are able to naturally tenderize the meat and improve the beef flavor.

In short, ageing the meat makes it tastier and tender.

There are two ways to age prime rib – there is dry aging and wet aging.

Both of these methods call for the beef to be kept in the fridge for a much longer period of time. With the dry aging method, the prime rib roast is kept in the refrigerator for up to 9 days. For the wet age method, the prime rib can be left in the fridge for anywhere from one week to 28 days.

Now, I know what you are thinking – how on earth can you keep prime rib for that many many days in the fridge and not have the meat go bad?

Well, as I mentioned before, this is because you have to follow very specific procedures to ensure that the prime rib ages and that it doesn’t spoil.

The Dry Age Method

If you would like dry aged meat, then follow these steps. In a professional setting, you would use dry aging chambers as they are a lot more sterile. However, in this case, you will be relying on the refrigerator.

Step 1

Remove the prime rib from its packaging.

Rinse under running water. Then, pat dry with a paper towel. The meat should be completely dry.

Step 2

Wrap the prime rib in three layers of cheesecloth.

Step 3

Place a wire rack in a baking tray or pan.

Place the wrapped prime rib on the wire rack, fat side up.

Keep it in the refrigerator for 24 hours.

Step 4

Take the prime rib out of the refrigerator and remove the cheesecloth.

Take a fresh piece of cheesecloth and wrap the prime rib in this.

Place the prime rib back on the rack and put it back in the refrigerator for 6 to 9 days.

Step 5

Trim the fat, the ends, and any discolored sections before seasoning and cooking the prime rib.

Raw Red Prime Rib Roast

The Wet Age Method

Here are the steps you should follow for the wet aging method for the prime rib:

Step 1

If the prime rib is not in vacuum sealed packaging, then vacuum seal it.

If you have a machine, simply place the prime rib in the designated bag, squeeze out excess air, and then seal using the machine.

If you don’t have a machine, then place the prime rib in a Ziploc bag. Seal the bag up but leave about an inch of the seam unzipped.

Place the bag in a large pot of water. Then, use one hand to squeeze out all the excess air in the bag. Then, seal up the bag.

Step 2

Place the vacuum sealed meat in the coldest part of the refrigerator and keep it in the refrigerator for up to 28 days.

How to Know If Prime Rib is Spoiled?

Now, if you have followed the instructions carefully, then nothing should go wrong when aging your prime rib.

However, if you miss any of the steps or if the beef is not especially fresh, then there is a risk that bacteria may have grown on the prime rib.

To ensure that you are about to cook safe meat, always check the roast out.

To begin with, take a whiff – does the meat smell sour or off? If so, it is spoiled. Aging will cause the beef smell to be more notable but it will still smell like meat.

The other thing to watch out for is a slimy or tacky texture on the surface of the prime rib. This means that bacteria have begun to grow.

While some discoloration is normal during the aging process, whitish grey areas or green sections are cause for concern. If you notice these shades, you need to toss out the meat.

Wrapping It Up

Well, if you want to know how long prime rib can last in the fridge, then you have come to the right place! With this knowledge, you will know how long you can safely store your meat. And, since I have also provided tips on how to dry and wet age prime rib, this is something new that you can try!

By Kristy J. Norton
I'm Kristy – a chef and connoisseur of all things BBQ! You can find me either in my kitchen (or someone else's) or at a big outdoor barbecue surrounded by friends and family. In both my professional and personal life I’ve picked up more than a few tips and tricks for turning out delicious food. I consider it a privilege to share it with others!
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