Can Your Freeze Prime Rib? (Super Simple Guide)

Sometimes you can buy the perfect cut of meat at the wrong time. 

Picture this: 

You’ve just bought a delicious prime rib. It was special and you couldn’t resist the amazing price. 

But you want to save it for the holidays or a special event down the track… 

Is popping it in the freezer a possibility?

I’m glad you asked.

Freezing prime rib is a great option and this guide will show you how to do it. 

What is Prime Rib? 

Before we get into freezing let’s talk about the cut of the meat.

Often people get confused between the prime rib and the ribeye.

They both come from the same area, but the ribeye is a smaller cut. Both are great cuts of meat, but today we’ll be talking about what to do with your prime rib.

Prime rib, also known as prime rib roast or standing rib roast comes from the front section of the backbone.

The cut has a fair bit of marbling, meaning that the meat is reasonably tender.

As the name suggests it is perfect for roasting, smoking, or in a crockpot. 

Prime rib is a great dish for feeding many people. It has a delicious beefy flavor and is a high-quality cut.

It’s popular at restaurants and it’s about to become popular in your home! 

It is Worth It?

Is the prime rib the cheapest piece of meat one can buy?

No.

But when it goes on special it can be a real investment.

A prime rib roast is a large cut of meat that doesn’t have to be used all at once.

The average prime rib comes in at 8lbs and you need at least 1lbs of prime rib per person. So you can portion it out and freeze it.

Freezing Your Raw Prime Rib

You can freeze cooked prime rib, just ensure the meat hasn’t been frozen and thawed already.

To freeze your raw prime rib you place it in a freezer-safe bag, then label it with the date and cut of meat. Then use it within 8 months.

Freezing Your Prime Rib After Cooking

If you are are intending to freeze leftovers, be sure to do so within 2 hours of cooking your prime rib. 

You can choose to freeze the entire cut of meat or slice the rib into portions.  

If you aren’t sure how much meat you will be eating, freeze the prime rib in large pieces to stop it from drying out. 

Here Are The Steps for Freezing Your Cooked Prime Rib. 

1. Let the meat cool down. 

2. Wrap the meat in plastic wrap or freezer paper. 

3. Put wrapped prime rib in a heavy-duty freezer bag or airtight container. 

4. Seal and date your meat. 

Feel free to leave your prime rib in the freezer for up to 9 months! 

Defrosting Your Prime Rib

Defrosting your meat before cooking it again is the best way to get the most flavor out of your prime rib. 

However, don’t worry if you’ve forgotten to thaw it… 

If you’re choosing to put the beef in a casserole or a crockpot dish you might not need to defrost it at all. 

Another option is to do cold-water defrost. Place the meat in a resealable plastic bag and submerge the meat in a bowl of cold water. Change water every 30 minutes until meat is thawed. 

Alternatively, you could use a microwave to defrost the meat. 

If the steak becomes dry sprinkle some cold water on it to keep it fresh. 

Neither of these methods is as effective as thawing the beef overnight.

However, they can be effective options when you’re short of time. 

Serving After Freezing

It’s time to have prime rib again!

But first, remove the frozen meat and put it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. 

Next, take it out of the refrigerator, remove its plastic packaging and cover prime rib in foil. This will stop the meat from drying out.

Then have your oven temperature at 250 degrees and place the foil-wrapped meat in. 

Heat the prime rib until it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Use a meat thermometer to be sure of this. 

You should now be ready to serve!

Our Favorite Way to Cook Prime Rib 

There are many different ways to cook prime rib.

To get the best results, cook prime rib slowly and at a low temperature.

This is not a cut that should be cooked quickly, so feel free to take your time.

If you do choose to roast your prime rib after freezing, here is an example of some steps you could follow. 

1. Heat your oven to 450 degrees.  

2. Take out your prime rib and let it sit at room temperature for 20-30 minutes. 

3. Place your meat in a roasting pan and season it to your liking. 

4. Roast meat in the oven for 30 minutes. 

5. Reduce heat to 350 degrees and cook meat to the desired outcome. Your cooking time will be different depending on how well done you want it. 

6. Remove from oven and allow prime rib to rest for 15-20 minutes.

Carve, serve and enjoy! 

Roasting is not the only cooking technique you can choose, you can also smoke your prime rib

In terms of seasoning, you can put as much or as little as you wish with prime rib. Many people choose to let it sit in its natural meat juices (or jus), to encourage a juicy flavor. Here is another example of a prime rib recipe and a different method of seasoning. 

What Your Need to Watch Out For

Cooking, freezing, defrosting can all get a bit complicated.

Here are a couple of warnings to make sure your chunk of meat stays good.

  • A major risk with frozen meat is freezer burn. This means that that the water in the meat can turn to ice crystals that can then damage the muscle cell structure. To avoid this make sure the beef is wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and sealed well. 
  • Avoid reheating prime ribs for too long because they can dry out.
  • Once the cuts of beef have been thawed don’t refreeze them. Avoid food poisoning at all costs. 
  • If you are worried about cooking raw meat, a meat thermometer is a big help. It’s also a great investment if you’re looking to cook other types of frozen food in the future. 

If you choose not to freeze your prime rib that’s okay too. Prime rib can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 5 days 

Recipe Ideas

Prime rib is a great option to have as your main with a couple of assorted sides or vegetable dishes.

If you end up with leftovers there are also plenty of ways you can still use the meat. 

Here are some leftover beef recipes;

  • Beef stroganoff
  • Quesadillas 
  • Beef barley soup
  • Prime rib soup
  • Prime rib chili
  • Prime rib tacos
  • Sandwiches and wraps

Prime rib is an incredibly versatile meat, you can even try it in pasta!

The options are endless so feel free to be as imaginative as you want. 

It’s perfect as a main dish and makes a flavorful roast. But it can also be slow-cooked, roasted, and used in a variety of leftovers. 

Get on down to your local butcher shop and freeze this juicy meat for a special weekend or holiday.

When do you save prime rib for? 

Smoke On!

Charlie

Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)

You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!

You can read more on our About Us page.

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