How Long Is Prime Rib Good for in the Fridge

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Found yourself in the kitchen and pondering how long your prime rib will last?

You don’t want to let this expensive cut go to waste!

Let’s discuss the timings and what you need to know when storing a prime rib in the fridge.


Storage Timings When Refrigerating Prime Rib

You should know basic food safety storage like keeping meat in the fridge before cooking.

The temperature conditions and low oxygen levels prevent bad bacteria growth.

But what are the timings in refrigerated storage conditions for a beef prime rib?

See below where I have covered thawed and fresh meat as well as cooked beef.

How Long Can You Keep a Fresh Prime Rib in the Fridge?

– A fresh piece of beef rib will last for 4 days after purchase in the fridge.

How Long Can You Keep Thawed Prime Rib in the Fridge

– A completely defrosted prime rib keeps in the fridge for 3 days after thawing.

How Long Can You Keep Cooked Prime Rib Meat in the Fridge

Cooked prime rib roast will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.


Reduce Contact With Oxygen When Refriderating Prime Rib 

You should minimize the exposure to oxygen when refrigerating a prime rib.

The air carries billions of contaminating pathogenic bacteria.

Storing in the fridge will lower the airflow but you should always add an extra layer of protection.

Keep uncooked meat in the original packaging until it’s the cooking time!

Completely cover with layers of shrink wrap when breaking down larger pieces.

Cooked meat can be stored in airtight containers.


Are There Factors That Can Change These Storage Times?

As a rule of thumb, you should use the above timings as guidance.

Reading further will provide you with information on how to check for bad beef.

There are a few factors you may wish to consider when calculating storage times.

Check the Expiry Date for Your Prime Rib

It is important to check the sell-by date on the original store packaging.

This will help you plan the cooking process and lower the chance of wastage.

You may have brought leftover meat on sale with a shorter expiry than 4 days.


Your Refrigerator Can’t Keep a Constant Temperature

An old refrigerating unit can malfunction and not keep up the safe temperature range.

Check with a calibrated temperature probe.

Note: We will cover the safe temperature ranges later!

You may also frequently be opening the door and cause temperature spikes.

Consider buying a smaller fridge for meat storage.


Plan Out Your Timings

With the clock ticking down a good tip is to plan when you are cooking.

Lowering the chances of you leaving it in the fridge for longer than required.

A prime rib is expensive and yearning to be cooked for a special occasion!

Plan out when you want that tasty dinner with the storage timings.

A cooking technique I live by to avoid food wastage.

You should also plan out how much prime rib you need per person. I will to use this calculate to ensure I buy enough.


Know the Safe Temperature for Refrigerated Beef

We know extended periods out of the fridge cause bacterial growth.

But what exactly is the safe temperature range in your fridge?

And how can we accurately monitor the temperature?

The ‘Danger’ Temperature Range for Harmful Bacteria

Cooked or raw meat must be stored in the below-temperature range.

Not doing so will speed up the refrigeration times and risk food poisoning.

The temperature range that bacteria thrive at is 40°F – 140°F.

The safe temperature in the fridge is between 0°F and 39°F.


How to Accurately Monitor the Temperature

Use a calibrated thermometer to accurately monitor the temperature of your fridge.

A meat probe for monitoring the internal temperature will do just fine.

This is a crucial item to have in your arsenal when cooking.

The Maximum Time You Can Leave Prime Rib at Room Temp

Whole cuts of beef like prime rib can be left unrefrigerated for up to 60 minutes.

Smaller cuts don’t hold the temperature as well, so don’t leave them out for more than 30 mins.


How Will I Know if My Prime Rib Has Gone Bad?

Air Exposure to the Beef Cuts

We briefly covered air exposure but I want to repeat!

Did you remove the prime rib from the original packaging?

Or have noticed a breach in the seal?

Check the packaging for holes and secure it with plastic wrap if required.

Check the Texture of Your Prime Rib

If you are still not sure then check for a slimy texture.

Air exposure can also cause moisture loss.

This can be indicated by a dry texture.


Know the Color of Rancid Beef

Fresh and safe-to-eat beef has a darker red exterior with a light pink center. 

The grey color indicates spoilage bacteria.

Bad meat will also tend to get darker in color from oxidization.

Inspect for signs of discoloration in your prime rib carefully.

This is because it might be a different color in the middle or at the bottom.

Smell Your Cuts of Beef to Be Sure

Probably the most effective way to know if meat products are bad.

As a foul odor and your natural response are hard to ignore.

This definitive smell may stink of rotten eggs.

Or have a characteristic sulfur-like smell.

Important Food Safety Considerations

– Note down the expiry date and plan to cook.

– Frozen food is best thawed in the refrigerator.

– Cook thawed rib meat on the day of defrosting.

– Accurately monitor the storing temperatures.

– Know the color, smell, and texture will indicate bad meat.

– Do not have a prime rib for longer than 4 days.

Refrigerate cooked meat on the day.

– Do not leave a whole prime rib at room temp for longer than 60 mins.

– Do not leave smaller cuts of prime rib at room temp for longer than 30 mins.

Minimize air exposure with an air-tight container.

Throw away if unsure.

Contact medical services if you are suffering severe food poisoning.


Summarizing How Long Prime Rib Is Good in the Fridge

So there we are!

I hope you have found this article useful when wanting to store a prime rib.

Below is my summary of how long you can keep a prime rib in the fridge.

– Plan when you are cooking the prime rib based on the expiry date.

– A fresh piece of the beef rib will keep in the fridge for 4 days after purchase.

– A completely defrosted prime rib keeps in the fridge for 3 days after thawing.

– Cooked meat from a prime rib roast will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.

Always rest your prime rib for at least 20 minutes before serving it.

Freeze the prime rib on the day of purchase if you are exceeding these timescales.

– Keep the prime rib airtight when refrigerating.

– Have a way to accurately monitor your storage temperatures.

– Thaw prime rib in the fridge and cook on the date of defrosting.

Refer to the physical signs for telling if the meat has gone bad.

Smoke On!


Hi, I’m Charlie, I have been meat-smoking and grilling for the past 15 years. I have an array of different smokers, thermometers, and have a love for finding the right wood and charcoal combo My favourite recipes are my EXTRA CRISPY smoked pork belly, juicy pulled pork, smoked brisket, duck poppers, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill).

I loves sharing his tips with beginners, helping them navigate the world of smoking. I find it’s not just about cooking; it’s a quest for that perfect smoky flavor.

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 recipes with you!

You can read more about me on our About Us page.

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