Prime rib is usually a popular meat that is featured during the holiday season. Also known as a standing rib roast, this meat is cut from the the primal rib, one of the nine primal cuts of beef. If you plan to cook a prime rib roast during the holidays, odds are that you had to order your prime rib ahead of time which means that you may need to store your meat days before cooking it.
How long can a prime rib last in the fridge? A prime rib should last in the fridge for 3-5 days prior to cooking. If vacuumed sealed, an uncooked prime rib roast can last for over a week. It is essential that the uncooked prime rib roast remains properly refrigerated to prevent harmful bacteria growth. Cooked prime rib should last in the fridge for up to 4 days.
How Long Can Uncooked Prime Rib Last in the Fridge?
According to the USDA, uncooked prime rib meat should last 3-5 days in the fridge if stored properly. One of the most important things to remember when storing meat is to seal the package from outside air. Air can cause harmful bacteria growth which can greatly impact the taste and quality of your prime rib roast.
After you purchase your prime rib roast, it is recommended to leave the meat in the original store packaging (provided that it was correctly sealed). Not only will this maximize the shelf life of your prime rib but it will also help retain as much of the juices within the meat from when it was first cut.
How Long Can Cooked Prime Rib Last in the Fridge?
From my personal experience, a prime rib roast usually is best to consume within the first two days after the meat has been cooked. In most cases, cooked prime rib will last up to four days in the fridge. Actually, the meat tends to taste even better when it has been stored in the marinade sauce. Leftover prime rib is quite tasty!
For the best results when eating prime rib leftovers, heat up the meat in the oven instead of the microwave. Aluminum foil is a great option to use for heating up prime rib in the oven. The microwave tends to overcook the meat too quickly and can cause the meat to taste a little chewy.
Can You Cook a Prime Rib Roast After the “Sell By” Date?
You can certainly use a prime rib roast after the “sell by” date on the packaging. This date just helps the store better understand how long to display certain foods for their inventory management. Manufacturers tend to be more cautious when providing food “best by” dates in order to provide their consumers with the highest quality food.
The meat will still be at peak quality for days after the “sell by” date, provided that the meat has been stored in a safe and appropriate manner. There is a low chance that the quality of the meat will really be impacted from cooking just a few days after the “sell by” date.
How Far in Advance Can You Buy a Prime Rib Roast?
You can buy a prime rib roast up to 5 days ahead of the time that you decide to cook it. If the package is vacuum sealed, the meat will not lose quality, actually some argue that it helps enhance the taste for a period of time through the process of wet-aging.
If you decide to store the prime rib roast in the freezer rather than the fridge, you can buy the prime rib several months prior to the date that you wish to cook. Just be sure you allow enough time to properly defrost the prime rib.
Dry-Age Method of Storing Uncooked Prime Rib
You can choose to dry your uncooked prime rib roast before storing which allows for the meat to stay fresh for up to 3 months in the fridge (and sometimes even longer!).
In order to dry-age your uncooked prime rib roast, first place a roasting rack on top of a salted sheet plan. Then, place your prime rib uncovered on the rack. Finally, store the prime rib in the fridge and allow it to age for at least 30 days.
Wet-Age Method of Storing Uncooked Prime Rib
If you plan to cook your prime rib roast within the next two weeks, the best method is wet-age. Wet-age is a very easy method to follow as you are simply leaving the roast in the vacuum sealed packaging in a refrigerator set at 35 degrees F. It is recommended to turn over the beef every 5-7 days during this process.
It is important that the wet-age method is only used for vacuum sealed meat – air is your worst enemy here.
How to Tell If a Prime Rib Has Gone Bad
There are two great ways to tell if prime rib has gone bad: color and smell.
When it comes to the color test, you want to look for a red color in your prime rib as that likely means oxygen hasn’t impacted the meat. A grey color in meat usually means that it was exposed to oxygen.
When it comes to the smell test, meat can give off a fairly rancid smell when it is expired or has gone bad. If your meat has rotten smell, do not cook or consume it. Bacteria may have started to grow on the meat which will now make it unsafe to consume.
Always been cautious when evaluating if your prime rib is safe for consumption but these ways are usually two good places to start.
A prime rib roast is a wonderful meat to serve for your guests and it can be kept fresh in your fridge for several days prior to cooking. You can also utilize methods like dry-aging or wet-aging to prolong the timeline of the prime rib roast while it is being stored in the fridge.
Since an uncooked prime rib roast can be stored for up to 5 days prior to cooking, your prime rib roast can be purchased many days prior to your special occasion or holiday celebration!