How Long Does Prime Rib Last in the Fridge?

Picture this: you’ve just cooked the most mouthwatering prime rib, and your guests have left your dinner party absolutely raving about your culinary prowess. But now you’re left with a generous amount of leftovers, and you wonder, “How long does prime rib last in the fridge?”

In this post, we’ll help you navigate the delicate balance between savoring those delectable leftovers and keeping food safety in mind.

NOTE: This article was reviewed by Melissa Macher, Registered Dietician and Food Scientist for safety and accuracy.

How Long Does Prime Rib Last in the Fridge?

We would be lying if we didn’t say one of our favorite parts of the holiday season is a delicious prime rib! This premium cut of meat can be expensive, so the last thing you want to do is have it go bad in your fridge. So how long can you expect it to last?

A fresh raw prime rib stored in the fridge will stay good for 3-5 days. If it is vacuum sealed, it may stay good even longer, possibly up to a week. Once a prime rib has been cooked, however, you shouldn’t expect it to save for more than 4 days. 

The number of days your prime rib will stay good will depend on where you buy it and how you store it. Read on to learn more about how long prime rib lasts in the fridge.

How Long Does Uncooked Prime Rib Last?

How long a raw or uncooked prime rib will last will depend on where and when you bought it. 

First, take a look at the best buy date. This is the date that you should plan to cook the prime rib before in order to have the best-tasting meal possible. If it is a day or two past that date, it’s likely still safe to eat as long as you check for signs of spoilage. 

Remember, a best-by and a sell-by date are not the same thing. If your prime rib has a sell-by date, then it’s safe to eat for 4-5 days past this date. 

Also, take a look at how your prime rib is packaged. If you purchased your meat from a butcher and it is simply wrapped in paper, this won’t last as long as a prime rib that has been vacuum sealed. 

It can be difficult to know just how long the butcher or store had your prime rib before it was sold. We recommend only purchasing one when you plan to cook and eat it within 2-3 days of purchasing. This will ensure you have the best experience possible.

Related >> Smoked Prime Rib Roast Recipe

uncooked prime rib with strings tied on it

How Long Can Leftovers Last in the Fridge?

Once you have cooked a prime rib, it can last about 4 days in the fridge. Keep in mind, however, that it may get tough the longer it is kept in the fridge. Therefore we recommend eating leftovers within 2 days of when you put it in the fridge. 

You will also want to ensure that you store your cooked prime rib properly to prevent bacteria from growing on the meat. Put your leftovers in the fridge as soon as it is cooled and no later than 2 hours after you pull it out of the oven.

Take the time to put it in an airtight container. We recommend glass containers as these are less likely to influence the taste of your leftover meat. 

cooked prime rib

How to Store

Prime rib stays good the longest when it isn’t exposed to air. If you have purchased your meat from a butcher, wrap it or place it in another bag unless you’re cooking it that day.

Even if your prime rib came in plastic wrap, you need to take care of where you place it in the fridge. All raw meat needs to be as far from the door as possible and preferably on a shelf so escaping juices won’t contaminate other foods in your fridge.

We recommend always placing raw meat in a pan to keep your fridge clean. You can also grab a turkey bag to store your prime rib in if a pan doesn’t fit in your fridge.

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How to Reheat

As mentioned above, prime rib can get very dry when it is stored in the fridge. We recommend putting aside some of the marinade or aus jus, as this will go great with the leftovers as well. 

It is best to reheat prime rib in the oven rather than the microwave. You should wrap it in aluminum foil and place it on the center rack. Set your oven at a medium or low heat level. While this method does take time, it will keep your meat from getting dry or tough as it would in the microwave. 

We’ve got an entire guide on reheating prime rib if you’d like to learn more.

Related >> How Long Does Roast Beef Last in the Fridge?

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05/25/2024 05:27 pm GMT

How to Tell Your Prime Rib Has Gone Bad

It happens to the best of us. Did you forget your prime rib for a few extra days, and you are wondering if it’s safe to eat? If so, you’ll want to start by checking it by following the directions below. 



Your prime rib should be a bright red color. If it is gray, then it is not safe to cook. 


Take a whiff of your prime rib. Bad meat will smell rancid or rotten. If you sniff it and it is even slightly off-smelling, it is best to toss it out rather than risk food poisoning

Related >> How Long Does Salsa Last in the Fridge? (And Signs It’s Bad)


Check for Mold

With cooked prime rib, it will likely be brown already (or pink if you like it rarer). Check for any signs of white or green mold growing on the meat, this is a sign it’s gone bad. 


Just like with raw prime rib, you’ll want to take a whiff of your leftovers. If it doesn’t smell like meat (or lacks a smell entirely), then it has gone bad, or has been in the fridge so long that eating it will no longer be pleasurable. It’s best to toss it out. 

Related >> How Much Prime Rib Per Person?

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Hope Davis

Born in Denver, Colorado as the oldest of 5 children, I learned at a young age that the grill was one of the best ways to prepare food for a crowd. And during the winter storm months, when the snow was likely to knock out the power to our house, the propane grill was a lifesaver! You wouldn’t believe the number of things you can cook on a grill when necessary. With parents who couldn’t tell salt from pepper unless you told them, I spent my late teen years making my own seasoning mixes and marinades to dress the meat before barbecues. It wasn’t long before I developed a secret marinade that people still beg me to make for them today! When I was 21 years old I bought my first smoker. Picked up some cedar chips for making a cedar plank salmon...and well, the rest they say is history! I’ve been grilling and smoking all kinds of creations ever since and I’m always excited to share my passion with others through my favorite medium--writing!

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