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.
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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! But 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.
Of course, the exact amount of days your prime rib will stay good will depend on where you buy it as well as 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. But if it is a day or two past that date by the time you cook your prime rib, 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, as this is just the date it needs to be sold by.
Also, take a look at how your prime rib is packaged. If you purchased your prime rib from a butcher and it is simply wrapped in paper, then this won’t last as long as a prime rib that has been vacuum sealed.
Because 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 a prime rib when you plan to cook and eat it within 2-3 days of purchasing. This will ensure you have the best experience possible with your prime rib.
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How Long Can Cooked Prime Rib 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 cooked prime rib 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. You will want to plan to put your leftover prime rib in the fridge as soon as it is cooled and no later than 2 hours after you pull it out of the oven.
You will also want to 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.
How to Store Prime Rib
Prime rib stays good the longest when it isn’t exposed to air. If you have purchased your prime rib from a butcher, it is always advised to wrap the meat or place it in another bag if you plan to wait a day or two before you cook it.
Even if your prime rib came in plastic wrap, you need to take care of where you place it in the fridge. Prime rib needs to be as far from the door as possible and preferably on a shelf where possible so escaping juices won’t contaminate other foods in your fridge.
We recommend always placing your prime rib 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.
How to Reheat Prime Rib
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 you originally served the meat with, 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 the prime rib in aluminum foil and place it on the center rack 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.
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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.
For Raw Prime Rib:
Your prime rib should be a bright red color. If it is gray, then your prime rib is not safe to cook.
Take a whiff of your prime rib. Bad prime rib will smell rancid or rotten. If you sniff your prime rib and it is even slightly off-smelling, it is best to toss it out rather than risk food poisoning.
Cooked Prime Rib
Check for Mold
With cooked prime rib, it will likely be brown already (or pink if you like it rarer), but you’ll want to 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 cooked prime rib. 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.
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