How long can you keep thawed prime rib in the refrigerator, what is the best way to store it, and how far in advance can I buy it? I have all of the answers for you (and more!) I'm going to cover everything you need to know about storing your uncooked prime rib in the fridge.
Keeping Thawed Prime Rib In The Fridge
You just went to the store and got a fresh and juicy cut of prime rib! When you get home, you know you need to put it into the fridge until you're ready to use it- but exactly how long can it stay there? And what is the best way to keep it fresh?
It is incredibly important to make sure your raw meat is properly stored so that it cannot grow bacteria and spread disease. Don't worry, I put together this guide that is all about keeping uncooked prime rib in the fridge (for the freshest and safest meat possible)!
Before getting started, make sure you check out my post about how to select the best prime rib!
How Long Can Thawed Prime Rib Last In The Fridge
In short, according to the USDA, uncooked prime rib can last for about 3-5 days in the fridge if it is stored properly (under 40°F/4°C).
Store the meat in a clean and dry corner of your fridge at a stable temperature. Place it on the bottom shelf and try to keep it from sitting in its own juices by using an elevated rack.
Storing Prime Rib In The Fridge
There are actually two distinct methods of storing raw prime rib in the fridge for extended periods of time that go past the USDA's recommendations. For longer periods of time, try the dry-age method. If you need storage for short-term only, try out the wet-age method.
Using the dry-age method of storing your prime rib actually allows it to stay fresh and safe for up to 3 months! This method does require some prep work and attention, but it is the best option if you really need your raw prime rib to last that long in the refrigerator.
It is important to understand, however, that this method will actually change the flavor of your prime rib. While it does work well to store in the fridge for extended periods of time, it will not taste the same as a freshly purchased cut of meat. Many people describe the flavor as richer or beefier, but it is a complete personal preference.
I recommend doing this method in a spare refrigerator if you have one.
- Wipe down your prime rib with a paper towel that has been dipped into salt water (about 2 teaspoons of salt in ½ cup of cold water). Then, pat it completely dry.
- Take a rimmed baking sheet and cover it with about 2 cups of coarse sea salt. Make sure that the entire surface of the baking sheet is covered.
- On top of the salt-covered sheet, place a roasting rack or a wire cooling rack, and set your prime rib on top.
- Place your prime rib into the fridge, uncovered.
- Turn your roast every few days to ensure even aging.
- The amount of time that you choose to dry-age your prime rib is based on personal preference. It could be anywhere from 7 to 60 days (or more!)
- Less than 14 days: You won't see much difference in the texture or flavor of the meat.
- 14 - 28 days: Your meat will begin to get more tender, but the flavor won't have much of a noticeable difference yet.
- 28 - 45 days: The meat will begin to have a stronger smell and a distinct flavor difference. It will also be moist and extra juicy. This time frame seems to be the most preferred.
- 45 - 60 days: At this point, the flavor will be pretty extreme. Some people will enjoy it a lot while others may think it is a bit too much.
- Some people prefer to wrap the roast in a cheesecloth, rather than leave it completely uncovered. This is fine, but you must remember to uncover and change the cheesecloth every 24-48 hours.
- Over time, your meat will get darker and dryer (and smellier).
- The temperature of the fridge needs to remain between 34°-38°F (1°-3°C).
The wet-age storage method is better suited to you if you intend to use your prime rib within the next 2 weeks, at most. It is a much simpler method than dry-aging your meat.
Let me preface this by saying that this method only works for vacuum-sealed meat. It cannot come into contact with air!
- Make sure that the prime rib you purchased is sealed in cryovac. It is not safe if it was trimmed by the butcher, placed on a styrofoam tray, and then covered in plastic wrap.
- Keeping the beef in its original vacuum-sealed packaging, simply place it into the fridge and walk away!
- Keep the fridge temperature as close to 35°F (2°C). If the temperature is too low, you could slowly freeze the meat. If it is too high, the meat could spoil.
- Make sure to rotate the prime rib every couple of days for even aging.
How Far In Advance Can You Buy Prime Rib
At most, you can buy your raw prime rib up to 5 days in advance before cooking it. Simply keep it in its original vacuum-sealed packaging and keep it in the fridge.
If it is not in vacuum-sealed packaging, you can place it on a wire rack inside of a sheet pan to keep it from sitting in its own juice.
Tips To Remember When Storing Thawed Prime Rib
- It is actually best to leave your meat uncovered (or covered with cheesecloth). If you cover the prime rib, it can trap moisture and harbor bacteria.
- According to the USDA, meat must remain below 40°F (4°C) in the fridge to prevent bacteria growth.
- Dry aging chambers fall into this same temperature range, however, those chambers are more sterile than your standard home fridge.
I hope this guide has answered all of your questions about storing prime rib in the fridge. Leave a comment down below and let me know what you think!
😋 Best Prime Rib Recipes
- Oven Roasted Prime Rib with Dry Rib Rub - This prime rib is coated with a homemade rub and roasted to perfection in the oven!
- Smoked Bison Prime Rib - If you're a fan of bison, try out this incredibly flavorful recipe that uses your smoker!
- Prime Rib Soup - This soup is perfect for those brisk fall evenings when you need some hearty and comforting soup!
- Prime Rib Eggs Benedict - For a sophisticated and delicious brunch, try out this eggs benedict recipe that uses prime rib!
- Boneless Prime Rib - This recipe is a classic and simple way of cooking some tender and flavorful prime rib!
- Prime Rib Pasta - If you are in the mood for a filling pasta dish, check out this amazingly delicious prime rib variation!
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How long can you keep thawed prime rib in the refrigerator?
- 8 lb prime rib roast
In Original Vacuum Sealed Packaging
- Leave your purchased raw prime rib in the vacuum sealed package if applicable. Store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. If you plan to freeze your prime rib, freeze it as soon as you get home.8 lb prime rib roast
If Shrink Wrapped
- If your purchased prime rib was packaged in shrink wrap or any wrap where it could be exposed to air, remove the packaging. Pat your roast dry with paper towels and place the raw prime rib on a wire rack in a baking sheet or pan. Cover with cheesecloth or leave uncovered and store in the fridge for up to 5 days.8 lb prime rib roast
To Dry Brine
- Dry brine your raw prime rib after removing it from packaging. Pat the roast dry with clean paper towels then place on a wire rack in a baking sheet or pan. Cover all sides of your prime rib with Kosher salt (*see notes). Leave in the fridge to dry brine for 24-48 hours.8 lb prime rib roast, salt
- For Crystal kosher salt use 1 teaspoon per pound of prime rib for dry brining, when using Morton's kosher salt reduce the amount and use ⅔ teaspoon per pound of prime rib.
- Dry brine for at least 24 hours, 48 hours is optimal.
Angela is an at home chef that developed a passion for all things cooking and baking at a young age in her Grandma's kitchen. After many years in the food service industry, she now enjoys sharing all of her family favorite recipes and creating tasty dinner and amazing dessert recipes here at Bake It With Love!