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Jan 30, 2009 05:58 AM

How long can I keep Prime Rib before cooking it?

Some friends from out of town were suppose to come today but may be delayed for another 1 or 2 days. I bought a prime rib standing roast yesterday, expecting to cook it today or tomorrow for their arrival.

Now that they may be several days late, will the prime rib keep?

How long can I wait before roasting it?


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  1. 2 days should be fine, esp. if properly packaged and sealed tight in a fridge that is adjusted correctly temp-wise.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit

      Thanks for the quick reply, ipsedixit. The roast sits in the coldest part of my fridge, wrapped in butcher's paper and sealed in a plastic bag. Will this do?

      I just called my friends (it's Friday today) and it looks like they won't be able to make the roast until Sunday. I've never made a roast this size (8lbs) at such expense ($120) before so I hope it will keep well until then.

      1. re: DishyDiva

        It should be fine.

        One caveat, and one thing that none of may be able to control, is how long the roast sat in the refrigerator case at the butcher (or market) before you bought it.

        Still, given the relatively short time frame, I don't believe it should be a problem.

        Good luck and enjoy the roast!

    2. I dry aged a prime rib roast for 2 weeks and trimmed off the outside, it turned out wonderfully. The critical component is the right temperature of the cooler. I used a probe in a glass of water to keep it between 35-38. It could have aged a couple more weeks and next time I try, it'll go this long. The real issue is giving up cooler space for a large rib roast.

      Do an Internet search on dry age as there are numerous hits with excellent information.

      4 Replies
      1. re: spinblue

        I complete agree with you. I know that home dry-aging isn't the same as the butcher shop but I always try for at least a week. I unwrap the meat, give it a rinse, put it on a plate and put it uncovered in the coldest part of the fridge. It will be pretty disgusting looking after a week or so, so I try to hide it from my guests :) But it really does make a difference.

        1. re: spinblue

          I'd love to try it for that long. The most I can get is 4 days for the annual Christmas standing prime rib before my family starts screaming. Such a bummer since there is an empty ref available to do just this - it wouldn't pick up the flavors of others things in the ref. Even at 4 days though, it makes a difference.

          Do you add a pan of water to keep the humidity up?

          1. re: alwayscooking

            I believe you want to keep the humidity DOWN. It's dry-aging.

            1. re: jaykayen

              Beef requires some moisture to allow a gradual and even drying. Most dry-aging lockers will keep the humidity at 70-80%.

        2. Bought a standing rib roast for a party in December, life happens when you're making plans, had to delay for six days. The beef was fine on the bottom shelf of the refer, double wrapped in cling wrap.

          1. You've got nothing to worry about. The roast is good in the fridge for at least a week, maybe two. If you're going to hold it for a long time, just make sure it isn't sitting in a puddle of its own juices. IMHO the easiest way to do this is to put the roast on a rack in a roasting pan, cover it loosely with foil, and rinse out the pan every day or two.

            What time is dinner on Sunday?

            1 Reply
            1. re: alanbarnes

              Well, my guests have returned home -- well-fed and content. The prime rib was a hit!

              As the roast had already been dry-aged by the butcher (hence the exorbitant price), I didn't want to age it further myself. Still, I followed your advice, Alan, and placed in on a rack on a roasting pan and covered it with foil. Only a tiny amount of juice drained out. There was a nice layer of fat covering most of the rib so it didn't dry out.

              Five days after purchase, I slow-roasted the rib according to Corriher's COOKWISE and it turned out beautifully: melt-in-your-mouth buttery-moist. It was the best rib I'd ever prepared.

              Thanks again for the reassurances!