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Dec 20, 2010 07:46 AM

How far in advance should I purchase a rib roast?

I plan to make a standing rib roast for our Christmas dinner this Saturday. Costco had some nice looking ones and I'd like to pick one up from there. How long can a roast like that sit around in my refrigerator?

I'm going by Costco today and I would love to not have to go back again later in the week .However, five days seems like a long time to leave meat sitting around, but maybe it is different for a roast? Also, Costco had so many that I figure I'd be buying the same one whether I buy it today or a few days later (or maybe not, I'm not sure).

So should I pick up one today while I'm there, or am I better off waiting? Thanks!

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  1. That is kind of a long time for it to be sitting in the fridge. If you had to buy it now, you could wrap it up and freeze it, but that seems sort of silly unless Costco is a drive for you. You might talk to the butcher there and ask how they are packaged. Like if they come in frozen - ask for a frozen one - that way it will thaw slowly in the fridge and be ready to go by Christmas. If they are cryopacked you can leave it in the pack and not open it until the day of or the night before.

    So if you freeze - make sure to wrap it and let it freeze and then pull it out on Wed. or so depending on the size of the rib.

    1. Really, no one knows? I'm heading out to the store soon, please help!

      6 Replies
      1. re: mrs.corgi

        Mrs. Corgi, if it's cryovacced it will be just fine for Christmas dinner. It prolly is, if it's what I've seen at my local Costco recently. If you were buying it fresh from the butcher in butcher wrap, I'd tell you to wait until Wednesday, but this should be no problem whatsoever. One thing you might consider is that those things have a way of FLYING OFF THE SHELVES as the day gets closer and closer. If it were me, I'd get mine while the getting's good, and keep it in the coldest part of your refrigerator. The day of, make sure you take it out and bring it to room temp. before roasting. Have a lovely, beefalicious Christmas; eat a Yorkshire pud. for me.

        1. re: mamachef

          Thanks for the advice! I'm pretty sure the ones I saw were not cryovacced. They had a bunch completely unwrapped, I guess maybe they cut to size then wrap. They also had some prime ones that were on styrofoam trays covered with plastic wrap. I think I'll see what the sell by dates say and maybe I'll get lucky and find a knowledgeable meat guy.

          1. re: mrs.corgi

            3-5 days is perfectly fine.....I do three days usually, but the during the holidays it's usually five days...2-3 days marinating in dry rubs.....3-5 days air drying uncovered or unwrapped.

            1. re: fourunder

              Agreed and you know WAY more than I do. I just put a piece of waxed paper over.

            2. re: mrs.corgi

              That's the ticket, lady. And if you look below, you'll see that fourunder backs it up.

              1. re: mamachef

                The key to storing any beef, or pork, whether a steak or a to make sure it does not sit in any of its juices or blood, which causes it to decay faster and have the foul smell, that;s the reason for the absorbing pad in the retail packaging. You need to either suspend the roast on string or slats.....or in this case, keep paper towels under the bones and change them daily.

                Sometimes a slimy film will develop on the outer meat surface...this simply needs to be removed by scraping with a knife. Even at the butcher, when he pulls a piece of meat out of his showcase, he scrapes the meat with a gadget that resembles a peeler or cheese slicer/tongue scraper......this is not a bad thing. At air drying for 5 days....there is minimal trimming of outer beef like necessary with the dry aging process.

        2. I'd buy it today, the stores keep meat at least that long if not sold so why shouldn't you?

          1. Perfect opportunity to dry age it yourself, for even better flavor (assuming you have room in the fridge:


            4 Replies
            1. re: ChefBoyAreMe

              That's a nice article.....but two thoughts....

              * You do not need the cheesecloth steps
              * the pictures of the cooked prime rib broke my heart.....looked well done...:0)

              1. re: fourunder

                I didn't see the photo, but well-done prime rib just breaks my heart into a million tiny pieces. It's almost as egregious a sin as serving underdone chicken.

              2. re: ChefBoyAreMe

                I went ahead and purchased one today and I think I'll try to dry age it. I just hope that not too much of it that dries out as I bought a small roast to begin with. This is pretty sure thing, right? Not easy to mess up? I went for prime and it would be pretty painful to screw it up.

                Would covering it with a tea towl work instead of cheesecloth? I don't have any cheesecloth handy and I don't think I will be happy looking at a completely uncovered hunk of red meat every time I open the refrigerator.

                1. re: mrs.corgi

                  Dry aging, depending upon how long you do it, will cause you to lose at least 25% of the original weight; hope you took that into account. Please post how yours came out.