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Dec 16, 2011 07:52 PM

Beef ribs thawing in fridge for 7 days- Safe or not safe to eat?

I have 4 HUGE beef ribs that were in my freezer for the past 6 months that I forgot about. I was planning on making them last weekend, so I took them out to thaw but those plans fell thru so I left them in the fridge until this weekend. They have been in the paper package that I bought them in, sealed with tape. I opened the package tonight and it has a little bit of a funky smell but does not look like it is green molded.

After all don't steakhouses dry age meat? I'm sure there is a real science to that so this isn't the same thing.

My plan was to give it a shot, sear it, then slowly braise them. Do you think it is still safe or should I ditch that plan and not risk getting sick.

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  1. They're most likely safe but probably won't taste great. Cook's did an experiment with this and noted that while they recommend dry-aging beef roasts, when you do this with ribs all that happens is they taste funky. This has been my experience as well.

    But if you wash them well -- I use a dish brush to take off any slimne -- and prepare them with a flavorful sauce, you should be okay.

    1. If they are not slimy or nasty-smelling, I'd eat 'em.

      1. Likely are safe, but as above depending on what is in the fridge with them, they take on off favors. I think I would suggest a strong marinade perhaps. Also a marinade would likely help to make the environment less conducive to microbial life, that may be present.

        1. My go-to source for questions like this,, says 3 - 5 days in the fridge is the limit.

          1 Reply
          1. re: BobB

            Just had to report back on this. So, I made the ribs as part of our usual Sunday pasta. Instead of adding the beef ribs to the pot of sauce containing the other meat (meatballs and pork), I decide to cook the ribs in a separate pot as not to spoil the whole pot of sauce in the event there was a problem. The beef ribs had a funky smell but nothing too off putting so I figured I would give it a shot. As long as I cooked them separately, I could just throw them out if they didn't taste good. At last, this is what I did:

            1. Rinsed off the beef ribs so there was no slime on them.

            2. Browned them off in a pan for a few minutes until nice and crusty on all sides.
            3. Ladled a good amount of the sauce on top of the ribs about half way up to stew in the juices.
            4. Covered and put on simmer for 2 hours.

            They came out very well. Tender, falling off the bone, and quite delicious. The taste was a bit funky in that dry aged kind of way but very enjoyable.

            But then here was the problem. In the middle of the night, I started to get intense stomach pains and they lasted the next day as well.

            So, my final conclusion was although they tasted great being in the fridge for a week way definitely too long. Whatever my tongure did not pick up, my digestive system definitely found something amiss. I'm fine now but I would warn anyone that may have a similar situation to try to cook the meat after 3 days or so to avoid getting ill.