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How Long Does Cooked Prime Rib Last? Does It Go Bad?

Prime rib—also referred to as a standing rib roast—is a classic holiday meal that is famous for its tender and juicy flavor.

It’s perfect for any special occasion, from family dinners to holiday parties.

However, cooking prime rib can be time-consuming, which raises the question: how long does cooked prime rib last, and does it go bad?

The answer to how long cooked prime rib lasts is dependent on various factors, including the storage temperature and method, the cut, and the presence of any additional ingredients.

Cooked prime rib can last up to four days if properly stored in the refrigerator. For long-term storage, it can be frozen for two to six months.

What is Prime Rib?

Prime rib is a beef roast that is cut from the primal rib section of the animal. It’s generally seasoned with herbs and spices and roasted in the oven until it reaches an internal temperature of 130°F to 140°F for medium-rare to medium doneness.

The cooking time is often a few hours for a large roast, but it’s worth the wait for the amazing flavor this cut of meat provides.

How Long Does Cooked Prime Rib Last?

The answer to this question is dependent on various factors, including storage temperature, storage method, additional ingredients, and the cut of meat.

Storage Temperature

The storage temperature is the most crucial factor when storing cooked prime rib. The USDA recommends that cooked beef should be stored below 40°F to prevent bacterial growth. At temperatures above 40°F, bacteria can develop and multiply rapidly.

Storage Method

The storage method is also important when preserving the quality and freshness of cooked prime rib. The best method to store cooked prime rib is to wrap it tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and then place it into an airtight container. Stored this way, cooked prime rib can last up to four days in the fridge.

Additional Ingredients and Cut of Meat

Additional herbs, spices, and ingredients used during the cooking process can affect the shelf life of cooked prime rib. Some additional ingredients like garlic or onion can make the meat go bad faster. Lean cuts such as sirloin and tenderloin tend to go bad faster than fatty cuts such as prime rib.

How to Tell If Cooked Prime Rib Has Gone Bad?

There are a few simple ways to determine whether cooked prime rib has gone bad.


If the prime rib smells sour or rotten, it has gone bad. Discard as soon as possible, especially if it has been stored at improper temperatures.

Texture and Appearance

If the surface of the prime rib is slimy or sticky to the touch, this is a sign that the meat has gone bad. Additionally, if the meat has turned grey, green, or black instead of its typical red color, it has likely gone bad.


If the prime rib tastes odd or has an unusual flavor, it’s best to avoid eating it or serving it to guests.

Bacterial Growth

If you notice any mold, it’s crucial to discard the prime rib immediately. Some molds may release mycotoxins, which can lead to food poisoning if consumed.

How to Store Cooked Prime Rib?


After preparation, let the prime rib cool before storing it in the refrigerator. Wrap the prime rib in aluminum foil and place it into an airtight container, then store in the refrigerator. It’s best to store the meat in the back of the fridge, where the temperature is the coldest. The prime rib can last up to four days if stored this way.


If you want to store the prime rib for more than four days, consider freezing it. Remove any bones from the prime rib, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and store it in an airtight container. Prime rib can be stored in the freezer for two to six months.


It’s important to properly store cooked prime rib to preserve its freshness and quality. Cooked prime rib can last up to four days if stored in the refrigerator and up to six months if frozen. Keep in mind that additional ingredients and the cut of meat can affect the shelf life of cooked prime rib, and it should be discarded if it appears slimy, has an odd smell or taste, shows signs of bacterial growth, or has an unusual texture or appearance.

Using the right storage technique and following the USDA guidelines will ensure that your prime rib remains fresh and safe for consumption. Enjoy your prime rib without worries!

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Jenny has always been passionate about cooking, and she uses her platform to share her joy of food with others. Her recipes are easy to follow, and she loves giving tips and tricks to help others create their own unique culinary creations.