Prime rib is an expensive and delicious piece of meat, so you want to prepare it correctly, and thawing it is the first step. Thawing your prime rib in the refrigerator is the easiest and safest way.
There are other methods, such as using the microwave or cold water to thaw it out. We’ll get into all of that.
How Long Can Uncooked Prime Rib Last in the Freezer?
According to the FDA, you can store raw prime rib in the freezer for no more than 12 months. However, properly keep it in the freezer for the roast to remain safe.
If you see prime rib at the grocery store for a reasonable price, go ahead and buy it and feel comfortable knowing that you can freeze it for a year. It’s better to freeze the roast whole than to cut it into pieces before freezing the meat.
So, be sure you have enough space in your freezer. You might have to do a little rearranging in your freezer, depending on the size of the prime rib.
What Is the Best Way to Freeze Raw Prime Rib?
This one is easy. I recommend vacuum sealing your roast before placing it in the freezer. Raw meat isn’t best friends with oxygen since it promotes bacterial growth. And it will have more extended longevity in the freezer if you use your vacuum sealer.
It is worth the small effort because it eliminates moisture and oxidation. And, as a plus, it won’t get freezer burn. You can’t go wrong using your vacuum sealer. And no one wants to fork over a fortune for a prime rib only for it to get freezer burn.
How Long Does It Take to Defrost a 5-Pound Prime Rib Roast?
Freezing your prime rib in the refrigerator can take a while, but it’s worth waiting four to seven hours per pound for it to defrost. An average prime rib roast weighing 5 pounds should take 20 to 35 hours to thaw.
Defrosting your prime rib in cold water will reduce the thawing time to about 30 minutes per pound.
You can also thaw the prime rib overnight in the refrigerator, which will melt out evenly. When preparing a roast as costly as prime rib, you want to start it right and thaw it well.
Is It OK to Leave a Frozen Roast out Overnight?
In a word, no. Don’t do that. The USDA recommends that perishable food — including raw meat of any kind — never be left out at room temperature for more than a couple of hours.
You do not want a roast inundated with bacteria. And bacteria can develop faster at room temperature. Raw meat is safe indefinitely when completely frozen, but it’s a different story at room temperature. It’s always good to err on the side of caution with safe food preparation.
How Do I Thaw the Prime Rib in the Refrigerator?
We’ve talked about how long to thaw the roast in the refrigerator, but we haven’t discussed precisely how. After all, it is a big piece of meat, so it must be done correctly. You want to keep the roast at a safe, cold temperature, but there isn’t always a lot of space.
Rearrange the food in your refrigerator to make room for the frozen roast. You can place the frozen meat in a large bowl or a rimmed baking sheet on the lowest shelf of the refrigerator to prevent cross-contamination. Keep it covered, of course.
Frozen prime ribs can take up to 48 hours to completely thaw and bring the meat to room temperature. When you take it out before cooking it after it is defrosted, let it stand for about 2 hours before cooking it. You want to make this roast a tasty experience. And that’s the goal of this entire process.
Can I Thaw a Prime Rib in the Microwave?
Yes, you can, but I would advise you to use the refrigerator method so that you don’t alter the texture of your prime rib. Although using the microwave for defrosting is the fastest option, it’s not as efficient.
However, if you insist on taking the fastest route, use the defrost function of your microwave and set it according to the weight of your roast. About halfway through the defrosting cycle, flip the roast.
Again, though, faster is not always better. Usually, prime rib is served for a special occasion; perhaps, family members are in town, and you want to treat them to a fantastic meal. So, why not do it properly, and take the time you’ll need to impress your guests?
Defrosting Your Frozen Prime Rib in Cold Water
This method is easy peasy. You can use this route with other frozen meats, such as chicken and ground beef. Just fill your kitchen sink with enough water to immerse the sealed frozen roast completely. See above for vacuum sealing, but other methods work well, too.
This is important. After the prime rib is placed into the water, around every 30 minutes, replace the fresh cold water. Thaw the roast using this method takes approximately 30 minutes per pound.
What We’ve Learned
It’s better to use the refrigerator method to thaw the meat to reach your goal of creating that coveted mouth-watering prime rib meal. The cold water method works well, too.
Just be prepared for the refrigerator method to take some time. But if you plan, that shouldn’t be a problem. Planning is the key to creating a fantastic dish when cooking meals like this.
As for the cold water technique, that takes less time, and it’s an excellent way to thaw out the meat faster than in the fridge. The microwave method is OK if you’re in a hurry, but it’s not recommended.
All you have to do now is season it to your liking, throw it in the oven — then eat it. Enjoy!