How Long Are Ribs Good For In The Fridge? Factors and Tips
Nothing is more satisfactory than a mid-night meal of pork or beef ribs leftovers! But wait, can you store pre-cooked ribs in the fridge for long? If you are concerned about eating stale ribs because you feel too guilty to trash the leftovers, then you can do with some enlightenment on this topic.
Cooked or uncooked ribs can be stored in the fridge for a few days, but the exact duration depends upon the storage conditions. It also depends on the freshness quotient of the ribs when bought.
Read on further to know more about how to spot the bad ribs and the proper storage tips for ribs.
How Long are Ribs Good for in the Fridge?
The time for ribs to stay good in the fridge depends upon various factors, including the freshness of the uncooked ribs at the time of purchase.
- Uncooked Ribs
Raw beef or pork ribs last for 3 to 5 days when stored optimally in the fridge at less than 4 degrees Celcius in an air-tight fridge storage bag or box.
- Cooked Ribs
Cooked ribs can last for about 3-4 days when stored at less than 4 degrees Celcius in an air-tight container or plastic zipper bags.
These figures are the estimated shelf-life of ribs in the fridge.
How Long are Ribs Good for at Room Temperature?
When stored at room temperature, ribs, cooked or uncooked, can last for about 2 hours.
If cooked or uncooked ribs are kept at room temperature for more than 2 hours, bacterial breeding begins. The room temperature can be anywhere between 40 degrees to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which is ideal for bacterial growth.
Storing these contaminated ribs in the fridge will only cause the bacteria to become inactive and then start growing again once it gets its ideal temperature. So, basically, any cooked or uncooked ribs left out in the open for more than 2 hours are not fit for refrigeration.
Furthermore, if the temperature outside is more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit, then bacterial breeding takes place at a faster rate. It is recommended to discard these ribs if they have been exposed to more than 90 degrees Fahrenheit temperature for more than 2 hours.
How Long are Ribs Good for in the Freezer?
Raw beef or pork ribs, when wrapped in an aluminum foil and stored in an air-tight, freezer-safe container or bag, can be stored in the freezer for 6 to 12 months.
On the other hand, cooked beef or pork ribs last for 4 to 6 months when stored in the freezer in freezer-safe containers or bags.
Storing cooked or uncooked ribs in the freezer optimally increases their shelf-life. This is because no bacterial growth can occur in such cold temperatures.
How Long can Frozen and Thawed Cooked Ribs Last in the Fridge?
Cooked and frozen ribs, if thawed in the refrigerator, can stay good for about 3 to 4 days after which you should reheat and consume them.
But, uncooked and frozen ribs, if thawed in the refrigerator, can stay good for about 3 to 5 days after which you should cook and consume them.
On the other hand, if cooked or uncooked ribs are thawed in a bowl of cold water or in the microwave, it is recommended to cook/reheat them immediately.
How to Spot Bad Ribs?
Bad ribs have a few obvious factors that make it easy for you to spot them. Here are some factors to spot bad ribs:
- Appearance – If the ribs have a slimy or off-colored appearance then do not consume them.
- Texture – Ribs with a rough, gooey, or slimy texture are not good for consumption.
- Smell – Ribs emanating a foul smell are obviously not good for consumption. This smell could be sour or ammonia-like.
- Mold – If you spot mold or fungus growth on your cooked or uncooked ribs, it is a sure sign that they have gone bad.
- Color – The normal color of uncooked or cooked ribs should be pink or light brown. But if you notice the color has changed to greenish-gray or dark brown, then it is an indication that the ribs have gone bad.
Tips to Store Ribs Properly in the Fridge
These tips are applicable to both cooked and uncooked ribs:
- Store ribs on the shelf of the fridge rather than the door as a lot of temperature fluctuation occurs on the fridge door. This fluctuating temperature can hamper the life of the ribs.
- The ribs should be refrigerated at or below 4 degrees Celsius.
- If you are planning to freeze the ribs for later use, wrap them in an aluminum foil and store them in an air-tight freezer container or bag.
Tips for Using Ribs Leftovers
If you have leftovers that can neither be refrozen nor kept in the fridge for longer, then the best way is to use them immediately. Here are some ways in which you can get creative with leftover pork or beef ribs.
- Make shredded meat sandwiches. Shred the ribs and pack them inside two whole-grain bread along with some veggies, sauces, and cheese.
- You can make different types of salads with shredded meat.
- Dice the ribs into smaller pieces and use them as pizza toppings.
- Just dip the ribs in your favorite quick dip and enjoy.
- Make a portion of rice, and salad and enjoy a hearty meal with the leftover ribs.
To sum it all up, cooked or uncooked ribs can last in the fridge for 3 to 5 days when stored properly. They should be kept in air-tight containers at a temperature of or below 4 degrees Celsius. Frozen cooked ribs can stay in the freezer for 4 to 6 months, while uncooked frozen ribs can last for about 6 to 12 months. These should be stored in air-tight freezer-safe containers or bags.
If the ribs have been exposed to room temperature for more than 2 hours, then they should be reheated/cooked and consumed immediately. These are the various rules that apply to storing ribs properly. Ensure that the ribs are checked for any possible spoilage signs before consuming them.
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