The most beautiful cut of beef money can buy is prime rib. Smoked low and slow, this meat is just beautiful in every way. Once you’ve invested in a good prime rib and taken the time to cook it properly, you do not want that baby to go to waste. Using up the leftovers is easy when you know how to reheat prime rib properly.
What is Prime Rib?
This beef rib primal cut comes from the 9th-12th ribs of a cow. It is considered some of the best beef available. Restaurants cook it low-and-slow and serve with horseradish or an au jus. This buttery-soft, melt-in-your-mouth beef is prized for its intense flavor and tenderness.
It may also be called a standing rib roast, a rolled-rib roast (a perfectly rolled prime rib removed from the bone to allow for even cooking), or ribeye roast (the very center and most tender part of the prime rib). Many people mistakenly think the “prime” part refers to a USDA classification, but that is not the case.
How to Prepare and Store for Leftovers
You’ve eaten your fill of prime rib, and now you have leftovers. Here’s how to best store the it so that you can reheat it to perfection later. First, make sure to chill the meat quickly. Meat that sits in the 90º-140ºF zone is a prime breeding ground for bacteria. You don’t want that.
If you have plenty of room in your refrigerator and good air circulation, you can put the meat in airtight containers and chill it directly in the refrigerator. Occasionally after a special meal, your refrigerator might be stuffed to the gills and not have proper air circulation to allow the meat to chill quickly.
If that is the case, place your meat in an airtight container and put it in your freezer. Set your timer for thirty minutes and check the temperature of the meat. If it isn’t chilled yet, set another timer for thirty minutes. Once the meat is cooled but not frozen, move it to your refrigerator if you plan to use it within two or three days. Frozen prime rib will be more dry reheated, but can keep for up to three months.
Once you’ve learned How to Smoke Prime Rib, you are going to have some seriously good leftovers. The trick is in knowing how to reheat prime rib properly for both taste and safety.
The most important thing to note is that most bacteria die at 140ºF. The FDA recommends reheating meat to 165ºF to kill it all. We recommend getting it close and then letting it rest to avoid drying it out. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature of the meat as it cooks.
Using Sous Vide
First, you will need to vacuum seal the meat. Slice the meat and place it in the vacuum sealing pouches you use with your sous vide machine. Next, heat the sous vide machine to 140ºF for medium rare and 165ºF for medium or medium well prime rib. Place the meat inside the machine, and leave it in the water for about one hour. This slow and steady method will reheat the prime rib beautifully without it drying it out.
While this is a great method for reheating meat of all types so that it does not overcook or dry out, sous vide is not accessible to everyone. You will need a sous vide machine or the SV attachment for an Instant Pot.
We have lots of other options for you with instructions.
Using an Air Fryer
Reheating it in the air fryer is a great choice because it is fast and requires minimal effort. Slice your prime rib into desired thickness and season the meat. Preheat the air fryer and then place the slices in the basket. Reheat the prime rib in the air fryer for two to three minutes at 320ºF.
Using the Grill
Preheat your grill. Wrap the slices of prime rib in foil with au jus inside and form a packet. Place the wrapped prime rib on the grill and cook for three to five minutes, depending on the temperature of your grill. The lower the temperature, the longer it will take (up to ten minutes) but the better the results.
Using the Oven
Slice your prime rib and wrap it in foil. Add the au jus to the foil packet. Seal up the foil by folding it and crimping the edges to form a packet. Place it in the oven and bake it for ten minutes at 250ºF. It definitely helps to preheat your oven, but it isn’t strictly necessary.
Note: If you do not have any left over au jus, use a ¼ cup of beef broth as a substitute. It adds flavor to the meat and keeps it nice and juicy while eliminating the risk of it drying out.
Using the Stovetop
Place the sliced prime rib in a skillet and add two or three tablespoons of au jus or beef broth. Cover with a lid and turn the skillet to medium heat. Cook for two or three minutes, and then flip the meat. Replace the lid and continue cooking for two or three minutes until the meat is hot throughout.
Using the Microwave
Place your sliced prime rib in a microwaveable container and add two or three tablespoons of aus jus or beef broth. Cover with the lid. Cook for one to three minutes, depending on your microwave wattage. Do not overheat. Watch your meat closely because it will dry out and turn rubbery very quickly in a microwave.
For bone-in prime rib, you will need one pound per person. For boneless prime rib (rolled rib roast), you will need ½ pound per person. This is because approximately half the weight you pay for will be in the bones.
Reheating your prime rib low and slow will allow you to keep it from drying out. You should also keep a close eye on the temperature and not overcook the beef.
The best method for reheating prime rib to keep it rare is sous vide.
Up to ten minutes at 250ºF until it reaches your desired doneness. Use a foil packet with au jus to prevent the meat from drying out.
Sous vide is the best method to heat your meat to an exact temperature without cooking it more. However, sous vide also takes the longest, so leave plenty of time.
The best option is to thaw the meat in the refrigerator the day before so that it is ready to go and then use one of the methods described above. If that is not an option, I recommend the skillet method and just plan for it to take longer.