The most gorgeous 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, 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 it with horseradish or an au jus (a delicious sauce made from the drippings of a beef roast, red wine, Worcestershire sauce, and beef broth). 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 Leftovers
You’ve eaten your fill of prime rib roast, and now you have leftovers. Here’s how to best store 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.
❄️Fridge | If you have plenty of room in your fridge 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 30 minutes and check the temperature of the meat. If it isn’t chilled yet, set another timer for 30 minutes. Once the meat is cooled but not frozen, move it to your refrigerator if you plan to use it within 3-4 days.
🧊Freezer | Frozen prime rib will be drier when reheated but can keep for up to 3 months. Use heavy-duty freezer bags, or wrap the leftover prime rib in several layers of aluminum foil or plastic wrap to prevent freezer burn.
🌡️Safe Internal Temperature For Reheating
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. Use an instant-read thermometer to check the temperature of the meat as it cooks.
Of course, you should consider your preferred level of doneness. Aim for 145°F (63°C) for medium-rare or 160°F (71°C) for medium.
Using Sous Vide
👉Seal the meat | 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.
👉Preheat | Next, heat the sous vide machine to 140ºF for medium rare and 165ºF for medium or medium well prime rib.
👉Cook | 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 drying it out.
While the sous vide method is great for reheating meat of all types so that it does not overcook or dry out, it 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 & season | Slice your prime rib into the desired thickness and season the meat.
👉Preheat | Set the air fryer to 320ºF and let it heat up.
👉Air Fry | Place the prime rib slices in the basket. Reheat in the air fryer for 2-3 minutes.
Using the Grill
👉Preheat | Set your grill to 250°F. This lower temperature allows you to reheat this juicy beef roast without drying it out.
👉Make foil packets | Wrap the slices of prime rib in foil with au jus inside and form a packet.
👉Grill | Place the wrapped prime rib on the grill and cook for 5-10 minutes until the prime rib slices are warmed through. The total time will vary based on your grill’s temperature and how thick the meat slices are.
Using the Oven
This method works very well for a whole or larger portion of unsliced prime rib. Of course, slicing it will speed up the cooking time, so it is a convenient option.
👉Preheat | Let the oven preheat to 250ºF.
👉Foil Wrap | Place the prime rib (sliced or whole) on a double layer of foil. Lift the edges of the foil and add the au jus. Seal up the foil by folding it and crimping the edges to make sure liquids don’t escape. You can also use a baking pan and cover it with foil. I like to use just the foil to avoid having an extra dish to clean up.
👉Roast | Place it in the oven and bake it for 10 minutes if your prime rib is sliced, or 20-30 minutes for a larger piece. Be sure to check the internal temperature of the meat using an instant-read thermometer. If your prime rib piece is on the larger side, it will take longer to reheat.
Note: If you do not have any leftover au jus, use a ¼ cup of beef broth or beef stock 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
👉Preheat | Allow a cast iron skillet or another heavy-bottomed pan to heat up over medium-high heat.
👉Add moisture | Add 1/4-1/2 cup of au jus or beef broth to the skillet.
👉Cook | Add the prime rib slices and cook for 2-3 minutes. Flip and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Add more broth or au jus if needed.
Using the Steamer
The steamer offers a gentle way to reheat prime rib, which is ideal for keeping this delicious meat juicy.
👉Preheat | Add enough water to cover the bottom of your steamer and bring it to a simmer.
👉Wrap | Place the prime rib slices flat on a layer of aluminum foil (make sure the slices don’t overlap). Add 1/4 cup of beef au jus, or beef stock and seal the foil.
👉Steam | Transfer the foil-wrapped prime rib slices to the steamer basket and cover it with the lid. Let it steam for 3-6 minutes or until the meat reaches your desired doneness.
👉Serve | Remove the meat from the foil as soon as it reaches the target internal temp to prevent further cooking.
Using the Microwave
This is certainly not the best method for reheating a gorgeous cut like prime rib but if you’re in a rush or you just want to enjoy one or two slices quickly, it is one of the fastest reheating methods.
👉Prepare | Place your sliced prime rib in a microwave-safe container and add 2-3 tablespoons of au jus or beef broth. Cover with the lid.
👉Cook | Reheat on a medium power setting in 30-60 second intervals checking in between. The microwave can easily dry out meat or give it a rubbery texture.
♨️How To Keep Prime Rib Warm Without Overcooking It
If you cooked a prime rib roast and would like to keep it warm for a few extra hours, a prewarmed cooler is the easiest solution.
Wrap the prime rib in aluminum foil and towels. Place it in a prewarmed cooler and the meat will stay warm for up to 4 hours, but it will not cook any further.
It’s very important to ensure the temperature of the prime rib stays above 140°F to prevent bacterial growth. I highly recommend keeping a meat thermometer inserted in the prime rib to monitor its internal temp.
🍲Ways To Use Leftover Prime Rib
This beautiful meat can be served with a large variety of side dishes, or used for other recipes. Let’s put it to good use!
⭐Steak slices | You can cut the leftover prime rib into steaks and give them a quick sear on a sizzling cast iron skillet or a hot grill. Serve next to a salad, BBQ sauce, fries, baked potatoes…… and any other side you usually enjoy with steak.
⭐Other recipes | These wonderful leftovers can be the start of another amazing recipe such as beef stew, breakfast hash, Philly cheesesteaks, casseroles, pasta dishes, curry dishes, and the list goes on!
⭐Sandwiches | Thinly sliced prime rib will make the most delicious sandwiches. Try it for grilled cheese, classic steak sandwiches, and open-faced sandwiches. It’s also great for wraps and rolls!
For bone-in prime rib, you will need one pound per person. For boneless prime rib (rolled rib roast), you will need 1/2 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. Add a small amount of au jus or beef broth to keep it moist while it reheats. 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. Of course, you can use other reheating methods such as the oven, stovetop, grill, or air fryer.
What matters most is to use a digital meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature of your prime rib. For a rare finish, the thermometer should read120-125°F (48-52°C) in the thickest part of the meat.
Around 10 minutes at 250ºF for slices, and 20-30 minutes for a larger piece. Keep an eye on the internal temperature of the prime rib and remove it once 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.
Ginny Collins is a passionate foodie and recipe creator of Savor and Savvy and Kitchenlaughter. Indoors she focuses on easy, quick recipes for busy families and kitchen basics. Outdoors, she focuses on backyard grilling and smoking to bring family and friends together. She is a lifelong learner who is always taking cooking classes on her travels overseas and stateside. Her work has been featured on MSN, Parade, Fox News, Yahoo, Cosmopolitan, Elle, and many local news outlets. She lives in Florida where you will find her outside on the water in her kayak, riding her bike on trails, and planning her next overseas adventure.