How Long Do Ribs Last In The Fridge? And can you make them last longer?

Whenever there’s a BBQ gathering, chances are high for leftover ribs. That’s because we tend to buy more than needed to prevent shortages. If you’re thinking about putting the pieces inside the fridge, you should know how long they’re going to last.

So how long do ribs stay fresh inside the fridge? Raw ribs can last in the refrigerator for up to six days. But cooked ribs can only stay fresh for three to four days. The exact duration depends on packaging and storage conditions.

Need to preserve the ribs for more than six days? That’s quite possible. Continue reading to learn how.

How long do raw ribs last in the fridge?

You can only freeze the ribs for a certain period of time. After this, the pieces will start to degrade even inside the fridge. If left unchecked, the ribs may affect the food items in their vicinity.

Generally, you can refrigerate raw ribs for three to five days when stored below 40°F (4.5°C). You may extend it to a week with proper packaging, but that’s not recommended.

If you’ve bought the ribs from the supermarkets, store them unopened inside the fridge. They can easily stay fresh for up to five days. 

But the ribs sourced from local butchers may not last that long. That’s the case for packaged ribs that you’ve opened but not used yet. At room temperature, bacterial growth accelerates in the meat. 

Two to three hours is enough for the ribs to begin to rot at room temperature. Refrigeration at the earliest will limit the damage. 

But you shouldn’t keep such meat in the fridge for more than a day. Either reheat and consume within an hour or discard the pieces if they’ve gone bad.

How long do cooked ribs last in the fridge?

There isn’t much difference when it comes to refrigerating raw and cooked ribs. It boils down to bacterial activity and degradation.

You can store cooked or smoked ribs in the fridge for up to four days. But it depends on how the meat was handled and packaged. If you have kept the cooked ribs in the open for long, it may only last a day or two.

Furthermore, you must have wrapped the ribs with standard- or heavy-duty aluminum foil to get the four-day shelf life.

How to store ribs inside the fridge?

Refrigerating the ribs in a proper manner is vital. Otherwise, you’ll have a reduced shelf life, and the ribs will go bad sooner than expected.

The best way to refrigerate raw ribs is to store them inside their original package. If you haven’t opened the seal yet, keep them as they are in the fridge. They’ll stay fresh for up to five days.

If you’re storing cooked ribs, it involves some basic preparation.

First, you need to cool the ribs down to room temperature. Otherwise, the ribs will warm up the entire fridge and cause other food items to degrade.

When cooling the ribs, don’t keep them in the open for more than an hour. If the ribs haven’t cooled down yet, wrap them in an aluminum foil and let the heat radiate. The aim is to limit exposure to air, which can catalyze bacterial growth.

Once the cooked or smoked ribs are at room temperature, wrap them in another heavy-duty aluminum foil. You can also use a plastic wrap with the foil for added protection. Then place the meat inside the fridge.

If you have got a large number of ribs to preserve, consider refrigerating them in portions rather than in one big container. This way, you can use as many ribs as you need without affecting the rest.

The last thing to take care of when refrigerating raw or cooked ribs is to store them deep inside the fridge. This prevents temperature fluctuations that can affect the meat’s quality.

The temperature changes every time you open the fridge door. But the temperature change is more pronounced near the doors than inside. When the temperature is constant, food items are preserved better.

So you need to avoid storing perishable foods near the doors.

Can you store ribs in the freezer?

Freezing is another option to preserve food items. The main benefit of freezing over refrigeration is extended shelf life. You can preserve the food for months and even years in some cases.

You can store both raw and cooked ribs in the freezer for six months. The temperature must be kept below 0°F most of the time. Moreover, the ribs must have been packaged in an air-tight freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.

Freezing for more than six months is possible. But doing so will affect the taste and texture. When you freeze meat, ice crystals start forming inside of it. This will lead to dry and dehydrated meat.

Therefore, it’s ideal to consume frozen ribs within four months of freezing. The earlier, the better.


Can I refrigerate smoked ribs?

Yes, you can freeze smoked ribs. Smoking removes moisture from the meat and prevents bacterial growth. Cool down the ribs, wrap them in aluminum foil and place them on the tray inside the fridge. They will remain edible for five to six days.

Is it safe to consume cooked ribs after 5 days?

Yes, you can consume cooked ribs after five days if refrigerated properly. But if you’ve kept the ribs at room temperature for more than two hours, they will go stale in a day or two.

How can I know the ribs have gone bad?

If you notice the greenish-gray color on the ribs and some mold, you should know that they’ve gone bad. Gooey substances and ammonia-like smell also indicate the same.

How long do thawed pork ribs last in the fridge?

If you’re putting frozen pork ribs in the fridge to thaw, they will last an additional 3 to 5 days.

How Long Do Ribs Last In The Fridge Summary

You need to be more careful when handling perishable goods like meat. They start to rot quickly under normal circumstances. Refrigerating and freezing will indeed extend their shelf-life.

You can take out the ribs when needed, cook them, and enjoy them with your family.

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About Joy

Hi, I'm Martin and my friends call me Joy. From an early age, I was interested in food, vegetables, and fruits. I even have a nutritionist certificate. While searching for some information, I didn't find the answer, so I start a page

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