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How Long To Defrost Prime Rib – 2022 Top Guide

A prime rib is a cut of beef that serves as an excellent addition to your meal.

When you have a great recipe and don’t want to ruin it by refrigerating your meat for too long, this article will explain how long to defrost prime rib at room temperature before refrigerating and cooking your roast.

How long to defrost prime ribs?

Allow the meat to be in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours before cooking to give it enough time to thaw completely.

You can also soften the beef in cold water; in this case, it should take no more than 12 hours to defrost.

When it comes to cooking prime rib, the temperature of the meat is critical.

It is most tender when cooked between 130°F and 140°F.

It’s also vital that your prime rib is ready at its proper serving temperature.

How long to defrost prime rib?

How long to defrost prime rib - 2022 Top Guide

How long to defrost prime rib depends on how you plan to serve it.

If you plan to cook it immediately after roasting, now the time will be less—plan for at least 6 to 8 hours of chilling time for prime rib.

You can also preheat your oven to 250°F, set your roast on a baking sheet, position it in the center of the oven, and touch only one wall.

Leave at least 1 inch all around on all sides of the roast, and cover loosely with aluminum foil so that any juices can escape during cooking.

Let it rest for 30 minutes before cooking.

There are two ways of thawing a frozen prime rib roast:

In the refrigerator: Place the roast in a covered dish or sealable plastic bag on the bottom rack of your refrigerator overnight (about 8 hours).

In cold water: Submerge the roast in cold tap water and allow it to sit at room temperature until completely thawed (about 10 hours).

Defrosting too long can result in dried-out or raw meat, but not freezing long enough will make the meat tough.

How long to defrost 6 lb prime rib in fridge

The best way to defrost a 6 lb prime rib in the fridge is to place it in the fridge up to 3 days before you plan on cooking it (depending on the time of year and how cold your fridge is).

If you need to defrost it faster, submerge it in cold tap water and change the water every 30-60 minutes.

However, this method works best if you break up the roast into smaller pieces first so they will defrost more quickly.

Remove the roast from its packaging and slice it into two-rib sections.

Wrap each piece of meat loosely in plastic wrap to keep the meat juices from escaping. 

Place the wrapped meat in a sealable plastic bag that is large enough to hold all of the meat pieces.

Place the bagged meat on a shelf in the back of your fridge or in an internal bin that runs around your refrigerator’s evaporator coils, which you can typically access through the freezer door.

How long to defrost 5 lb prime rib in fridge

Place the 5lb prime rib in a deep dish, platter, or large stainless steel bowl.

Add enough water to cover it.

Place the bowl in the fridge 1-2 days before cooking to defrost the meat.

Additionally, if you have a standard fridge, you can let the roast sit in the fridge overnight with the door slightly open.

You can also use an alternative method of defrosting using cold water.

Moreso if your fridge is capable of setting to 41 or below Fahrenheit, you can use cold water right out of the tap and change it every 30 minutes to keep the temp cold.

(NOTE: This takes longer, but is a great way to make sure the meat doesn’t come close to thawing/cooking.)

How Long to Defrost 8 Lb Prime Rib

For an 8 lb Prime rib, start planning at least 24hrs before you would like to cook.

It will give the roast time to defrost the refrigerator to be more pliable fully.

Set your fridge to a cooling temperature of 34-38 degrees. 

Larger roasts take longer than smaller roasts and thinner roasts, so defrost for 24 hrs then remove from fridge for another 12hrs to thaw for basting and seasoning.

However, you can defrost it faster than this by freezing the roast, wrapping it in plastic wrap, and allowing it to thaw in the refrigerator.

How long does it take to thaw a 10 lb prime rib?

It takes approximately 9 hours to thaw a 10 lb prime rib in the refrigerator.

And for a 10 lb prime rib that’s been completely frozen, it can take up to 3 days.

Below are some tips to help cut down on the thawing time.

However, it all depends on the size and temperature of the refrigerator.

Always thaw your meat in the refrigerator as opposed to at room temperature.

How Long to Defrost Beef in Microwave

Microwave defrosting is an excellent way to defrost food without cooking it quickly.

This process is quicker than conventional freezing and involves exposing the food to powerful microwave energy, which penetrates the food, defrosting it evenly.

You can defrost beef in a microwave on high for 3–4 minutes per pound (for boneless meat), 6 minutes per pound (for smaller cuts of meat with bones).

However, microwave cooking times vary according to the weight/thickness of the meat.

But in general, a steak or chop etc. will take around 10-15 mins to defrost completely.

How Long to Thaw a Roast in the Fridge

It all depends on the weight and thickness of the frozen meat and how cold your fridge is set. 

About 24 hours is enough for 5 pounds of meat to thaw (or about 2 hours per pound of meat) to thaw a roast in the fridge.

However, most meats will thaw fully in the refrigerator in as little as 24 hours.

How Long to Defrost Beef Joint at Room Temperature

The best way to defrost the beef joint is to leave it overnight in the fridge, or you can place it in cool water and change the water every 30 minutes until it has defrosted.

It can sometimes take 8 hours, depending on size.

To calculate this time, divide the weight of the joint by 10 – the result will be the number of hours needed to defrost your joint at room temperature(11 lb) piece of beef that was in the freezer for 24 hours.

It is placed at room temperature.

Moreso, a bigger piece of meat will take longer to thaw than a smaller one.

And, if it is wrapped in plastic or parchment paper, it will take longer than if it is not wrapped.

How Long Does It Take to Thaw a Roast in Cold Water

It takes about 15 minutes per pound to thaw in cold water for a roast.

However, two methods work well for thawing a roast.

One, you can leave the roast in its sealed or unopened wrapper at room temperature for about 5 hours for a 3-pound roast.

Two, you can place the roast in cold water and change the water every 30 minutes.

When it reaches an internal temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it’s ready to cook.

Meanwhile, this is not the fastest method as it takes longer than the microwave or a more conventional warm water bath.

It is the best but also the slowest method of thawing roast.

Ways to defrost prime rib – Methods and Steps

How long to defrost prime rib - 2022 Top Guide

Prime rib is a cut of beef that’s very fatty and contains lots of connective tissue.

Defrosting it has to be just right for it to turn out tender, moist, and delicious.

The key is to defrost it slowly so that your meat doesn’t dry out or become rigid.

We’ve gathered some tips and tricks for defrosting Prime Rib in five different ways to thaw prime rib quickly

1. Natural Defrosting Method

Natural defrosting is a process where you do not put the food in the water.

Instead, you leave it out on the counter to freely defrost naturally.

Most of the time, lunch boxes, plates, and food go into the refrigerator at this point because of the damaging effect of being thawed on a warm surface.

As long as there is no mold or other signs of spoilage after thawing, it is suitable for consumption within 2-3 days.

On average, it takes 4 to 6 hours for it to defrost.

2. Putting in Warm Water

Prime rib can take a long time to thaw, so it is preferable to put it in a bowl or container filled with warm (not hot) water.

Although the water temperature will not kill the bacteria on the meat, it will help speed up the thawing process.

Be sure to remove any air pockets from the packaging before putting it into the water to prevent spoilage.

3. Thawing with cold water

Thawing with cold water is faster than thawing with warm water.

But it’s essential to set the water temperature, so it’s not too cold.

Set the temperature to 140°F (60°C). It should take about 4 hours for your meat to thaw at this temperature.

Coldwater is easier on your food and can decrease the number of bacteria that grow during thawing.

Bacteria will die if the water temperature is at 140°F or above.

Plus, cold water reduces the amount of food waste created when food is thawed in a sink or bathtub during regular defrost cycles.

4. Place it in the refrigerator

The colder the meat, the more evenly it will cook.

To ensure your prime rib roasts remain cold in transit, keep them in the refrigerator or an ice chest until they are ready to cook.

To speed up the defrosting process, place it between two sheets of plastic wrap and position it in the center of the back of a refrigerator.

Let sit for 12 hours or longer if you have access to a fridge set at 35°F or below.

5. Using an electric smoker or barbecue smoker box 

You can defrost prime rib in your electric smoker at 140°F (60°C) for 14 hours or in a barbecue smoker box at 140°F (60°C) for 24 hours.

You may use any type of marinade; however, make sure the meat is completely covered with the marinade so that it absorbs all of it.

After marinating the beef, kindly place it in the smoker or barbecue smoker box and leave it alone.

6. Using a microwave

Do place it in the microwave according to the packaging instructions, though prime rib typically takes 6 to 8 minutes per pound, so for an entire pound roast, start with 6 minutes and check on it every 3 minutes until the time is up.

After 6 minutes, kindly remove it from the microwave and let it rest for 5 minutes before cutting; this will ensure that the interior temperature has time to rise.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it take to defrost a 6 pound prime rib?

It takes about 4 hours for a 6-pound prime rib to thaw completely.

If you’re in a rush, you can speed up this process by buying prime rib that is typically sold frozen and also needs to defrost before cooking.

Shorter cooking times will result in less tender meat.

How long does it take to defrost a 10 lb prime rib roast?

To defrost a 10-pound prime rib roast, you will need to leave it in the refrigerator for 7-10 days.

It is because a 10-pound prime rib roast contains 34% of water.

Is it OK to leave a frozen roast out overnight?

It is excellent to leave a frozen roast out overnight, only if it defrosts appropriately in the refrigerator or at room temperature.

Since meat can dry at cooler temperatures, test the temperature of the food with your finger or a cooking thermometer before serving.

Can you thaw frozen meat at room temperature?

You can thaw frozen meat at room temperature, provided it’s not too old.

The best way to do this is to place the wrapped frozen meat in a plastic bag and press out as much air as possible.

The meat should be left in the fridge for 24 hours before cooking to ensure that it’s as fresh as possible. 

Can frozen steak sit out overnight?

Frozen steaks can sit out for up to four hours.

But, some guidelines will help determine whether it’s safe to refreeze or cook the steak.

If possible, always thaw the steaks in the fridge and never on the counter or in some other room-temperature location.

It would be best if you did not place steaks in standing water as this can cause them to spoil quickly.

How long to defrost prime rib - 2022 Top Guide


You can trim prime rip to fit your family’s tastes, trim the rib off at least 2 inches from the surface of the bones, and then cut the remaining meat into four serving portions.

Its defrosting time depends on the refrigerator’s temperature and how long it takes for all beef to thaw completely.

This process can be convenient for you if you know how long to defrost prime rib without spoiling the meat’s taste and texture.

How long to defrost prime rib - 2022 Top Guide 33

Roast Beef Recipe

This is considered the most famous and traditional dish of this country with the main ingredient being oven-baked meat, with vegetables and sauces.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Roast Beef Recipe
Servings: 4
Calories: 3964kcal


  • 1 Oven


  • 1.5 kg beef
  • 2 onions
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 celery
  • 1 garlic
  • 1 herbs
  • olive oil


  • 30 minutes prior to cooking, take the beef out of the refrigerator to allow it to come to room temperature.
  • Set the oven’s temperature to 240°C/475°F/gas 9.
  • Vegetables don’t need to be peeled; simply wash and roughly slice them. Unpeel the garlic cloves after breaking the bulb into pieces.
  • Spread oil over the vegetables, garlic, and herbs in the center of a sizable roasting pan.
  • Rub salt and pepper all over the steak after drizzling it with oil and seasoning it thoroughly with sea salt and black pepper. Over the vegetables, place the steak.
  • To cook medium-rare beef, place the tray in the oven and immediately reduce the temperature to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Take it out five to ten minutes early if you prefer it medium-rare. Leave it in for a further 10 to 15 minutes for well done.
  • During the final 45 minutes of cooking, if you’re making roast potatoes and vegetables, now is the time to get started on them.
  • Halfway through cooking, baste the beef, and if the vegetables appear dry, add a little water to the tray to prevent burning.
  • Take the tray out of the oven once the beef is cooked to your liking, then move it to a board to rest for around 15 minutes. While you prepare your gravy, horseradish sauce, and Yorkshire puddings, cover it with a layer of tin foil and a tea towel and set it aside.



Calories: 3964kcal | Carbohydrates: 36g | Protein: 262g | Fat: 301g | Saturated Fat: 115g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 8g | Monounsaturated Fat: 131g | Trans Fat: 18g | Cholesterol: 1065mg | Sodium: 1163mg | Potassium: 4983mg | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 20766IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 399mg | Iron: 30mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
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