Can You Freeze Cooked Ribs?

When preparing a feast for your barbecue party, you want to ensure that there is enough meat to satisfy everyone’s cravings. You want to capitalize on cooking efficiency, and that leads to cooking more ribs than anyone could possibly consume in one sitting. That’s one of the main reasons why you may want to freeze cooked ribs so that you can enjoy them another time.

You could also have leftovers from the barbecue cookout as everyone decided to load up on the potato salad and the other side dishes. Whatever the reason, if you want to or have to put away cooked ribs for later, you want to do that in a way, which leaves them tasting as fresh and as succulent as freshly cooked ribs.

In this article, we will share the best ways to store and freeze cooked ribs so that you can enjoy them as fresh and as succulent as when you made them. Before you learn to run, you must learn to walk, and when it comes to freezing cooked ribs, you must first learn how to store them properly. Storing ribs properly will ensure that all your hard work doesn’t go to waste, and you can enjoy fresh ribs.

Can You Freeze Cooked Ribs?

How Soon Do I Need to Freeze My Ribs?

You must act fast if you want to freeze your cooked ribs because cooked meat can’t sit out for long as it will start collecting bacteria and dry out. You can’t risk your ribs going bad before you have a chance to store them properly and freeze them. Once your cooked ribs cool off, they will enter the “danger zone,” where they are most vulnerable to go bad.

You should put away your cooked ribs within 2 hours to ensure that they aren’t exposed to bacteria, and if it is very warm, that time can come down to an hour. Remember, when storing your cooked ribs, you must cut them down to reasonable serving sizes. That will not only help them freeze faster, but you will also have manageable portions when reheating cooked ribs.

How Long Can Cooked Ribs Be Stored?

If you properly store cooked ribs in your refrigerator, they will be good for 3 to 4 days, and some people feel that they can remain edible for up to a week. Our advice is to be cautious and stick to storing away cooked ribs for about five days in the refrigerator. Older ribs will not only taste funny but will potentially be ruined by bacteria.

Frozen ribs will remain excellent and tasty for as long as they are frozen. That’s why it makes sense for people to freeze cooked ribs in the freezer if they don’t intend to eat them anytime soon. You can safely store frozen cooked ribs for nearly 2 to 3 months. If you have stored them properly, you will not have to worry about your cooked ribs going bad.

How to Tell if Stored Ribs Have Turned Bad?

If you take out your frozen cooked ribs from the freezer and they emit a sour smell, it is a good indicator that they are not in an edible state. You should also watch out for a slimy coating on the ribs. Most foods will smell and look bad before they are safe to eat, and you should make sure you know the signs that your meat has turned bad. Nobody wants to eat ribs that have turned bad, and you need to ensure that you store them properly if you want them to remain tasty after prolonged storage.

Refrigerating Cooked Ribs

You should put your leftover ribs in the refrigerator if you plan to eat them within a few days. Your fridge should be around 40F, which is the safest temperature to store meat. You must store your ribs in an airtight bag or container to trap moisture and keep out any air. You can do that with a zipper-style bag or a plastic container to store your cooked ribs. The best option is to have a vacuum sealer, which does a great job keeping your ribs stored in an airtight space.

For the best results, you should seal away your ribs with the barbecue sauce or other dipping you have served them with, as it enhances the flavor and ensures the meat is marinated in the container.

Freezing Cooked Ribs

If you don’t have any plans to eat your ribs anytime soon, you should put them on ice until you plan to reheat and eat them. Your best bet here would be to seal them in an airtight bag or container to ensure that they freeze entirely. When freezing cooked ribs for long periods, it would be best to avoid storing them in plastic containers, as they lose their seal and frost gets inside.

Vacuum-packed bags are your best option here, but zipper bags and wrapping in plastic and foil will give you great results as well. Before you freeze cooked ribs, it is best to put the sealed ribs in the fridge to cool them down completely. That will ensure the freezing process is more efficient and faster. You should also store away any sauce that you want to enjoy with your cooked ribs later.

Our Final Thoughts

No one wants to waste a good barbecue cookout, and most people enjoy eating leftover barbecue several days after the cookout. If you’re someone who wants to enjoy their cooked ribs several days after the party or even months later, you need to learn how to store and freeze cooked ribs. If you have any special techniques of your own to store and freeze cooked ribs, don’t hesitate to share them.

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