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The Best Way to Reheat Prime Rib So It Doesn’t Dry Out

updated Nov 29, 2023
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rib roast on a plate with utensils
Credit: Photo: Joe Lingeman; Food Styling: Anna Stockwell

You don’t need an excuse to treat yourself, but the holiday season is definitely a great opportunity for special meals. Enter: the prime rib. Although this cut of beef, also called standing rib roast, is available at most butcher shops and even some grocery stores, for many of us it remains an order-out or once-a-year indulgence. But whether you’ve enjoyed your prime rib at a restaurant or in your own dining room, this is a pricey cut of meat you won’t want to waste an ounce of. Which brings us to the meat of the matter: What’s the best way to reheat prime rib? 

To get some advice, I chatted with Charlie Palmer, an award-winning chef who has 16 restaurants across the country, including five real-deal steakhouses. He’s also a mentor to younger chefs, so he was more than willing to educate me on the ins and outs of this sought-after cut.

The first rule of reheating prime rib is to remember that it won’t ever be as velvety or unctuous as it was when it was freshly cooked. So don’t simply slap it in the oven or microwave to reheat and serve it as is. Instead, Palmer says, “Find creative ways to repurpose the meat.” Here are his two favorite methods.

Quick Overview

How to Reheat Prime Rib

To reheat leftover prime rib, you have to either cook it “low and slow” or at a high temperature for a short amount of time. Remove the prime rib from refrigerator 30 minutes before you want to reheat it, and allow it to come to room temperature. Either add the steak to a pan with a splash of broth and heat over medium-low or slice the steak into smaller pieces and heat quickly over high heat and sauté for a few minutes.

How to Reheat Prime Rib 2 Ways

1. Low and slow.

  • This method relies on a steady, low temperature with a liquid to distribute the heat (and keep the meat juicy). All you have to do is slice the steak into strips, says Palmer, and place it in a sauté pan.
  • Add a splash of liquid such as broth, stock, or au jus — just enough to cover the meat. If your restaurant steak came with a sauce, that will work too.
  • Then heat gently over medium-low on the stovetop, uncovered, until warmed through, basting a few times as the meat reheats.
  • How long the meat takes to warm through will depend on how thick the slices are, but it shouldn’t take much more than five or six minutes. The key here is the liquid. It will keep the steak from drying out — remember that steam is your friend.

2. Hot and fast.

If you want to reheat your prime rib in a hurry, this technique is for you. Slice the steak into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick pieces, grab a skillet or a wok, and heat the beef quickly over high heat.

While you could just heat the steak by itself, Palmer’s preferred method is to stir-fry the beef with veggies and sauce for a quick stir-fry — and a whole new meal. If you’ve got leftover prime rib and some veggies kicking around in your crisper, you’re halfway there. Start by cooking any raw elements — such as bell peppers and carrots — in a wok or large skillet. Once the veggies are almost done, add the meat, any additional cooked ingredients (like leftover cooked vegetables), and any sauces. Bonus points for leftover rice, too — just stir it into the mixture at the end of cooking until it’s warmed through.

Final Takeaways

The key thing to remember when reheating prime rib is that you don’t have to worry about the internal temperature. It’s already been cooked to a safe temperature, so don’t get hung up on the reheated prime rib being well-done. Whichever method you choose, Palmer says, will “give you a completely different but equally delicious taste and texture.”

Are you planning on cooking prime rib for the holidays? Share your cooking and reheating methods with us in the comments below.