Can You Freeze Ribs With Dry Rub? [How To Do It Correctly]

Ribs are generally a staple for most family BBQs and placing a dry rub on them makes them taste even better. However, you might be able to cook your ribs after dry rubbing them, which can be a problem. So, can you freeze ribs with a dry rub?

You could freeze ribs with a dry rub if it’s the first time freezing them.

can you freeze ribs with dry rub

If they were frozen before you place the dry rub on them, you would need to cook them first, and then you can freeze them. Freezing ribs with a dry rub is a relatively straightforward process that will not take long. 

Knowing how to freeze your ribs correctly is essential to avoid contamination. In this article, we will take you through how to freeze your ribs with a dry rub and the considerations you need to account for before you freeze them. So, keep reading!

Can You Freeze Ribs That Have Been Dry Rubbed?

Ribs are extremely popular cuts of meat for a BBQ. They come in all types, from short ribs to spare ribs, beef to pork, so you are bound to have a favorite rib type for your family BBQs. Ribs can be smothered in sauce or dry-rubbed, depending on your preference. 

However, there are some occasions where you purchase your ribs, place a dry rub on them, but aren’t ready to cook them yet. 

This may be because you purchased the ribs a week before you planned on cooking them? Or maybe you caught them on sale and decided to pick them up even though you weren’t ready to cook them yet?

Or the lousy weather canceled the BBQ, and the ribs have sat in the fridge? 

Whatever the reason, you may wonder if you can freeze your ribs once they have a dry rub. If you have purchased ribs pre-packaged with a dry rub or placed it on your ribs yourself, you can freeze them until you are ready to cook them. 

How To Freeze Ribs With A Dry Rub

You need to know how to freeze your dry-rubbed ribs correctly to ensure they are stored correctly and will last as long as possible in the freezer. Once you have dry rubbed your ribs, you should portion them into meal-sized portions for your family. 

Place each portion in an airtight and moisture-resistant container—separate layers of ribs in the containers using freezer paper to stop the ribs from freezing together. Then place the container’s lid on and press it down tightly to ensure it’s sealed. 

If you don’t have an airtight and moisture-resistant container, you can wrap the portioned-out ribs in some heavy-duty plastic freezer wrap, which will also protect the ribs from freezer burn. 

Once wrapped, seal the edges of the heavy-duty plastic wrap using freezer tape to create a good seal around the ribs. Write the date on the container or plastic wrap and place the ribs into the freezer. You can store your dry-rubbed ribs like this in the freezer for up to two months. 

Considerations When Freezing Ribs With A Dry Rub

When you want to freeze your dry-rubbed ribs, there are a few considerations you need to take into account before freezing the ribs. These considerations are essential as they help ensure you don’t get food poisoning from improper food storage and handling methods. 

Let’s go through these considerations to ensure your ribs are stored correctly and will last as long as you need them in your freezer without contamination. 

Do Not Freeze Raw Ribs That Were Already Frozen

One thing you need to consider when you want to freeze your dry-rubbed ribs is if they have been frozen before. This might not be a problem for you if you purchase your meat fresh from a butcher, but if you buy your meat frozen from the store, this can be a cause for concern. 

You cannot defrost your ribs, cover them with a dry rub and freeze them again. This increases the risks of contamination and bacteria growth on the ribs, making them unsafe to eat. If previously frozen, you would need to cook them before freezing them again. 

Label The Ribs When You Freeze Them

An essential part of freezing your dry-rubbed ribs is labeling the container or plastic wrap you freeze the ribs in. 

You need to know when you first froze the ribs to ensure you cook and eat them before the two-month storing time is up. After this time, the ribs can get freezer burn and will not taste as good when you eat them.

Ensure Your Freezer Is At The Correct Temperature 

When you are freezing your dry-rubbed ribs, you must ensure your freezer is at the correct temperature. 

This is important as you need to kill any bacteria on the ribs from handling them during the dry rub process, and it will ensure your ribs can last as long as possible in the freezer. 

Ensure the freezer’s temperature is at 32°F (0°C) or lower. 

Always Wash Your Hands Before Handling Raw Ribs 

Before you handle the raw ribs, place the dry rub on them, or prepare them for freezing, you must wash your hands thoroughly. Your hands have plenty of bacteria on them that can easily contaminate your ribs if you aren’t careful. 

You should wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap and dry them on a clean towel before working with your raw ribs. 

How To Defrost Ribs That Where Dry Rubbed Correctly

When you are ready to cook and eat your frozen ribs, you need to defrost them correctly to ensure they stay within food safety guidelines, or they can become contaminated and not safe to eat. 

To defrost your dry-rubbed ribs correctly, you need to defrost them in the fridge overnight, in the packaging you froze them in. 

Take the ribs out of the freezer the day before you want to cook them and place them on a plate. Remember only to take out the portions you will need for the meal you’re planning as you cannot refreeze the ribs. Then place the ribs in the fridge and leave them to defrost overnight. 

Final Word

If you have dry rubbed your ribs, you can freeze them with no issue. The only time an issue will pop up is if the ribs were previously frozen when you will need to cook the ribs before freezing. 

Freezing dry-rubbed ribs is easy and won’t take long, but it is essential to do if you aren’t going to cook the ribs within two days. 

When you freeze your ribs correctly, you can store them in the freezer for up to two months, which is a relatively long time. However, following the guidelines above, your dry-rubbed ribs should freeze nicely.

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