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So many people love making ribs out on the grill during the spring and summer months. They can be so succulent and delicious that it’s hard to resist them no matter what time of the year it might be.

If you have some ribs in your freezer, then you might be worried if you don’t know what date they were purchased. Freezing ribs will keep them good for quite some time, but it’s not good when you don’t remember how old something is.

This is a good reason why you should always label the foods that you put in your freezer. That doesn’t really help you now, though, and you need some other way to be able to tell if the ribs are good or not.

Read on to learn how to tell if ribs are bad and unsafe to eat. This should help you to avoid eating or serving ribs that need to be thrown out.

Smell the Pork Ribs

The best thing that you can do when trying to determine whether pork ribs are good or bad will be to smell them. When pork ribs start to go bad, you’re going to notice that they will smell much different than they should.

Bad ribs are going to start to smell sour, and this will certainly be an off-putting smell. It’s unlikely that you would cook the ribs without noticing that they don’t smell right unless there is something impairing your sense of smell.

Before you decide to cook pork ribs, it’s going to be best to make sure that they pass the smell test. You might need to let them thaw out first if they’ve been in the freezer so that you can truly smell them and determine if they’re okay.

So long as you remember to do this, it’s unlikely that you will cook spoiled ribs. Beef ribs will also smell bad when they’ve started to spoil, and this means that this advice should work even if you’re not cooking standard pork ribs.

Ribs Look Different When They’re Going Bad

What if your sense of smell isn’t good at all? Is there some other way to tell that ribs have gone bad?

Yes, you can tell that ribs are going bad by looking at the meat and noticing changes. If you have a good idea of how ribs are supposed to look when they’re fresh, then you’ll be able to spot changes to the ribs fairly easily.

Pork ribs will start to change color when they’re going bad, and this means that they will be duller than usual. If you think that the pork ribs that you’re using look unusually dull, then they might be bad.

Also, you should notice that the ribs will have a slimy texture when they have started to go bad. This is another sign that will be pretty hard to miss, and you’re going to want to throw the ribs away if you notice this.

How Long Do Cooked Pork Ribs Stay Good?

If you cooked pork ribs recently, then you might be wondering how long you have to eat the leftovers. Thankfully, your pork ribs should be fine for several days so long as you’re refrigerating them.

Cooked pork ribs should be good for three or four days in the refrigerator depending on other factors. As long as you eat the cooked pork ribs before four days are up, it’s likely that everything is going to be fine.

Of course, you could freeze the cooked pork ribs if you want them to last for longer periods of time. The cooked pork ribs should be fine for up to four months in the freezer.

If you don’t eat them after four months, then the quality of the pork ribs will likely diminish. That’s why it’s good to try to be mindful of how long you’ve frozen certain things.

Ribs Technically Stay Good for Very Long Periods of Time in the Freezer

Technically, your ribs aren’t going to go bad while they’re being frozen. Even if you have frozen ribs for a year or two, then they won’t be spoiled when you take them out of the freezer.

However, this doesn’t mean that they will taste great as they normally would. Over time, meats will lose taste due to being frozen for too long.

You won’t have to worry about your meat going bad in the freezer so much, but you will need to worry about the quality of the meat. You don’t want to bite into some pork ribs and have them taste far worse than usual due to being frozen for way too long.

This is why it’s so recommended to keep an eye on the dates that you froze certain items. If you keep the dates right on the package, then it’ll be easy to know when it’s time to get something out and eat it before it starts degrading in quality.

What If Ribs Came Out of the Freezer Spoiled?

It isn’t impossible for ribs to spoil after you thaw them. There could be a few reasons for this, and you’ll want to consider them all.

The first one is that you might have frozen ribs that were already starting to go bad. Freezing something doesn’t magically make it good again, and you might have just waited too long to put the ribs in the freezer.

Another potential issue is that the freezer could have malfunctioned. The ribs need to stay consistently frozen in order for them to be preserved for long periods of time.

Sometimes things will go bad in the freezer without people knowing, too. For instance, you could have had the power go out for a certain period of time, and that could have caused the ribs to thaw out and spoil.

Final Thoughts

Knowing more about how to tell that ribs have gone bad will make things easier for you. You should feel more confident about being able to tell if your ribs are ready to go on your barbecue or not.

This advice is going to apply to most types of meat that you’ll be freezing or refrigerating as well. Be mindful of how long something has been frozen if you care about the quality of the meat, and be sure to always keep your meat refrigerated properly if you wish for it to stay good.

Following this advice will ensure that you never eat or serve bad ribs. You should be able to enjoy high-quality ribs with your friends and family so that everyone will be happy.

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Author

I have a bachelor's degree in construction engineering. When I’m not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies...I’m at home with my wife, two daughters and a dog. Outside of family, I love grilling and barbequing on my Big Green Egg and working on projects around the house.

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