I'm preparing a prime rib roast beef for my folks for the first time for Christmas. It hasn't even gone in the oven and things have gotten a little wacky.

Firstly, the roast was frozen and taken out and put it the fridge two days ago to thaw. Earlier last night, it was still pretty frozen though...so I prepared a water bath and put the package in it in the fridge to thaw out.

Come today, it turns out some water leaked into the roast beef while it was in the the bath through the packaged wrap. I understand this is not ideal and my first instinct that I did was to unwrap it from the packaging, drain any liquid within, and dry off the roast with paper towel.

I noticed that the roast was still rather frozen...and here is where I think I may have messed up the most. The roast was pre-cut from the butcher and on the bone. I removed each steak of beef and separated it from the rib and then wiped it with a paper towel. I dismantled the roast entirely and I'm now realizing I've made things more complicated for tomorrow.

How should I go about salvaging this for the best dinner experience? Should I tie it all together once to maintain the normal roast procedure? Do I need to do anything more drastic regarding the water contact and try a salt/dry brine? How do I need to adjust things considering I have steaks instead of a roast in order to give the family the best beef?

  • Personally I would have just tied the whole thing off with string and then put it into the oven to roast. If you sit it on a big bed of vegetables it doesn't really matter if the roast collapses during cooking.
    – Richard
    Dec 26, 2023 at 9:10

1 Answer 1


Well, you have ribeye steaks. Cook accordingly, as steaks, rather than trying to reassemble them. I’m not sure what your butcher’s aim was in pre-slicing the roast, but it’s not something you’d do for a prime rib which you intended to cook as a single piece, or to slice after cooking. I think there may have been a miscommunication.

The water will not have significantly affected things.

  • Thanks for the advice! We wound up cooking them like stakes, with the rib section leftover. It was generally nice except for the butcher butchering the steaks and making them all separate thicknesses. Happy holidays! Dec 25, 2023 at 23:53
  • 1
    @SomekindaRazzmatazz - like witches, were you burned at the stakes? Dec 26, 2023 at 15:51

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