How to keep ground beefHow to save cooked or leftover soil beefHow To save Ground BeefInstructions

It deserve to be means too tempting to pick up a substantial pack the discounted ground beef in ~ the store.

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After being stuck to too much ground beef one too countless times, I chose to personally check each method of keeping ground beef to find out what’s best.

In this article, I outline the finest methods of safely storing your ground beef so it keeps fresh for as lengthy as possible.

To store ground beef you need to keep it listed below 40 levels Fahrenheit. Either save it in the original packaging in the refrigerator for up to 2 days or move it to a heavy-duty freezer bag and also keep the in the freezer. Ground beef will last 4 month in the freezer.

How to save ground beef

Mince has actually exponentially more surface area than a steak

Ground beef is much more perishable than entirety cuts of beef because the (exponentially) boosted surface area way more the the meat is exposed come air, and there’s an ext space for nasty bacteria to breed. It also warms increase a lot of faster because the bits of soil beef room thinner, and air can gain in in between the cracks.

This way you have to be extra mindful to follow the security rules as soon as it involves handling and storing ground beef.

Never leave ground beef out at room temperature for an ext than 2 hours. Aim to have it in the fridge or freezer as shortly as possible. Floor beef should be stored listed below 40 degrees Fahrenheit (i.e in the fridge or freezer).

I always pick up the meat last in mine shop for this reason it’s no been out of the refrigerator because that ages prior to I with the checkout. If friend live far away native the supermarket, one invaluable items to have on hand is a cool bag (this set is the perfect size for shopping and folds completely flat as soon as not in use).

With a cool bag you’ll never need to worry around the groceries acquiring warm on the way home again (surely I’m not the just one?!).

Once you’re home put the floor beef away first. Don’t leaving it hanging about on the side while you walk to the loo or feed the cat. The meat should be your first priority.

You can either placed it in the frozen fridge or the freezer. It will last 2 days in the refrigerator and four month in the freezer.

How to save ground beef in the fridge

Refrigerate your ground beef in plastic wrap in one airtight container

You can keep the floor beef in its original packaging in the fridge. Or you have the right to wrap the meat in plastic wrap and place the in an airtight container. The meat will certainly go brown quicker if you open up the packet. However with both options, the meat will certainly last 2 days.

Your fridge temperature have to be listed below 40 degrees Fahrenheit at all times to store the ground beef fresh.

You must keep meat close to the bottom of the refrigerator

Keep the beef top top the lower shelves of the refrigerator close to the back. The ago of the freezer is the coldest and also isn’t affected by temperature fluctuations as soon as you open up the frozen refrigerator door. This makes it the safest place to save raw meat.

Also, place the floor beef ~ above the bottom shelf minimizes the danger of any kind of juices leaking and contaminating other foods.

The ground beef will continue to be fresh for up to two days in the refrigerator. For longer-term storage, use the freezer. I define how to freeze ground beef later on in this article.

How lengthy does floor beef last?

Fresh ground beef will last increase to 2 days in the fridge. To prolong its shelf-life friend can chef it or put it in the freezer. Cooked ground beef will last 3-4 job in the fridge, and also you can store ground beef in the freezer for up to 4 months.

How to freeze ground beef (without freezer burn)

Use her fingers or the dull side that a knife to portion the soil beef

To frozen ground beef placed it in a heavy-duty freezer bag. Flatten the beef through your hands and then draw lines through your fingers to section it out. Wrap the freezer bag in aluminum silver paper to defend the meat versus freezer burn. Place the bag in the freezer and use it in ~ 4 months.

Some people additionally like come season the meat prior to they freeze it. This conserves time later and also gives the seasoning time to really soak into the floor beef. However be mindful that salt will transform the texture of the beef and also make it an ext dry and chewy, therefore avoid adding salt prior to you freeze it.

If girlfriend don’t have freezer bags it’s likewise fine to frozen the beef in its initial packaging, just remember to twin wrap the packaging in aluminum foil to protect it against freezer burn.

The factors for remove the beef indigenous its original packaging and also flattening it before you freeze it space simple.

The flattened ground beef:

Thaws a many quickerUses less an are in the freezerIs easier to part out

A diluent slab of soil beef will thaw much quicker than a thick slab. In a special slab, the meat in the middle will take ages to defrost. Level slabs of meat are also easy to ridge in the freezer, they’re supervisor space-efficient.

Drawing present in the beef isn’t necessary, yet it helps you part out large slabs into sections that you can easily break apart, as with you would a chocolate bar. It conserves you using loads of tiny freezer bags and method you don’t have to defrost an ext ground beef than you need.

A quart size freezer bag is great for a lb of beef.

Heavy-duty ones are best since they carry out the finest protection again freezer burn.

Try no to walk overboard through the flattening the the soil beef. Floor beef that has actually been taken on too much have the right to turn mushy.

Double wrapping your ground beef prior to freezing avoids freezer burn

There is an dispute to say that by thinning the beef and increasing its surface ar area you’re boosting the danger of freezer burn, however if you safeguard the ground beef well enough this won’t be a problem. Squeeze all the air the end of the bag (air is the main cause of freezer burn), and then dual wrap the meat because that an extra layer of security.

Wrapping the freezer bag in plastic wrap or aluminum foil will make sure the air stays away and prevents freezer burn.

If you have actually a vacuum sealer (I have actually a Food Saver and also honestly, it’s among the best purchases I’ve ever made), this is perfect because that storing soil beef due to the fact that all the air is entirely eliminated.

This means no more freezer burn, and increased freezer storage times from 4 month to 1 entirety year. You’d never even know the food has actually been frozen.

Ground beef vacuum sealed making use of my Food Saver

I don’t advise using a plastic container to keep ground beef in the freezer since the extra room will it is in filled with air that can easily freezer burn her meat.

Ground beef will remain at finest quality for 4 months in the freezer (one year if vacuum-sealed). It will certainly be for sure to eat after that, yet the taste and texture will start to deteriorate. Once thawed, you can keep the meat in the fridge for 1-2 days before you have to use it.

How to thaw ground beef

The safest way to thaw ground beef is in the frozen refrigerator overnight. This ensures the meat will certainly never acquire warm enough to get in the risk zone for bacteria. If you require the beef quickly, climate you have the right to either thaw the in the microwave or under cold to run water.

If did you do it portioned the soil beef out and flattened it before freezing it, the meat will certainly thaw much quicker than a big block. Flattened ground beef should only take it a few hours to thaw in the refrigerator, when a big block might take a whole day.

Story time.

It’s lunchtime in ~ work, and the suspect-looking lasagne they’re serving in the canteen has actually just reminded you – you no take the end your soil beef to defrost because that dinner tonight. DISASTER!

Don’t worry, yes no have to panic. You deserve to use the quick thaw methods: microwave or cool water.


I often tend to avoid using the defrost setup on mine microwave since it deserve to go wrong for this reason quickly. I’ve ended up cooking the beef instead of defrosting it multiple times. However, if you’re confident through your microwave skills, or you’re in a actual hurry, this is a quick option. The will just take a couple of minutes.

Thawing frozen ground beef in cold water is a safe and also fast method

For rapid thawing, I like to usage the cold water method. Placed the beef ~ above a key (in the packaging) and also leave cold water running over it. Flip the packet every so often so the water access time a various bit of the beef. ~ around half an hour, the beef need to be ready to use.

Alternatively, you deserve to leave the beef in a key of cold water and adjust the water every 30 minutes. This won’t be as quick as cold to run water, yet it uses much less water.

These instructions use to both cooked and raw ground beef.

A neat guideline is to store the meat in the bottom of the freezer so the in the unlikely occasion of a fixed thaw, the juices won’t ruin the other food.

Can you re-freeze floor beef?

Yes, you have the right to refreeze ground beef. The USDA states that as long as you thaw the meat in the refrigerator and also don’t leaving it over there for longer than two days, it’s for sure to refreeze it. However, because of the moisture lost during thawing, the structure of the ground beef will change.

This uses to both cooked and raw soil beef.

Harmful bacteria deserve to only main point at a dangerous rate at specific temperatures (above 40 degrees Fahrenheit). If the meat goes right from the freezer come the refrigerator, the won’t get in the attention temperature zone, therefore there’s no risk of it being spoiled. Hence, there’s no reason not come re-freeze it.

If you provided the microwave or the cold water technique to thaw the soil beef, nothing re-freeze it. This methods provide time for bacteria to grow.

Every time you freeze and also thaw soil beef girlfriend degrade the texture. If i have re-frozen meat I constantly make certain to usage it in dishes whereby the structure isn’t facility stage such together a chili or a sloppy joe.

How to save cooked or leftover ground beef

You can store leftover ground beef in the refrigerator or the freezer. Prior to you keep it, drain any excess fat and leave the beef come cool. Don’t leave the floor beef cooling ~ above the respond to for longer than two hrs or it can start come spoil.

Cooked floor beef should be save in one airtight container

To store cooked ground beef in the refrigerator, after ~ draining the fat and waiting for the beef to cool, ar it in an airtight container whereby it will store for 3-4 days. Shot to use a container whereby there’ll be minimal room leftover together excess air have the right to dry the meat out.

Cooking your ground beef before you refrigerate that is one way to expand its shelf life past the 2 days recommended for fresh ground beef.

How to freeze cooked soil beef

To freeze leftover ground beef, drain any excess fat and wait because that the beef come cool. When cooled, put the beef in a heavy-duty freezer bag and also squeeze all the extra air out. The beef will be great for 4 months in the freezer prior to the high quality starts to deteriorate.

Cooked floor beef have the right to be frozen in a freezer bag

For extra protection against freezer burn, you deserve to wrap the bag in a great of aluminum foil or plastic wrap.

I constantly freeze the beef in portion-sized clumps. This prevents you from having actually to defrost all the beef only to have actually some leftover again.

To thaw the beef you can leave it in the refrigerator, usage the microwave or usage cold water.

How to tell if ground beef is unable to do off

The last point you desire to perform is eat gone turn off ground beef. You will do it be puking for days. Yuk.

The an initial thing to do is inspect the expiration date on her ground beef. Never ever eat ground beef past its expiration date.

Of course, ground beef have the right to go off before its expiration date.

So to stop eating gone turn off meat, it’s good to be mindful of what gone turn off beef looks and also smells choose (you don’t want to taste it).

One authorize of soil beef going negative is the color. I explain this in much more detail later on on, but the quick explanation is together follows.

If the ground beef is a little gray on the inside, this is okay. Yet if the gray top top the outside too, this might be a authorize that it’s beginning to damn it – however there will be other signs too. Gray color on its own doesn’t show spoilage.

Any mold is immediate grounds for binning.

Smell is a huge one too.

Give the meat a sniff and also if it provides you recoil don’t eat it. Life ground meat will have an odor yet not a specifically strong one. If that starts to odor rancid or sour, climate it’s time to litter the beef out.

The means the floor beef feeling is an additional indicator that spoilage. Fresh ground beef will certainly feel soft and also moist come the touch. That should loss apart conveniently when you crumble it. Gone-off floor beef will be tackier and also stick together more.

If there is any reason for you to doubt that your soil beef is unable to do off, don’t eat it. It’s no worth acquiring sick over.

Also, it’s vital to note that salmonella and also E. Coli don’t influence the look, smell, or feeling of the beef. Lock invisible assassins. If your ground beef looks and also smells fine, but you recognize it was the end of the fridge for much more than two hours, don’t eat it.

Why walk ground beef rotate gray and also does it median it’s bad?

Meat freshness is a touchy subject for many people. Who desires to get food poisoning, right? but the color of meat isn’t actually as good an indicator of freshness as most human being believe.

Color change alone go not show spoilage.

Think of your ground beef together an apple. With time the to apologize will adjust color, from white come brown together it oxidizes. The brown to apologize is just as for sure to eat together the white apple.

Ground beef is the same.

The three stages of meat color (source)

Super new vacuum-packed beef will certainly be purplish in color. Once this meat is exposed to oxygen it turns red, and also then eventually gray or brown.

Why walk this happen?

Ground beef is packed v a protein dubbed myoglobin. When myoglobin is exposed to air it turns from violet to the shining red color that you’ve pertained to associate through fresh beef.

After a few days, the myoglobin will certainly oxidize and the meat will revolve a grayish brown.

Because so many people assume the red meat = new meat, most packaging is permeable to oxygen for this reason the height layers of the beef turn red.

However, the oxygen doesn’t reach the center of the floor beef for this reason this part turns gray. That;s why as soon as you break open up your floor beef the middle might look a bit gray.

Stages of ground beef transforming from red to gray

Gray meat no an clues of spoilage top top its own, yet it does mean that the meat has actually been hanging around for a couple of days. After ~ a while, the exterior of the floor beef will also start to oxidize and also the entirety thing will turn gray.

Again, the grayness chin doesn’t median the meat is spoiled. However it does indicate just how old the meat is. By the moment the entirety block has turned gray, the meat will be reaching the end of that is life and might be showing other signs of spoilage such as an off odor or a tacky texture.

The more air her ground beef is exposed to the faster it will gray. For this reason if you open your ground beef packet the meat will certainly gray much faster than if you keep it in the original packaging.

Smell the meat and touch it. If it appears fine then the gray meat need to be okay to eat, if it seems a tiny off then the beef has actually probably started to walk off.

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Ground beef will often gray in the freezer. This is normal and also the meat will certainly be perfectly safe to eat (unless it smells bad).