how long does frozen beef last in freezer

Cold Food Storage Chart

Food
Type
Freezer [0°F (-18°C) or below]
Hamburger, ground meats and ground poultry
Hamburger, ground beef, turkey, chicken, other poultry, veal, pork, lamb, and mixtures of them
3 to 4 months
Fresh beef, veal, lamb, and pork
Steaks
4 to 12 months
Chops
4 to 12 months
Roasts
4 to 12 months

Are you using your freezer efficiently and effectively? Buying meat in bulk and stocking up the freezer is a convenient way to save money, reduce trips to the grocery store, and make sure you always have something to eat at any moment! Think of your freezer as your savings account, where you can set “funds” (aka food) aside for a rainy day. The fridge is your checking account, where you keep the assets you plan to use soon.

To get the best bang for your frozen buck, it’s important to know some essential safety tips for freezing and thawing your meat. Learn all the details here for smarter shopping and saving! Table of Contents

Does Frozen Meat “Go Bad?”

According to the USDA, frozen meat kept at 0°F or lower will always technically be safe to eat. This low temperature prevents the growth of microorganisms and microbes like bacteria and mold.

But that doesn’t mean it will taste good forever. While freezer burn doesn’t make frozen meat unsafe, it will make the texture dry and leathery. According to Nourish by WebMD, to identify freezer burn, look for ice crystals on the surface of the meat, or for a shriveled or discolored appearance.

You can cut off freezer-burned spots before or after cooking. Or if the meat is heavily freezer-burned, you may want to throw it away entirely.

How Long Does Frozen Meat Last?

In general, the less a piece of meat has been processed, the longer its quality and taste will last in the freezer. All Coleman Natural products meet the highest standards of “natural” and never contain artificial ingredients or hormones. Since our start over 100 years ago, we’ve made it a top priority to keep our ingredient lists as simple as possible to minimize processing, improving overall longevity.

So how long can specific, uncooked frozen meats last without comprising taste and quality?

According to the USDA, uncooked, fresh pork can last a considerable amount of time in the freezer. For example, pork chops can last four to six months. Fresh ground pork should be used within three to four months. Other uncooked pork products like bacon, lunch meats, and sausage can last in the freezer for one to two months.

Based on the recommendations of USDA, uncooked chops, steaks, or roasts can remain in the freezer within four to 12 months, and uncooked ground beef lasts around four months.

USDA suggests a whole raw chicken can last up to a year in the freezer, while other parts, like wings, breasts, and thighs, may last nine months. Also, giblets or ground chicken can stay frozen for three to four months. Turkey can last one year in the freezer for the best quality.

According to USDA, frozen raw fish is best used within three to eight months and shellfish, such as shrimp, scallops, mussels, oysters, and clams can last three to 12 months. It’s also important to note that seafood should never be left out over two hours.

You’re not limited to only freezing raw meat! According to USDA, cooked meat can also be frozen to prolong its life.

For example, you can freeze fully cooked Polish sausage or you could cook a large roast and freeze half of it to use in a future dish. Just be aware that raw frozen meat keeps a pleasing texture for longer than cooked frozen meat since it hasn’t yet lost its moisture through the cooking process.

How Long Cooked Meat Lasts in the Freezer

  • Pork or beef hot dogs: 1-2 months
  • Whole ham: 1-2 months
  • Poultry: 4 months
  • Pork and beef: 2-3 months

**Based on USDA recommendations

As you see, there are no hard and fast rules, but rather a range which can be impacted by how fresh the meat was at the time of freezing, and the way your meat is packaged. To make sure you’re not leaving product in the freezer for too long, always label and date your frozen foods!

Hamburger, ground meats and ground poultry

FAQ

Is beef still good after 2 years in freezer?

Poisonous microbes like bacteria are put into sleep mode by freezing. In simpler terms, it’s almost impossible for most frozen foods to ever become spoiled in a working freezer. So, from a food safety perspective, your two-year-old meat is good to go.

Is 3 year old frozen beef still good?

Food that is stored in a freezer at zero degrees will be safe to eat indefinitely. However, if meat is frozen too long it may lose quality and taste. If you are unsure if meat is still fresh, you can determine this once it has been thawed.

How long can you leave frozen beef in the freezer?

Fresh Raw Red Meat Fresh red meat can last in the freezer for 4-12 months.

Does ground beef go bad in the freezer?

Ground beef can be frozen indefinitely, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. However, it is recommended to use ground beef within four months of freezing, as the quality of the meat will begin to deteriorate over time. Ground beef that has been frozen for too long may not be as flavorful.

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