how long is cooked ground beef

USDA recommends using cooked beef within 3 to 4 days, kept refrigerated (40°F or less). Refrigeration slows but does not stop bacterial growth. USDA recommends using cooked leftovers within 3 to 4 days.

Learn how to cook ground beef the right way so it stays juicy but gets nicely browned. I’ll show you my secrets so it comes out perfectly every time.

Knowing how to cook ground beef well is a vital skill in my opinion. Ground beef is used in so many dishes! I use it in my basic pasta sauce, baked ziti, nacho dip, and this easy Mexican skillet dinner. Those are just a few recipes, though. You can use ground beef in practically everything.

Video: How To Cook Perfect Ground Beef

Chances are, you have lots of options at your store for ground beef. Sometimes you’ll find what specific cut the meat is from, but you’ll also find the fat-to-lean content. So if you see 85/15 on the label, that means it’s made up of 85% lean ground beef and 15% fat. This is the most common ratio and generally considered all-purpose. You may want a higher fat content (70/30 – 80/20) for super juicy burgers or extra-lean (90/10) for tacos or sauces, but when in doubt go for the 85/15 like I’m showing you today.

Look for the freshest meat available, packages that have the furthest out sell-by date. Once you’ve selected your ground beef, keep it cold and cook it within a couple days of purchasing. For longer storage, you can freeze it up up to 3 months – store it in a freezer bag and remove as much air as possible. After it’s been cooked, it can be refrigerated for up to a week.

How to Store Cooked Beef

Cooked beef should be stored in the refrigerator. It will cool more quickly if big pieces are cut into smaller ones, or if it is spread out on a baking sheet.

Once its no longer hot, wrap the meat tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it. Its best to refrigerate the meat as quickly as possible, and definitely within two hours of cooking. If meat is left at a temperature of 40 degrees F or warmer for longer than two hours, harmful bacteria can multiply quickly.

Once refrigerated, cooked beef should be eaten within three to four days, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Cooked beef can be stored in the freezer for a longer window of time. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, making sure there is as little air as possible in contact with the meat. Its a good idea to place the wrapped meat in a zip-top freezer bag to further protect against freezer burn, and be sure to label the contents and the date.

According to the USDA, cooked beef will keep in the freezer for two to three months; after that it may still be safe to eat but the texture and flavor may begin to deteriorate.

How to Defrost Cooked Beef

The best way to defrost cooked beef is in the refrigerator. Transfer the wrapped package of frozen meat into the refrigerator, and let it thaw slowly.

This method can take a long time depending on the size of the meat, up to 24 hours for steaks or roasts.

A faster method is to put the wrapped meat in a resealable bag if it isnt already, press out any excess air, and submerge the bag in a large bowl of cool water. Change the water every half hour or so, replacing it with fresh cold water, until the meat is thawed, which can take up to two hours, depending on size.

USDA recommends using cooked beef within 3 to 4 days, kept refrigerated (40°F or less). Refrigeration slows but does not stop bacterial growth. USDA recommends using cooked leftovers within 3 to 4 days.

FAQ

Can I eat cooked ground beef after 7 days?

It’s generally recommended to consume cooked ground beef within 3 to 4 days if it has been refrigerated. After 7 days, there is an increased risk of bacterial growth and potential foodborne illness. It’s best to err on the side of caution and discard the ground beef to avoid any potential health issues.

Can you eat cooked meat after 5 days?

The FDA notes that cooked leftovers should be refrigerated or frozen two hours after preparation, and that leftovers should be eaten or thrown out four days after refrigeration.

Can you eat ground beef 3 days after cooking?

Raw ground beef will only last in the fridge for one or two days before it goes bad. Cooked ground beef, as with any leftover cooked ground meat, lasts for three to four days in the fridge.

How long is cooked taco meat good for?

Say you’ve cooked up a pound of ground beef for taco night, how long will that last you in the fridge? Like all leftovers, cooked meats will last in the refrigerator for three to four days, according to the United States Department of Agriculture.

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