how long will beef keep in the freezer

Cold Food Storage Chart

Food
Type
Freezer [0°F (-18°C) or below]
Fresh beef, veal, lamb, and pork
Chops
4 to 12 months
Roasts
4 to 12 months
Ham
Fresh, uncured, uncooked
6 months
Fresh, uncured, cooked
3 to 4 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

How do I store meat in the freezer?

First, make sure that youre freezing meat — and all other foods — at a temperature of 0° Fahrenheit or lower. This is the temp that keeps food safe. Its fine to freeze meat in its original packaging, but if youre planning to keep it in your freezer for longer than two months the FDA recommends that you switch to heavy-duty packaging like foil, plastic wrap or . You can seal protein inside an airtight , too. Lock in freshness using one of our top-tested, best vacuum sealers.

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 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!

Fresh beef, veal, lamb, and pork

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.

Does raw beef go bad in the freezer?

When it comes to most uncooked cuts of beef, you can freeze them for several months without sacrificing quality. According to the FDA , you can keep cuts, like roasts, frozen for anywhere from 4 to 12 months and steaks for 6 to 12 months. Ground beef should be frozen for no more than three to four 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.

Is frozen beef good after 6 months?

Raw steaks can be kept in the freezer for six to 12 months. Chops last four to six months while roasts can be frozen for up to a year.

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