Cooking with ground beef is a great way to create delicious and nutritious meals. However, it has a limited shelf life, therefore many people wonder how long cooked ground beef last in the fridge.
In general, cooked ground beef kept in the fridge can be consumed for about 4 days. To ensure that your ground beef lasts as long as possible, it’s important to store it properly.
So, keep reading to learn more about how long cooked ground beef lasts in the fridge as well as the steps on how to store it properly.
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What is Ground Beef?
First and foremost, let’s quickly define what ground beef is.
Ground beef is a type of meat that has been minced or ground up into very small pieces. It can come from different parts of the cow, such as the chuck and round cuts. Ground beef is known for its versatility and can be used to make many different recipes, such as burgers, tacos, casseroles and more.
How Long Does Cooked Ground Beef Last In The Fridge?
According to the USDA, cooked ground beef is safe to use within 4 days when stored in the fridge at a temperature of 40°F (4°C) or less. Beyond 4 days, it’s best to discard the cooked ground beef as it can no longer be guaranteed safe for consumption.
If you want to store cooked ground beef for a longer period of time, you can freeze it. Frozen cooked ground beef is safe to use for 2 – 3 months.
How to Store Cooked Ground Beef Properly?
You have known how long cooked ground beef last in the fridge, however, to ensure that your cooked ground beef lasts the same time as the guideline, it must be stored properly. So, here are the steps you need to follow for storing cooked ground beef properly:
- Place cooked ground at room temperature to cool down before storing (for less than 120 minutes).
- Once cooled, transfer cooked ground beef into an airtight container or wrap it tightly with plastic wrap.
- Store cooked ground beef in the fridge at 40°F (4°C) or below.
- Label the container with the date of preparation and use it within 4 days.
Alternatively, you can freeze cooked ground beef for a longer period of time. Place the cooked ground beef in an airtight container or freezer bag and label it with the date before freezing. When stored properly, frozen cooked ground beef is safe to use for 2 – 3 months.
How To Use Up Leftover Cooked Ground Beef Quickly?
If you have leftover cooked ground beef, you can use it to make delicious and nutritious meals. Here are some ideas:
- Make a hearty chili – add canned beans, diced tomatoes, onion, and seasonings.
- Make a cheesy spaghetti bolognese – add tomato sauce, pasta, garlic, and Parmesan cheese.
- Make a creamy stroganoff – add mushrooms, onion, sour cream and noodles.
- Make a tasty stir fry – add vegetables of your choice, ginger, garlic and soy sauce.
How to Thaw Cooked Ground Beef?
The best way to safely thaw your cooked ground beef is to allow it to thaw in the fridge overnight or for at least 12 hours. Alternatively, you can thaw it in a sink with cold water.
Once the cooked ground beef is thawed, use it right away, or store it in the fridge for about 4 days. Do not refreeze the cooked ground beef after thawing.
What are the Signs of Bad Cooked Ground Beef?
Cooked ground beef can be stored in the fridge, but over time, it still can go bad due to bacteria or other factors. So, what are the signs of bad cooked ground beef?
The most common sign that your cooked ground beef has gone bad is a foul smell. If you notice an unpleasant or off-odor when opening the container with cooked ground beef, discard it right away.
In addition, color changes in cooked ground beef can also be an indication that it has gone bad. Freshly-cooked ground beef should have a deep red color with no brown or grey spots. If the cooked ground beef has a slimy texture or there are visible signs of mold on it, discard it as well.
Lastly, cooked ground beef that has been sat out for more than 2 hours or stored for more than 4 days in the fridge should be thrown away too.
Is Ground Beef Good After 7 Days in The Fridge?
No, ground beef is not safe to consume after 7 days in the fridge. According to the USDA, cooked ground beef is safe to use within 4 days when stored in the fridge at a temperature of 40°F (4°C) or less. Beyond this timeframe, it’s best to discard the cooked ground beef as it can
Can You Eat Cooked Ground Beef After 5 Days?
No, you should not eat cooked ground beef after 5 days.
How Many Days Can You Eat Leftover Ground Beef?
You can eat leftover ground beef for about 4 days when stored in the fridge at a temperature of 40°F (4°C) or less.
Can You Reheat Ground Beef?
Yes, you can reheat cooked ground beef.
Can You Eat Cold Cooked Ground Beef?
Yes, you can eat cold cooked ground beef. However, it is not recommended as the quality of the cooked ground beef may not be at its best. Reheat the cooked ground beef before eating it for maximum flavor and nutrition.
The answer to how long cooked ground beef lasts in the fridge may seem like a complicated one but it’s actually quite simple. When refrigerated, cooked ground beef can be used within 4 days.
However, you should take care to properly cool, store, and reheat the beef in order to keep it safe and delicious. Whenever you are unsure whether your beef is still safe to consume, pay attention to signs of bad (foul smell, color changes, and slimy texture).
Following the above tips will help you make the most out of your cooked ground beef for delicious and nutritious meals.