How long can defrosted meat stay in the fridge?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long can defrosted meat stay in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the time for which defrosted meat stays good in the fridge. Moreover, we are going to discuss the proper way to freeze and thaw meat.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How long can defrosted meat stay in the fridge?

The raw meat that has been defrosted in the fridge can stay good for about 1-2 days before cooking it.

On the other hand, if you have defrosted meat in a bowl of cold water or the microwave then it is recommended to cook the meat immediately.

Moreover, when it comes to cooked meat it can stay good for about 3-4 days when thawed in the fridge. On the other hand, it is recommended to reheat and eat the cooked meat immediately that has been thawed in a bowl of cold water or microwave.

The proper way to store meat in the freezer

You can easily store the meat in a plastic freezer bag or heavy-duty freezer container in the freezer. 

meat belongs to the meat group that is a highly perishable commodity therefore care should be taken while handling, storing, and cooking meat. 

Moreover, to preserve the quality of the meat for quite a long time you can opt for vacuum sealing it which is quite effective in prolonging its shelf life.

Vacuum sealing involves the process of putting the meat in a plastic zipper bag, removing air from it, and almost sealing the bag with a little space left while lowering it into water. Afterward, press out the bubbles from the bag starting from the bottom of the bag and once you reach the sealed end, you should press the seal closed. 

The reason behind doing vacuum sealing is to ensure that there is minimum air present in the plastic zipper bag with the meat. As air has moisture and oxygen in it that favors bacterial growth, so by removing air, meat can retain its freshness for a long time.

It is a good practice to divide the meat into portions or serving sizes that you generally need. By doing so you will be able to just thaw the quantity of meat that you need while the rest of the meat can stay in the freezer untouched.

Thus, keeping the meat in the freezer will increase its shelf life considerably due to the freezer’s cool temperature that halts the bacterial growth on the meat.

Different ways to thaw meat

When it comes to thawing meat, there are a couple of ways to do so and you can choose any of them depending upon your choice.

In the fridge

The recommended way to thaw the frozen meat is to leave it in the refrigerator overnight and let it thaw there. The meat thawed this way can be kept in the fridge for 1-2 days before cooking and eating it.

In a bowl of cold water

You can thaw the frozen meat in a bowl of cold water but you should cook it immediately after thawing. 

In microwave

Moreover, if you are thawing the meat in the oven or microwave it is recommended to cook it immediately. 

The reason behind cooking the meat immediately after thawing it in a cold water bowl or microwave is that when you warm the meat using these methods, the temperature at the surface of the meat gets higher than that of 40 degrees Fahrenheit before the core temperature can become 40 degrees Fahrenheit and it can thaw completely and that’s when the bacteria can start to grow on the surface rapidly.

Therefore it is advised to cook such thawed meat immediately until its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Because it is only by cooking the meat properly that we can get rid of the bacteria completely.

It is worth mentioning that once you have thawed the frozen meat, you should not refreeze it.

You can read which type of meat is good for you here.

Can I refrigerate the reheated meat?

So once you have reheated the meat, you should never refrigerate it. As when you reheat the meat, its temperature rises more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit and we know that bacteria grows at a faster rate between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. So the bacteria will find their way to your meat and you should never refrigerate the reheated meat.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question “how long can defrosted meat stay in the fridge” with an in-depth analysis of the time for which defrosted meat stays good in the fridge. Moreover, we discussed the proper way to freeze and thaw meat.

Citations

https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/How-long-can-meat-and-poultry-remain-in-the-refrigerator-once-thawed
https://web.extension.illinois.edu/meatsafety/thawing.cfm
https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/eat-well/how-to-store-food-and-leftovers/
https://www.livestrong.com/article/465180-how-long-after-thawing-meat-must-you-cook-it/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.