How long can thawed beef stay in the fridge?

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

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

How long can thawed beef stay in the fridge?

The raw beef that has been defrosted in the fridge can stay good for about 3-5 days before cooking it.

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

Moreover, when it comes to cooked beef 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 beef immediately that has been thawed in a bowl of cold water or microwave.

The proper way to store beef in the freezer

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

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

Moreover, to preserve the quality of the beef 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 beef 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 beef. As air has moisture and oxygen in it that favors bacterial growth, so by removing air, beef can retain its freshness for a long time.

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

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

You can read how to make beef jerky here.

Different ways to thaw beef

When it comes to thawing beef, 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 beef is to leave it in the refrigerator overnight and let it thaw there. The beef thawed this way can be kept in the fridge for 3-5 days before cooking and eating it.

In a bowl of cold water

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

In microwave

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

The reason behind cooking the beef immediately after thawing it in a cold water bowl or microwave is that when you warm the beef using these methods, the temperature at the surface of the beef 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 beef immediately until its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Because it is only by cooking the beef properly that we can get rid of the bacteria completely.

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

Factors affecting the taste of beef

The formation of off-flavors due to lipid oxidation lowers the meat quality. The flavor is also affected by several postharvest factors, like pH, temperature, protein, fats, glycogen, fatty acids, marbling, and different cooking methods.

Conclusion

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

Citations

https://ask.usda.gov/s/article/How-long-can-meat-and-poultry-remain-in-the-refrigerator-once-thawed#:~:text=While%20foods%20are%20in%20the,within%20three%20to%20five%20days.
https://www.stilltasty.com/questions/index/184
https://web.extension.illinois.edu/meatsafety/thawing.cfm

Mahnoor Asghar is a Clinical Nutritionist with a bachelor's degree in Nutrition and Dietetics. She is compassionate and dedicated to playing her part in the well-being of the masses. She wants to play a fruitful role in creating nutrition and health-related awareness among the general public. Additionally, she has a keen eye for detail and loves to create content related to food, nutrition, health, and wellness.