How long can you keep vacuum-sealed meat in the fridge?

In this article, we will answer the question “How long can you keep vacuum-sealed meat in the fridge?”, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of vacuum-sealing meat?

How long can you keep vacuum-sealed meat in the fridge?

Generally, vacuum-sealed meat can be refrigerated for upto a week. Vacuum-sealed cooked meat lasts 3-5 times longer than the meat stored using regular methods. 

But this shelf-life varies with the initial quality and ph of the meat, fridge temperature, marinade ingredients, sanitation and cleanliness of meat, and last but not least; the lamination used to vacuum seal.

Check out How long does vacuum sealed meat last at room temperature. 

Conventional storage Vacuum-sealed 
Frozen 6-12 months 2-3 years 
Refrigerated 1-2 days 2 weeks 

How does vacuum-packing work?

Vacuum packaging involves removing all the air from the food packaging. Most obligate bacteria (mesophiles, psychrotrophic, thermophiles, and psychrophiles) require oxygen to grow and produce enzymes that release amines, ammonia, sulfides, and organic acid. 

This results in food spoilage with discolored patches and slimy film. Some of these bacteria can also produce lethal toxins. By stripping them of oxygen and moisture, vacuum-packing helps preserve the freshness of food while ensuring safety. 

How to vacuum-seal meat at home?

  1. After washing the meat, pat dry its surface using a paper towel. Wrap the bones with protective netting. 
  1. This will act as a cushion and prevent the bones from rupturing the vacuum-packing. 
  1. Put the meat in a compelled dry vacuum-sealer bag such that there is extra space on all 4 edges.
  1. Place the bag on the vacuum sealer. Turn on the sealer and slowly press it over all 4 edges of the bag so that there are no bubbles or wrinkles in the final fully-sealed bag. 
  1. To keep track of the shelf-life, put a label on the bag with the seal date. Then pop it in the fridge. 

Advantages of vacuum-sealing meat 

Vacuum-sealed meat is space-friendly and dramatically reduces the prep time. Vacuum-sealing helps lock all the meat juices inside, which ensures juicy and tender meat. 

By inhibiting the growth of obligate bacteria, vacuum-sealing helps prolong the shelf-life of the meat. This saves you many impromptu visits to the market whenever you want to cook meat. Moreover, vacuum-sealed meat has a lot of shipping benefits. 

Disadvantages of vacuum-sealing meat 

Vacuum-sealing does not dodge the anaerobic bacteria. These bacteria grow in the absence of oxygen and threaten the safety and quality of the vacuum-sealed meat. 

Moreover, the moisture that escapes the meat during vacuum-sealed storage leads to freezer burn. This is apparent on the meat surface in the form of white patches. 

Vacuum-sealing uncooked meats

Though vacuum-sealed uncooked meat can sit in the fridge for upto 2 weeks. But it is recommended to consume vacuum-sealed meat as soon as possible for peak quality especially ground meat, kidneys, and livers. 

Can you leave raw meat uncovered in the fridge?

To avoid cross-contamination, raw meat should never be refrigerated uncovered. Moreover, raw meat has a distinct odor that can easily spread and malign the odor of other food products in your fridge. Raw meat can also pick up odors. The bottom line is to never leave raw meat unguarded in the fridge. 

Best practices for storing meat 

Freezing prolongs the shelf-life of any kind of meat or meat leftovers. This is because the activity of enzymes, bacteria, molds, and yeasts slow down at such low temperatures. 

The quality of the frozen meat also depends upon the initial quality of the meat. Make sure you buy good quality meat and freeze it before the refrigerator life of the meat package is elapsed. 

Your best bet is to invest in vacuum-sealer bags for freezing meat. However, using heavy-duty freezer bags also yields good results. 

It is best if you freeze the meat in its original packaging. For added protection, wrap the original package of meat in a wrap of plastic or foil. 

It is recommended to refrigerate canned and stuffed meats instead of freezing them due to better results. Similarly, meats prepared with mayonnaise, cream sauces, and veggies like lettuce should not be refrigerated. 

Why you should place the meat on the bottom shelf of the fridge?

Unless your fridge has a special meat drawer, you should always put your meat on the bottom shelf of the fridge. This is because you do not want any of the meat drippings to contaminate the food below. So putting the meat on the lowest shelf helps prevent cross-contamination.


In this article, we answered the question “How long can you keep vacuum-sealed meat in the fridge?”, and what are the advantages and disadvantages of vacuum-sealing meat?


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