Tips & Tricks
Tips & Tricks
How to Store Beef Properly: Refrigerator & Freezer Guidelines
- When shopping, pick up beef just before checking out. If it will take longer than 30 minutes to get it home, consider keeping it cold in a cooler.
- Refrigerate or freeze as soon as possible after purchasing.
- If you plan to freeze your beef, think ahead to your weekly meals and re-package into right-size portions for you and your family.
- You can freeze beef in its original packaging up to two weeks. For longer storage, wrap in heavy-duty aluminum foil or place in plastic freezer bags, removing as much air as possible.
- Place beef packages on the lowest shelf in your refrigerator on a plate or tray to catch any juices.
- Label each package with the date, name of beef cut and weight and/or number of servings. Practice the FIFO (first in, first out) inventory system.
- Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours after cooking.
- Ground Beef is more perishable than roasts or steaks. Plan to use refrigerated Ground Beef within 1 to 2 days of purchase.
Refrigerator and Freezer Guidelines
Here are recommended storage times for Maximum Quality from purchase date.
- Steaks, Roasts • Refrigerator at 35˚F-40˚F for 3 to 4 days • or below for 6 to 12 months
- Stew Meat, Kabobs or Strips • Refrigerator at 35˚F-40˚F for 2 to 3 days • Freezer at 0˚F or below for 6 to 12 months
- Ground Beef • Refrigerator at 35˚F-40˚F for 1 to 2 days • Freezer at 0˚F or below for 3 to 4 months
- Leftover Cooked Beef • Refrigerator at 35˚F-40˚F for 3 to 4 days • Freezer at 0˚F or below for 2 to 3 months
For best quality, defrost beef in the refrigerator, never at room temperature. Place frozen package on a plate or tray to catch any juices and place in the refrigerator.
© Cattlemen's Beef Board and National Cattlemen's Beef Association. Used with permission.