How Long Can Ground Beef Be Frozen In The Freezer

Thawing raw ground beef for several hours at room temperature

It is advised to thaw raw meat by letting it gradually defrost in the fridge over the course of a day. Additionally, you ought to put the meat that is being defrosted on a sizable sheet pan or plate that can catch any possible leaks of raw meat juices. Then, in case the refrigerator overflows, this plate or pan should be put at the bottom.

Even though this procedure is pretty much always successful, occasionally we forget to take the frozen meat out of the freezer a day ahead of time. It could be tempting in these circumstances to forego the suggested procedure and fully defrost frozen ground beef at room temperature. But when it comes to defrosting meat, this is one of the most common errors that people make. Meat defrosting in a refrigerator prevents it from reaching the dangerous temperature range of 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, which is conducive to bacterial growth. The National Agriculture Library states that you can safely begin your defrost at room temperature, but you shouldn’t leave it running for longer than two hours. To finish the process, move your defrosting meat to the refrigerator after two hours.

Putting hot beef in the freezer

A common misconception regarding refrigerating hot food is that food that is too warm cannot be safely cooled in a refrigerator. This myth is untrue, but you should cease placing hot food straight into the freezer. Freshly cooked, hot ground beef may cause other foods in the freezer to defrost, which could lead to the proliferation of microorganisms. According to the FDA, hot food also takes longer to freeze, which may indicate that it is exposed to temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time.

The proper way to freeze cooked ground beef is to cool it slowly. Start by allowing your cooked beef to come down from its cooking temperature so that it can safely be placed in a container. Then, cover your cooked ground beef and place it in the refrigerator. After the beef has cooled in the refrigerator, tightly wrap it and place it into freezer bags. Label the bags to ensure you are cooked beef does not remain in the freezer for too long (via the University of Nebraska).

Not freezing cooked ground beef

You may think that freezing cooked beef will cause it to become bad. But for weekly meal prep, freezing cooked ground beef is a great trick. It’s crucial to remember that batch cooking just one dish is one of the common mistakes people make when preparing meals. Either cook multiple dishes at once or cook your ground beef so it can be used in a variety of ways to avoid making this mistake. For instance, ground beef can be cooked with just salt, black pepper, and onions to make tacos one night and stir-fry the next.

After cooking your ground beef four different dishes, or with generic seasoning, allow it to cool, first on a counter for about 20 minutes, and then in a refrigerator. Once the cooked ground beef has reached refrigerator temperature, it should be wrapped tightly and transferred to freezer bags (via Canadian Living). When youre ready to use your ground beef, simply thaw it in your refrigerator and reheat it.