How Long Does Cooked Ground Beef Last in the Fridge | Good Tip

Cooking ground beef is a great way to add protein and flavor to your meals. Knowing how long does cooked ground beef last in the fridge, however, is essential for protecting both the quality of the meat and food safety. In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about storing cooked ground beef so you can enjoy it at its best – from refrigerator temperature settings to shelf-life length and safe reheating practices. Read on for all the details.

What Is Ground Beef?

Before finding out how long does cooked ground beef last in the fridge, you need to know some basics first. Ground beef is simply beef that has been coarsely chopped and processed into a smaller, finer texture than other cuts of meat – think burgers, tacos, and casseroles. The process involves grinding the raw beef through a mincer or grinder to create a paste-like consistency. The FDA defines ground beef as “beef that has been finely chopped or minced”, and it must contain “no more than 30% fat”. The fat content is important as it helps to give the beef flavor and keep it moist when cooked.

What Is Ground Beef?
What Is Ground Beef?

What Are The Nutritional Facts Of Ground Beef?

Ground beef is an excellent source of protein, iron, zinc, and B vitamins. It has a relatively high fat content but also provides essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). The USDA’s Nutrient Database provides more information on the nutritional facts of ground beef.

How To Choose The Right Ground Beef?

When choosing ground beef, it’s important to look for freshness and leanness. Look for a package that is free of signs of moisture or discoloration. The fat content should also be considered; ground beef with higher fat content tends to shrink more when cooked. For the healthiest option, choose 93% lean/7% fat ground beef.

How To Choose The Right Ground Beef?
How To Choose The Right Ground Beef?

How To Cook Ground Beef?

Ground beef can be cooked in a variety of ways, ranging from frying to baking. To ensure food safety and the best flavor, it is important to cook the ground beef thoroughly. The internal temperature should reach 160°F when checked with a digital food thermometer. Different methods for cooking ground beef can be found online or in recipe books.

How To Freeze Cooked Ground Beef?

To prolong the shelf life of cooked ground beef, it can be frozen for up to four months. Before freezing, make sure to cool the cooked ground beef in the refrigerator first. Allow it to cool completely before transferring the meat into a freezer-safe container or bag. To reheat frozen cooked ground beef, defrost it in the fridge and reheat thoroughly before consuming.

How Long Does Cooked Ground Beef Last In The Fridge?

So how long does cooked ground beef last in the fridge? Cooked ground beef should be stored safely in the refrigerator within 2 hours of cooking to ensure it stays fresh. That way, any bacteria that may have been present on the beef before cooking will be killed off during the cooking process. The cooked ground beef should then be stored in an airtight container and kept below 40°F (4°C).

How Long Does Cooked Ground Beef Last In The Fridge?
How Long Does Cooked Ground Beef Last In The Fridge?

What Are Pros And Cons To Store Ground Beef In The Fridge?


  • Storing cooked ground beef in the refrigerator is an easy way to make sure that it stays fresh.
  • It prevents any bacteria from spreading onto other food items in the fridge.
  • It helps to keep the ground beef at a safe temperature which will help reduce any risk of food poisoning.


  • If not stored properly, cooked ground beef can develop an unpleasant taste or odor.
  • It may not last as long in the fridge as frozen ground beef.
  • It needs to be used within a few days of being stored in the fridge otherwise it should be discarded.

How To Serve Ground Beef?

After knowing how long does cooked ground beef last in the fridge, you may want to know how to serve it. Ground beef can be served in a variety of ways including burgers, tacos, casseroles, and more. When serving cooked ground beef, make sure to keep it as hot as possible by reheating before consumption. Additionally, always check the internal temperature with a food thermometer to ensure food safety. Be sure to never let cooked ground beef sit at room temperature for more than 2 hours.

How To Serve Ground Beef?
How To Serve Ground Beef?

What Are Alternative Ways To Store Ground Beef?

Besides how long does cooked ground beef last in the fridge, ground beef can be safely stored in the freezer for up to four months. To do this correctly, make sure that it is properly sealed and labeled with the date frozen. Moreover, defrosting should always be done in the refrigerator and never at room temperature. This will help to ensure that any bacteria present on the beef before freezing does not become activated during the defrosting process.

Conclusion: How Long Does Cooked Ground Beef Last In The Fridge?

Storing cooked ground beef correctly can help to ensure that it stays safe and delicious for longer. By following the above advice on refrigerator temperature settings, shelf life length, freezing, and reheating practices you can make sure that your ground beef is always at its best. Now that you know how long cooked ground beef can last in the fridge, get cooking.

FAQs: Ground Beef 

Can you eat ground beef after 7 days?

After four days, the likelihood of bacterial growth and spoilage rises. To guarantee food safety, it is advisable to cook or freeze raw ground beef within a few days of purchasing it.

Is cooked ground beef good after 8 days?

Leftover meals with cooked ground beef should be promptly refrigerated in an airtight container and consumed within 3-4 days. Ideally, it’s recommended to enjoy these leftovers on the same day or the following day for optimal flavor. However, if that’s not possible, it’s perfectly acceptable.

Is ground beef OK after 5 days?

Ground beef can be safely stored in the refrigerator for 1-2 days, ensuring leftovers are consumed within 4 days. For longer storage, the freezer is the way to go, with ground beef lasting up to 4 months. When cooking ground beef, it’s crucial to reach a minimum internal temperature of 160°F (71°C), as measured by a food thermometer.

Is it OK to eat ground beef once a week?

To achieve a healthy diet, it is recommended to limit the consumption of red meat to no more than three portions per week, with each portion weighing approximately 350-500g (12-18oz) when cooked. It is advisable to consume minimal or no processed meat at all.

How many times can you reheat ground beef?

Every time food is cooled, stored, and reheated, the risk of harmful bacteria multiplying increases. If you happen to have leftovers, it is much safer to either freeze them or reheat them only once.

Can I eat 2 week old ground beef?

No matter the color of the beef, storing ground beef in the refrigerator for two weeks is excessively long and unsafe. It should be discarded. Raw ground beef remains safe to eat for only 1-2 days when refrigerated. In terms of color, brown meat is just as safe to consume as red meat.

How do you know if ground beef has gone bad?

Determining the freshness of ground beef is a crucial skill. Ideally, fresh ground beef should exhibit a firm, cohesive consistency that easily crumbles upon gentle pressure. However, if you notice a slimy or sticky texture, it is a clear indication of spoilage. According to the USDA, the presence of spoilage bacteria can be inferred from such stickiness.

Can I eat ground beef and still lose weight?

In summary, including meat in a balanced weight loss diet can be beneficial. However, it is crucial to choose lean meats that are rich in protein and low in saturated fat. Additionally, it is advisable to avoid consuming processed meat.

Why is ground beef brown in the fridge after 2 days?

The darkening of beef is caused by oxidation, which occurs when myoglobin undergoes chemical changes in response to oxygen exposure. This natural process is commonly observed during refrigeration. However, if beef turns brown during prolonged storage and exhibits signs of spoilage such as an off-odor and a sticky texture, it should be discarded and not consumed.

Is 1 year old ground beef safe to eat?

Ground beef can be safely stored in the freezer indefinitely, but for optimal quality, it is recommended to use it within 4 months. To maintain freshness and inhibit bacterial growth, promptly refrigerate or freeze ground beef after purchase.

What happens if you accidentally eat bad ground beef?

Consuming spoiled ground beef can pose health risks due to the potential presence of harmful bacteria, leading to foodborne illnesses. Symptoms may include fever, vomiting, stomach cramps, and possibly bloody diarrhea.

Is ground beef a healthy meal?

Ground beef is a nutritional powerhouse, rich in essential vitamins and minerals. Packed with B vitamins, zinc, and selenium, it plays a vital role in supporting various bodily functions. Furthermore, the zinc content in ground beef not only aids in boosting the immune system but also facilitates wound healing.

What does bad ground beef smell like?

Freshly ground beef typically has a distinct iron-like aroma. However, if the meat has spoiled, it will likely emit a strong, putrid odor. Most spoiled meat smells rancid and pungent, but it’s important to be cautious of any unusual odors. In some cases, rotten meat can even have a strangely sweet scent.

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