We combined FDA guidelines and also test kitchen tips to offer you a definitive overview on just how to store meat.

You are watching: How long can i keep meat in the fridge


*

*

Buying meat is often expensive, so once you perform pick part up because that a recipe, you don't want any type of to go to waste. In order come ensure it stays fresh, there are a lot of food safety factors to save in mind. Keep it safely in the refrigerator or freezer prior to you cook it, and you can keep your kitchen well-stocked because that days, weeks, and even month to come. 


The U.S. Food & Drug management (FDA) has specific recommended timeframes for storing various kinds the meat, from life poultry and also steaks to bacon and also corned beef. It's split into refrigeration and also freezer guidelines, so friend know specifically how lengthy you have the right to keep that ham girlfriend bought. We merged those parameters with storage advice from the Food & Wine check Kitchen—read on for the full breakdown of how to store meat.


The FDA has actually a warehouse chart with “short, but safe” time boundaries for refrigerating food so that it doesn’t come to be spoiled or dangerous. (For reference, it describes refrigerated food at 40 levels Fahrenheit, or 4 degrees Celsius.) Guidelines because that freezing those same foods are also provided; however, the FDA note that since freezing (at 0 levels Fahrenheit, -18 degrees Celsius) “keeps food safe indefinitely” the references are based upon preserving the high quality of the meat. Here’s a review of the FDA guidelines. The full chart, which likewise addresses eggs, soups, stews, and also more, can be discovered on the main website.


Bacon have the right to last seven days in the fridge and also one month in the freezer. Life sausage, whether it’s made from pork, beef, chicken, or turkey, is recommended to be kept one to 2 days in the fridge, and also up to one to two months in the freezer. Smoked breakfast links and patties have actually a bit of a longer lifespan—you can store them up to 7 days in the fridge, and one to two months in the freezer.


The an ext meat is reduced up, the more exposure over there is to potential bacteria. So because that hamburger, stir-fry strips, stew meat, and also other varieties of cut-up meats, stick come one to 2 days in the fridge and also three to 4 months in the freezer. Soil turkey, veal, pork, and also lamb can additionally be retained one to two days in the fridge, and three to 4 months in the freezer.


The FDA breaks down larger cuts of new meat into steaks, chops, roasts, and range meats (tongue, kidneys, liver, heart, and chitterlings). Steaks have the right to last 3 to five days in the fridge and also six to 12 month in the freezer; roasts, too, have the right to last 3 to five days in the fridge and up to 4 to 12 months in the freezer, if you want to store some ready. Together for chops, the FDA claims three to five days in the fridge and four to 6 months in the freezer, while the variety meats deserve to be stored for one to two days in the fridge and also three to 4 months in the freezer.


For your leftover cooked meat and meat dishes, the FDA states they’ll store three to 4 days in the fridge and also two to three months in the freezer. Together for the accompanying gravy and also broths? One to 2 days in the fridge, and two to 3 months in the freezer.


Whole chicken or turkeys deserve to last one to 2 days in the fridge and up come one year in the freezer, so they’re always good to have actually on hand. If you have actually cut-up chicken parts like breasts, drumsticks, or thighs, those can additionally last one to 2 days in the fridge and a an extensive nine month in the freezer. Prefer the variety meats above, giblets have actually the shortest expectation of the bunch, in ~ one to two days in the fridge and also three to 4 months in the freezer.


If you make fried chicken, remainder assured that it can last three to 4 days in the fridge and up to 4 months in the freezer, in situation you desire to save it for later. Cook poultry key (like, say, Chicken Cacciatore) can also last three to four days in the fridge and will keep a bit longer in the freezer 보다 fried chicken does—four to 6 months. 


Plain pieces of poultry (no sauce or gravy) deserve to last 3 to 4 days in the refrigerator or up to four months in the freezer, while piece of poultry spanned in broth or gravy (e.g. Leftover Thanksgiving turkey) can last the same time in the fridge and up to six months in the freezer. Chicken nuggets and also patties have a little bit of a much shorter timeframe—three to four days in the fridge, and one to 3 months in the freezer.


Once opened, packages of warm dogs and also lunch meats have a shorter shelf life. An opened package have the right to last one mainly in the fridge and one to 2 months in the freezer, while unopened warm dogs are an excellent for 2 weeks in the fridge and also one to 2 months in the freezer. Opened up lunch meats, like salami and pepperoni, have the right to last 3 to 5 days in the fridge and also one-two month in the freezer, if unopened lunch meats can expectations two mainly in the fridge and also one to two months in the freezer.


If you’re dealing with a corned beef in its initial packaging (pickling juices included), you have the right to store the in the refrigerator for 5 to seven days, or drainpipe it and freeze it, well-wrapped, for up to one month. Box ham, top top the other hand—the kind that’s labeling “keep refrigerated”—can it is in stored unopened in the fridge for six to nine months (don’t freeze it), or opened, save on computer in the fridge for 3 to 5 days and also in the freezer for one to 2 months.


For totally cooked ham, the warehouse timeframe relies on the size. A entirety ham have the right to be refrigerated for up to seven days and also frozen for one to two months, when a fifty percent ham can refrigerated for 3 to five days and frozen for one to two months. Finally, the FDA states sliced ham is finest for 3 to four days in the refrigerator and one to 2 months in the freezer.


When you’re refrigerating raw meat, save it in its initial packaging ideal up until you usage it, and rest that on a bowl or rimmed baking sheet on the shortest shelf that the fridge. This will certainly contain pollution in the event of any type of drips or spills. 


For cooking meat, let the cool totally (for a max of two hours) in ~ room temperature, and then slice, shred, debone, or cut the meat together desired and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator as directed. 


When you’re freeze raw meat, on the other hand, us recommend removing that from packaging and also placing that in resealable plastic baggies or airtight containers. If you’re freezing it for much longer than a week, plunder each item of meat in plastic wrap, and also then place in resealable bags. Pack meat in individual servings enables you to thaw the precise amount friend need and keep the remainder frozen. Raw ground meat is an exception—keep the in the original packaging unless you want to pre-portion it. (For extra protection and contamination prevention, store the package in a plastic bag or silicone Stasher bag.) Again, you’ll desire to store the meat on the shortest shelf and also away from other groceries.


For cooked meat, you’ll desire to let it cool and also then slice, shred, debone, or cut it similar to you would for the refrigerator. Then, we’d recommend storing that in silicone or resealable plastic bags, sealing the meat in, pushing to flatten out the air, and freezing. This helps to save room in your freezer and prevents freezer burn.


In general, when you’re freezing meat, you desire to think around how you’re going to consume it when it’s defrosted. Because that example, you can want to part out a 10-pack that chicken breasts so that they don’t every freeze together and become stuck in the same package—you have the right to separate individual cut by laying them out level or placing parchment individually between them. The exact same idea applies to pork chops, burger patties, fish filets, steaks, etc., so you have the right to take them out in batches.

See more: How Much Caffeine In Mt Dew Kickstart Your Breakfast, Why Does A Mt


Once you’re prepared to defrost the meat, thaw that in the refrigerator on a key or rimmed baking sheet, i beg your pardon will record leaks. If her package is about one-inch thick, it must thaw overnight; miscellaneous denser, like a roast or turkey, might take two days or more. If you want to speed up the process, place the meat in a stockpot under the kitchen faucet and also let the tap operation cold water over the meat (a trickle is okay) till it's thawed. The cold water help ensure the the external of the meat doesn't acquire warm while the within is tho defrosting.