How to Store Cooked Ground Beef

by Angela LaFollette

Items you will need

  • Meat thermometer
  • Freezer bags or containers
  • Airtight containers

Ground beef consists of beef chopped in a mincer or meat grinder. The beef contains different fat ratios when sold at stores. Ground beef can create dishes such as meatloaf, hamburgers and tacos. The meat cooks quickly and usually can be purchased relatively cheap. After you prepare ground beef at home, the shelf life can be extended by storing it in the refrigerator or freezer. Proper handling, cooking and storage will keep the ground beef fresh and safe from harmful bacteria.

Freezer

Step 1

Cook the ground beef to a safe internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Divide the beef into your desired portions. Place the ground beef into freezer bags or containers.

Step 3

Place the ground beef in the freezer immediately. Use it within 3 to 4 months.

Refrigerator

Step 1

Prepare the ground beef and cook it to a safe internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Step 2

Place the ground beef in airtight containers.

Step 3

Store the beef in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Store the ground beef below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the refrigerator for best results.

Tips

  • Thaw frozen ground beef in the refrigerator overnight. Cook the thawed beef within 1 to 2 days.

Warnings

  • Always wash your hands, utensils and kitchen surfaces before and after handling raw ground beef to prevent a food-borne illness.

    Never store partially cooked ground beef because this method will not kill all the pathogens and they will multiply.

    Never leave ground beef out at room temperature for longer than 2 hours. Discard any beef stored at room temperature longer than 2 hours because bacterial growth may have formed.

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/liquidlibrary/Getty Images

About the Author

Angela LaFollette holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising with a minor in political science from Marshall University. LaFollette found her passion for writing during an internship as a reporter for "The West Virginia Standard" in 2007. She has more than six years of writing experience and specializes in topics in garden and pets.