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How Long does Cooked Hamburger Last in the Fridge?

Are you meal prepping some ground beef and need to know how long does cooked hamburger last in the fridge? Read on!

skillet of cooked hamburger with yellow banner and black text

The simple answer is cooked hamburger lasts 3-4 days in the fridge. Read on to find out how to store it!

You make a delicious recipe using cooked hamburger for family dinner night on Sunday. You decide to refrigerate your leftover beef and now you’re wondering how much longer you have to use it.

There are a lot of different ways to know how long your hamburger meat is good for.

These include looking for signs of spoilage and making sure to use it in the allotted time frame given by the United States Department of Agriculture.

How Long Does Hamburger Last? 

After cooking your raw ground beef, it’s highly recommended that you refrigerate it as soon as possible.

Follow the instructions that I’ve provided below and your cooked meat should be safe. Store in the fridge for 3-4 days before it enters the danger zone.

When freezing cooked hamburger, it can be left in the freezer for 4 months. 

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skillet of cooked ground beef and onions

I love purchasing in bulk because it saves money. When I buy ground beef or hamburger meat, I cook a large portion. Usually with onions and spices, and freeze in 1 pound packages for later use.

It saves me time on busy weeknights. I can use it to make simple ground beef recipes like hamburger gravy, cheeseburger sliders or a French fry casserole.

Check out how to make taco meat in the crockpot for a great way to cook it in bulk!

What Is The Best Way To Store My Cooked Hamburger? 

The rules for the different types of meat will all be different. Storing that taco meat or pound of ground beef is going to have a specific process.

Cool It

The first step is allowing the beef to cool on the counter or in the refrigerator. This usually takes around a half hour.

A faster way to cool it quickly is by cutting big pieces into smaller sections. Let it sit until it reaches a low temperature.

Wrap It

Once cooled, wrap the cooked hamburger in plastic wrap tightly. Place in heavy-duty freezer bags, or store in an airtight container, removing any excess air.

The best way to avoid harmful bacteria growth is to refrigerate before it has been left at an internal temperature of 40 degrees F for more than two hours.

You can monitor this with a meat thermometer or food thermometer. Make sure your cooked ground beef is given time to cool but is not out for too long in the danger zone.

Store It

Refrigerate: Place the wrapped package in the fridge to store. The FDA food code suggests eating it within three to four days, in order to adhere to food safety and avoid eating spoiled meat.

Freeze: For extended storage, you can move your meat to the freezer instead. The U.S. Department of Agriculture suggests frozen ground beef is good four months.

Make sure to write the expiration date on the outside of the resealable bag. Wrap it in heavy-duty aluminum foil, so that you can be sure of how long you have left to eat your perishable foods.

white dish of cooked ground beef

How Can I Tell If My Hamburger Has Gone Bad? 

There are several signs of your wrapped meat having gone bad, including a slimy texture and sour smell.

Bacteria growth is not always obvious to the human eye, so the best indicator is an off smell. This is caused by pathogenic bacteria growing on the surface of the meat.

With a risk of things like e. Coli, it’s better to air on the side of caution if you notice a foul odor (trust me when I say that beef smells strongly when it is going bad) and dispose of the cuts of beef. 

The shelf life of fresh ground beef can be a bit subjective. Depending on the minimum internal temperature when frozen and the need for proper storage, the risk of food poisoning increases exponentially when you consume the beef past the 1-2 day mark.

Danger Zone

Your best bet is to eat it within the time frame, but if you don’t, the shelf life should never be extended, due to the rapid growth of bacteria.

Symptoms of food poisoning are similar to the symptoms of food-borne illness, and can include stomach cramps that occur over a long time, chills, dehydration, and fatigue.

The amount of time that these last is dependent on the person, so it’s best to try and avoid spoilage bacteria at all costs. Like the old saying says, better safe than sorry when it comes to beef!

If you love this recipe as much as I do, please write a five-star review in the comment section below (or on Pinterest with the “tried it” button – you can now add pictures into reviews, too!), and be sure to help me share on facebook!

skillet of cooked hamburger with white banner and yellow text

When trying to figure out the best time to cook that raw hamburger you grabbed at the grocery store for dinner in a few days, you want to make sure that it’s a good idea to make it within the time frame that you’re thinking, or figure out whether to freeze it instead. After hours of cooking, make sure that you preserve your type of meat in the right way, so that you enjoy it later in the week.

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