How Long Is Ground Beef Good After Thawing? A Detailed Guide

how long is ground beef good after thawing

You probably keep a lot of ground beef in your fridge, so it’s important to know how long it will stay good.

Ground beef usually lasts up to 4 days after thawing from frozen, but there are some things you can do to make sure that your meat stays fresh for as long as possible.

A good home-defrosting process for ground beef

For best results, defrost ground beef in the fridge overnight.

If you’re in a hurry, though, here are some more options:

Use your microwave to defrost ground beef in about 10 minutes.

Your microwave’s defrost setting should be used for all types of meat that require thawing and cooking (like chicken breasts or fish fillets) but not for meat that isn’t being cooked after thawing (like sliced steaks).

If you don’t have access to a microwave, use a large bowl of cold water instead.

Place the package of ground beef into the bowl and change out the water every 30 minutes until it has completely thawed.

How long does it take for ground beef to thaw?

How long it takes for ground beef to thaw depends on the size of the package.

For a pound of ground beef, it will take about 1 hour to thaw in the refrigerator.

If you’re short on time, you can also thaw your ground beef in cold water.

The process will take 15 minutes for every pound of meat (this method is recommended by food safety experts).

If you want to cook with frozen ground beef that has been partially thawed, get it back into its original shape by placing it on a plate or platter and covering it loosely with waxed paper or foil until ready to cook.

How long is ground beef good after thawing?

Eel River Organic Beef, Beef Ground 93/7 Brick Grass Fed Organic, 16...

Check Current Price

Ground beef is good for 3-5 days when thawed.

Ground beef can be refrozen after it has been thawed, but only once.

After that, it requires cooking and eating within the next three days.

If you want to keep your ground beef fresh longer than five days, then consider freezing it in an airtight container or freezer bag with a generous amount of air removed first.

If you’re not sure how long ground beef will last in the freezer, it’s best to err on the side of caution and thaw it out before eating.

You can do this by placing it in the refrigerator overnight or running cold water over the outside of the package until completely thawed.

What does spoiled beef smell like?

If you’re unsure whether or not your beef has gone bad, take a good whiff.

You should be able to tell if it’s spoiled by the smell alone.

Spoiled ground beef will have a pungent odor that is reminiscent of sour milk or rancid butter.

If your ground beef smells like this, toss it out immediately!

If the spoiled smell is accompanied by sliminess or visible mold growth on top of the meat itself, then rest assured that throwing out your spoiled ground beef was definitely the right move (and probably saved you from getting very sick).

What makes your ground beef go bad?

You may have heard the term “foodborne illness” before.

It’s a fancy way of saying that you got sick from food that made you sick.

But what is it, exactly?

Foodborne illnesses come from food that has become contaminated by the growth of harmful bacteria during production, processing or handling.

These harmful organisms can include:

  • Pathogens are bacteria, viruses and parasites that cause disease in humans and animals.
  • Examples of pathogens include E.
  • coli 0157:H7 (which causes bloody diarrhea), Salmonella (which causes fever, vomiting and abdominal cramps) and Listeria monocytogenes (which results in flu-like symptoms).
  • Spoilage bacteria can spoil your food by breaking down natural proteins into substances called histamines which make you feel nauseous or give you headaches — just like that time you drank too much wine at Thanksgiving dinner!
  • Natural toxins are chemicals produced by certain types of bacteria, plants and animals that can make you sick.
  • For example, some mushrooms contain a toxin called muscarine which causes muscle weakness, sweating and vomiting when eaten.

How can you tell if thawed ground beef is bad?

Before you cook your thawed ground beef, it’s a good idea to check the package and see if there’s any mold or discoloration on the meat.

You should also give it a sniff.

If it smells bad, throw it out—and double-check with your nose before you eat anything else from that batch of meat.

If everything looks fine and the ground beef smells fine, go ahead and cook!

But keep in mind that cooking will only kill bacteria on the surface of the meat—not inside of it.

So if you’re going to eat raw ground beef (for example, with tacos), make sure that you cook all parts thoroughly

—including the middle.

If you don’t, you could be in for a nasty surprise when you bite into your taco.

How long after defrosting ground beef should it be cooked?

Fresh Brand – Ground Beef 80% Lean/20% Fat, 1 lb

Check Current Price

Once your ground beef is completely thawed, it’s time to cook it.

The USDA recommends cooking your ground beef within 24 hours of purchase or defrosting.

If you don’t have time to cook the meat before the expiration date on its package, then put it back in your freezer until you do.

Ground beef that has been frozen should be cooked by simmering in a pot or frying in a pan with plenty of oil and seasoning until browned on all sides.

Make sure that all surfaces are thoroughly cooked through so they are safe to eat; undercooked ground beef can cause food poisoning!

If the meat is cooked thoroughly, it should be safe to eat.

If you’re worried about food poisoning, check the temperature with a meat thermometer.

The USDA recommends cooking ground beef until it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees F (71 C).

Is ground beef good 3 days after defrosting?

E. coli and Listeria, two types of bacteria that can cause food poisoning, grow quickly in the refrigerator.

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), ground beef is good for only three days after defrosting; if it lasts longer than that, you should throw it away.

The USDA also recommends cooking ground beef within three days after defrosting—and this applies whether the meat has been frozen or thawed beforehand.

If you’re buying fresh hamburger meat for a cookout or other special occasion and want to keep it as fresh as possible until then, freezing is your best option: The USDA says frozen hamburger can last up to one month at 0 degrees Fahrenheit (or -18 degrees Celsius).

Thawing before cooking makes no difference in terms of safety; cook immediately after thawing on high heat until cooked through and thoroughly heated through—no more than 15 minutes total time!

Is ground beef good after 3 days in fridge?

Ground beef can be kept for 3 days in the fridge in seal bag before it needs to be thrown out.

The same is true for ground beef that has been defrosted, cooked, or left out at room temperature for about three days.

If you want to keep your meat past this point, it’s best to cook it and then allow it to cool completely before storing it in an airtight container (such as Tupperware).

If you’re planning on freezing your meat, it’s best to do so as soon as possible.

This will help prevent bacteria from growing and spoiling the meat before you have a chance to use it.

When you’re ready to cook with frozen meat, simply allow it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight or in cold water for several hours prior.

How long can thawed ground beef stay in the fridge?

Beef Ground 80/20 Pasture-Raised Step 4

Check Current Price

You should store it in the refrigerator, in a container, and keep it sealed.

You can keep it in your fridge for 3 days.

  • Don’t leave the meat out for more than 2 hours as bacteria can grow faster at room temperature than in cold temperatures.
  • Make sure to use ground beef within 3 days of thawing or freezing it; otherwise, you risk spoiling the product and foodborne illness from improper storage once thawed or frozen beef is put back into your fridge’s refridgerator compartment.[5]

What does bad frozen beef look like?

When you open your freezer and see a bag of ground beef that’s been thawed for a little too long, what does it look like?

If you answered slimy or slimy and sour, then throw it away.

If the meat is still in its original package, give it a sniff first.

If you smell any off odors (rotten milk or ammonia is common), don’t eat it!

Throwing out food that smells weird is one of the best ways to avoid food poisoning.

Even if the packaging is intact, don’t consume frozen ground beef if it has a slimy texture when you touch it with your fingers—this can mean that bacteria have grown on top of the meat while in storage.

Tips to keep your ground beef staying good at home

You can keep ground beef in the refrigerator for up to three days.

Here are some tips to help your ground beef stay good:

  • Keep it cold.
  • Ground beef should be stored in a refrigerator at all times, and placed on the bottom shelf if possible so that any juices from raw meat will not drip onto other foods.
  • If you need to store it in your freezer, use a freezer bag or airtight container (with an odor-absorbing liner) to prevent freezer burn and make sure that it’s completely sealed before placing it in the freezer.
  • Use an internal temperature checker to test if the food is safe for consumption after thawing—and don’t forget about cross-contamination!
  • It’s very easy for bacteria from raw meat products like hamburger patties or ground beef patties to spread into other foods that come into contact with them during preparation (like lettuce).
  • Always use tongs or clean hands when handling raw meats, use utensils only once when preparing multiple kinds of food items together without washing between uses—and always wash your hands thoroughly after handling any type of raw meat product at home!


Overall, ground beef can be stored for about five days after being thawed.

Be sure to keep it in the refrigerator and use it within that time frame so you don’t risk getting sick from eating spoiled meat.