How Long does Steak Last in the Fridge?

Written in 2024
by Toni Costa

    People are always a little bit scared of how long can you leave steak in the fridge and ways if you can tell its safe and what not, but hopefully this little guide will ensure your not only safe, but getting the best out of your steaks.

    So how long will it roughly last?

    The general safe time in the fridge is around 3-5 days.

    But if you can safely refrigerate a steak it will last you anywhere between 4 and 12 months, a multitude of factors will play into this like the temperature and the type of meat, but these are rough guidelines.

    Why do steaks not have a very long life?

    These questions are easier to split this into a few different categories, raw steak, cooked steak and the 'danger zone'

    Raw Steak

    The best way to understand the life of a steak you buy is to consider the journey its been on, buying it from the butchers after being out in the air, and then he will seal it (not airtight) until you take it home and place it in the fridge.

    Buying a steak that it is vacuum sealed will last a little longer, and will be a little safer.

    If its not vacuum sealed though, there is so much time of oxygen exposure that can bring the life of your steak down.

    Cooked Steak

    A cooked steak will still last roughly the same amount of time as a raw steak will, and that's because despite the cooking process, the steak will still be susceptible to oxygen exposure.

    Danger Zone

    The danger zone is the temperature that creates the most bacteria in food, supposedly doubling the amount of bacteria every twenty minutes.

    The USDA say that this danger zone is anywhere between 40 and 140 fahrenheit.

    How to safely refrigerate steak?

    One of the best ways the prolong the that 3-5 day period is to keep it refrigerated and in its packaging as long as possible. If its at room temperature for any longer than just a couple of hours, its recommended to discard it.

    If you can get the steak into an airtight container you can also rest a little safer that it will take longer to go out of date and it will just give you an extra layer of re-assurance.

    Regardless of this though, if your refrigerating steak, cooked, raw or whatever, it isn't going to keep much longer than around five days.

    How to safely freeze Steak?

    Freezing your steaks is the best way to prolong their life, bringing that 3-5 day timer up to somewhere between 4months and an entire year.

    This only really works for raw steaks though!

    The key to freezing your steaks is to wrap them tightly in heavy duty foil and keep it as air tight as possible, and they will keep for months!

    This is because bacteria can't grow in under 0 Fahrenheit and so it will deteriorate much, much slower.

    If you try to freeze a cooked steak for too long then it will lose it flavours and go bad, it can still last around three months but it just wont be as nice as freezing a raw steak and cooking it again.

    How do I know my steak has gone off?

    The main ways to tell if your steak has gone off is through smell, taste and texture.

    The big things to look out for are a bad smell, a slimy feel or a dull colour, if any of these begin to reep through then you need to throw the steak out, it'll be rife with bacteria.

    Always be on the safe side of things!

    A Final Recap on Steak Safety

    The general rule of thumb for steaks in the fridge, cooked or not, is around 3-4 days, and anything left in room temperature for over two hours should be discarded.

    The danger zone of 40 to 140 Fahrenheit will cause bacteria o massively grow, and should be avoided whenever possible.

    But the main thing to remember is to always be on the safe side, if your in doubt, throw it!

    Written by Toni Costa

    I'm Antonio! I'm a university student based in Leeds, UK. My passions, are sports and food! The less said about the teams I support the better...

    Working on the SmokeGuys site has allowed me to improve my writing and of course, provide you with awesome reviews and guides!

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