How long can cooked ground beef sit out?

In this brief guide, we are going to answer the question “how long can cooked ground beef sit out” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of cooked ground beef. Moreover, we are going to discuss different ways to spot spoiled cooked ground beef.

So without much ado, let’s dive in and figure out more about it.

How long can cooked ground beef sit out?

When kept at room temperature, cooked ground beef lasts for around 2 hours.

Because bacterial growth occurs at a quicker rate between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, cooked ground beef left out for more than 2 hours should be discarded.

Furthermore, if the surrounding temperature is around 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the rotting process is accelerated, and cooked ground beef left out in the open for more than an hour at such temperature should be discarded.

How long can you leave the cooked ground beef in the fridge?

Cooked ground beef lasts for about 3-4 days if kept at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. It should be kept in plastic zipper bags on one of the refrigerator’s shelves.

It’s worth noting that the values given above are for cooked ground beef’s expected shelf life.

What is the best temperature to keep cooked ground beef at?

Cooked ground beef should be kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower at all times. Bacterial development is more rapid between the temperatures of 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, therefore it’s best to keep your cooked ground beef at a lower temperature to keep it fresh for longer.

How long does cooked ground beef last in the freezer?

Cooked ground beef lasts for about 4 months in the freezer if stored in an airtight plastic freezer bag, although it is best consumed within 1 to 2 months for the best quality and taste.

As a result, freezing the cooked ground beef extends its shelf life significantly due to the freezer’s low temperature, which inhibits bacterial growth on the cooked ground beef.

How to defrost frozen cooked ground beef?

You can quickly defrost frozen cooked ground beef by placing it in the refrigerator overnight, and thawed cooked ground beef can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days before reheating and consuming it.

If you’re defrosting frozen cooked ground beef in a bowl of cold water, in the microwave, or on the counter, you should utilize it right away after reheating it till its internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to vacuum seal cooked ground beef? 

You may even vacuum seal your cooked ground beef at home to extend its shelf life. It involves placing the cooked ground beef in a plastic zipper bag, eliminating the air, then nearly sealing the bag with a small amount of space remaining while lowering it into water.

After that, start pressing out the bubbles starting from the bag’s bottom and work your way up to the sealed end, closing the bag’s seal. 

A vacuum sealer pump can also be used to easily vacuum seal cooked ground beef at home.

How to find spoiled cooked ground beef?

There are a few clear indicators that indicate if your cooked ground beef has gone bad. To determine if the cooked ground beef has gone bad, look at its appearance, color, texture, and smell.

Appearance

If you see mold or other organic growth on your cooked ground beef or if it is discolored, it’s time to throw it out.

It’s worth noting that you should avoid smelling moldy cooked ground beef since molds can produce mycotoxins, which can disturb your gut microflora and damage your immune system if they enter your body by inhalation.

Color

Examining the color of cooked ground beef might help you identify whether it has rotted or is safe to consume. The outside of good grade, unspoiled cooked ground beef purchased from the supermarket should be bright red.

However, if the exterior surface of the cooked ground beef is gray or brown, it should be discarded. This discoloration indicates that it has begun to spoil.

Texture

If you touch the cooked ground beef and it feels sticky, slimy, or gooey, it’s time to throw it out.

Smell

If you smell something sour or ammonia-like while sniffing your cooked ground beef, it’s time to throw it out.

Lastly, I do not recommend tasting cooked ground beef with a foul odor, but if you are brave (and silly) enough, you will notice a significant change in the texture and mouthfeel of the spoiled cooked ground beef. It will have an off-flavor.

Thus, if the microbes have somehow gotten into your cooked ground beef and spoiled it, the best thing you can do is throw it out.

You can read the benefits of different types of meat here.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question  “how long can cooked ground beef sit out” with an in-depth analysis of the shelf life of cooked ground beef. Moreover, we discussed different ways to spot spoiled cooked ground beef.

Citations

https://www.stilltasty.com/questions/index/208#:~:text=Cooked%20burgers%20that%20have%20been,as%20soon%20as%20you%20can.

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