How to Store Ground Beef

how to store ground beef

My main concern when I’m thinking about how to store ground beef (or any ground meat really), is making sure it lasts.

The basis for doing the Keto diet on a budget is to buy when food prices are the lowest, store the food properly and then make AMAZING Keto recipes with it.

I want to store ground beef in my fridge or freezer and keep it fresh as long as possible because I want to have enough on hand, that I can wait for the next ground beef sale .

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how to store ground beef

How to pick out ground beef

First thing to consider is price! Pick out and store ground beef that is CHEAP. I normally buy 80% lean or 73% lean ground beef. These are fatty cuts of ground beef that are perfect for the Keto diet.

I know the regular price in my area for a family pack of ground beef is $2.49 a pound-this is my buy price. Meaning, if I need ground beef, I will buy it at $2.49/pound. I also know that anything below $2.49/pound is a stock up price. Which means, when the price is low, I buy it, use it, store it and freeze it, so I always have the cheapest ground beef possible. (in case you’re wondering, the lowest I’ve ever seen ground beef on sale for is $1.59/pound).

Second thing to consider isquality:

  1. check for additives. get 100% beef. I know it seems crazy to say, but I’ve seen “natural flavoring” added to ground beef-you don’t need that and it’s not worth a lower price for a lower quality
  2. look for meat that is a bright cherry red color on the outside with fat marbled throughout. if you’re seeing gray or brown beef on the surface of the package, it may be starting to spoil
  3. make sure the package is sealed. if the package is open or torn, skip it

How to store ground beef in the fridge

When you’re storing ground beef in the refrigerator, you to keep it covered and sealed tight. Remember to keep refrigerator set to 40° F or cooler

Raw in the fridge:
-keeps up to 3 days (see what the USDA says here)
-keep in original store packaging-sealed
-store ground beef in a freezer or food storage bag or wrapped in foil 

Cooked ground beef in the fridge:
-refrigerate within 2 hours of cooking ground beef
-keeps 3-4 days (see what the USDA says here)
-store ground beef in covered air-tight containers, heavy duty food storage bags or wrapped in foil 

How to store ground beef in the freezer

When storing ground beef in the freezer, it will keep indefinitely if it is kept frozen at a consistent temperature of 0° F or colder. BUT, the longer you store ground beef, it loses quality. Follow these storage guidelines for the BEST quality. 

-for best quality, use within 4 months (see what the USDA says here)
-mark your packages with a date before freezing
-store ground beef in a freezer or food storage bag or wrapped in foil 
-see my storage method below

How to package ground beef for freezing

I’m about to introduce you to my secret weapon when it comes to how I store ground beef….FREEZER PAPER!

Freezer paper works wonders when freezing any meat. It prevents freezer burn, helps keep ground beef fresher longer, makes storage in the freezer easier and more compact. 

Anytime I am freezing ground beef (or any meat), I wrap a portion in freezer paper, store multiple portions in a freezer bag and stack in the freezer. When it comes time to defrost, I remove one freezer wrapped portion at a time and defrost in the fridge.

Here are the steps:

  1. Take a portion (I use 1 pound or 1 1/4 pound) and place on freezer paper. Fold up 3-4 inches from the bottom.

how to store ground beef

2. Fold in 3-4 inches on the left side of the freezer paper.
how to store ground beef
3. Then, fold 3-4 inches on the right side of the freezer paper
how to store ground beef
4. Roll up from the bottom
how to store ground beef
5. Should end up looking like this: 
how to store ground beef
6. Label a gallon sized freezer bag with the date
how to store ground beef
7. Place multiple portions in the freezer bag
how to store ground beef
Budget tip: Freezer paper and freezer bags should be bought in bulk or family packs. These generally have the lowest price point. And the few extra cents it will cost you to store ground beef properly is well worth the money. Check out this deal on bulk freezer paper here
how to store ground beef

How to defrost ground beef

The best and safest way to defrost ground beef is in the refrigerator. 

I take one or two portions of ground beef and place in a shallow bowl or tray (to catch any drips) in the fridge. I generally package my ground beef in one pound packages. These normally defrost within 1-2 days in the fridge. 

If you need a faster defrost time, you can rapidly defrost ground beef in the microwave or cold water. Make sure to cook immediately if you use a rapid defrost method because the ground beef can begin to cook during this process. So for safety reasons, cook right away. 

Best Keto Recipes using ground beef

  1. Keto Taco in a Bag! The name speaks for itself and it is amazingly good. Try it today. 
    Keto Taco in a Bag







2. Bacon Cheeseburger Casserole. This Keto recipe tastes like a juicy bacon cheeseburger with all the fixings, but can feed a crowd. And it comes together easily. Perfect for an easy weeknight meal!

3. Philly Cheesesteak Casserole. I love that this Keto recipe uses ground beef-it makes it budget friendly. You get all the Cheesesteak flavor but at a lower cost. 

4. Keto Meatloaf stuffed with Cheese. My favorite way to use this recipe is what I like to call make one, freeze one. Anytime I make this recipe fresh, I double it. Then I cook one that day and freeze one for later. It is almost the exact same amount of work and saves so much time later. 

5. Egg Roll in a Bowl. This recipe calls for spicy pork, but I love to substitute in ground beef. It still tastes delicious and it gives you a completely different flavor. Try it today!

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