How Long Can Steak Stay In The Fridge?

Savoring a mouthwatering steak is an experience treasured by many. This versatile meat complements a wide array of sides, from vegetables and fries to rich sauces, and can be incorporated into various dishes, such as stir-fries and fajitas. However, proper storage is crucial to avoid spoilage, and knowing the shelf-life of steak is essential to make the most of your leftovers.

How long can raw and cooked steak be stored in the fridge or freezer? Keep reading to discover the answer.

How Long Can Raw Steak Stay in the Refrigerator?

High-quality steaks can be quite pricey, especially when it comes to cuts like filet mignon. To fully enjoy the raw steak you’ve purchased, you’ll want to refrigerate it until it’s time to cook. But how long can raw steak be stored in the refrigerator? The USDA recommends refrigerating raw steaks for no more than three to five days.

Storing raw steak beyond this timeframe may result in a decline in texture and overall quality. Additionally, if the steak is not consumed within this period, it may spoil before you have the opportunity to enjoy it.

For optimal freshness, store raw steaks in the refrigerator using their original packaging, ensuring they are tightly sealed. If the original packaging is unavailable, use a ziplock bag or a sealed container to store the meat until you’re ready to cook it.

How Long Can Raw Steak Stay in the Freezer?

Proper storage techniques allow you to freeze raw steak for later consumption. When adequately sealed, raw steak can be stored in the freezer for a duration of 4 to 12 months.

However, it is advisable to use the steak within six months of freezing for the best results. Prolonged storage in the freezer may cause the steak to develop freezer burn, ultimately affecting its texture, quality, and juiciness when cooked.

How Long Can Cooked Steak Stay in the Refrigerator?

If you often find yourself with more leftovers than you know what to do with, you’re not alone. The question arises: can cooked steak be stored in the refrigerator? The answer is yes. The USDA recommends refrigerating cooked beef steaks for a period of 3-4 days. Beyond that, the quality of the steaks may decline, bacterial growth may occur, and they may become unsafe to consume.

When storing cooked steak in the refrigerator, it’s advised to use a sealed bag, such as a Ziploc bag, to maintain an airtight environment and minimize bacterial growth.

How Long Can Cooked Steak Stay in the Freezer?

If you don’t plan on eating the cooked steak within the 3-4 day window, freezing may be a better option than refrigerating. However, the freezer storage duration for cooked steak differs from that of raw steak.

Cooked steak leftovers can be stored in the freezer for up to three months without losing their quality, safety, or texture. Beyond that, the meat may dry out or spoil over time.

Storing Steak in the Freezer

To store steaks in the freezer, it’s important to wrap and seal them tightly to prevent air exposure and reduce the likelihood of bacterial growth.

For optimal results, individually wrap each steak as tightly as possible using plastic wrap, and place the wrapped steaks in a resealable freezer bag, such as a Ziploc bag. If a resealable bag is unavailable, an airtight container can be used as an alternative.

How to Thaw Steak

When it comes to defrosting raw steak, the most ideal approach is leaving it in the refrigerator overnight. Although this is the slowest method, it is also the safest, as it minimizes the risk of harmful bacteria contaminating your steak. However, thicker cuts of steak could take significantly longer to thaw, anywhere from 18 to 30 hours.

During the thawing process, place the steak on a plate to prevent juices from spreading across your refrigerator or surfaces. To determine if the steak is fully thawed, touch it – it should be firm yet not hard, with no ice on top.

If you need a faster thawing method, put the steaks in a resealable plastic bag and immerse them in a large bowl of cold water. If the steaks are already in a plastic bag, simply submerge the bag in water. Regularly check the water temperature every 30 minutes and replace it with cold water if it becomes warm or tepid. Continue this process until the steak is thawed, which can take between 1 to 4 hours.


In conclusion, steak is a versatile and delectable meat that pairs well with various dishes. To fully enjoy it and make the most of any leftovers, proper storage is essential. This guide provides valuable information on the appropriate storage durations for both raw and cooked steaks in the refrigerator and freezer, ensuring the meat’s quality and safety.






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