How long does vacuum-sealed cooked meat last in the fridge? Here’s your answer:
Vacuum sealing cooked meat is one way to help it stay fresh longer than storing it in plastic containers. Once properly vacuum-sealed, cooked meat can last up to 14 days in the fridge.
Vacuum sealing foods can help them stay fresher longer when in the fridge. Keep reading to learn alternative ways to use this process to preserve cooked meats.
Table of Contents
Refrigerating Vacuum Sealed Meats
Meat becomes spoiled when bacteria and mold are allowed to grow. Thus, it is important to keep meats stored at proper temperatures and cooked within a certain timeframe. Cooked meat keeps for up to five days in the refrigerator, and between four to 12 months in the freezer, depending on the type of meat. You can extend its shelf life by storing cooked meat in a vacuum seal.
Vacuum sealing cooked meat before putting it in the refrigerator can extend its freshness up to 14 days. How long the meat stays fresh is dependent upon the individual type of meat. Vacuum sealing is when all air is pulled out of the bag the meat is being stored in, which slows the growth of bacteria. Here is how to vacuum seal cooked meat before storing it in the fridge:
- Ensure ingredients are fresh, clean, and dry.
- Remove bones, or wrap in protective netting to prevent puncturing the plastic bag.
- Place meat in vacuum sealer bags as close to the center as possible…
- Place the edge of the bag in the vacuum sealer.
- Turn on the sealer and support the bag with your hands.
- The process is complete once all the air is removed from the bag and there are no wrinkles.
- Write the sealed date on the bag.
- Store in a refrigerator at 40 degrees F or lower.
Vacuum sealing works for all types of cooked meats, including poultry, fish, beef, and pork. To keep cooked meat fresh, do not break open the seal or puncture the bag before you are ready to reheat it. It is also best to keep the vacuum-sealed meat in the coolest part of the refrigerator and in a spot where it will be undisturbed by family members rummaging through the fridge looking for something to eat.
Type of Meat that Can Be Vacuum Sealed
Just about any type of cooked meat can be vacuum sealed and stored in the fridge. The amount of time these products will last in the fridge varies on the kind of meat it is. For example, when vacuum sealed, cooked beef and veal can last up to six weeks, while pork may only last up to two weeks after vacuum sealing. Poultry and fish have the shortest lifespan but can still last up to one week after being vacuum sealed and put in the fridge.
The time meat lasts in the refrigerator after being vacuum sealed is also dependent upon various factors. Some of these factors include how fresh the meat was, the refrigerator’s temperature, the presence of marinade, how clean the meat was, and the lamination used in the process to vacuum-seal the meat. When ready to use, check the meat for any odd odors or discoloration. If it smells funny or appears to be discolored, discard it immediately and find something else to make for dinner.
Freezing Vacuum Sealed Meats
Freezing vacuum-sealed meat that has previously been cooked can last anywhere from up to one year to three years. Ground meat and hamburgers generally last up to one year, while beef, pork, and poultry can last up to three years. Ultimately, vacuum sealing cooked meats can help it last three to five times longer than traditional methods of storing cooked meats.
Vacuum Sealing Uncooked Meats
Depending upon the meat, most uncooked meats can last in the refrigerator after being vacuum sealed for about four to five days. Even when vacuum sealed, ground meat, kidneys, and livers should only be kept in the fridge for one to two days. Though uncooked meat can be vacuum-sealed to get the most freshness and gain the most benefits from the process, it is best to cook the meat before vacuum sealing and put it in the fridge.
Advantages to Vacuum Sealing
There are many more advantages to vacuum sealing cooked meats than just extending their freshness. Vacuum sealing cooked meats helps prevent them from getting freezer burned because there is less moisture within the bag. It also helps keep your refrigerator and freezer more organized as meat is easy to identify and can be stacked. Because food lasts longer, this process also helps you save money and helps food taste better by sealing in all the juices and spices that often get lost in traditional food storage containers and bags.
Vacuum Sealing Preserves Food
Outside of canning, vacuum sealing foods is the next best thing for preserving foods. This process helps preserve foods so much better than plastic containers, aluminum foil, or plastic wrap because all food continues to ripen due to its continual exposure to oxygen. Also, being exposed to oxygen can cause bacteria and mold to grow in food. Vacuum sealing food eliminates all oxygen from touching the food, slowing down the ripening process. It also slows down the rate bacteria and mold grow on foods. As a result, the foods stay fresh longer after being vacuum sealed.
Once vacuum sealed, store the cooked meat in either the refrigerator or the freezer. Even after vacuum sealing, never leave cooked meat out on the counter or at room temperature. Perishable foods, such as meats, should never be stored at room temperature, where microbial growth can occur.