How long can you store meat in the freezer?

Fri, Jul 14, 2006


How long can you store meat in the freezer?

Reader Mike from Nashville writes to ask: “How long is it safe to keep meat in the freezer?” I did some checking and talked to the Texas Beef Council, and a number of other sources to pull together this chart of storage time for common barbecue items. Here’s the breakdown:

|*Steaks and Roasts*|3 or 4 days|6 to 12 months|
|*Ground Beef*|1 or 2 days|3 to 4 months|
|*Cooked Beef*|3 or 4 days|2 to 3 months|
|*Chicken (Pieces)*|1 or 2 days|1 year|
|*Chicken (Whole)*|1 or 2 days|6 months|
|*Cooked Chicken*|3 or 4 days|4 to 6 months|
|*Pork Chops and Roasts*|3 to 5 days |4 to 6 months|
|*Cooked Pork*|3 to 4 days|1 to 2 months|
|*Sausage*|1 or 2 days|1 to 2 months|
|*Sausage (Cooked)*|3 to 5 days|1 to 2 months|

5 Responses to “How long can you store meat in the freezer?”

  1. Pat Hansen says:

    I have expensive meat that has been in the freezer for 3 years. It has shrink wrap. Will it make me sick if I cooked and ate it? Please email me the answer.

  2. Tom says:

    Yes, Pat. Frozen foods remain safe indefinitely. It may be freezer burnt, and may not taste the best. I only discard frozen foods because of low quality, but there is no harm in cooking and eating it.



  3. gabriela says:

    did you cook it? did it make you sick?

  4. tim says:

    i have a whole slab of rib eye steak. and it has been in the freezer for a little over 3 and a half months til now. is it still safe for me to eat this? or is this steak no longer good? please someone let me know

  5. bryan says:

    just tried to eat two freezer burned T-bones no matter what i did i couldnt mask the flavor. gave em to my dog, he didnt complain