Last Updated on February 27, 2023 by Shari Mason
Steak is a delicious and nutritious food that many of us love to indulge in. However, finishing an entire meal in one sitting is not always easy.
So, what happens when you refrigerate leftover steaks? How long does cooked steak last in the fridge before it goes bad?
We will discuss how long steak stays in the refrigerator and how to store it properly, so it stays as fresh as possible.
How Long Can a Cooked Steak Last in the Fridge?
If stored properly in an airtight container, leftover steaks can be kept in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
However, it is important to refrigerate the steak promptly after cooking and ensure the fridge temperature is set to 40°F (4°C) or below.
How to Properly Store It
To ensure the steak stays good when stored as leftovers, allow it to cool to room temperature, then wrap it tightly in plastic or aluminum foil before storing it in the fridge for 3–4 days.
“I never met a leftover steak I didn’t like.”– Anonymous
Let the steak leftovers come to room temperature to reheat. Reheating steak in the oven or air fryer is recommended.
Avoid cooking steak in the microwave to prevent overcooking or uneven heating.
How Long Can a Vacuum-Sealed Cooked Steak Last in the Fridge?
Proper packaging using a plastic bag and vacuum sealer makes vacuum-sealed steak last in the fridge for up to 4 days, assuming it was properly cooked, immediately refrigerated, and remained at a temperature of 40°F or below.
Reheat leftover steak on medium-low heat. It will let the cooked steak stay juicy and succulent.
Will Refrigeration Stop Bacteria Growth in Cooked Steak?
Refrigeration will slow down but not completely stop bacterial growth in the cooked steak.
While storing steak at low temperatures can inhibit the growth of most bacteria, some may still be able to survive and multiply under refrigeration.
Therefore, it is important to refrigerate promptly and eat steak within a few days to minimize the risk of foodborne illness.
How To Tell If It Has Gone Bad
When determining if a food item has gone bad based on texture, there are a few key things to look for.
For example, spoiled meat often feels slimy or sticky, has a mushy or overly soft texture, or may have developed a tough or leathery texture.
The sense of smell is an important tool in detecting spoiled steak. Rancid, musty, sour, or putrid odors can indicate spoilage and have a strong, unpleasant chemical smell.
If food has an unusual or off-putting odor, it is best to avoid and dispose of it.
The appearance of spoiled food can vary depending on the type of food and the extent of spoilage. Signs of spoilage may include gray steak, mold growth, a slimy texture, and an unpleasant odor.
In some cases, the packaging may also appear swollen or damaged. Discard raw meat, including raw steaks that appear spoiled to avoid the risk of food poisoning.
How Long is Leftover Steak Good For in the Fridge?
Cooked steaks can be stored in the fridge for up to four days . Store leftover steak in an airtight container or freezer bag to maintain freshness and quality and prevent it from drying out or absorbing other odors.
Freezing steak is also an option. However, to avoid freezer burn, it should be wrapped tightly in freezer-safe packaging or vacuum-sealed before freezing.
Should You Freeze Cooked Steak Instead?
Cooked steak can be frozen, but its quality may suffer over time, even in a freezer bag. Frozen steak has a lifespan of up to three months . However, it is important to store frozen foods properly to avoid freezer burn.
Also, to freeze steak, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap to remove as much air as possible and keep it there for up to three months. But you must heat leftover steak within a few days of cooking to enjoy its optimal taste and texture.
Tips & Tricks When Refrigerating Leftover Cooked Steak
- Refrigerate the cooked beef to prevent spoilage.
- Let the steak rest to cool down on a wire rack. Keeping the steak cold will prevent moisture buildup from affecting the meat’s quality.
- Wrap the cooked steak in freezer paper, butcher paper, or heavy-duty aluminum foil, available in the local grocery store to keep the steak frozen safely.
- To keep cooked steak good, store it in the refrigerator for 3–4 days. Beyond this time frame, the steak leftovers may spoil and become unsafe to consume.
- To eat previously cooked steak, preheat your oven to 250°F and place the steak in a baking dish covered with foil. Reheat steak for approximately 15–20 minutes or until the internal temperature of the cooked meat reaches 145°F.
- When reheating marinated steak, brush it with additional marinade to enhance its flavor and moistness. Do not microwave leftover steak, leading to uneven heating and dryness.
- When you store steak, label it with the date of storage and avoid stacking it on top of other frozen food in the fridge.
What is the safest way to store cooked steak in the fridge?
The best way to keep refrigerated steak good is to wrap it tightly in heavy-duty aluminum foil or a container to prevent contamination from other foods.
Wait until the cooked steak has cooled down before storing it in the fridge, and consume it within 3–4 days to ensure its safety.
Can I eat cooked steak after 5 days?
Eating cooked steak after 5 days is generally not recommended as it may have spoiled and become unsafe to consume. 3-4 days is how long cooked steak should stay in the refrigerator.
How long can you keep medium rare steak in the fridge?
Cooked medium-rare steak can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.
Additionally, when reheating, ensure it reaches an internal temperature of 145°F to eliminate potential bacteria and reduce food safety concerns.
How to reheat refrigerated cooked steak?
To reheat refrigerated cooked steak with a nice brown crust, use an oven and baking tray to heat the steak for 10-15 minutes at 250°F or an air fryer at 375°F for 5-7 minutes, flipping halfway.
Reheat the steak to an internal temperature of at least 145°F while monitoring it closely to prevent overcooking.
Cooked steak can last up to four days if properly refrigerated. Store cooked steak in airtight packaging or wrap it tightly to ensure its quality and safety.
Steak leftovers should be consumed within a day or two or frozen later. To avoid food poisoning, the steak should be reheated to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit (74 degrees Celsius).
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