Sometimes it’s hard to finish that big steak, so you might be wondering, how long does cooked steak last in the fridge? Well, the short answer is around 3 days; however, there are exceptions.
Like most people, you probably don’t want to waste any food. As a chef, I make good use of leftover steaks, so I’ve decided to put together this guide to help you make sure your cooked steak stays fresh and delicious for an extended time.
How Long Can You Keep a Cooked Steak?
So how long is cooked steak good for? According to the U.S Department of Agriculture, it’s safe to use cooked beef within 3 to 4 days. It means that you can keep the steak in the fridge (below 40° Fahrenheit) for up to 4 days before it starts to spoil. Food safety is something everyone should have at least a basic understanding of.
Most home cooks rely on the smell or texture of the steak to determine if it’s still good to eat or not. However, it’s not always reliable. You should know the shelf life of cooked steak. Label the container with the date you stored the steak because reheating food that is 5 or more days old can also increase your risk of food poisoning.
When it comes to cooked steak – the main concern is spoilage caused by bacteria. Once steak has been cooked, bacteria can start growing on the surface of the meat when stored in a fridge. If you don’t keep cooked steak properly, it’s very likely bacteria can multiply and cause food poisoning.
To prevent the steak from spoiling quickly, you can store it in a freezer-safe container in the freezer for up to 3 months. More about that later in the article.
How Do I Know If My Leftovers Have Gone Off?
The best way to tell if your cooked steak has gone bad is to use your senses. If the meat smells sour or has an ammonia odor, it’s probably not safe to eat. The same goes for cooked steak that has a slimy or tacky texture. If you see any mold growing on the surface of the meat, it’s also a good idea to throw it away.
What’s The Safest Way To Store Cooked Steak?
Vacuum sealing is one of the best ways to store cooked steak because it prevents air from coming into contact with the cooked steak. Lack of air prevents bacteria from growing on the surface of the steak and keeps its shelf life a bit longer.
Store In An Airtight Container
Storing cooked steak in an airtight container is an easy and excellent way to keep the steak from spoilage. However, first, you’ll need to remove as much air from the container as possible before sealing because it will help to prevent bacteria from growing on the meat.
Store In A Freezer
If you want to store cooked steak for a more extended time, you can freeze it. Freezers are excellent for keeping cooked steaks from spoiling because they prevent bacteria from growing.
However, freezer burn can occur if the steak is not properly wrapped or stored. And if you’re not sure what it is – freezer burn is when the meat dries out and develops a leathery texture. To prevent it, make sure to store it in a freezer-safe container and remove as much air from the container as possible. Vacuum seal bags are even better if you have a vacuum sealer.
How to Reheat Leftover Steak
Surely reheating steak on a stovetop or oven is not the easiest method. There are more accessible alternatives. Microwave is the most popular method. Yes, it’s incredibly convenient; however, it’s not always the best way to reheat your steak.
The microwave can cause the steak to become tough and rubbery. If you decide to use this method, make sure to reheat it on a low setting and don’t overcook it.
Use these two methods for reheating:
In The Oven
- Bring steak to room temperature
- Preheat oven to 275° F;
- Place the steak on a wire rack over a baking sheet;
- Cover steak with aluminum foil to prevent it from drying out;
- Reheat for 15-20 minutes depending on the steak size;
- Leave the steak to rest for a few minutes.
On The Stove
- Bring steak to room temperature;
- Preheat a pot of water (it should be simmering but not boiling);
- Add steak to the zip bag and submerge it in hot water;
- Leave the steak in hot water for about 5 to 10 minutes or until heated through.
- Leave the steak to rest for about 2 minutes.
To summarize it. First, cooked steak can last in the fridge for up to 4 days. However, if you want to store it for longer – freeze it for up to three months. And last but not least, when reheating cooked steak, make sure to use low heat, so it doesn’t become tough and rubbery.
Can you eat cooked meat after 5 days?
According to USDA, cooked meat can last in the fridge for up to 3 days. After three days, meat can start to develop bacteria that can cause food poisoning.