Are you a fan of grass fed beef?
If so, you know that it’s important to store it properly to ensure its freshness and safety.
But how long can you keep it in the fridge before it goes bad?
In this article, we’ll explore the ins and outs of storing grass fed beef in the fridge, including tips on how to keep it fresh and delicious for as long as possible.
From proper packaging to ideal temperatures, we’ve got you covered.
So let’s dive in and learn how to make the most of your grass fed beef!
How Long Does Grass Fed Beef Last In The Fridge?
When it comes to storing grass fed beef in the fridge, there are a few key factors to keep in mind.
First and foremost, it’s important to properly package your beef. Double wrapping it in butcher paper with at least one layer coated or vacuum packing it in heavy plastic will help prevent freezer burn and extend its shelf life.
Once your beef is packaged, it’s time to store it in the fridge. The ideal temperature range for storing raw meat is between 38 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure to check your fridge temperature regularly to ensure it stays within this range.
In general, grass fed beef can be stored in the fridge for up to five days. However, this can vary depending on the type and cut of meat. For example, ground beef should be used within two days, while chicken should be used within three days.
It’s also important to keep your raw meat container away from any other foods to avoid cross-contamination. If your fridge has a special meat bin, use that instead. And always cover your raw meat in the fridge to prevent any juices from escaping and contaminating other foods.
Why Grass Fed Beef Is Different From Conventional Beef
Grass-fed beef is different from conventional beef in several ways. One of the most notable differences is the fat profile. Grass-fed beef contains higher levels of Omega-3 fatty acids compared to grain-fed beef, which has many health benefits. In contrast, conventional beef is higher in inflammatory Omega-6 fatty acids. This shift in the Omega-3:Omega-6 ratio in grain-fed beef is remarkable and has an impact on human health. Research has shown that a high Omega-6:Omega-3 ratio promotes the pathogenesis of disease, including cardiovascular disease, cancer, and inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. In contrast, Omega-3s can actually have a suppressive effect on disease.
Another difference between grass-fed and conventional beef is the nutrient content. Grass-fed beef contains more carotenoids, vitamin E, and other antioxidants compared to grain-fed beef. It’s also higher in total nutrients, phytonutrients, key fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, protein, and amino acids. These nutritional advantages make grass-fed beef a compelling nutritional option for both athletes in training and for the general population.
In terms of farming practices, grass-fed beef is less labor- and energy-intensive compared to conventional beef. Feed for conventional cattle is expensive and must be closely rationed to achieve maximum growth and production. Also, conventional cattle often are given hormones to stimulate growth or regulate reproduction. In contrast, grass-fed cattle rely on forages and spend their lives in pastures rather than feedlots. This difference in farming practices also affects the taste of the meat. Grass-fed beef has a more gamey taste since it’s leaner than conventional beef, which has a softer texture and a sweeter flavor.
Proper Packaging For Grass Fed Beef
Proper packaging is crucial for maintaining the quality and safety of grass fed beef. The multiple functions and variety of packaging technologies available for consumer products create challenges for those who design packages for beef, including fresh, cooked or frozen beef products. Grass fed beef packaging may be stored under a wide range of conditions including refrigeration, freezing and intense lighting, and it must be able to withstand these conditions and handling abuse.
Double wrapping grass fed beef in butcher paper with at least one layer coated or vacuum packing it in heavy plastic will help prevent freezer burn and extend its shelf life. Dry-aging is a process where prime cuts are exposed to temperature/moisture/light-controlled coolers where an outer crust will form. This crust is carefully removed, leaving meat that displays a distinctive flavor and tenderness that is only found when dry-aged. However, wet-aging does not produce a desirable product for grass fed beef.
It’s important to note that all meat packages, grass-fed or not, must be approved by Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS), which is the official regulatory arm of the USDA. If meat companies want to take an extra step to assure their customers that they’re getting high-quality meat, they can pay an independent third party to review and approve their product claims through on-site inspections and audits. The American Grassfed Association runs trusted third-party grass-fed verification programs outside of the USDA.
Ideal Temperature For Storing Grass Fed Beef
When it comes to storing grass fed beef, it’s important to keep it at the ideal temperature range to ensure its freshness and safety. The recommended temperature range for storing raw meat is between 38 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit (3.3C to 4.4C).
At temperatures below 38 degrees Fahrenheit, the growth of bacteria will slow down significantly, but the meat may still freeze if the temperature drops too low. On the other hand, temperatures above 40 degrees Fahrenheit can cause bacteria to grow rapidly, leading to spoilage and foodborne illness.
To maintain the ideal temperature range, it’s important to check your fridge temperature regularly using a digital thermometer. Familiarize yourself with your fridge settings in the owner’s manual to ensure you set your temperatures correctly.
When storing grass fed beef in the fridge, make sure to place it on a separate shelf from all other items, preferably on the bottom shelf. It’s also a good idea to store it in a covered container with a plate underneath to collect any run-off juices.
Signs Of Spoiled Grass Fed Beef
While grass fed beef can last longer in the fridge than store-bought feedlot meats, it’s still important to keep an eye out for signs of spoilage. Here are a few things to look for:
1. Smell: If your grass fed beef has a sour or off odor, it’s likely spoiled and should be discarded.
2. Color: While the color of ground beef isn’t always an indicator of spoilage, any gray or brown discoloration on the top layer or throughout the meat could indicate spoilage. Mold growth, indicated by white or blue spots, is also a clear sign that the meat has gone bad.
3. Texture: Spoiled beef may feel slimy or tacky to the touch. If it feels sticky or has a mushy texture, it’s best to throw it out.
4. Taste: If your grass fed beef tastes off or has a strange texture when cooked, it’s best to err on the side of caution and discard it.
Remember, when in doubt, throw it out. It’s better to be safe than sorry when it comes to food safety. And always follow proper storage and handling guidelines to ensure that your grass fed beef stays fresh and safe to eat.
Tips For Maximizing The Shelf Life Of Grass Fed Beef
If you want to extend the shelf life of your grass fed beef, there are a few things you can do.
1. Freeze it: If you’re not planning on using your grass fed beef within five days, consider freezing it. Properly packaged and frozen grass fed beef can last up to a year in the freezer.
2. Keep it cold: As mentioned above, the ideal temperature range for storing raw meat is between 38 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Make sure your fridge is set to this temperature range and check it regularly.
3. Use airtight containers: When storing your grass fed beef in the fridge, make sure it’s in an airtight container or wrapped tightly with plastic wrap to prevent any air from getting in and causing freezer burn.
4. Don’t leave it out: Once you take your grass fed beef out of the fridge, make sure to cook it within two hours. Leaving it out at room temperature for too long can cause bacteria to grow and spoil the meat.
5. Cook it properly: Overcooking grass fed beef can cause it to become dry and tough. Use a thermometer to ensure that the internal temperature of the meat reaches 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit for medium-rare.
By following these tips, you can extend the shelf life of your grass fed beef and ensure that it stays fresh and safe to eat for as long as possible.