Food and Recipes Meat Beef How Long Can You Freeze Ground Beef? You might be surprised. By Lisa Cericola Lisa Cericola Lisa Cericola has been on staff at Southern Living since 2015. As Deputy Editor, Lisa manages the food and travel departments and edits those sections of each issue, as well as digital content. Previously, she was the features editor at Food Network Magazine and has more than 15 years of experience writing, editing, and managing photo shoots for print and digital lifestyle brands. Southern Living's editorial guidelines Updated on November 18, 2022 Fact checked by Jillian Dara Fact checked by Jillian Dara Jillian is a freelance writer, editor and fact-checker with 10 years of editorial experience in the lifestyle genre. In addition to fact-checking for Southern Living, Jillian works on multiple verticals across Dotdash-Meredith, including TripSavvy, The Spruce, and Travel + Leisure. brand's fact checking process Share Tweet Pin Email It's always a good idea to have a pound (or even more) of ground beef in the freezer. This quick-cooking protein is the foundation of so many comforting meals—spaghetti sauce, meatloaf, casseroles, meatballs, tacos, and of course, burgers. Think of ground meat—whether it's beef, turkey, chicken, or pork—as a secret weapon that can be combined with whatever happens to be in your refrigerator or pantry to make dinner happen at a moment's notice. (Just don't forget to defrost it in the refrigerator!) As you may know, foods that have been frozen are safe to eat indefinitely, if they have been stored properly at the right temperature. As you may also know, just because something is safe to eat doesn't mean it will taste good. For the best flavor and texture, the United States Department of Agriculture says frozen ground beef should be cooked and eaten within four months. istetiana/Getty Images So if you picked up a few pounds of "buy one get one" ground meat at the grocery store and want it to last for four months, you need to know how to store it so that the meat is exposed to as little air as possible. This will prevent freezer burn and discoloration. While you can freeze meat in its supermarket packaging (typically a shrink-wrapped plastic container), it's not ideal. The plastic wrap is permeable enough for air to get in. Instead, wrap the container with a layer or two of heavy-duty aluminum foil and write the date on the foil so you'll know how long it's been in the freezer. If your beef was sold wrapped in butcher paper or in a plastic bag, you also need to create a barrier to protect it from the air. Wrap the meat tightly in plastic wrap or put it in a ziplock freezer bag and push out as much air as possible. Then, cover it with a layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil and date the package. How Long Does Cooked Beef Last in the Fridge? Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources Southern Living is committed to using high-quality, reputable sources to support the facts in our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact check our content for accuracy. USDA. Ground beef and food safety.