Did you know buying ground beef in bulk is one of the most cost-effective ways to stock up on protein? But have you ever wondered, “How long does uncooked ground beef last in the fridge?” We’ve got you covered with the best way to store ground beef uncooked, how to tell if it’s gone bad, and more to help you get the most bang for your buck! 

A rolling pin flattening raw ground beef in a sealable bag.
Use a rolling pin to flatten out your uncooked ground beef.

Why Store Ground Beef Uncooked? 

Before we begin, let’s address the elephant in the room. Why would you want to store ground beef uncooked? Of course, you can cook it all at once to use in recipes like macarona bechamel and million dollar spaghetti. However, doing so limits the ways you can use it. 

Personally, we like to buy and store ground beef uncooked, because: 

  • It’s usually cheaper to purchase in bulk. 
  • It keeps well for easy meals in a pinch. 
  • You’re not stuck with one meal or flavor. 
  • Honestly, sometimes we’re too lazy to cook it all at once. 

How to Store Uncooked Ground Beef

We store uncooked ground beef super similarly to how we store cooked ground beef. But it’s crucial to follow the proper steps! Otherwise, you risk contaminating your beef and the countertops, and we definitely don’t want that. Here’s what to do: 

  1. Portion the Beef. Working on a clean surface, split your beef into 1-pound servings. 
  2. Store. Transfer it to a sealable Ziploc bag, and be sure to squeeze out any and all excess air. Do NOT skip this step! 
  3. Flatten. Use a roller pin to flatten the beef into a thin, even layer. 
  4. Freeze. Write the date on the outside of the bag, and store it in the fridge for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months. 
  5. Sanitize. Thoroughly clean the area, making sure to disinfect and sanitize any surfaces that came into contact with the beef. 
  6. Repeat. Repeat the process until all your beef has been stored. 

How do You Know if Uncooked Ground Beef is Bad? 

Freezing your beef will keep it fresh and safe to eat nearly indefinitely (although it’s best used within 4 months). That said, there is always a chance it can go bad. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to tell when you follow the clues below! 

  1. Color – Fresh uncooked ground beef should be bright red on the outside and a little brownish in the center. If it is completely brown or gray, you definitely want to throw it out. 
  2. Texture – You want your beef to be moist, but it should not be sticky or slimy at all. If it is, it’s probably not safe to use. 
  3. Smell – In our opinion, this is the easiest test. Fresh uncooked ground beef has nearly no smell. However, if it has gone bad it will have a tangy, rotten odor. Trust us, you’ll know! 
  4. Date – Finally, check the date written on the package. If it is past 2 days in the fridge or 4 months in the freezer, it’s probably best to just toss it out. 
A flattened portion of uncooked ground beef in a sealable Ziploc bag.
Write the date on the outside of your freezer bag, and store your beef in the fridge or freezer.

Ways to Use Ground Beef

Alright, now that you know how to store ground beef, it’s time to put it to use! After all, you can’t keep it stored forever. Some of our favorite ways to use it include: 

A bag of flattened raw ground beef.

How to Store Uncooked Ground Beef

5 from 2 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 4 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
Learn the best way to store ground beef uncooked to keep it fresh and safe to eat with ease!


  • 1 pound ground beef, raw


  • Place the beef in a sealable bag, sqeezing out all excess air.
  • Using a rolling pin, flatten the beef into an even layer.
  • Using a permanent marker, write the date on the outside of the bag.
  • Store the beef in the fridge for up to 2 days or in the freezer for up to 4 months.


1 Large Ziploc Bag


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 288kcal | Protein: 19g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 10g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 76mg | Potassium: 306mg | Calcium: 20mg | Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Welcome to Food Dolls! We’re so glad you found us. We are Alia and Radwa, sisters who want to share simple and easy recipes with you. We hope you find recipes here that you enjoy making as much as we do! Learn more about us!

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