Learn how long ground beef keeps in the freezer. Plus, get tips for freezing ground beef properly.
hand taking out frozen meat from freezer.
Credit: Getty Images / Qwart

Ground beef is a tasty, budget-friendly protein to keep on hand. While ground beef can be stored in the fridge for a few days, the freezer is a great long-term solution. But just how long does ground beef last in the freezer? Read on to find out—plus, get tips for freezing ground beef the right way.

How Long Can You Freeze Ground Beef?

Ground beef can be frozen indefinitely, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. However, it is recommended to use ground beef within four months of freezing, as the quality of the meat will begin to deteriorate over time. Ground beef that has been frozen for too long may not be as flavorful. Plus, the texture and color of the meat may change.

How to Freeze Ground Beef

Wrap a package of ground beef in plastic wrap, aluminum foil or freezer paper, or place in a freezer-safe bag before freezing. Taking this extra step minimizes the risk of freezer burn and prevents any freezer odors from infiltrating the ground beef. Store ground beef on the bottom shelf of the freezer, just like you would in the fridge.

Be sure to date the package so you can keep track of when it was initially frozen. Another helpful bit of info to note is the quantity of meat within the package. This tip is especially helpful if you've wrapped the package and can no longer see the contents. If you have multiple packages of ground beef in the freezer, follow the first-in, first-out rule—meaning whatever package was placed in the freezer first, take that out first.

When you're ready to use it, learn how to thaw ground beef properly by defrosting it in the fridge, under running water or in the microwave. Plus, check out these healthy ground beef recipes for tasty inspiration.