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Can You Freeze Cooked Beef?

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By Ross Young

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Home-cooked roast beef is pretty hard to beat! But when you’ve picked up a tender piece of silverside, you might end up with far too much to eat in one sitting. So, what do you do with the leftovers?

Can You Freeze Cooked Beef?

Yes, you can freeze cooked beef for up to 2 months. You should ensure it has cooled thoroughly before slicing, wrapping, and placing it in the freezer. 

Does Cooked Beef Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Cooked Beef? No

How to Freeze Cooked Beef

Homecooked beef is far too good to go to waste. And the good news is that it can be frozen for several months, so you don’t need to worry about eating your leftovers straight away.

Let’s take a look at the steps you need to follow to safely freeze cooked beef: 

  1. Cool: Leave your beef sitting at room temperature for an hour or so after you have removed it from the oven. You should never place meat that’s still warm in the freezer. 
  2. Slice: Place the beef on a chopping board and slice it into pieces. It’s better to do this before you freeze it, so you can easily take out the portions that you need from the freezer. 
  3. Wrap: Wrap each slice of cooked beef in tin foil or cling film, and then place each slice into a freezer-safe bag. You can put several slices in the same bag. 
  4. Label and Freeze: All that’s left to do is to write the date that you cooked the beef, as well as its use-by date, on the freezer-safe bag. Remember, you can freeze cooked beef for around two months.

The above method works well for freezing roast beef. You can also freeze other cooked cuts of beef such as brisket, burgers and beef stew.

3 Tips for Freezing Cooked Beef

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing cooked beef to have the best results:

Soak Slices in Gravy
If you want to ensure your beef is succulent and juicy when you come to enjoy it in the future, consider soaking each slice in gravy before you freeze it. This is an excellent way to ensure the beef retains its full flavour, and it will prevent it from drying out. 

You can Freeze it Whole
Although we recommend slicing your beef before freezing it, you can place it in the freezer as a whole piece. However, you should only do this if you plan on reheating it all at once. 

Never Defrost it at Room Temperature
When you’re dealing with cooked meat, you have to be careful. As soon as you’re ready to defrost your beef, you should never do so at room temperature, as harmful bacteria may grow on its surface. We explain how to safely defrost cooked beef in one of the sections that follow.

How Long Can You Freeze Cooked Beef?

You can freeze cooked beef for around two months. Your beef should be okay in the fridge for 2-3 days after it has been cooked, providing it has been well wrapped.

You should never keep cooked beef or any other meat for that matter at room temperature for longer than absolutely necessary, as it can easily go bad if you don’t regulate the temperature at which it’s kept.

How Long Does Cooked Beef Last in the Fridge?

Once cooked, beef can be kept in the fridge for around 3 to 4 days before it needs to be thrown out. It should, of course, be kept clear of any raw meat products.

How Do You Defrost Cooked Beef?

The best and safest way to defrost cooked beef is to do so in the fridge. The night before you plan to reheat or eat it, remove it from the freezer and place it in the fridge. You can leave it in its original wrapping.

If you want to speed the process up then you should never leave your cooked beef to defrost at room temperature – no matter how much of a hurry you’re in!

Some people defrost cooked meat in the microwave, but you run the risk of overdoing it and ruining its texture, so it’s best to stick to the fridge to be on the safe side. 

Can You Refreeze Cooked Beef?

You should only ever freeze cooked beef once.

It’s for this reason that we recommend slicing your beef before placing it in the freezer, as you can easily take out the portions that you require at any given time, whether you’re preparing a tasty roast beef sandwich or preparing another meal for the entire family. 

Does Cooked Beef Freeze Well?

Cooked beef freezes really well, providing you have wrapped it well and protected it from freezer burn.

It’s a good idea to soak your cooked beef in some gravy before freezing it, as this will ensure it stays succulent and juicy throughout the freezing process, and the resulting beef will be as moist and delicious as the first time around. 

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing cooked beef or beef in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Roast Beef?

Yes, roast beef can be frozen for 3 months approximately. It should be wrapped in baking paper and then cling film before being labelled and frozen.

Can You Freeze Cooked Beef Joint?

Although it is possible to freeze an entire beef joint, you need to remember it cannot be refrozen. It may, therefore, be more efficient to carve the joint before freezing it.


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Southern Living

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