How Long Does Vacuum Sealed Meat Last?

Purchasing meat can be expensive, especially if you're buying individually packaged portions to prevent wasting food. An easy and convenient way to lower these grocery costs is by learning how to preserve meats by buying in bulk to keep long-term.

While you may be tempted to toss your meats in the freezer with ordinary food storage methods, this can negatively affect taste and texture—and drastically reduce food shelf-life. Instead, vacuum-sealing meat can extend shelf life by preventing exposure to air.

But how long does vacuum-sealed meat last? We'll explore how long you can save and seal your favorite prime cuts and how to preserve meats so they stay appetizing for longer.

How Long Does Vacuum-Sealed Meat Last?

Unlike other forms of storage, vacuum-sealed meats provide a vast range of unique benefits. For instance, beef and poultry can last up to two to three years compared to ordinary storage, making it one of the best ways to preserve meat.

Because your sealer vacuums most of the oxygen from the storage bag, your meat is less likely to become oxidized and discolored. With less air—which can cause bacteria to grow and food to rot sooner—your meat can last drastically longer than it would with a conventional plastic bag or portable container.

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Benefits of Vacuum Sealing Meat

  • Extends Shelf Life: With FoodSaver Vacuum sealers, you can keep food fresh up to five times longer compared to ordinary storage methods.
  • Preserves Flavor and Quality: Vacuum sealing is also about how to preserve meat flavor as it decreases the likelihood of it becoming oxidized or discolored.
  • Prevents Freezer Burn: Our multilayer vacuum seal bags help prevent freezer burn and are great for storing meats for longer periods.

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How to Freeze Meat

First, since many types of bacteria that can harm both your food and your body thrive at room temperature, it's best to freeze your meats before vacuum-sealing or storing them for an extended period. By freezing first, you can ensure the bacteria have been killed; this is essential for how to store meat long-term. For best results, pre-freeze meat for 1-2 hours before vacuum sealing in a FoodSaver bag.

Freezing meat first is not only safer but also makes your cuts more savory when it’s time to thaw meat out. Placing your meat in the freezer before vacuum sealing ensures that all the juices remain intact before the preservation process—something you'll be especially thankful for when you decide to grill up your chosen cuts on holidays or during barbecues. Next, follow these steps on how to vacuum seal meat to prepare for long-term freezing:

How to Vacuum Seal Meat

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Vacuum sealing meat is a straightforward process, but doing it right is key to maximizing the benefits. Here are step-by-step instructions for how to vacuum-seal meat:

  1. Choose the Right Vacuum Seal Bag Size: Make sure you select vacuum seal bags and roll sizes large enough to contain your portions. FoodSaver bags and rolls come in various sizes from large to smaller dimensions to accommodate your cuts.
  2. Seal the Bags: Place the meat in the vacuum-sealing bag, leaving some space at the top. Use your vacuum sealer to remove the air and create an airtight seal.
  3. Label and Store: Label the bags with the type of meat and the date of sealing. Finally, store your vacuum-sealed meat in the freezer.

By following these steps, you can effectively preserve meat portions and prolong their shelf life.

How Long Can Meat Be Frozen?

Depending on the type of meat you seal, the way it's been prepared, and its initial freshness, the answer to how long you can keep meat in the freezer will vary. However, vacuum-packed meats preserved with a FoodSaver vacuum sealer and stored in a freezer can last up to two to three years.

Estimated Food Shelf Lives

  • How long does beef last in the freezer? Vacuum-sealed beef can last up to 2-3 years in the freezer.
  • How long does chicken last in the freezer? Vacuum-sealed poultry can last up to 2-3 years.
  • How long does fish last in the freezer? Vacuum-sealed fish can last 1-2 years in the freezer.

For information on how to thaw frozen meat when it’s time, read our Tips on How to Safely Defrost Meat.

Understanding How to Preserve Meats

So, how long does vacuum-sealed meat last? With vacuum sealing, you can preserve the quality and extend the shelf life of your meats in the freezer for an estimate of years. By understanding how to vacuum-seal meat, how to freeze meat, and how to store it, you can enjoy delicious high-quality cuts as you wish. Whether you're a home cook, a meat enthusiast, or a food preservation hobbyist, mastering how to vacuum seal meat will enhance your preservation experience.

For more detailed guides, expert tips, and industry insights on meat preservation, visit the FoodSaver Blog for more guides and tips to storing food like a preservation pro.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long can meat stay in the freezer?

Depending on the type of meat you seal and the way it's been prepared, the answer to how long can meat stay in the freezer varies. With proper preparation and Food Saver vacuum sealers, meat can stay in the freezer for up to two to three years. For a full list of estimated shelf lives for your favorite ingredients, visit more.

Can You Freeze Steak?

Yes, you can freeze steak to maintain its quality over an extended period. When properly prepared and vacuum-sealed, steak can last up to two to three years in the freezer without oxidizing.

Does vacuum-sealed meat last longer?

Vacuum-sealed meat lasts longer compared to ordinary storage methods. This extended shelf life is due to the reduced oxygen environment created by vacuum sealing as air can cause food to rot sooner.

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