How Long Do Meatballs Last In The Fridge: Must-Know Storage Tips 

How Long Do Meatballs Last In The Fridge

The question, “how long do meatballs last in the fridge” is a vital one. Why? The world consumes more beef than you can ever image. In America alone, people consume a total 24.8 billion pounds of beef every year. 

So, beef is a stable on people’s fridges and freezers, not only in America but the rest of the world. But it is important for people to know how to preserve their meatballs, and identify that ones that have become stale. 

Eating health foods is vital for good health. So we will discuss how long your meatballs can be in the fridge, freezer whether cooked or uncooked.  

You’ll learn more from this post. So, are you ready? Ready when you are!

How Long Do Meatballs Last In The Fridge?

It is advisable to cook meatballs before storing them, whether freezing or refrigerating. Cooked meatballs stored in the fridge will last for 4 – 5 days. The reason is because the bacterial responsible for meat spoilage doesn’t do very well (doesn’t grow faster) under low temperature. 

Several factors can also determine how long meatballs will last when refrigerated. These include how well you had the meat cooked and type of meat involved. 

Keep this in mind: ground beefs don’t do too well in the refrigerator. They can start decaying before any other type of meat. 

In addition, cooking your meat properly before storage is a good decision. This way, the meat can stay fresh in the fridge for 4 – 5 days. 

A Handy Tip: Most people may result to frying, grilling and baking to help extend their stored meatballs’ lifespan. 

Now, here’s what you need to know. Baked and grilled meat will last a bit longer in the fridge than fried one.

However, the best way to handle this situation is to cook your meatballs thoroughly, refrigerate and consume them within 2 days at most. Do not exceed two days. 

But if you don’t plan to use up the entire meatballs within 2 days or so, cook properly and freeze them. Freezing will help to extend the meatballs’ lifespan. 

In other words, your meat will stay longer in the freezer than in the fridge.

How Long Do Meatballs Last At Room Temperature?

If you’re talking about uncooked meat, you better understand that they won’t last very long unrefrigerated or unfrozen.

However, cooked meatballs will last for a maximum of 2 hours. Discard the meatballs immediately once it’s more than 2 hours under room temperature. 

Why should you do that? The thing is the bacterial that grows on meatballs, or meats, generally, proliferate at 40 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit. 

A Handy Tip: Do not store your cooked meatballs at room temperature for more than 2 hours. And remember that temperature plays a big role on how long you can store your cooked meat at room temperature too. 

What we’re trying to say is, if the temperature is 90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher then don’t leave your cooked meat at room temperature for more than 1 hour.

The reason to consider consuming your cooked meat faster is that bacteria can grow on meat faster. It’s the same thing with other perishable foods. 

Just one single bacterium can proliferate every 20 minutes. In 7 hours, expect to find around 2,097,152 bacteria growing on that meat.

How Long Can Meatballs Last In The Freezer?

According to the USDA, you can store cooked and uncooked meatballs in the freezer. The uncooked ground meat will stay fresh in the freezer for 3 – 4 months, while the cooked ground meat will stay fresh in the freezer for 2 – 3 months. 

However, if you wish to store your ground meat for a long period, do the following. Mix the recipes together to form meatballs. Then place the meatballs on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. 

Now place the cookie sheet in the freezer and wait for the packaged meatballs to freeze. When it does freeze, take off the cookie sheet and put the meatballs in freezer bag. That’s it. You have frozen your meat. 

A Handy Tip: Consider doing this to your cooked meatball. Cook them properly, ensuring the internal temperature is around 145 degrees Fahrenheit (63 degrees Celsius).

Once the meatballs are cooked, allow them to cool down a little bit and freeze. This way, you will prevent bacteria from infesting or growing on the meatballs. 

Here is another Time-Saving tip. 

Do not place store the entire meat together. Whether cooked or uncooked, place them separately in a serving-size back. This way, you can take out the portion of meat you wish to use and not defrost more than you need for your meal. 

How To Know Your Frozen Meatballs Are Bad

Spoiled foods have only one place in the kitchen, and that is the trash can. You don’t want to eat meatballs that are already decaying. The outcome won’t be palatable. 

It’s advisable to examine your refrigerated or frozen meatballs before cooking them. Never assume your meatballs are fine until you have done your visual and odor examination. 

So, how can you identify frozen meatballs that are decaying? Here are some tips below. 

1: Freezer burn: Here is an evidence of spoilage of your meatballs. But then, are freezer burned meatballs safe to eat? Yes, they are. Most people may decide to discard them though. 

The freezer burn is normally caused by air. In other words, it’s an indication that the stored meatballs had been exposed to air. 

Freezer burned foods are safe. The only thing you’ll notice is the visible dryness and perhaps, texture change. 

Just cut off the freezer-burned portion on the meat and have it cooked.

2: Odor change: First thing is first, your meatballs should smell fresh and nicely before you toss them into the freezer bag.  You can’t store already decaying meat in the freezer and expect it to return good when thawed. 

Alright, let’s go back to the sniff text. To know if your meatballs have started decaying, thaw and do the sniff test. It involves using your nose to sniff the meat for any sign of bad odor. 

If you smell off odor when sniffing the thawed meatballs; in other words, if the meat smells rotten, rancid or has foul smell then discard them immediately. 

A Handy Tip: The off-odor you are sniffing on the meat is due to putrefaction. 

3: Textural changes: Fresh meat can never be in anyway slimy. If yours feels slimy after thawing, note that it has started decaying. 

4: Color change: Color change is another indication that your meat is decaying. So, watch out for tinted white-blue, gray, green, purple-brown color and other unusual colors. These are signs of meat spoilage.

Tips To Make Your Meatballs Last In The Freezer

You can make your meatballs last longer in the freezer with the tips we’re about to discuss. These tips will also help you to ensure your meatballs stay fresh in the freezer. 

1: Limit the number of times you open the freezer. 

2: Don’t transfer warm food into the freezer directly. Instead, let it cool down in the refrigerator before you transfer it to the freezer. 

3: Ensure you have a thermometer in the freezer. This way, you can ensure the temperature stays below 0 degrees. 

Perishable Foods Like Meatballs And How Long You Can Freeze Them

Before storing foods in the freezer, it’s important to know how long they can stay fresh in there. Note that foods like meatballs and may lose much of their texture when stored in the freezer longer than their storage time. 

So, you have to know the length of time different foods can remain in the freezer. And before we dive into the table, remember to also label your foods before sending to the freezer. 

Here are perishable foods like meatballs, including how long you can store them in the freezer. 

Food Items Storage Duration 
1. Cooked fish 4 – 6 months
2. Whole turkey or chicken 12 months
3. Fruits and vegetables 8 – 12 months
4. Ground or raw beef and pork 3- 4 months
5. Raw eggs (eggs not in their shells) 12 months
6. Raw steaks or roasts 4 – 12 months
7. Processed or cured meat ( sausage, beacon, etc) 1 – 2 months
8. Casseroles  3 – 4 months

A Handy Tip: Have you noticed that raw meats have longer shelf-life when frozen than cooked ones? Yes, they do. These include beef, poultry and fish. 

The reason this happens is because of the moisture content. Raw meat tends to have higher moisture content. However, cooked meats’ moisture dries out when stored for an extended period. 

Conclusio

The how long do meatballs last in the fridge question has been answered. Meatballs when cooked will last in the fridge for 4 – 5 days months. In the freezer, 

Endeavor to cook your meatballs properly before storing in the fridge or freezer. Store in the freezer, meatballs can last for 3 – 4 months in their raw state. When cooked and stored in the freezer, meatballs can last for 2 – 3 months.

We also advise you check your refrigerated or frozen meatballs properly before using them. Check your frozen meatballs immediately after thawing them for signs of spoilage. 

Linda Foster

Linda Foster is a news blogger with an insatiable appetite for current events. She is constantly digging for the latest scoop, and her readers can always rely on her to get the story first. Linda has a sharp eye for detail, and she isn't afraid to ask the tough questions. When she's not blogging, Linda enjoys spending time with her family and friends.

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