Meat on a rack

How long does meat last in the freezer?

With your freezer set at the optimal temperature of zero degrees, you can expect your frozen foods to stay fresh and at the ready when you need them. With Whirlpool® freezers that are garage ready and have 3-Level Flexible Organization, you can keep your food fresh, organized and at the ready for busy weeknight family dinners. 

Fully cooked meats like ham, sausage and bacon can be frozen for up to two months, while uncooked beef, poultry and pork can last for up to a year. You can expect raw hamburgers and ground beef to keep their freshness for about three to four months. Read this guide to learn more about how long meat lasts in the freezer as well as tips for storing it.



Bacon and sausageBacon and sausage 1 to 2 months1 to 2 months
Ham, hot dogs, lunch meatHam, hot dogs, lunch meat 1 to 2 months1 to 2 months
Uncooked roastsUncooked roasts 4 to 12 months4 to 12 months
Uncooked steaks or chopsUncooked steaks or chops 4 to 12 months4 to 12 months
Uncooked ground meatUncooked ground meat 3 to 4 months3 to 4 months
Cooked meatCooked meat 2 to 3 months2 to 3 months
Poultry, uncooked wholePoultry, uncooked whole 12 months12 months
Poultry, uncooked partsPoultry, uncooked parts 9 monthss9 months
Poultry, cookedPoultry, cooked 4 months4 months
Wild game, uncookedWild game, uncooked 8 to 12 months8 to 12 months
Whirlpool® freezer in a garage Whirlpool® freezer in a garage

How can you tell if frozen meat is bad?

Frozen meat remains safe to eat as long as it has been frozen, however the quality and taste may not be the same. Frozen meat may no longer be fresh if it is discolored or has freezer burn on it or if it has developed a strong odor.

Lock in freshness and flavor with an upright freezer from Whirlpool brand. With features that prevent frost build up and allow you to easily control the temperature, an upright freezer is a great addition to your home.

Whirlpool® chest freezer in a garage Whirlpool® chest freezer in a garage

What happens to meat that’s frozen too long?

Food that is stored in a freezer at zero degrees will be safe to eat indefinitely. However, if meat is frozen too long it may lose quality and taste. If you are unsure if meat is still fresh, you can determine this once it has been thawed. 

If it has retained its normal color and scent and does not have freezer burn on it, and if it has not been improperly thawed and refrozen, it is still okay to eat.

With ENERGY STAR® certified freezer models such as 9 cu. ft. convertible freezer to refrigerator with baskets from Whirlpool brand, you can not only save on your utility bills, but keep your frozen foods organized and easy to access.

Is it okay to eat freezer burned meat?

The appearance of freezer burn may cause dryness, discoloration and loss of flavor in your food. You can usually cut freezer burned areas away before cooking the food. If something is heavily freezer burned you may just want to discard it because of its poor quality.

Freezer drawers opened to show contents Freezer drawers opened to show contents

What is the best way to store meat in the freezer?

You can store meat in the freezer in its original packaging, however, this type of packaging may allow air to seep in and could diminish the quality of the food over time. To avoid this, you can overwrap meat before storing it.

A good rule of thumb to follow when freezing meat is to make the packaging as airtight as possible.

Consider a Whirlpool® bottom freezer refrigerator like this one with triple tier storage to make storing your frozen and refrigerated family favorites easy and organized.

Upright freezer opened to show contents Upright freezer opened to show contents

How long can meat be in the fridge before freezing?

Foods that are frozen at their peak of freshness are more likely to maintain that freshness after being frozen, so the sooner you freeze things you intend to store, the better.

Food that has already been thawed can be refrozen although there may be a slight loss in quality. It is also okay to freeze cooked foods that were previously frozen. You should freeze leftovers within three to four days, and do not refreeze any foods left outside the refrigerator longer than two hours. If the temperature is above 90 °F do not refreeze any food left outside for longer than one hour. With Whirlpool® freezers that feature Fast Freeze, you can quickly drop the temperature to its lowest setting.

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Freezers are an excellent way to save money by cutting down on food waste. Whether you're preserving leftovers, buying in bulk or just need more food storage space, Whirlpool brand offers deep freezers that fit your home.

Learn more about using your freezer from Whirlpool brand

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