How to Tell if Steak Went Bad or Spoiled: An Easy Guide
When it comes to steak, selecting a good cut is just the beginning. Of course, you also need to make sure it hasn't gone bad, as eating spoiled meat can be harmful to your health and ruin your dining experience - and your day!
But how can you tell if your steak has gone bad? In this article, we'll share some tips and tricks to help you identify the signs of spoiled steak. From changes in color and texture to the infamous smell test, you'll learn how to ensure your steak is safe to eat and ready to cook to perfection.
How to Tell if Steak Is Bad
When checking if your steak has gone bad, the use-by date can, of course, be a helpful indicator. Make sure to check the date before buying or cooking the steak. However, it's important to keep in mind that the use-by date is just a guideline and doesn't guarantee the steak will be good until that date. Factors like storage conditions and handling can affect the quality of the steak and cause it to spoil before the use-by date.
If you already have a steak in your fridge and you're not sure if it's still good, you can use your senses to determine its freshness.
Look for any signs of discoloration, such as gray or brown patches, which may indicate spoilage. Check for any unusual odors, as spoiled steak can have a sour or ammonia-like smell. Lastly, use your sense of touch to feel for any sliminess or stickiness on the surface of the steak. If any of these signs are present, it's best to err on the side of caution and discard the steak.
Can I Eat Steak After the Use-By Date?
When shopping for steaks, you might come across different types of date labels. A "best if used by/before" date is an indicator of the quality and flavor of the steak at its absolute best, rather than a safety concern. As in, you can still eat the steak after this date, but the quality and flavor might not be as good.
A "sell-by" date is intended for the store, rather than the customer. The sell-by date tells the store how long to display the product for sale for inventory management, but it does not necessarily mean that the steak is bad after that date. Similarly, a "use-by" date is the last date recommended for the consumption of the steak while at its peak quality. Again, this is not a safety date, except for when used on infant formula.
Lastly, a "freeze-by" date indicates when the steak should be frozen to maintain its quality, rather than a safety concern.
How Long Can Steak Stay in the Refridgerator?
According to the USDA, raw steak can stay in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days. After it's been cooked, the USDA says steaks can be safely stored for 3-4 more days before you should be worried. While the fridge can help store your meat for far longer than keeping it out in the open, it only slows potential bacteria growth and doesn't completely stop it.
Just remember, if your steak feels slimy, smells bad like ammonia, or looks more kind of yellow or brownish than the normal purple-reddish color, you might have a bad steak on your hands. In that case, you might be better off disposing of the meat and go find yourself a safer alternative!
How Long Can Steak Stay in a Freezer?
Frozen beef can be stored safely for an indefinite amount of time, but for the best quality, it's recommended to use uncooked steaks, roasts, or chops within 4 to 12 months, uncooked ground beef within 4 months, and cooked beef within 2 to 3 months.
Once you've brought your steak home, it's important to freeze it immediately. For best quality, use steaks and roasts within 9 to 12 months and ground beef within 3 to 4 months. Ground beef and variety meats such as liver, kidneys, tripe, sweetbreads, or tongue should be used within 1 or 2 days.
If you plan to freeze your steak, be sure to store it at 0°F (-17.8°C). And if you keep it frozen continuously, it will technically be safe to eat indefinitely (although the taste might not be).
Where Can I Buy the Best Steak?
If you're looking for the best steak available, you might want to try genuine Japanese Wagyu beef. Chefs all over the world consider this to be the absolute highest quality beef money can buy, with marbling and tenderness that is unmatched by other breeds of cattle.
At Wagyuman, we source our beef from only the most reputable and authentic wagyu producers in Japan, ensuring you get the highest quality product available.