Vacuum sealed is a perfect storage method since the food kept this way cannot be damaged by dust, bacteria, and microorganism living in the air.
Like many people, we believe that we can keep vacuum-sealed pork for as long as we want to, for even 1 or 2 years.
Sadly, this is a misconception! You can still spoil the sealed meat. The purpose of sealing the food is just to lengthen the storage time, not to keep it forever!
So, how long does vacuum sealed meat last? In this post, let’s find out the answer and learn how to know if the meat turns bad.
How Long Does Vacuum Sealed Meat Last?
Vacuum packed meat shelf life is long but not forever, and the duration also varies depending on the storage temperature. Normally, freezer sealed meat lasts longest for up to 3 years, while cooked sealed meat has the shortest shelf life within three days.
As there is no exact and stable number of days for your question, “How long is vacuum sealed meat good for?”. We will have different answers base on each storage method below:
Room Temperature/ Pantry
If you seal the meat and put it in the pantry, how long can it last then? Typically, if you let the food sit out at room temperature, it can turn spoiled in 2 hours to maximum a day.
However, the sealed meat is not exposed to the air, so the bacteria interaction is low, which means the spoilage period of vacuum-sealed meat is also longer than normal.
Does vacuum sealed food last longer, and how long? Yes, it does.
To be specific, the raw sealed meat can last for two weeks, or the longest 15 days of being left in the pantry, at the normal room temperature range.
Compared to the typical lasting time of meat – about 2 hours, this is such an advance, right?
What about the cooked meat’s expiry date, then?
Well, it is a different case when the steak is cooked. You cannot store it for half a month anymore. Now, you only have 2 to 3 days to eat the meat; otherwise, it will be spoiled.
Don’t mistake the expiry period; 2 weeks is only for raw meat while the cooked one can be stored for a maximum of 3 days!
This section will be the most looking-forward part for cooks since most people normally store the meat in the refrigerator. Freezers are expensive, while it is uncomfortable to leave food in the pantry, right?
Based on our experience, if you vacuum seal the raw meat and store it in the fridge, the expiry time can extend to 14 days maximum. After this date, the meat can get moldy, white dots, and get a bad odor.
How long does vacuum sealed cooked meat last in the fridge? Well, for cooked vacuum sealed meat in fridge, the lasting time is shorter.
You can only keep it for four to five days in the fridge. After this period, the food is inedible.
In detail, many external factors are influencing the lasting time of meat in the fridge: processed/ unprocessed, cooked/ raw, marinated or not, new or old, etc.
So, there is no exact number here. These numbers are vacuum sealed pork shelf life in general, though.
Get rid of the idea of storing food for more than three months just by vacuum sealing right away! Yet, there is another way to lengthen the storing period of the vacuum-sealed meat – freeze it.
For any food, freezing has always been the most optimizing, effective way to store. Simply seal the meat bag, put it into the freezer, turn on the proper temperature, and wait for the meat to freeze.
Then, you can rest assured that the meat can last for a remarkably long time than refrigerating or leaving it in the pantry!
So, how long does vacuum seal meat last in the freezer? Typically, the conventional meat will last for six to eight months in the freezer.
But now, after you take out all the air, the meat can still be fresh after two to three years! Such a huge gap, right? Freezing is also the best storing method for fish recipes.
Tips For Vacuum Sealed Meat Storage
- Keep track of the expiry dates: you should have a notebook, a note app on your phone, or get sticky notes on the fridge in your house. Write down the information on “how long can vacuum sealed meat last in the refrigerator” to ensure you won’t forget to use it on time.
- Have a refrigerator: We know that some people don’t have a fridge in their house. This seems weird and unbelievable for some people, but it is real, guys! If they live in cold areas and don’t have much food to store for a long time, it is possible not to have a fridge. However, we suggest they buy one since pre-preparing is always better.
- Ensure that the meat is stored properly: Please check if the vacuum-sealed meat is appropriately wrapped in airtight, sealed bags or not. Even a small hole can make the food spoiled.
How To Know If The Vacuum Sealed Meat Is Bad?
After answering how long does vacuum sealed food last in the fridge, let’s find out some signs of rotten vacuum-sealed meat that you can detect by observing its smell, color, and texture!
The smell must be the first factor determining if the meat turns bad since the human sensor system is quite sensitive to the bad and strong odor.
If a weird or super bad and uncomfortable odor permits from the meat, it is likely in the process of spoiling!
To be specific, the smell of spoiled food can be described in one word “rancid.” You will feel extremely uncomfortable with such odor and just want to throw it away. Believe us; you will feel it when you experience it.
When the meat is discolored, it is obvious that the meat turns rotten. It is a popular tip that you must see from every cooking guidance, right?
So, today we will not repeat that guide any more. Let us introduce you to a new approach!
Take the meat out of the storage, rinsing, and patting it dry. After 30 minutes, come back to see whether the color of the meat changes back to the natural reddish scent or not.
If the color remains grey or abnormally brown, then you know what happens – it is completely spoiled! Let’s throw it away, then.
Checking texture is another way to tell if the meat is in good condition or not. Typically, the fresh, edible meat will be tender, reddish, juicy, and have good elasticity.
If there is no elasticity after you press the meat, be mindful of the potential risk laying under the food! To add-in, the bad meat texture is sticky and slimy.
If your meat shows these signs, please discard the meat as soon as possible since it is totally inedible now.
What Does Vacuum Sealed Meat Taste Like?
Many people may think that vacuum-sealed meat will taste bland, rough texture, and all juices in the meat can evaporate. Well, we have to answer: it is such a wrong idea.
When vacuum sealing a package of meat, you just take all the air, as well as the microorganisms and bacteria. So, there are no external factors that affect the meat. How could the taste change then?
In short, the vacuum-sealed meat, if raw when being sealed, remains the original taste as it used to. If the food is cooked already, then the meat will keep the favor after being cooked. There is no change in taste.
How To Vacuum-Sealed Meat Properly?
After knowing “How long does food last in a vacuum sealed bag?”; let’s learn how to seal the meat properly.
Before sealing, you must make sure that the meat is fresh and show no sign of spoilage. Then, wash under water, dry it and cut the meat into small portions.
Now, let’s start vacuum-sealing the meat. If that portion is bone-in, then cover it with a protective net to ensure the bones won’t cut the bag.
Next, place the meat in a vacuum sealing bag, leaving space at four edges.
When you finish distributing the meat into the bags, place these bags on the vacuum sealer machine and turn the machine on. Keep the bag with one hand, another hand press and push the sealer to start the process.
After the bag goes through the machine, if the meat is fully covered in the bag, all air is removed, and there are no spaces within the bags; it is perfectly vacuum sealed.
Now you just put the bags into the refrigerator or freezer, or pantry as you want to.