No one wants to spend much of their precious time grilling only to throw away the leftovers. Whether cooked Pork or grilled steak, you must ensure that you store your leftovers well. But how long is cooked Pork good in the fridge?
Cooked Pork should be in the fridge for about five days if stored properly. The critical phrase is properly stored. To properly store your cooked Pork, you must ensure that you wrap it well before setting your fridge below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooked Pork can stay in a freezer for up to three months.
If you want to learn how to preserve your cooked Pork effectively, then you are at the right place. Read on for further details.
How Long Is Cooked Pork Good In The Fridge?
Well-stored cooked Pork is good in the fridge for up to five days. However, USDA recommends consuming cooked Pork stored in the fridge at lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit within 3-4 days. This is because a refrigerator does not entirely stop bacteria from acting on the meat but simply slows the bacteria’s growth.
How To Properly Store Cooked Pork In The Fridge
When dealing with cooked Pork, it is vital to ensure that you handle it well to prevent exposing it to pathogens. Harmful bacteria such as Trichinella spiralis are not visible to the naked eye, which is why you need to be careful.
Ensuring the safety of your Pork starts with purchasing and how you handle it during the entire cooking period. You need to ensure that your working environment is clean and, therefore, devoid of harmful bacteria. For instance, your cooking area, cutting boards, and utensils should be clean and have not been exposed to raw Pork. Such a move is essential in preventing close contamination between raw and cooked Pork.
Trichinella Spiralis is a parasite that causes trichinosis and cannot survive in the meat once the temperature reaches 137 degrees Fahrenheit. To ensure that your Pork is safe from any disease-causing microorganisms, ensure that you cook your Pork to 145-165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Proper storage entails keeping your cooked Pork out of the temperature range that promotes the growth of disease-causing bacteria. The danger temperature zone for bacteria growth is 40-140 degrees Fahrenheit.
While raw Pork can be refrigerated for several days at less than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, it is not the same as cooked Pork. Cooked Pork is good in the fridge for 3 to 4 days if stored well under 40 degrees Fahrenheit. When refrigerating your cooked Pork, paying attention to the following tips is essential.
- Keep checking the temperature of your fridge regularly to ensure that it is within the proper temperature range.
- Ensure that you store raw meat in the lower compartments of the fridge to reduce the chance of raw juices dripping and contaminating the cooked meat
- Use shallow dishes when refrigerating your cooked Pork to minimize the period the meat stays in the danger zone.
- If you are unsure about the safety of the meat that you have refrigerated, it is prudent to throw it away and remain safe.
How Long Is Cooked Pork Good In The Freezer?
While frozen meats are safe indefinitely, for the best quality, cooked Pork is best for three months. However, you must ensure that your cooked Pork is appropriately stored to avoid interfering with its quality. BBQ enthusiasts recommend freezing cooked Pork by removing the meat from the bone before wrapping it tightly using a freezer-proof wrap, container, or bag. Additionally, you need to remove as much air as possible before sealing it for storage.
The additional freezing tips that you need to put into consideration when freezing your cooked Pork include the following;
- Utilize moisture-proof bags or warp when freezing your cooked Pork. Any paper, such as wax paper, that is not moisture-proof should not be used when freezing the cooked Pork because it will not be able to hold the moisture in the meat.
- Mark the name of the cut and the date of freezing to avoid confusion when it comes to consuming the meat.
- You can use wax paper when separating the different cuts of the meat to make it easy to separate them when thawing.
- Avoid freezing canned meat, as the liquid in the can may expand and cause the seal to open.
How To Tell If Pork Is Bad
Even though you understand how to store your Pork well, it is also good to be familiar with how to tell if Pork is bad. If you suspect that the Pork you are dealing with is bad, the best thing to do is to discard it as soon as possible. Here are some of the signs that Pork has gone bad.
A Sour Smell From The Pork
The use of smell is the most standard way of telling whether the Pork you are dealing with has gone bad. Once you get your Pork from the fridge, conduct a sniffle test to check whether the meat has a sour or unpleasant smell. If you detect a sour or unpleasant smell, that is a sure sign that the meat is best for throwing away.
However, the smell test may fail you only if your Pork is vacuum packed. In such a situation, you may get an unpleasant smell from the Pork even if it has not expired.
The Slimness Of The Pork
If your stored Pork is slimy, that is a sign that it could be going bad. The Pork’s slimness may be due to the juices in the package, or the butcher did not scrap the chops well before packaging. Further, the slimness may signify the Pork is spoiled. Stored Pork that has gone bad will be slimy and have a bad smell. In other words, the slimness alone is not enough to make you conclude that your Pork has gone bad.
Pork Gets Gray
Another common sign that you may use to tell whether or not your Pork has gone bad is the color. Fresh Pork should be grayish-pink or pink if exposed to oxygen for a long time. After cooking it, the exterior becomes gray, while the interior becomes pink. If you realize that your raw Pork is gray inside, then there is the possibility that it might have gone bad. Generally, once you start seeing a grayish or even yellowish color, that is a sure indication that the meat is bad, and you need to discard it.
Pork Is Past The Use Date
When consuming safer Pork, you must ensure that you stick to the deadlines. Pork past its expiration date is probably not fit for consumption. Sometimes, Pork past the expiration date may not have signs of spoiled Pork, but that does not mean it is safe for consumption.
What If You Cook Bad Pork?
While it is unthinkable to cook spoiled Pork, some people may have the impression that cooking bad Pork at high temperatures can make it good. The truth is that cooking spoiled Pork does not change the fact that it is spoiled. Moreover, cooking it even at higher temperatures will not make it any safer.
The best thing to do with spoilt meat is to ensure that you safely discard it. The loss you will incur by consuming spoiled Pork is higher than discarding it, regardless of how much money you spend on buying it.
While storing your meat in the fridge or freezer properly is a good idea, you need to understand that the meat can go bad regardless of how much effort you invest in the storage process. Therefore, checking whether the meat has gone bad before consuming it is prudent. It is wise to throw away a piece of Pork that may have gone bad than to risk making someone sick.
Scot has loved smoking food in his free time for the last few years. Each major holiday or off-weekend, Scot spends days testing and prepping new recipes for perfection.