Not many things match a wonderfully juicy steak that you can sink your teeth into; however, sometimes, we have steaks in our refrigerator and find that the sell-by date has passed. This may be by a day or even longer, and you may see that it has browned slightly or there is an off smell to it. Thus, we ask, “How long is it good for after it passes the sell-by date?”
Refrigerated raw steak will last between 3 and 5 days before you should reconsider cooking it instead of throwing it away, but if you store it in the freezer in the correct manner, it can last as long as between 6 months to a year. So please do not assume that the sell-by date means it is bad.
If you’re stressing about what to make for dinner and have some steaks that are past their sell-by date, don’t worry. The sell-by date does not necessarily mean they’ve expired or gone bad.
We’ll take a look at how long flank steak lasts and what the sell-by date means.
How Long After The Sell-By Date Is Flank Steak Still Good For?
The vast majority of perishable foods should have a sell-by date or something similar such as a best before or use-by date. Some people see these as the expiration date, but that is not the case.
The dates on the food do not correlate with how long afterward it is safe to consume. Instead, they are a guide as to when the goods’ peak quality would be.
If you have a steak or two that are past their sell-by date, you can rest assured that they are still highly likely to be edible, and you are free to cook them; however, we shall break things down even further to gain a better grasp on how to tell if you should be worried or not.
When purchasing steak (and most other meat products), you should cook and consume it within 3 to 5 days from when you bought it if you store it in the refrigerator.
If you purchase it and don’t cook it immediately, transfer it to the freezer as this will ensure that it lasts far longer; you should freeze it after 1 or 2 days after purchasing it.
When in the freezer, they may well even pass their “expiration” date, but this also does not mean that it has spoilt. To ensure that your steak stays in an edible state, read on to find out about making sure the meat is stored correctly.
Extending The Period Your Flank Steak Will Last For
As a side note, before we get onto storing methods, we must touch on the fact that it is not ideal for the raw steak to be left at room temperature, especially if it is warm.
Even if left sealed in its original packaging, leaving steak out in the open can cause it to go bad within a few hours. This is because bacteria will proliferate in temperatures between 40°F and 140°F.
If we are opting to store it in the refrigerator, you need to be aware that it will not last very long once the sell-by date has passed.
As mentioned, the longest you should keep steak stored this way before cooking is between 3 and 5 days. You could extend this period if you keep it in its original packaging, especially if it is vacuum-sealed.
Only open the steak’s packaging when ready to cook it. However, if you have opened it already, you will need to be wary of how long you wait before you cook it, or you can find alternative means of storing it that will aid in locking in its freshness.
If you wish to prolong the freshness of your steak, then freezing it is the best option. Try to do this before the sell-by date elapses, as it will yield better results.
Additionally, you can aid it to stay fresh by proactively overwrapping its original packaging with plastic wrap or freezer paper or placing it in a freezer bag. This will lock in the freshness and aid against freezer burn.
Following this advice, you will be pleasantly surprised that raw steak can be kept in a freezer (properly stored) for up to between 6 and 12 months. This will keep it at its prime quality, but there are instances where you can store it like this indefinitely, although the overall quality may diminish slightly.
Then once you have stored your steak in the freezer and it has been frozen, you can retrieve it whenever you like and place it in the refrigerator to thaw, and then it is recommended to cook and eat it within that 3 to 5-day window.
How Can You Tell If Flank Steak Has Gone Bad?
The first sign that your flank steak has spoilt is that the meat will feel slimy to the touch. You will also notice a slime or thin film developing over the steak.
You may also feel a faint stickiness to it, which means that the meat is spoilt, which is a significant warning sign. Unless you were aging the steak, which is not what we are looking at here, mold might also grow on it.
Can You Tell If Flank Steak Is Still Good By Smell?
A raw steak sometimes does not have a smell if it is not too far gone, but if it is really spoilt, you will undoubtedly be able to tell by its smell. So after feeling its texture, the next option is to smell it, and if it smells sour or rancid, then this is a sure sign that the meat has spoilt.
Another way of telling if it is off is by its appearance, but we shall get into that momentarily.
When you cut into the steak, it will have a fresh, almost sweet- smelling aroma, but if it has gone bad, you will immediately detect the foul odor that emanates from it.
This indicates that bacteria have overtaken the steak, and you should throw it out. Be aware this can happen to stored steak if you do not keep it properly.
Tasting the steak is another option; the meat will taste highly bitter and sour; however, this method is only a final resort to telling if your steak has gone bad. Firstly, you will need to cook it before tasting it; secondly, depending on how bad it is, it could make you sick.
Is Steak Bad If It Has Turned Brown?
Suppose your red color steak has faded to a brownish hue over a few days, especially if stored in the refrigerator. In that case, this does not necessarily mean that the meat is inedible.
This is due to the fact that, after you took it out of its packaging and exposed it to air, and the iron-bearing liquids in the meat caused the discoloration.
The expiration date on perishable products like flank steak doesn’t necessarily mean that the product is bad, and it’s often still safe to eat.
Instead, you can store flank steak in the refrigerator for between 3 and 5 days and from 6 months to a year in the freezer. It may well pass the expiration date during this time, but it will retain its freshness if stored correctly.
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- Is My Steak Bad & How To Tell
- What Is Flank Steak?