I always thaw my frozen meats before cooking because I’m a staunch carnivore. But occasionally, I get distracted by other things and forget about the meat, which causes it to sit out on the counter longer than I had intended.
Learn whether it is safe to leave meat at room temperature and how long you should do so in the following paragraphs.
How Long Can Raw Steak Be Left Out on the Counter?
Your raw steak is kept at room temperature when it is placed out on the counter. The USDA advises against storing raw meat outside for longer than two hours, including raw steak.
The steak shouldn’t be left outside for more than an hour on a hot day with an ambient temperature of more than 90 °F.
You must abide by this principle when eating any raw meat, including raw ground beef.
Can You Let Meat Sit Out at Room Temperature Overnight?
No, contrary to what the experts advise, you should not leave raw beef out for longer than two hours.
The Danger Zone is a range of temperatures, as you can see. This is between 40 ° and 140 °F.
In the raw meat at this range, dangerous bacteria can multiply by two in as little as 20 minutes. The steak will be infested with bacteria if you leave raw meat out overnight in a hazardous environment. This can greatly increase your risk of food poisoning.
This is particularly true for raw ground beef. Contamination of ground beef occurs naturally during the grinding process. Your risk of getting sick would be high if you did it in the danger zone for a longer period of time than is advised.
You might be able to get away with leaving the meat at room temperature for three to four hours if the environment is extremely cool. After this, though, it is considered unsafe to eat.
How Long Can You Leave Cooked Steak Outside?
The same rules apply to cooked steak as raw meat. In actuality, cooked meat shouldn’t be exposed to room temperature for more than two hours.
Once more, the cooked meat shouldn’t be left outside for more than an hour if the kitchen or other area is very warm.
How Do You Know Steak Has Gone Bad?
Accidentally leaving meat out on the counter longer than you intended is common.
How can you tell if your fresh meat has gone bad, though, if this is something you did?
The texture of the raw beef will be slimy, so that’s one indication. Additionally, the raw beef may have a faintly tacky feeling to it.
If the meat smells bad or off in any way, that is also a sign that it has become rancid. You know what raw meat smells like. It’s a sign that the meat is spoiled if the aroma is different from what you recall.
It’s crucial to keep in mind that even in the absence of these symptoms, raw meat can still spoil. Even if there doesn’t appear to be a problem, the meat may still be hazardous for you to eat.
If it has been out of the refrigerator for more than a few hours in this situation, it is best to err on the side of caution and throw it away.
Does Cooking Kill the Bacteria Growing on Meat?
I am aware that throwing away the raw meat you spent so much money on is the last thing you want to do. Therefore, you might be attempting to figure out how to save the meat if it has been exposed to the elements for a long time.
The first thing that may come to mind in this situation is to cook the meat. After all, one of the primary reasons people cook meat is because heat is known to kill bacteria.
Yes, heat can kill bacteria, but it cannot eliminate the toxins the bacteria produce. Consequently, cooking meat that has been exposed to the elements can still be dangerous.
As previously stated, ground meat that has been left out can be even more harmful.
Cooking won’t fix the problem if your steaks were exposed to room temperature for an excessive amount of time, as was previously mentioned.
However, even if you have followed the instructions for skipping the steak, it is crucial to properly cook the beef.
To reduce the risk of you getting sick, cooking your steak to 145 degrees F is your best option.
However, you can make an exception if you prefer your steak rare. Just be certain that the steak you are cooking is fresh and that the refrigerator has been properly prepped for it. Additionally, it is best to ensure that the steak hasn’t been exposed to room temperature for more than an hour.
What Can Happen If You Eat Meat Left Out at Room Temperature?
If you eat steak that has been left out at room temperature, are you certain to get food poisoning?
Well, that depends on how long the meat was exposed to the elements. For instance, the risk is relatively low if meat was left out at room temperature for only a few hours after the recommended two hours.
Of course, this is unless the day is extremely warm.
However, the risk is significantly increased if the steak or other meat was left out overnight.
You should also be aware that young children or older adults are most likely to contract a foodborne illness. Anyone with a weakened immune system is also vulnerable.
In addition, if these people do get sick, they could have worse symptoms that might even necessitate hospitalization.
You probably don’t want this to happen to you or to the people you care about. Therefore, if the meat has been kept at room temperature for an extended period of time, it is a good idea to discard it.
How to Store Meat to Maintain Freshness?
The best advice for keeping your steak and other perishable foods as safe as possible is provided in the following list:
Refrigerate or Freeze Immediately
When the meat is brought home, it should be stored right away.
The steak can be refrigerated in its original packaging if you intend to cook it within the next few days. If not, remove the plastic wrap and put the meat in a refrigerator that is airtight.
Store for the Right Amount of Time
Before it needs to be frozen or cooked, fresh steak can be kept in the refrigerator for three to five days.
Despite this advice, I would advise only using the meat within two days of bringing it home. This will offer the best taste and texture.
When it comes to freezing, you can keep steak there for up to 4 months. But once more, I wouldn’t suggest leaving the meat in the freezer for so long.
The texture and flavor of the steak can change more significantly the longer it is frozen. I would advise keeping the beef in the freezer for only about a month for the best results.
It is a good idea to mark the container with the date that the meat was frozen or refrigerated. This way, you are aware of the deadline for using it up.
Maintain Freezer and Refrigerator Temperature Properly
Many people are unaware of how much your refrigerator’s and freezer’s temperature can change.
This is especially true if you frequently open and close the doors to these areas or if you leave them open for an extended period of time. You should therefore be careful to refrain from doing so.
The other error you must avoid is putting hot food in the freezer or refrigerator. While warm food is acceptable, extremely hot food can lower the fridge’s temperature and jeopardize the safety of other foods.
How to Refrigerate Cooked Meat Safely?
It’s crucial to chill meat while it’s still hot. Avoid having your steak get too close to the danger area. If this happens even refrigerating the meat will not help.
However, as I previously stated, you cannot put hot food in the refrigerator. As a result, you can leave the food on the counter until the refrigerator is the proper temperature.
Place the container containing the meat inside a larger container filled with cool water to help it cool down more quickly. Just be careful not to let the food get too cold while you’re doing it.
Place the dish in the coldest part of the refrigerator, toward the back. This will help it to stay good for longer.
Defrosting Raw Steak Safely
It is important to defrost your steak properly. You can’t leave it out on the counter for longer than two hours, just like with fresh steak.
The steak should be defrosted in the refrigerator because of this. Remember that this will take more time, but at least you can ensure that the meat is safe to consume.
Use a cold water bath to quicken the process if you want to.
This is the time to submerge the meat in cold water; never use lukewarm or warm water.
Also, make sure that the steak is in airtight wrapping. At no time should the meat come into contact with the water.
Spend 30 minutes letting the steak soak in the cold water bath. then drain the water and add more ice cold water to the bath. Do this repeatedly every 30 minutes until the steak is completely defrosted.
Depending on the size of the steak, this could take up to two hours.
You now know that long steak can be left out at room temperature. Make wise use of this knowledge to guarantee the safety of eating steak for you and your family at all times!
Should You Bring Meat to Room Temperature Before Cooking?
How long can raw beef sit out at room temperature?
Your raw steak is kept at room temperature when it is placed out on the counter. The USDA advises against storing raw meat outside for longer than two hours, including raw steak. The steak shouldn’t be left outside for more than an hour on a hot day with an ambient temperature of more than 90 °F.
Can I eat beef left out for 4 hours?
A perishable food, such as meat or poultry, may not be safe if it has been out at room temperature for more than two hours or overnight. Discard it, even though it may look and smell good. Never taste a food to see if it is spoiled. Use a food thermometer to verify temperatures.
Can I leave beef out for 5 hours?
Perishable foods should only be left out at room temperature for a MAXIMUM of TWO HOURS (ONE HOUR at temperatures of 90 degrees F or higher). This INCLUDES the period of time they remain at the table while you eat. A single bacterium can multiply to over 2,097,152 bacteria in 7 hours by doubling every 20 minutes!
Is it okay to eat beef that has been sitting out for 8 hours?
Uncooked meat should not be left out for more than eight hours as this increases the risk of bacterial growth and foodborne illness. Eating meat that has been out of the fridge for a while may result in symptoms like nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fever.