The Secrets Behind the Long Shelf Life of Vacuum Packed Corned Beef

Are you intrigued by the sight of corned beef in the grocery store? Have you ever wondered if you could buy it before or after St. Patrick’s Day? Let’s uncover the mystery of the best time to purchase corned beef!

The Thrilling Expiration Date

Have you ever noticed those vacuum-sealed bags of corned beef in the refrigerated section of the store? If you’ve glanced at the expiration dates, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. For instance, I came across corned beef in the store on March 3rd, and the expiration date was June 1st. That’s a whopping shelf life of three months!

Of course, the expiration dates may vary depending on the brand, but they all provide plenty of time, so there’s no need to worry. In fact, companies tend to be conservative with their expiration dates to protect themselves. So, if you spot corned beef in the store, go ahead and buy it. You can keep it in the fridge for months without any issues. No need to rush to freeze it!

The Chilled Fridge Journey

Assuming you don’t experience a prolonged power outage, you can keep that corned beef in your fridge and savor it long after St. Patrick’s Day. However, once you open the package and cook it, how much time do you have?

Ideally, try to consume it within 3-4 days. Although longer might be fine, I prefer finishing leftovers within that timeframe. If you have more than you can eat at once, fear not! Corned beef freezes perfectly well. Simply cut it in half and freeze the portion you don’t plan on consuming immediately, saving it for a later date.

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Seizing the Perfect Moment to Buy

While some stores carry corned beef year-round, it’s more commonly available around the St. Patrick’s Day holiday. However, if you’re on the hunt for pre-sliced, cooked corned beef from the deli counter, you can find it at any time due to its long shelf life. In fact, corned beef typically starts showing up in stores around February.

If you’re looking for a good deal, the sales usually happen during the week of St. Patrick’s Day. For example, this year, ALDI reduced the price of their point cut corned beef to $2.99 a pound and their flat cut to $3.99 a pound during that week. Even if you miss out on enjoying it on the day itself, you can usually find it in stores for about a week after. Corned beef doesn’t go bad quickly, so stores are not overly concerned about selling it all by the 17th.

Unveiling the Mystery of Spoilage

Corned beef, being pickled and packed with salt, is not prone to spoilage. It’s rare to witness corned beef going bad. However, if your corned beef fails the smell test or feels excessively slimy, it’s best to avoid it. Usually, corned beef smells of the spices it has been pickled in. But if it gives off a scent resembling sulfur or rotten eggs, it’s time to cut your losses and discard it.

Diving Deeper into the World of Corned Beef

To summarize the secrets of corned beef:

  • Uncooked corned beef can last up to three months in your fridge.
  • Cooked corned beef should ideally be consumed within 3-4 days.
  • You can start purchasing corned beef as early as February.
  • It goes on sale during the week of St. Patrick’s Day, but you can usually find it for a week or so afterward.
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If you want to delve further into the world of corned beef, we have a range of content that will guide you on how long to cook it, which cut to choose, and what to do with the leftovers. And have you ever pondered why we even eat it on St. Patrick’s Day in the first place?

  • Corned Beef Hash Egg Bites
  • How to Make Corned Beef Quick in the Instant Pot
  • How to Quickly Brine Corned Beef
  • Rowdy Hog Smokin BBQ
  • Why Do We Eat Corned Beef on St. Patrick’s Day?
  • Why Is It Called Corned Beef?
  • Mustard Sauce for Corned Beef

So, what’s your favorite brand of corned beef? Share your thoughts in the comments below!