Pork chops are always a hit at my cookouts and on weeknights!
But there are always leftovers!
Are you not sure how long you can leave the pork chops in the fridge?
And knowing how much time you have before consuming them is crucial.
Otherwise, you risk eating bad pork.
Stay tuned to learn more about how long pork chops can last in the fridge.
How Long Should You Keep Raw Pork Chops in the Fridge
The USDA recommends keeping uncooked pork chops in the fridge for 3 to 5 days.
Refrigerating fresh and high quality pork cuts is crucial in ensuring the meat maintains peak quality during storage.
So, how do you know your pork cuts are fresh?
When shopping for raw meats, observe the color of pork flesh. Select the cuts of pork with a pale pinkish-gray color. Avoid those having a dull color.
Once you reached home, refrigerate your uncooked pork chops in their original packaging.
If you’ve already opened the pack, wrap the raw meat in a plastic wrap or aluminum foil.
And store the uncooked meat separate from cooked foods.
Maintain your fridge temperatures at 40 degrees or lower during storage. This ensures maximum food safety.
How Long Does Cooked Pork Chops Last in the Fridge
The USDA advises storing cooked cuts of pork in the fridge for 3-4 days.
Refrigerate your cooked meat as soon as they’re cool enough.
Don’t let them stay for more than two hours at room temperatures.
Leaving food at room temperatures (40-140 degrees) for longer than 2 hours facilitates the growth of spoilage bacteria.
This can lead to spoiled pork and food-borne illness.
It’s also crucial to cook pork until its internal temperature reaches 145 degrees.
You may increase the temperatures for fattier cuts of meat.
Avoid refrigerating pork that is partially cooked.
Pork that’s not adequately cooked provides a good ground for the growth of microorganisms.
How to Store Cooked Pork Chops in the Fridge
Store the pork chops in the lowest part of your fridge and ensure no leaks. Maintain your fridge temperatures at 40 degrees or lower.
When storing pork steaks in the fridge, put the meat in an airtight container, leakproof zip-top plastic bag, or plastic wrap.
Remove as much air as possible from the storage bags. Doing so maintains flavor, moisture, and pork quality.
Are You Tenderizing Your Pork Chops?
Want the most succulent and juicy pork chops? You should be tenderizing your chops. If you don’t they can end up dry.
How Long Can Thawed Pork Chops Stay in the Fridge
Defrosting frozen pork chops in the fridge is the best and safest way of thawing pork.
Thawed pork chops can last 3-5 days in the refrigerator.
Thaw the frozen food by placing it in shallow containers to collect any dripping fluids.
Let the meat stay in the fridge at 35-40 degrees for 24 hours.
Small pork steaks thaw in a day or two, while large cuts take longer. As a step guide, use one day for meats weighing 5 lbs.
Never defrost frozen pork chops on the counter.
Doing so activates the harmful bacteria present when freezing the meat.
Note that refrigerating and freezing doesn’t kill bacteria. The former slows down bacterial growth, while the latter prevents bacterial growth.
Once thawed, refrigerate your pork chops at 40 degrees or lower for 3-5 days.
How Can You Safely Store Pork Chops
- Refrigerate your meat once it’s been on the counter at 40-140 degrees for 2 hours.
- Maintain your fridge temperature at 40 degrees or less.
- For long-term storage, ensure your freezer temperature is 0 degrees or less.
- Frozen meat can last indefinitely.
- Defrost your uncooked pork within 4-6 months for the best freshness.
- Cooked pork cuts can last for 2-3 months in the freezer before quality deterioration.
- Use freezer paper, freezer bags, heavy-duty aluminum foil, or freezer wrap when freezing to prevent freezer burn.
- Marinate your meat in the refrigerator. Don’t re-use the marinade before boiling.
- Store raw foods in the fridge separate from cooked foods.
- Store pork separate from raw poultry, beef, and seafood.
- Always label your meats before refrigerating or freezing.
- Never eat pork chops that have been on the fridge for more than five days.
My Favorite Pork Chop Recipes
Not sure how to cook your pork chops? No worries below are our family’s favorite recipes
Smoked Bone in Pork Chops With Smoked Mac and Cheese
Cedar Plank Chops With Zesty Coleslaw
Already cooked your chops? See how to reheat your pork chops like a true grillmaster!
How do you like to cook your pork?
Author: Charlie Reeves
Hi, I’m Charlie, I am head taste tester at Simply Meat Smoking! I love it grilling, smoking, and getting out in the yard with the kids! The family also love to test all my recipes (especially my EXTRA CRISPY pulled pork, smoky pork loin, and ANY SEAFOOD I grill)
You will usually find me playing with the kids, perfecting my brisket bark, or sipping beers with boys around the fire. Can’t wait to share all my delicious smoking and grilling adventures with you!
You can read more on our About Us page.
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