How to Freeze Cooked Roast Beef (Best Storage Tips)

Roast beef makes an excellent family dinner anytime. Roast beef is ideal for a family weeknight dinner, a lovely Sunday dinner, and it’s suitable for dinner guests as well.

The aromatic comfort dish can be oven-roasted, slow-cooked in a crockpot, or even smoked.

Whatever way you choose, once you’ve cooked up your roast beef, you may be wondering if it’s okay to freeze it for later. 

The answer is that you can absolutely freeze cooked roast beef. Freezing roast beef is an excellent way to extend the freshness of your dish, and it’s simple to do with an airtight storage method such as Ziploc freezer bags and airtight containers. Therefore, if you don’t plan to eat your roast beef leftovers right away, you should consider freezing them. 

Does Roast Beef Freeze Well?

Roast beef freezes very well as long as you ensure that you’re doing it correctly.

When roast beef is frozen adequately, you won’t compromise the quality of the meat, and you can enjoy your roast beef for months to come. 

The Best Way To Freeze Cooked Roast Beef

Freezing roast beef is a simple process. You can either freeze your leftover roast beef altogether or separate it into smaller portions.

The latter is a good option if you have a large amount of leftovers and you want to minimize waste. 

It’s also worth noting that this method will work for roast beef lunch meat or packaged cooked roast beef as well. 

As a food safety measure, it’s essential to make sure that you store your roast beef in the refrigerator or freezer at least two hours after cooking. 

Roast Beef

Below is a step-by-step guide on how to freeze your cooked roast beef.

Step 1. Allow Roast Beef To Cool

Before freezing, make sure that your roast beef is allowed to cool to room temperature. You never want to put hot or warm food in the freezer as it can defrost surrounding items. 

If you need to walk away or you get distracted, make sure to put the roast beef in the refrigerator while it cools, but never leave it to sit out as it can develop dangerous bacteria if left out longer than two hours. 

Step 2. Slice The Roast Beef 

If you have not already done so, it might be a good idea to slice your roast beef before freezing.

Thinner slices of roast beef will freeze better than a large piece of meat and make it much more manageable to work with when you’re ready to defrost it and eat. 

Step 3. Wrap The Roast Beef

The next step is to wrap the roast beef. You can use aluminum foil, plastic cling wrap, or freezer paper.

Freezer paper is the preferred method as this has a waxy, coated side that helps contain the juices and keep your meat fresh.

If you choose to use freezer paper, make sure the waxy side is inside facing the beef, and the paper side is facing outwards, then tape it shut. 

If you prefer an extra layer of protection, you can tightly wrap the meat in freezer or plastic wrap, then cover the outside layer with aluminum foil. 

Make sure to wrap individually sliced meat separately, and for more efficient freezing, don’t freeze meat thicker than two inches.   

Step 4. Place Roast Beef In Plastic Bags Or Airtight Containers

After you’ve finished wrapping the roast beef, you’ll want to place it into airtight Ziploc plastic bags or airtight freezer containers.

If you’re using plastic resealable bags, make sure to compress any excess air out before storing.

Step 5. Label And Store

Make sure to label and date your roast beef so that you can identify it later, and you won’t run the risk of eating it once it’s past its prime. 

You can keep cooked roast beef in the freezer for up to three months. It will likely still be good past that date, but try to enjoy it before the three-month timeframe for best quality. 

Can You Freeze Cooked Slices Of Beef

As previously mentioned, not only can you freeze cooked slices of roast beef, but it is the preferable way to freeze beef.

Roast Beef

Sliced roast beef freezes more efficiently than unsliced and thaws quicker, so they’ll be ready to eat sooner rather than later.

Can You Freeze Cooked Roast Beef For Sandwiches

Once thawed, sliced roast beef is ideal for slapping between two slices of bread for sandwiches.

Of course, if you’re planning to use your leftover roast beef this way, you may want to slice your roast beef into even thinner slices, but it all comes down to personal preference. 

Uses For Roast Beef 

If you’re looking for inspiration for your leftover roast beef beyond sandwiches, below are some popular and delicious ways to make use of your leftovers. 

  • French dips
  • Philly Cheesesteak sandwiches
  • Omelets or casseroles
  • Beef Stroganoff 
  • Beef And Noodles 
  • Quesadillas, Enchiladas, or Tacos

Can You Freeze Cooked Roast Beef And Gravy?

Often roast beef is cooked with accompaniments such as vegetables or gravy. Therefore, many may wonder if it’s okay to freeze cooked roast beef along with the gravy.

The answer is yes, it is possible to freeze roast beef and gravy, but you have to ensure you’re doing it correctly. 

The best way to freeze roast beef and gravy is to combine them. 

Make sure that your beef and gravy have been allowed to cool down before you freeze them.

Transfer it to a shallow airtight container or plastic freezer bag once you’re ready to freeze the cooled roast beef and gravy.

Freezing it this way will allow the dressing to spread out and freeze better. To prevent leaks, it’s a good idea to put the roast beef and gravy in a Ziploc freezer bag and then place them into a container.

Make sure to press out any air before sealing the bag. 

Frozen roast beef and gravy will stay good in the freezer for up to three months. 

Although you can do it, it’s not recommended to freeze your cooked vegetables along with your roast beef.

Unfortunately, freezing and thawing of vegetables can change the consistency and make them mushy. 

Can You Freeze And Reheat Frozen Roast Beef?

Frozen and cooked roast beef is easy to defrost and reheat. However, it’s not ideal for reheating from frozen, so try to defrost your cooked roast beef overnight in the refrigerator if possible. 

The best way to reheat roast beef is to wrap it in aluminum foil and place it in a preheated oven at 300 degrees for 10-20 minutes.

You will want to check regularly to make sure it’s not cooking more than you would like.

Another option is to heat it on the stovetop. However, the microwave should be the last resort since you run the risk of overcooking it and making it rubbery. 

Can You Cook Frozen Roast Beef?

Frozen, uncooked roast beef can last up to 12 months in the freezer if appropriately stored and, once defrosted, can be cooked in various ways.

To defrost frozen roast beef, place it in the refrigerator and allow it to defrost overnight, or you can defrost in cold water.

Never allow uncooked roast beef to defrost on the counter at room temperature. Dangerous bacteria can grow on raw meat that is left sitting out, leading to foodborne illness.

It’s also not a good idea to cook roast beef from frozen, but you should allow it to thaw thoroughly before cooking. 

In The Slow Cooker 

Slow-cooking roast beef is a delicious way to enjoy it because it can cook in its juices, and it will allow you to “set it and forget it” early in the day.

So if you don’t have time to cook dinner or if the kids have activities later in the day, the slow cooker is an excellent way to skip the fast-food line and get dinner on the table. 

In The Instant Pot

Another excellent option for busy parents is the Instant Pot. If you’ve joined the Instant Pot craze over the last few years, then you know how easy it is to get dinner on the table.

A delicious, savory weeknight roast beef can be on the table in half an hour. 

In The Oven 

The most tried and true way of cooking roast beef is in the oven. It’s hard to go wrong if you cook your roast in this way, but make sure you have a meat thermometer to know when you have cooked your roast beef to the ideal temperature.

For example, 145 degrees is considered medium-rare, and 160 degrees will give you a medium roast beef. 

Final Verdict

Not only can you freeze cooked roast beef, but it’s a great idea if you have leftovers that you don’t plan to eat immediately.

Remember to slice up, separate, and wrap any leftovers into portion-size servings for you and your family to enjoy later. Smaller portions will also freeze more efficiently. 

Leftover roast beef is delicious in everything from lunchtime sandwiches to another savory dinner like french dips or casserole.

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