Goat Shelf Life: How Long Does Goat Last?

What is the average shelf life of goat? How long does goat last in the pantry, refrigerator, or freezer? What is the best way to store goat to increase its  shelf life? Find out the answers to these questions and more below:

Shelf Life of Goat Meat

Ground1-2 Days3-4 Months
Cubed1-2 Days3-4 Months
Large Chops3-5 Days6-9 Months
Cooked2-3 Days2-3 Months

Goat meat is considered “red” meat but is also considered a specialty meat.  The meat from a younger goat less than one year old is typically preferred as the kids store less body fat.  The meat from older goats, especially females, is more tender, juicier, and more flavorful.  Although within some breeds, the male goat’s meat is known to be a lighter shade than the female.


The recommended method to store goat meat is to follow any instructions printed or stamped onto the original packaging including to purchase by the “sell-by” date. If the meat is fresh, keep it in the original packaging until you are ready to use it. If you purchased the goat online and received it frozen, keep it in the original packaging until you are ready to thaw and prepare it.  If you are going to keep the meat frozen for longer than 2 months, it is recommended that you wrap the meat with it still in the original package in freezer paper or another approved freezer packaging.  

Goat cut into smaller pieces like ground meat or stew meat should be prepared or frozen within a couple (2) of days of purchasing.  However, larger pieces of meat should be cooked or placed in the freezer within 3 to 5 days.  Freezer storage time varies on the cut size and ranges from 6 to 9 months. Already cooked meat should be eaten or frozen within 3-4 days.  Meat that’s continuously frozen can stay safely frozen for a long time.  


A key safety tip when handling raw meat of any kind is to wash your hands thoroughly with warm, soapy water before and after handling the meat and its packaging.  Also, wipe all surfaces with a clean, soapy cloth or material that can be washed or disposed of immediately to prevent the spread of bacteria.  

If you are purchasing the goat meat fresh from the market, this should be one of the last items to go into your basket so it would stay as cold as possible until you get home to put it in the refrigerator or freezer.  Hopefully, the market where you shop provides plastic bags for you to secure your meat items so the juices from them won’t leak onto the other items in your basket and cross-contaminate them. The goat meat should remain in its original packaging until you’re ready to prepare your meal which should be within 3-5 days of the purchase.  


Goat meat cuts are similar to mutton and lamb and would therefore be prepared in much the same way.  For safety’s sake, it’s recommended to use a cooking thermometer to ensure the optimum heat has been reached.  Smaller pieces like ground goat meat or stew meat should be cooked to 160 degrees F.  Less tender cuts will need to be braised or stewed in juices.  With larger cuts of meat, the temperature should reach a minimum of 145 degrees F.  Permit the meat to settle for several minutes prior to cutting and eating.