It takes 24 to 72 hours for beef to digest within the human body. The length of time it takes for beef or any food to pass through the digestive system is dependent on the individual's metabolism and the rate at which the muscles contract to move the contents through the system.
Digestion of beef begins in the mouth, where it is broken down through chewing and is mixed with saliva. The masticated beef then travels through the esophagus to the stomach, where it is broken down further and the absorption process begins. Beef spends about four hours in the stomach whereas fruits, vegetables and grain pass through within one hour. Stomach contents then travel through the intestines, which absorb nutrients for distribution throughout the body. Waste products are eliminated from the body as feces. The fats and protein in beef take longer than carbohydrates to complete the digestion process.