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If you’re looking to store meat for a longer period of time, it’s important to note that it can typically be stored in the fridge for up to three days after being frozen. However, the best way to determine how long meat will last in the fridge is to follow the packaging instructions.
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Packaging Meat for Short-Term Freezing
Any meat that you will use in the next couple of months should be packaged in airtight plastic bags or ziplock freezer bags and placed in a cooler.
Of course, meat that you want to keep for about two months can also be wrapped well-wrapped individually (e.g., an armful of extra ribs) into food vacuum packs, between sheets of parchment paper; staples suck out all the air, there’s no need to register them again!
Packaging Meat for Long-Term Freezing
Meat can also be stored in the freezer for longer than a few months. While most meat can be eaten after three months in the freezer, enchiladas and chili will only last for about two or three years before hard as a rock.
The key to freezing any type of meat is having it vacuum packed so that no air gets inside. Use an electric blower, if necessary; although a food packer would do just as well (the leftovers of which start baking while you are waiting for your big day). The vacuum bag must be consumed before the next expiration date, or it can also be used again (to an extent) as a food dehydrator.
Some tips for freezing meat: Make sure you get all of the air out of your freezer. Place only one item into each plastic bag and pile those bags on top of everything else so there is no odor absorption due to liquid transfer. Do not pack more than two frozen items at a time and do not store your frozen meat in the door of your freezer. Otherwise, you will have difficulty sealing them once they have completely thawed out.
So there you go: storing food successfully by freezing what we eat.
Useful Tips for Preparing Meat for the Freezer
- Anything you would store in a tin can be frozen into individual portions. Be warned, some types of tins do not stack well (e.g., glass jars or small cans) and feel heavy for your freezer’s lid; if needed, however, the lids become thicker when the glass is removed (but watch out with this trick! ).
- Meat should be packed in a vacuum intact; use food bags attached to an electric blower or source a vacuum packer; this will minimize freezer odor and trap in all the yummy juices. I like to toss any meat that I am about to freeze into either liquid for two weeks (e.g., broth) OR use one of these tins which both drain off liquids AND eliminate freezer odors, while easier on my mind!
Organize chicken or ham purchased and ready for the freezer in a plastic bag.
If you are stowing some meat that is covered by a liquid, this double-seal bag seems to help prevent odor transfer when frozen or thawed out (made it feel so much less gross!).
Be sure to date each package of meat as it is prepared. Or write a date with a marker pen before putting meat in the freezer. It will help you to know the time that’s approximately how long it will keep in the freezer, especially if you know some methods of extending its life (e.g., freezing from an extra hour to a day before cooking).
Everyone knows that storing meat in the fridge is a great way to keep it fresh, but many people don’t know how long does meat last after being frozen. In this blog, we will teach you the answer to this question. By understanding how long meat can stay in the fridge after being frozen, you will be able to make better food choices that will not only help you save on groceries, but also give you peace of mind when it comes to your food safety.