Freezing meat is such a great way to reduce waste in your home. We have all been there when we have checked meat in the fridge and realised it is coming up to its “best before” date, and if you don’t have time to cook and eat it before that date is due, what else is your option? How long can you freeze meat? Would this help?

Freezing meat can help you to avoid this issue, stop wasting money, and always have a good stock of options for mealtimes in the home. However, some of us don’t fully understand how long we should freeze meat and the best ways to ensure that it doesn’t spoil. So here are some tips and advice to help you get more out of your freezer when it comes to meat. 

yellow tray of frozen chicken

The importance of safe storage of meat in your freezer

Safe storage of meat can help to prevent the loss of flavour as well as potential bacterial growth on the meat you have chosen to freeze. Depending on the level of space you have, there are a few tips and techniques that you can consider to safely store your meat in the freeze. Including:

  • It is safe to freeze your meat in the packaging it arrived in from the store, however, make sure there are no holes and it is still perfectly sealed. 
  • If freezing in the original packaging is not an option due to damage or even space, then you can transfer the meat to a dedicated freezer bag.
  • You can also wrap the meat in foil or cling film, but make sure that you wrap the meat several times for added protection. 
mince frozen in plastic bags

How long can you freeze meat for?

There is no right or wrong answer to this. If your freezer is at a very low temperature of -18c, then you could freeze something indefinitely. However, it is always best to use up certain types of meat in a specific timeline. This is so that the quality is there and there is no risk of bacterial growth. 

Fresh meat 

One of the most common meats to freeze is fresh meat bought from a butcher or in store. Often you get to a stage where you haven’t had time to use up the meat, and so you may need to freeze it to use another day. The most common things you will likely freeze is fresh chicken breasts, ground mince, steaks, and burgers. It would always be best to consume these sorts of meats within a four month window. 

Cooked meat

You might also want to freeze cooked meats such as sandwich fillers or extra leftovers from a roast dinner, for example. It is usually best to consume frozen cooked meats sooner than you could fresh meat. Usually within two months. 

two plastic tubs of meals being put in the freezer

Tips to make the most out of frozen meat

If you want to ensure you make the most out of any frozen meat then here are a few tips to help you do it:

  • Use freezer bags and flatten them down to make the most out of space. Instead of freezing mince in the packet that it comes in if you use a freezer bag and remove the air you can store so much more in your freezer.
  • Make a note on the packaging so you know when it was frozen. This will help you use it up sooner, and also ensure you use older frozen meat first. 
  • The safest technique to thaw frozen meat is to store it in the fridge for around 24 hours. There are other ways to thaw meat but it isn’t as safe or effective.
  • Never refreeze meat you have frozen. This is only possible when it was frozen as fresh and refrozen as cooked. Never defrost and then refreeze the same meat if you have done nothing with it. This can cause food poisoning as bacteria grows as soon as the meat is defrosted.

Hopefully, these tips will help you make the most out of your freezer when it comes to meat. Do you have any tips I have missed?

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