So by now most of you may have gone out and stocked up on meat. Now you need to make sure it lasts! Here is what you need to know about freezing meat.
According to FoodSafety.gov, frozen meat that is kept at 0° Fahrenheit or lower is safe to eat indefinitely. But, there is quite a difference in “safe to eat” and “good to eat“.
Freezer burn can seriously affect the taste of meat that has been frozen. So the longer it is in the freezer, the more chance of freezer burns happening.
The way you store the meat in the freezer is super important! All of your frozen foods should be kept at 0° Fahrenheit or lower. This temperature prevents the growth of bacteria, yeasts, molds and all of those other nasty things.
So, if you need to, you can freeze your meats in their original packages if you think you will use it within 2 months.
If you think it will be in your freezer for longer than 2 months, you will need to do more. You can simply wrap the existing packaging with plastic wrap, foil, freezer wrap, and even just put it in a freezer bag.
Here is a little information on how long you can freeze different meats before the quality changes.
If you are freezing Ground meat such as beef and turkey, you should try to aim to use it within three to four months.
Fresh meat like beef, lamb, and veal can last for several months in the freezer. The FDA says that raw steaks can be kept in the freezer for six to 12 months. Roasts can be frozen 4 months – 1 year. Lamb can be frozen 4-6 months.
Pork is similar to beef when being frozen. Pork Chops will be good for 4 to 6 months. Pork roasts can be frozen 4 to 12 months.
Whole chickens and turkeys can go in the freezer for up to a year. If you have your chicken and turkey pieced out, then try to use within 9 mo.
Lean fish can be frozen for 6 to 8 months. Fatty fish will be ok for 2 to 3 months.
Fresh seafood like shrimp and crawfish should be good for 3 to 6 months in the freezer.
Processed pork, (bacon, ham, lunchmeat, sausage, and hot dogs) can be frozen in the freezer for 1 to 2 months.
If you are precooking then freezing, the quality will go down faster. So cooked beef, pork, lamb, and veal should be used within 2 to 3 mo of being frozen. Cooked fish and poultry can be frozen for 4-6 months.