How Long Are Freezer Foods Good? Here’s What You Need To Know.

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Freezing food can be a somewhat daunting task. It’s easy to do, but then, how long is food good once you stick it in the freezer?

Make-ahead freezer meals and meal planning are the thing to do right now, but if you don’t use right away, do you really know how long that meal can stay in your freezer?

I mean you know it is safe for a week or two, but how long can you leave it?

I’ve been burned — freezer burned, that is — before when freezing meals, so I’m a bit leery to do so. But now, I have a definitive answer as to how, and how long to freeze most meals.

Things to do BEFORE you stick that food in the freezer:

Getting a good prep on the freezer food is KEY to making it last, and best of all, TASTE good when you take it out.

You always want to cool things down, and freeze it fast. Don’t just stick hot spaghetti sauce in your freezer! Let it cool down a bit (I don’t mean leave it out on your stove for hours) BEFORE you stick it in to freeze.

Always use FREEZER safe containers, whether they are Ziploc-style bags, or plastic-style containers, make SURE they are designed to be freezer safe!

When freezing things like fruits and nuts, you want to FLASH freeze it. That means, you cut it up, lay it out on a single layer on a cookie sheet, and freeze on the sheet for about an hour. THEN you can transfer the food to a freezer-safe container, and keep it safely in your freezer.

We already mentioned that you should let your foods cool down before you stick them in the freezer, but don’t stick a whole freezer full of non-frozen foods in your freezer at one time.

This will heat up the temperature of your freezer too much. You want whatever is in there to be able to freeze solid within 24 hours — preferably sooner. So, freezing food in smaller batches is better.

Leave room for air to circulate among the food! This will help the food stay safe and nicely frozen. Don’t just cram your freezer full of as much food as you can. Leave the food room to breathe.

If you are freezing a soup, STOP! You want to think twice about freezing soups with milk or cream in them, or soups that have a lot of starchy foods — potatoes and pasta. Theses soups don’t thaw well. Most broth based soups are FINE to freeze.

How long is frozen food good for?

1 Month: Uncooked Bacon

1-2 Months: Ice Cream & Pies That Have Been Baked

2-3 Months: Casseroles, Soups, Stews, Cheesecake, & Non-Yeast Breads

3-4 Months: Ground Beef, Cooked Chicken Pieces, Cooked Shrimp, & Yeast Breads

4-5 Months: Uncooked Pork Chops, & Cooked Fish,

5-6 Months: Cheeses

6-7 Months: Uncooked Steak

7-8 Months: Frozen Vegetables (Fresh Mushrooms don’t freeze well)

8-9 Months: Uncooked Chicken Pieces

9-10 Months: Baked Cookies

10-11 Months: Whole Turkey or Chicken

15-18 Months: Frozen Fruit

There are SOME items — like cookies, whole chicken, and uncooked steak — that can last as long as 12 months, but the above guidelines are a definite safe range.

Summer isn’t too far away! Looking for a yummy pie to make this summer? Check out this list of the 20 Best Summer pies.

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