Meat of all types can be frozen for later use, but there are some considerations to keep in mind. This is a guide about freezing meat.
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We like to marinate meats for the grill, but we usually forget to thaw and marinate it ahead of time. So now when I shop and buy steak tips or what ever type of meat I am going to marinate, I will buy three or four meals worth and then freeze the meats right in the zipper bag with marinade. All I have to do now is remember to thaw it. I only use this with my homemade marinades, I am not sure how this would work with pre-mixed store bought types.
|Meat Type||Refrigerator||Freezer (0ºF)|
|Bacon||2 weeks||1 month|
|Corned Beef||5 to 7 days||1 to 2 months|
|Canned Meat||3 to 4 days*||3 to 4 months|
|Chops, Pork & Lamb||3 to 5 days||4 to 8 months|
|Cooked Meat||2 to 3 days||2 to 3 months|
|Frankfurters||3 to 5 days*||1 to 2 months|
|Ground Meats & Stew Meat||1 to 2 days||3 to 4 months|
|Ham, Canned||1 week*||3 to 4 months|
|Ham, Fully Cooked||2 weeks||3 to 4 months|
|Lunch Meat||3-5 days*||1 month|
|Pickled Meats (vinegar)||2 weeks*|
|Roasts, Beef, Bison & Pork||3 to 5 days||9 to 12 months|
|Sausage (fresh)||1 to 2 days||1 to 2 months|
|Sausage, Breakfast Patties/Links||1 week||2 months|
|Sausage, Smoked||1 week||1 to 2 months|
|Sausage, Summer||2 to 3 weeks*||6 months|
|Small Game (rabbits, squirrels, etc.)||2 days||9 to 12 months|
|Steaks, Beef & Bison||3 to 5 days||6 to 12 months|
|Tofu||4 to 5 days||6 to 8 weeks|
|Variety Meats||1 to 2 days||3 to 4 months|
|Veal||1 to 2 days||4 to 6 months|
|Venison (ground)||1 to 2 days||2 to 3 months|
|Venison (steaks, roasts)||3 to 5 days||9 to 12 months|
This is a tip for easy storing and thawing of ground beef, turkey, chicken, or bulk sausage. Divide into 1 lb. portions and place each lb. in a gallon zip lock bag. With the bag zipped closed, flatten by hand or roll meat flat with a rolling pin. The thinner the better! Now the bags can be stored in the freezer stacked flat. They take up much less room. When ready to use, the meat thaws in 15-20 minutes. This works well for dough too. With veggies, spread them out in the bag before freezing.
Wrap all meat products well before you freeze them. This prevents flavor changes and drying of the meat. Heavy duty foil and coated freezer paper are excellent barriers to both air and moisture. Regular weight aluminum foil becomes brittle at low temperatures and does not make a good freezer wrap. Multiple-layer freezer bags you can seal tightly are also effective wraps.
Remove the supermarket plastic overwrap when you freeze meats, unless you plan to store meat only for a week or two. The film overwrap lets in oxygen to keep the color bright in the meat case. While this is fine for refrigerated storage, it leads to freezer burn in frozen storage.
Freeze meats and poultry in meal-sized quantities. If you stock up during a sale, rewrap and freeze meat as soon as you get it home. Separate chops, steaks, ground meat patties or chicken parts with a sheet of plastic wrap before you stack them for the freezer. If you take the time to do this, you will be able to separate them for cooking, even when they are still solidly frozen.
If a freezer stays at 0 F or lower, meats will keep for several months. Store roasts and whole poultry for six to 12 months; steaks and chops for four to six months, and ground meats or stew meats for three or four months. Cured and processed meats lose quality more rapidly than fresh meats because of the presence of salts. Do not store luncheon meats, franks, ham or sausage longer than one or two months.
These are approximate storage times--if you keep meats solidly frozen and store them at 0 F, they will remain safe to eat well beyond the recommended time. However, they may show quality change like rancid off-flavors in the fats or dryness from freezer burn.
Thaw frozen meats in the refrigerator, in the microwave or cook them without thawing. Do not thaw meat at room temperature, because this will give surface bacteria a better chance to multiply
Source: Source: NDSU Extension Service Nutrition Specialists
By Diana from Prospect, KY
When I purchase family packs of meat I individually wrap 1 meal servings in plastic wrap and then in TinFoil (shiny side out). I have never had freezer burned food.
Katz from Alberta
Super simple way I save time and money. I buy meats on sale; ground beef, chops and even poultry in larger packages, since it is usually cheaper in larger amounts. I don't have the time nor do I want to pay to rewrap everything in smaller or single serving sizes.
So I manipulate the meat right through the closed package to divide it into pounds or seperate it into single meal sizes, then lay them flat in the freezer and FREEZE them solid that way.
When the time comes to use a portion, I can usually crack the frozen solid package in half open on a counter corner (see photo) and gently take out just what I want to use, using the attached, remaining plastic wrap to cover up the remaining meat product!
Like I said, it's so simple, but it works for me and I save money on buying meat in bulk don't waste much time or extra money on plastic wraps or other wrapping products!
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