How Long Can I Freeze My Food?
Surprisingly, most foods can be safely frozen for long periods of time. However, over time, the quality of food can diminish. Proper packaging helps maintain food quality and extends the freezer life of your food. Here are some general recommended storage times:
Breads: 2-3 months
Casseroles: 3-4 months
Cookies: 6-12 months
Meat, Cooked: 2-3 months
Poultry, Cooked: 4 months
Poultry, Uncooked: 9 months
Meat, Uncooked Roasts, Steaks, Ground: 4-12 months
Meatloaves, Meatballs, Burgers: 2-3 months
Sauces: 2-3 months
We recommend using freezer labels to help keep track of the age of food and meals in your freezer. Otherwise, it is VERY easy to lose track of what is in there. For example, my dad recently told me he found some asparagus from 2013 tucked back in his deep freeze the other day. Yikes!
How Do I Safely Thaw Frozen Food?
You have three thawing options: 1 – The best and safest way to thaw frozen food is to plan ahead, so it can thaw in the refrigerator for 24-48 hours (depending on the size of the meal). 2 – Another safe option is to place food in a leak-proof plastic bag and immerse it in cold water, changing the water every 30 minutes. After thawing, cook immediately. 3 – A third option is to microwave-defrost food in a microwave-safe dish (never microwave in plastic!). Cook immediately after this method as well. Note: Never thaw foods on the counter at room temperature, as this creates an environment for dangerous bacteria to grow.
So now that you’ve got the basics down of throwing a Freezer Meal Party, next in the line-up is a great roundup of our favorite freezer meal recipes. Check back in tomorrow for a list you’ll want to cook from now or pin for later!