Category: Meat

Meat

Can You Freeze Corned Beef?

Corned beef is a type of processed meat made by dry curing the meat to extend its shelf life and prevent spoilage. Some type of corned beef goes through a dry salt curing to give the meat a distinct flavor. Can you freeze corned beef? Since corned beef has been processed, it does not need much to extend its shelf life. However, you can freeze corned beef especially if it is nearing its expiry date. The same thing can be said for cooked corned beef, you can freeze it.

Of course, freezing the corned beef may affect its texture and flavor regardless if it’s cooked or uncooked. The salts used during curing will change the texture of the meat and freezing the meat may cause further changes to its texture.

How to Make Corned Beef at Home

How to Freeze Corned Beef?

Freezing Uncooked Whole Corned Beef

If you’re freezing an uncooked chunk of corned beef, start by draining the excess liquids from the meat. High salt content from the excess liquid may shorten the shelf life of the frozen meat. Once the corned beef is free from excess liquids, you can prep the meat for freezing.

If you’d like to freeze the chunk of corned beef without cutting it into serving portions, wrap it in a double layer of plastic wrap. Make sure there are no exposed parts to prevent freezer burns. Finally, place the wrapped corned beef in a heavy-duty freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can then write the label and seal. Store in the coldest corner of the freezer.

Freezing Uncooked Slices of Corned Beef

We highly recommend slicing the chunk of meat into manageable portions so defrosting the meat is much easier. After draining the excess liquids, cut the corned beef into your desired sizes.

After cutting the corned beef into manageable portions, place them carefully in a double layer of plastic wrap. Make sure there are no exposed parts to prevent freezer burns. Finally, place the wrapped corned beef slices in a heavy-duty freezer bag. Squeeze out as much air as you can then write the label and seal. Stick flat in the freezer.

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Freezing Cooked Corned Beef

Freezing cooked corned beef is trickier because the added ingredients may affect the meat’s flavor and shelf life. If you really want to prolong the shelf life of cooked corned beef, invest in a vacuum sealer. Just place the leftover corned beef in a heavy-duty, freezer-safe plastic bag and vacuum seal it. Write the storage date then stick in the freezer. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, just follow the prepping instruction for uncooked corned beef.

The same prepping and storage instructions apply for canned corned beef. However, you have to transfer the product in a freezer-safe container. Tin cans are not freezer-safe.

What to do with Leftover Corned Beef?

Got more leftover corned beef than you can handle? You can turn corned beef into a variety of tasty dishes that the whole family will love!

Pizza Topping

If you’re short on pepperoni, you can use corned beef as a pizza topping! Just shred the corned beef leftover with a fork and a knife, give your pizza dough a generous sprinkling then add the rest of the ingredients. Bake the pizza as you normally would and you have a tasty snack!

Wrap Fillings

If you want to give your cabbage or lettuce wraps a little variety, add corned beef to your filling. Just stuff the cabbage or lettuce with cooked corned beef, finish up with a dab of mayo and mustard and you have a zesty, crunchy meal.

Corned Beef Hash

Let the whole family wake up to this hearty breakfast treat: classic corned beef hash! this diner favorite is made with potatoes, veggies, and spices all fried to perfection then topped with poached eggs. Here’s a great recipe to try.

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Casseroles and Soups

If you love hearty casseroles and chunky soups then you can use corned beef to whip up the heartiest dishes! You can add leftover corned beef to vegetable casseroles, cabbage soups, even make a corned beef hash brown casserole. The possibilities are endless!

Stews

Did you know that adding corned beef to stews adds depth and flavor to the dish? You can add a portion of leftover corned beef to any type of slow-cooked stews, including cabbage stews, beef stew, chicken stew, and so much more.

Shelf Life, Thawing, and Reheating Suggestions

Uncooked corned beef will keep in the freezer for 6 to 8 months. Cooked corned beef and canned corned beef will keep for at least 6 months in the freezer. Freezing might affect the texture and flavor of the product so it’s best to consume your corned beef supply as soon as possible. Do not refreeze leftovers.

To thaw uncooked and frozen corned beef, just transfer the product to the fridge. Leave the corned beef to defrost overnight. Once defrosted, the uncooked corned beef can be cooked or added to your favorite recipes. If you are using cooked corned beef, you can add it to the dish while it’s cooking, no defrosting or reheating needed.

Summary

Can you freeze corned beef? Most culinary experts do not recommend freezing corned beef but it is quite possible to do so with minimal texture or flavor changes. Just keep these storage tips in mind and you should freeze corned beef without worrying about spoiling or what to do with the leftovers!

Meat

Can You Freeze Liver?

Rich in essential nutrients including protein, iron, and zinc, raw liver is an inexpensive meat that can be utilized in a variety of ways. You can use beef, chicken, or duck liver to make pâté, stews, and sauces. Can you freeze liver? Since raw liver can be used in many ways, you can always buy it in bulk for future uses. The quick answer is yes, you can freeze liver for later storage.

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Image used under Creative Commons from Father.Jack
Different animal livers have their own distinct flavors but they can be stored the same way. Depending on the storage conditions, beef liver will keep fresh in the fridge about 2 to 3 days beyond its expiration date. On the other hand, beef liver will keep up to 4 months in the freezer. But this goes only if the temperature is kept at a steady 0°Fahrenheit.

Lamb and chicken liver will keep fresh up to 2 months in the freezer. Chicken liver doesn’t keep well in the freezer because the delicate meat has the tendency to break down during defrosting but it can be stored in the freezer too.

Never defrost frozen liver several times or leave raw liver sitting at room temperature for a long time. Bacterial growth sets in at around 40 ° and 140 °Fahrenheit. For beef liver, discard the meat if it’s been sitting for more than 2 hours at room temperature. How to know if the liver has gone bad? If the liver has taken on a dull appearance, slimy texture and a sour odor, discard it. Below is a step by step guide on how can you freeze liver:

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How to Freeze Liver?

If you’re freezing an unopened pack of liver, there’s no need to open the package to prep the meat. Our advice is to simply insert the product in a freezer-safe, resealable plastic bag, seal it, and then stick the whole thing in the freezer.

For raw liver, you have to clean the liver first prior to freezing. Wash the liver thoroughly, removing bits of fat, etc. Since raw liver has a strong odor, you need to rub your hands with salt after cleaning the meat. Once the liver is clean, you could either slice the meat first prior to freezing or freeze the whole thing.

Start by patting the liver dry after washing thoroughly. Then, wrap the meat in aluminum foil. This will help protect the liver from freezer burns. After wrapping the meat in aluminum foil, place the meat in a heavy-duty resealable plastic bag. Squeeze as much air as you can then seal. Get a marker, write the storage date, and then stick in the freezer.

Now, if you’re freezing cooked liver, wait until the liver has cooled completely before freezing. Pack the meat in a rigid plastic container with an airtight lid. Do not stuff the meat too much, give the meat enough room in the container. Cover the container with the airtight lid then stick in the freezer.

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How to Defrost Frozen Liver?

To defrost frozen liver, just transfer the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the liver to thaw slowly overnight for best results. However, if you’re pressed for time, you can defrost frozen liver by immersing the bag in a bowl of tap water. Replace the water several times until the liver thaws. We don’t recommend thawing the frozen liver in the microwave because this will ruin the texture of the meat. Never leave raw liver to thaw at room temperature because this increases the risk of bacterial growth.

Summary

Not all people are crazy about liver but it’s a tasty ingredient that adds a different dimension to meat dishes. Now that you know how can you freeze liver, you can buy this meat in bulk and keep the meat in the freezer until you’re ready to use it.

 

Meat

Can You Freeze Jerky?

Jerky is a fantastic snack that could last for months because the meat has been dehydrated. Dehydrating the meat inhibits bacteria from contaminating the meat. But can you freeze jerky? Of course, you can!

When it comes to freezing jerky, the enemy here is the fat. Fatty beef jerky is more prone to spoilage because moisture remains on the beef’s fat lining. When the moisture in the jerky fat is exposed to air, contamination will set in and this will cause the jerky to go bad way before its expiry date.

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If you’re storing jerky in other places apart from the fridge or freezer, keep your stash in a cool, dark place. It should not be exposed to direct sunlight. Direct sunlight could cause condensation within the packaging and this could lead to mold growth.

Unopened, leftover, and homemade jerky will keep well in the fridge. A pack of unopened jerky will keep for 1 to 2 months in the fridge, a long time if you’re a jerky lover. Freezing the jerky will extend its shelf life to about 7 to 12 months!

It is worth noting that chilling or freezing the jerky may alter its texture and flavor. This goes especially if the jerky has been left in the fridge for too long. The meat could also absorb fridge flavors, which could ruin the taste of the jerky. Simply put, proper packaging plays a crucial role in preserving jerky.

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While you can always freeze a large batch of jerky for future consumption, we recommend freezing just a few batches at a time. Then, consume all of it within a month or two for optimal flavor. Here is a step by step guide on how can you freeze jerky:

How to Freeze Jerky?

Freezing Unopened Jerky

If you’re freezing unopened packs of jerky, simply stick these in the freezer, no other prep is needed. On the other hand, if you’re freezing opened packs of jerky, remove the jerky from its original packaging. Place the jerky in a freezer-safe, resealable packaging.

If you have a vacuum sealer, vacuum seal the jerky prior to freezing. This extra step will help retain the flavors and texture of the product once it’s been defrosted. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, squeeze as much air as you can prior to sealing the plastic bag. Stick in the freezer and you’re done.

Freezing Homemade Jerky

For freezing homemade jerky, be sure the jerky has been cooled and dried completely prior to freezing. A hint of moisture or condensation within the packaging could increase the risk of freezer burn!

Once the jerky is ready for freezing, place the product in resealable plastic containers and squeeze as much air as you can prior to sealing. Get a marker, write the label then stick in the freezer.

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How to Defrost Jerky?

Thaw frozen jerky by transferring the container from the freezer to the fridge. Leave to defrost for a few hours to overnight. Never thaw frozen jerky at room temperature because this will increase the risk of bacterial growth.

Once the product has been thawed, it’s ready to eat as is. It’s worth noting that defrosted jerky should be consumed right away to reduce the risk of spoilage. Also, it’s not a good idea to refreeze defrosted jerky. There will be a significant change in flavor and texture when the jerky is frozen twice.

Summary

Jerky is one of the easiest products to freeze because it keeps so well in the freezer. Now that you know how can you freeze jerky, you can make them at home or hoard all the jerky you could get your hands on and keep them in the freezer for later use!

Meat

Can You Freeze Deli Meats?

Can you freeze deli meats? Deli meats are cured cuts of meats that are often used in cooking or as filling to sandwiches. They come in a wide variety of types including luncheon meats, cold cuts, and prosciutto.

Because these products have gone through a curing process, they will keep well in the fridge for a week or so. However, curing doesn’t always inhibit spoilage which is why you should freeze deli meats for future uses. This goes especially if you won’t use the excess deli meats stuck in the fridge for a long time.

can you freeze deli meats

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Just like any type of food, freezing deli meats may affect the texture and flavor of the meats. This goes especially if the cold cuts have been frozen and defrosted improperly. When done right, freezing deli meats is one of the best ways to preserving cured meats. When thawed correctly, the flavor and texture will remain the same.

When frozen correctly, dry, cured meats could keep for 4 to 6 months. On the other hand, sliced deli meats can keep up to 2 months when frozen. We don’t recommend storing the deli meats for long periods of time.

Dry, cured meats keep well in the freezer because these products contain very little moisture. The same thing cannot be said for sliced deli meats. The flavor and texture changes as deli meats are kept in the freezer for months at a time.

can you freeze deli meats

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How to Freeze Deli Meats?

Before we get started on the steps how can you freeze deli meats, let’s discuss the different types of deli meats. This way, you’ll know the steps to take to preserve these products the right way!

Types of Deli Meats

There are two types of deli meats, cured, dry meat and sliced, pre-cooked deli meats. High fat and lean deli meats can be frozen successfully as long as they are packed correctly prior to freezing.

For larger pieces of meat – such as salami – it’s best to transfer the product in an airtight container before sticking it in the freezer. You want to make sure that the product is completely covered to prevent freezer burns or moisture loss.

The key to properly freezing deli meats is the packaging. You want to create a tight seal so that the moisture will not penetrate the meat. Exposing the meat to low moisture environment leads to moisture loss, which will alter the texture and flavor of the meat.

Freezing Unopened or Pre-Packed Deli Meats

If you’re freezing unopened, pre-packaged deli meats, do not transfer the product to another container. Just stick the whole thing in the freezer and it will keep well because the package is vacuum-sealed.

Freezing Leftover Sliced or Cooked Deli Meats

For leftover sliced or cooked deli meats, transfer the meats to a rigid plastic container, one with an airtight cover. Cover the container and add the storage dates then stick in the freezer.

Freezing Larger Cuts of Deli Meats

For larger cuts of cured or sliced deli meats, you need to use several layers of tin foil or cling wrap to wrap and cover all exposed parts of the meat. Then, transfer the product in a large container or freezer-safe plastic bag before sticking in the freezer.

How to Defrost and Reheat Frozen Deli Meats?

Defrosting the frozen deli meats is just as important as packing the products well before freezing.

Defrosting the Deli Meats

The key here is to thaw the deli meats slowly so do not leave a plateful to thaw at room temperature. Instead, transfer the frozen deli meats from the freezer to the fridge. Leave the meat to thaw for several hours to overnight until the meats are thoroughly defrosted.

can you freeze deli meats

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Reheating the Deli Meats

After thawing the deli meats, you can start reheating. You can do this by using the microwave or a plastic cooking bag. To reheat deli meats using a plastic cooking bag, boil about 3 to 4 cups of water in a pot then place the sliced deli meats in the plastic bag.

Seal the bag and dunk it in boiling water for five minutes. After cooking, remove the deli meats from the plastic bag and serve.

Summary

Can you freeze deli meats? Yes, you can but there are certain steps you need to take to prevent moisture loss, flavor loss, and bacteria growth. Some thoughts to consider: never eat thawed deli meats without reheating or you might suffer from food poisoning. Also, never re-freeze thawed deli meats. We hope that this guide has been helpful to you!

Meat

Can You Freeze Ham?

Can you freeze ham? Some people buy raw, uncured ham, others packaged and fully cooked or fully cooked and packaged ham slices. The question that is common for those people is whether or not they can freeze ham. Short answer to this question is: yes, you can freeze ham, cooked or uncooked, packaged or not, sliced or whole. The only situation when you shouldn’t freeze ham is when it’s canned and it’s still unopened. Once you open the can, you can always take the meat and freeze it (not in the can though). There are, however, few things about freezing ham you probably should know.

About freezing ham

It’s said that freezing affects the quality of the meat and that the meat won’t be that great after thawing. It’s only half-true – if you’ll wrap your shaved or whole ham properly, chances are it’ll be perfectly fine once thawed.

Here’s few things you should remember about freezing and thawing ham:

  • The longer you plan to keep the ham in the freezer, the better it should be wrapped
  • Thaw ham in the fridge and make sure you put it on a plate (there will be some moisture)
  • It’s recommended to freeze cooked ham for up to 2 months and uncooked ham for up to 6 months
  • Instead of wrapping the ham, it’s better to vacuum pack it (if you have the equipment)

Quite a few slices of ham
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Of course you can keep ham in the freezer forever, but its quality will change after a certain amount of time. That’s why if you plan to freeze ham for more than 2 months, I suggest you should buy uncooked ham, freeze it and then, after thawing it when you need it, cook it yourself. Besides that, many people decide to buy uncooked ham simply because it’s cheaper for them to buy it and cook it on their own.

Freezing ham

Freezing sliced ham

This way is the best if you would like to thaw only a few slices at a time. If you’ve got a whole, cooked ham, cut it into slices of preferred thickness. Now divide the slices into several packages and wrap tightly (that’s very important, so make sure it’s really tightly wrapped!) each package (of one or more slices)  with aluminium foil or freezer foil. If you plan to keep those packages for more than a month, it’s a good idea to put them into freezer bags or airtight containers (bags are better because you can squeeze all the air out of them) to reduce freezer burn even more. Make sure to label the package, bags or container before you put it into the freezer.

Freezing whole ham

If you’d like to freeze whole ham instead of slicing it into convenient chunks, it can be done as well. If the ham is in its original package and you don’t plan to keep it in the freezer for long (more than a month, maybe a little more), you can put it straight into the freezer. If you’d like to freeze it for longer, wrap it with a layer or two of heavy-duty aluminum foil or put into a freezer bag (remember to squeeze out all the air that’s inside the bag). If the package is opened, make sure you wrap the ham very tightly with aluminum foil or freezer wrap. If you plan to keep it in the freezer for an extended period of time, wrap it with regular foil first or transfer into a freezer bag after wrapping with aluminum foil.

Summary
Ham can be frozen and many people freeze it on regular basis. It’s not that difficult to do – you just need some aluminum foil (or freezer wrap) and an airtight container or freezer bags for prolonged storage. Of course if you have the ability to vacuum-seal the package, it’s even better, because food always freezes better when it’s vacuum-sealed. When it comes to freezing ham, just remember it needs to be wrapped very tightly, so it won’t suffer from the cold that much.

Meat

Can You Freeze Bacon?

Can you freeze bacon? Bacon is a meat prepared from a pig. It’s extremely popular – many people find its taste delicious. So, is there a way to extend bacon’s shelf life? Can you buy a few pounds of bacon on a sale a then put most of it in the freezer? Or you have already cooked your bacon, but you’d like to store it for an extended period of time. Can you freeze it? Even though commercially sold bacon is already cured, you can freeze it. Both fresh and cooked, many people do it very often and they’re satisfied with the results they get. Let’s talk about freezing bacon in a little more detail.

Freezing bacon

As I’ve mentioned earlier, you can freeze bacon, both cooked and uncooked. In fact, cooking bacon extends its freezer life. If you want to freeze cooked bacon, you need to cook it to the level below how you cook it usually. That’s pretty obvious, but some people tend to forget about that.

Slices of fried bacon

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Can You Freeze Uncooked Bacon?

If your package of bacon is still unopened, you can put it right into the freezer. Overwrap the original packaging if you plan to store it in the freezer for an extended period of time (more than 2 months). You can do that using aluminium foil or plastic wrap. You can also put the original packaging into a plastic container instead. Overwrapping prevents freezer burn.

If you’ve already opened your package of bacon, you should wrap the bacon tightly in freezer wrap, or put it into a freezer bag. Since bacon is already opened, it’s a good idea to cut it into smaller portions, even into slices. This will allow you to thaw small portions as needed. To do that, you need to wrap each part individually. Please bear in mind that thick slices seem to work best for freezing. When wrapping bacon, please remember to remove all excessive air from the package.

Most sources state that you can store raw bacon in the freezer for about 1 to 2 months. That’s the period for best quality. Bacon should be fine for at least few months more.

Can You Freeze Cooked Bacon?

After you’ve cooked the bacon, you should drain it and let it cool off. Now you need to wrap your bacon tightly, like in case of raw bacon. It’s recommended to cut cooked bacon into smaller pieces, that will allow you to thaw it out as you go. Most sources say that you’re supposed to store cooked bacon in the freezer for up to 3 months. Please note that some people store it for even half a year and the bacon is still fine after thawing. You can put frozen cooked bacon from the freezer right into the pan. You can also warm it in the microwave beforehand.

Tips concerning freezing bacon

You might experience some increase in saltiness in some brands of bacon, after freezing it and thawing. It’s quite normal and it’s caused by the freezing process – it draws some of the moisture out.

Summary
Bacon is a very popular meat and you can freeze bacon, both cooked and raw one.