Feb 8, 2024

Safe Freezing And Thawing Of Raw Meats


Great information to have on hand when freezing and thawing meats

  • Most Meats steaks, roasts, and chops can be safely frozen for up to 1 year
  • Frozen Beef will be safe indefinitely, for best quality use within 4 to 12 months: steaks, roasts, chops.
  • Ground Beef is best if used within 4 months. USDA says if you will use it soon you can refrigerate or freeze ground beef in its original packaging.
  • Cooked Beef within 2 - 3 months
  • Whole Chicken up to 1 year
  • Chicken Parts up to 9 months
  • Cooked Chicken for 4 months, cooked casseroles if covered with broth or gravy for 6 months, chicken nuggets or patties for 1 to 3 months.
  • Ground Chicken  3 to 4 months
  • Pork fresh roasts, steaks, chops, or ribs for 4 to 6 months.  They will still be good after that time but the quality will not be as good.
  • Cooked Pork  soups, stews, or casseroles 2 to 3 months
  • Ground Pork, liver, or variety meats for 3 to 4 months
  • Hot Dogs are safe indefinitely if kept frozen at 0 degrees or below, but for best quality use them within 1 to 2 months.

Safe Freezing of Raw Meats -- Dates & Times USDA

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Defrosting Tips for Meats

  • You can defrost in cold water if weighted down to submerge under the water. You must change the water every 30 minutes. You must cook on that day. Do not re-freeze if thawed in water.
  • Place meats into the refrigerator for a few days to thaw.  If you find you don't need some that you thawed in the fridge then you can safely re-freeze.
  • You can thaw meat by weight in most microwaves. Stay close by and turn as needed, removing portions if possible that have thawed such as ground meat. You must cook the meat thawed in the microwave immediately for safety and it must not be re-frozen.

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