How Long Can Meat Be Frozen (And Why)?

Exact Answer: Up To Twelve Months

Whether you want to throw a party or you need to stock up for a few weeks, you can use your freezer to store various items. It is always a good option. One mandatory item that people want to have in their freezer at all times is meat. 

Being a product that gets used in many dishes, having meat stored in your freezer will save your time. And you don’t even have to worry about it not being fresh. It stays fresh in the freezer, but that is only for some time. However, you have to use it before it goes stale.

How Long Can Meat Be Frozen?

If you are amongst the people who cannot live without having meat in their meals, keeping it frozen can be very useful. You will only have to take it out of the freezer, let it thaw. And then, it is ready to cook.

But you might also wonder if the meat that you have stored has gone stale or not? Or is it safe to cook meat that has been in the freezer for a long time? Then you need to be aware, how long it will be edible. In general, any meat can be stored in the freezer easily for about four to twelve months. But it is suggested that you use the stored beef as soon as possible.

You can make the most of freezer storage by using it as per the date of storage. You can use the older one first and then consume the newer one. But some things come into the picture with the storage guidelines. Always make sure that the freezer is running at all times, then you will be able to store it for up to 12 months.

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You can store different types of meat in the freezer, and it can later get used even after months. But if it is grounded or hamburger patty, the time for how long you are going to store it will change. It can be shorter than storing big chunks of meat.

Type of MeatPeriod
Meat chunksFour to twelve months
Ground meatThree to four months

Why Can Meat Be Frozen For So Long? 

When an edible item gets stored in the freezer, then the shelf life of the thing increases. Since the temperature is below zero degrees, however, it does not apply to all the items. But in the case of meat, it is mandatory to store it in the freezer. The reason for that is the shelf life for raw meat at room temperature is very short.

Hence, you should always store the raw meat in the freezer. But if the freezer stops working or the temperature shifts, the period can increase or decrease. The beef or mutton should be stored below zero degrees to keep it in good condition for use.

Below are some other reasons that can answer the question – why can meat be frozen for only so long?

  • When you store meat or other meat products below zero degrees, the bacteria in the beef gets inactivated. 
  • The enzyme activities also get slowed down when frozen. And that is the primary reason why you can store it in the freezer for so long.

There are no significant guidelines regarding storing meat in the freezer. However, to keep the meat fresh, you can put it in a sealed plastic bag and store it in the freezer. If you keep it in a plastic bag, it will keep the moisture out. And it won’t ruin the taste of the meat.

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Conclusion

Freezing meat is an important task that you should never forget as it prevents the meat from going bad.  

However, when you store it correctly, then the meat can surely be edible for a long and good time.

You can store it in the freezer as soon as possible. Since if the meat remains on the counter at room temperature, then chances are it will start smelling. It can last for hours outside but, freezing is always the best possible idea. It is also a good habit that will help you save time and money.

References

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2621.1980.tb07541.x
  2. https://www.cabdirect.org/cabdirect/abstract/20043096431