All good things come to an end. And yes, that includes frozen meat. Scientifically speaking, freezing a piece of meat enables you to preserve it for longer. You only have a limited time to keep your frozen meat. By maintaining the temperature at 0 degrees, you disable the growth of bacteria and microorganisms that can lead to its decay.
Of course, a lot of factors can still affect this. The freezing will only work if the meat is packaged carefully and while it is still fresh. According to Food Safety, that meat will be safe to eat indefinitely. However, it doesn’t matter if the meat is still okay if it is not as tender and as edible as it used to be. Here’s how long you can keep your frozen meat.
Red meat (beef, pork, lamb, mutton, etc.)
Raw slices of steak can be kept frozen from about four months until a year. Pork chops are viable for four months to six months of being frozen. Lamb roasts are the same with steak – they can be kept from four months until a year. Bacon is only viable for a month. Raw sausage is only good for about one to two months. Make sure to label your frozen meat accordingly so that you won’t mistakenly ingest spoiled meat.
The viability of fish largely depends on whether it is a fatty fish or a lean fish. Lean fish can be frozen for about six months. This includes flounder, bass, tilapia, cod, tuna, and catfish.
Fatty fish can only survive for about two to three months. This includes salmon, sardines, anchovies, and mackerel.
This category can include any meat for as long as they’re ground. This includes lamb, veal, pork, beef, turkey, or any mixtures of the aforementioned. They can stay viable for about three to four months frozen.
Cooked meat or poultry
The meat that is cooked will not maintain their quality for as long as raw meat does. You can keep cooked meat for about two to three months. Cooked poultry is good for up to four months.
This white meat category has less fat, which makes them easier to store. A whole piece of turkey or chicken can be stored in the freezer for about a year. Once chopped, they can only be kept frozen for about nine months.
How to thaw your meat
Thawing your meat is important before you cook it. That’s to make sure that the heat can penetrate all the areas of the meat and you will not consume it raw. It also ensures that your meat is going to be as tender as it could be.
Transfer your frozen refrigerator so that the temperature can rise gradually. You can expect small chunks of meat to defrost in about twenty-four hours. If you want to speed up the thawing process, you can store your meat in a plastic bag and soak it in cold water. Replace the water every half hour.
Contrary to popular belief, it is not okay to leave out your meat and allow it to thaw naturally. The abrupt transition to warm temperature can allow the growth of bacteria.