In this article, we answer the following question: Can you eat 2 year old frozen meat? We talk about how long can meat be frozen, what meat should not be frozen and how to defrost it correctly.
Can you eat 2 year old frozen meat?
While you can eat 2 year old frozen meat, you shouldn’t because after this time in the freezer the meat will have lost all of its nutritional values and also may taste bad. USDA recommends throwing away uncooked roasts, steaks, and chops after a year in the freezer, and uncooked ground meat after just 4 months.
When asking how long is it safe to keep frozen meat, it is important to determine what type of meat it is and since what date it has been in the freezer, precisely to keep in mind how long each one has left, since not all meats last the same period of time without spoiling. It should also be noted that it depends on the quality of the freezer itself.
- Lean meats (beef, chicken, or turkey). They can last in the freezer for between 6 and 12 months.
- Fatty meats (pork chops). Due to the high-fat content, the duration is much shorter, being 3 to 6 months.
- Mince. As we have said previously, we must ensure that, indeed, it is very fresh meat. Only in this case, the minced meat can be frozen for 3-4 months.
- Very fatty meats (bacon, sausage, and fresh chorizo). This type of frozen meat’s shelf life is much less, being only 1 or 2 months.
It is common to preserve meat and seafood in the freezer for short-term consumption, as a way to organize food more effectively, but surely you wonder how long that piece of salmon can stay in the bottom of the freezer or if that chicken frozen for weeks is still consumable.
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), recommends that the main thing is to wrap the meat with plastic wrap to avoid contact with other products and surfaces and write the freezing date there.
How long can meat be frozen?
|Fresh sausages||2-3 months|
|Veal (fillets)||6-12 months|
|Cooked ham||1-2 months|
|Minced, cubed, or sliced meat||3-4 months|
|Smoked meat, sausage||1-2 months|
|Hot dog sausages||1-2 months|
|Giblets (liver, heart)||3-4 months|
|Meat cooked in a sauce||4 months|
|Cooked meat without sauce||2-3 months|
|Cooked meat, chopped and vacuum packed||1 month|
|Raw whole poultry||10-12 months|
|Raw chunked poultry||6-9 months|
|Poultry meat cooked in a sauce||6 months|
|Cooked poultry without sauce||1-3 months|
Meat contains many proteins and is made up of a large amount of water, this makes it easy for bacteria to contaminate it, and answers the reason for the importance of frozen meat. When we buy meat, we must bear in mind that it must be cooked within 72 hours of purchase.
But we cannot always afford to go to the supermarket every three days or else we are presented with irreplaceable offers of 3×2 units that we cannot eat in a short period of time, so the first solution we find is to freeze the food, and specifically freeze the meat. Thanks to this process we will avoid both taking unnecessary risks of food poisoning and wasting the meat we have bought.
What steps should we follow to freeze meat?
First of all, the only meat that is ready to be frozen is fresh, good quality meat. Also, we must freeze it as soon as possible. That is, when we return from the supermarket, if we know that we will not be able to cook this meat in a short period of time, we will have to store it directly in the freezer.
But before freezing the meat, we have to remove the pieces of fat that are easily recognizable. This is because the fats spoil more quickly which will cause the rest of the piece to spoil as well.
The meat to freeze should be wrapped in plastic wrap and stored in a bag prepared for freezing. If the piece of meat is too large, we should take a few minutes to cut it into portions of approximately 250 grams. If not, the meat will take longer to freeze and the freezing will not be uniform and could spoil.
A tip to later defrost the meat more quickly and easily, avoiding headaches, is to write on the plastic wrap the type of meat it is and what day it was frozen. In this way, we will not go wrong defrosting a type of meat that was not.
What meat should not be frozen? Can minced meat be frozen?
Special care must be taken not to freeze the following types of meat:
- Large pieces of meat without being previously cut, because freezing and thawing will tare too long.
- Meat that is about to expire, because when it thaws it will end up spoiling.
As a general rule, minced meat should never be frozen, but there is an exception and that is when we are sure that it is extremely fresh minced meat. If we have doubts, it is always better to avoid it.
Can thawed meat be refrozen?
As we have said before, the cold causes the activity of microorganisms to paralyze, but not all of them act in the same way at such low temperatures. There are bacteria resistant to cold, which have been able to adhere to the meat while it was not frozen.
Therefore, when the meat is thawed, these microorganisms start their activity again and this time they will act more quickly so that the deterioration of the food is assured and that meat can cause food poisoning. However, the taste, smell, or texture can give us a clue that this meat is in bad condition since these characteristics are highly altered.
An exception would be freezing cooked meat. When it has been subjected to temperatures higher than 70 degrees, the microorganisms that can be harmful to our health have disappeared, so there is no risk of them reproducing after their second thaw.
How to defrost meat?
Although many times we are in a hurry, it is important that we know that meat should defrost slowly and naturally. We can take advantage before going to sleep to take it out of the freezer and put it in the fridge. In this way, we make sure that the meat preserves all its properties, including flavor and texture.
Although we want to reduce the time to defrost the meat, if the room temperature is high because we are on hotter days, it should not be defrosted outside the refrigerator, although it is not recommended in any case to do so. And much less should the meat be brought close to the radiator for quick defrosting.
However, if it is about defrosting cooked food, we can skip these rules and go directly to the fastest step: use the microwave program indicated for it. Or, by means of a saucepan over low heat. It is important to note that this should only be done with the amount that is going to be eaten since once it is defrosted, it cannot be put back in the freezer.
The bottom line
In this article, we answered the following question: Can you eat 2 year old frozen meat? We talked about how long can meat be frozen, what meat should not be frozen and how to defrost it correctly.
We do not think that it is safe nor good to consume 2 year old frozen meat. After this time, the meat will have lost its nutritional values and probably will not taste as good either. USDA recommends throwing away uncooked roasts, steaks, and chops after a year in the freezer, and uncooked ground meat after just 4 months.
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