How long can you freeze pork chops before they go bad?

In this article, we will answer the question “How long can you freeze pork chops before they go bad?”, and how to safely freeze pork chops?

How long can you freeze pork chops before they go bad?

Frozen pork chops last 3-5 days in the fridge and 4-6 months in the freezer If the temperature is steady at 40℉(or below) and 0℉, respectively. If stored properly, frozen pork chops remain safe to eat after the 6-month window but won’t quite hit the spot due to degraded quality. 

How to tell if the frozen pork chops have gone bad?

Uncooked pork chops 

Sell-by date: Properly stored and handled pork chops are only safe to eat for 3-5 days past the sell-by date. Keep track of this date to gauge the freshness of the chops.

Appearance: If the pork chops develop grey or dull patches over their fresh pink flesh, the chops are done for.

Smell: A rancid or putrid smell is an indication of spoilage.

Texture: Slimy texture is bad news. However, fresh pork chops have a natural wet texture and are not slimy. Do not attempt to wash off the slime. It does not make the meat safe due to the presence of toxins produced by spoilage bacteria. 

Cooked pork chop leftovers

Cooked pork chops will be safe to eat for 2 days if they were stored within 2 hours of cooking. The chops are spoiled if they give off a bad odor and exhibit a slimy texture. When in doubt, it is always better to throw it out instead of risking your health. 

How to freeze pork chops?

The texture and flavor of the pork chops are independent of their initial form i.e raw or cooked, as long as you safely cook and freeze the pork chops. 

Freezing raw pork chops

Wrapping: Wrap each cut of pork chop, once with cling film, and again with aluminum foil. You can also skip the plastic wrap and double wrap the chop with aluminum foil. 

Toss in the container: Grab a freezer bag and toss the individual double wrapped pork chops in it. Press the bag to remove as much air as possible from the bag to minimize the air contact of the chops, thus, preventing freezer burn.

Label and freeze: Put a clear label on the freezer bag. This will help you keep track of the shelf-life of the pork chops. Chuck the freezer bag in the back of the freezer or where the temperature is most stable. 

Freezing cooked pork chops 

Let the chops cool: It is very important to let the steam escape or else it will get trapped in the pork chops and lead to spoilage. 

Putting hot pork chops in the freezer may raise the freezer’s temperature causing thawing of the nearby foods. So let the coked chops reach room temperature before you proceed.

Wrapping: Wrap the cooked or the leftovers of the pork chops using aluminum foil. Double wrap for added protection.

Toss in the container: Simply put all the wrapped pork chops into the freezer bag. Do not overcrowd or underfill the bag. Keep the air minimum by squeezing the bag.

Label and freeze: Put a clear label on the freezer bag. This will help you keep track of the shelf-life of the pork chops. Chuck the freezer bag in the back of the freezer or where the temperature is most stable. 

How to defrost pork chops?

If the frozen pork chops are to b used for making soups and stews or for grilling, you can skip the defrosting step. But this will add to the cooking and grilling time. 

The safest way to defrost frozen pork chops is to leave them overnight or for at least 6 hours in the fridge. Make sure the chops are placed on a plate to catch drippings. 

Microwaving on the ‘Defrost setting’ is a hasty way to thaw pork chops but is not recommended since it leaves cold spots and threatens the safety of the meat. 

Is it safe to thaw pork chops on the counter?

Never thaw any meat product on the counter. Defrosting pork chops on the counter will make it favorable for the bacteria to grow and make the meat unfit for consumption. 

Can you refreeze pork chops?

Yes, you can refreeze the pork chops but only if they were thawed in the fridge. However, refreezing is not recommended since it damages the texture and flavor of the pork chops to a significant extent. 

Conclusion

In this article, we answered the question “How long can you freeze pork chops before they go bad?”, and how to safely freeze pork chops?

References

https://www.statefoodsafety.com/Resources/Resources/when-to-throw-it-out-leftovers
https://homecookbasics.com/pork-chops-gone-bad/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.