Updated: Oct 10, 2018
Freezing cooked and uncooked meat isn't rocket science but here are some tips and tricks you can use to prevent freezer burn and prevent a defrosting disaster!
All meats can be frozen if they are not mixed with other ingredients. If they are mixed with other ingredients, like meatballs, then it may be better to cook them first and/or prepare the ball form before freezing. Either way, here are some tips for successfully freezing your meat!
I prefer to use freezer bags when I freeze meat because I can get all of the air out with some simple instructions.
Remove the Air:
Once you add your cooled food to the bag, seal the bag leaving a small corner unsealed
Dip the bag in the water with the open corner up and dip until the water just reaches the open corner but does not enter the bag
Seal the bag while it is still submerged
There you go! The air is displaced and voila--you saved yourself some cabinet space and about $200 by not purchasing a food vacuum! #winning
Tip for Pre-Cooked Meats:
Let the meat cool completely before putting in the fridge and/or freezer. Food that is put straight into a container or bag still warm will create condensation in the bag which leads to ice crystals later. Also, refrigerate for 1 day before freezing to allow the meat to fully cool before shocking it in the freezer.
Tip for Portioning Meats:
Use press n' seal or butcher paper to separate portions in the same bag. If you've already rolled and/or cooked meatballs, make sure they freeze separately first by using one of two methods: The easiest is to placing them between two sheets of press n' seal and running your finger between each ball and pushing the air out as best as possible. The next works if you have a flat area in your freezer (we do not...because it is full of yummy left overs LOL). Place a freezer bag on a small sheet tray, or use tinfoil wrapped cardboard, and place meatballs with space between each. Squeeze out as much air as possible and place this flat in the freezer. Freeze overnight and remove from the freezer. Follow the instructions above to remove the air and place back in the freezer before they fully defrost.
There you go! What are some of your favorite tips for freezing meat?