If there is one activity in the kitchen that feels quite adventurous – it’s definitely looking into your freezer and discovering all types of frozen food!
It’s not uncommon to reach out in the freezer only to discover a pack of frozen meat from years ago.
While initially, this might give you the same feeling as finding money in your old, faded denim, are you wondering is it safe to eat 2 year old frozen meat?
To keep it real, frozen meats stored at 0 degrees are safe to eat indefinitely, at least in theory.
This means your 2 year old frozen meat can be eaten.
But not so quick. Close your refrigerator for now because there’s more to this story.
Is It Safe to Eat 2 Year Old Frozen Meat?
We have already given you the verdict, frozen food can be consumed.
But even if it’s safe to eat, you should know that whether it’s fresh meat or cooked meat, its quality will worsen over time!
Even if you safely freeze meat, don’t expect that storing meat for long periods of time will give you consistent flavor or quality.
If you do come across ground meat stored for around two years, it’s best to not consume it and check your torture tolerance levels.
You will come across a dry and flaky texture, a complete loss of flavor, and basically, just a horrible chewing experience.
It’s very likely that during the two-year window, you will experience freezer burned meat.
Freezer burn can ruin the taste of meat and make eating a very unpleasant experience for you.
But if you want to freeze meat correctly and take full advantage, you should have a look at the best practices to store food correctly.
Effective packaging and storage strategies can help delay the freezer burn process.
And avoiding freezer burn can prolong the life of your frozen foods!
What Does Frozen Meat Mean?
What is frozen meat, actually?
It’s pretty simple. Every time you buy fresh, uncooked ground meat directly from the butcher and proceed to freeze it in the freezer, it becomes frozen meat.
Actually, every time you store meat at 0 degrees, it’s technically considered frozen meat.
You can use freezing meat as a tool to preserve the nutritional value of ground beef or chicken for as long as possible.
This will also push the brakes on the growth of yeast and bacteria.
But remember, nothing last forever. You’ll have to eventually thaw frozen meat in cold water before you can no longer use it!
Actually, using your meat in a vacuum sealable bag, you can submerge it in cold water.
This is a good way to get your thawed meat ready for cooking!
You can also refreeze thawed meat if you kept it at a temperature lower than 40 F.
Using cold water keeps the thawing process easier but the defrost function in a microwave can speed up the process more.
But it’s usually recommended to not use a microwave or warm water since it causes the meat to cook quicker, even if the rest of the meat still needs to thaw.
Signs The Frozen Meat Is No Longer Good For Consumption
How long meat stays good in the freezer can vary.
But if you’re about to eat a meaty meal and wondering how can you spot if it’s good-bad, look for these signs:
- The meat is freezer burnt and ice crystals have formed inside the packaging or freezer bag
- It has a foul smell or rancid odor
- It shows discoloration or hues of brown-grey
- It has a slimy texture
And if you have spotted any of these signs, it doesn’t take an expert from the food industry to know what to do next!
How Long Is Meat Good in the Freezer?
Wondering how long your meat can stay in the freezer and still stay great? As we said, it depends.
One key factor is the type of food, not all meats can stay frozen for the same period of time.
Here you can find a quick chart on how long can meat stay in the fridge after being frozen.
|Type of meat||Length being frozen|
|Cooked chicken||2-6 months|
|Raw chicken||6-9 months|
|Whole chicken||12 months (up to one year)|
|Uncooked roasts (beef)||6-12 months|
|Red meat||4-12 months|
|Raw meat||4-12 months|
You can also explore the ideal freezing windows for food items in detail.
How To Freeze Meat To Extend Its Shelf Life?
For all the food lovers out there who are wondering if they can extend the shelf of their food and eat meat for long, yes you can!
Eating meat is addictive because not only does it taste great, but has good protein value too.
And if you love to eat chicken and want your chicken frozen the best way, these strategies will help you too!
1. Use Proper Packaging For Frozen Food
It’s obvious that when you buy meat, it should be properly wrapped before you close the freezer door.
Tightly wrapped food (using a freezer paper or plastic wrapper) even if’s bigger meat is the best way to properly store it.
You can add aluminum foil and then put it in a sealable bag to seal the deal.
2. Freeze Meat At Low Temperatures
Using a sub-zero temperature or storing your meat at zero degrees is important to increase the time meat stays fresh.
Maintaining a low temperature in the freezer even during a power outage (through backup) is important as a power outage can cause a sudden temperature in the case.
So before you can use frozen food to cook your favorite dish, make sure you use the freezer and top packaging practices to store it properly!
If stored properly, you’ll be able to cook the meat for a long time.
When Does The Frozen Meat Expire?
The time period during which it can expire in the freezer varies with the type of meat and storage practices.
Can Long Can Meat Be Kept in The Freezer?
It’s usually recommended that you store or freeze it for 6-12 months. Even if it’s cooked, you can safely put the beefy leftovers in the freezer.