You know what they say, everything has a shelf life! So if you’re wondering whether frozen meat goes bad and how to tell, you have come to the right place.
Frozen foods are a great way to save time in cooking. But raw meat or raw chicken frozen in your refrigerated doesn’t last very long and can cause problems.
So how can you tell that your frozen meat has gone bad and no longer safe to eat?
Well, it depends on a few things. Here’s the easy part: there is a way to tell if your freezing meat has gone bad.
Does Frozen Meat Go Bad?
Yes, frozen meats do go bad over time. Experts say that if you safely freeze meat, it should last you between 4-12 months and then it ‘’goes bad.’’
But the key here is to understand what we mean by ‘’bad’’? Technically, food frozen at 0 degrees ine the freezer is safe to consume.
But it’s quality and flavour deteriorates overtime and you cannot hope to eat indefinitely.
So if you have been storing meat in the freezer, know that it will eventually suffer from ‘’freezer burn’’.
This makes the texture of meat dry and leathery, not a very welcome flavor to your taste buds!
The timeline during which frozen meat in your freezer goes bad varies with a few factors.
The Type of Frozen Foods You Are Storing
Whether you are adding ground beef or cooked meat to the refrigerator can really affect their rate of going bad.
Meat in the freezer at 0 degrees may even last up to one year.Typically, ground meat can last for 3-4 months while whole chicken or turkey can last you a whole year.
Uncooked roasts and steaks can also last you a year. However, processed or cooked meats should not be stored for more than three months.
Cooked poultry dishes also tend to lose their flavor quickly and should not be stored for more than 4 months.
Lean fish can last you for six to eight months while fatty fish, may last lesser than three months.
The Packaging and Freshness of Your Frozen Food
Whether you are storing cooked meat or fresh meats in your icy haven, the thawing process is going to impact both. Your food stacked in the refrigerator will not taste good forever.
But the rate at which either or both types go bad depends on how well you package it and how fresh it was!
You should also not leave your meat out on your kitchen counter for more than two hours.
For example, using heavy duty packaging material can prevent your meat from being heavily freezer burned in less time.
Using a freezer bag, airtight bag or a plastic wrap, for example are tools to ensure your food is stored properly.
You should also thaw your meat properly, for example by dipping it in cold water so no there is no compromise in quality due to moisture lost.
How to Tell if Frozen Meat Is Bad?
One should be able to tell if stored meat or chicken has gone bad to avoid a burst of unpleasant flavors in your mouth.
So how can you spot spoiled meat and tell if frozen met has gone bad?
The most common signs that the meat in the freezer has gone bad includes:
- The formation of ice crystals inside the original packaging
- Change of color or your lunch meats, processed pork or fresh meat (usually a dark brown or gray brown color is a warning sign)
- Unpleasant odor
- A slimy texture upon defrositng the meat
So if your meat has been stored in the freezer for up to a year and you begin to notice these signs, don’t cook immediately. It’s time to discard the meat.
If Meat Turns Brown in the Fridge Is It Bad?
Freezer burn is a common culprit that you spot along meat that has gone bad. Freezer burnt meat may have brown spots.
So if you can spot freezer burns on the other meats or foods stored in your freezer, it actually has gone bad.
And again, by this we mean that while the freezer has kept the food safe for consumption still, it will not taste great!
Actually, no matter which cooking process you use, don’t expect the same taste of a succulent and fresh piece of meat.
It’s also possible that if your meat has turned brown, you can smell a rancid stench from your frozen goods or meat in a frozen state.
Can You Still Eat Expired Frozen Meat?
Wondering if expired meat is still safe to eat? The simple answer is that yes you can consume meat in the freezer that has expired.
However it’s not recommended to put yourself that agony unless its an emergency!
Opt for something better instead. Go out and grab some fresh hot dogs or fresh, cooked food for yourself to enjoy!
Wrapping it Up
Freezing your food to help it last you longer is a common practise. While it definitely helps you save on cost and money, it’s important for you to know if this can backfire!
Yes, frozen meat can go bad in the sense that it can become unpleasant to consume.
From hues of brown and grey to unpleasant odors, dry texture and a complete loss of flavour, consuming frozen meat is no treat.
Even though food safety experts have termed expired frozen meat ‘’safe to consume’’, it’s not recommended. Meat stored in freezer can stay safe for up to one year!
But if it does go bad in the freezer, who would want to put themselves through the pain of consuming dry and leathery meat?
You can increase the window of freshness of your meat by investing in top refrigeration and packaging practises!
an a Freezer Be Too Cold for Meat?
Technically, no your freezer cannot be too cold for your meat and won’t impact it. Its not the low temperature of a freezer which makes it go bad but other reasons like packaging.
What Does Freezer Burn Meat Look Like?
If your meat is freezer burned, you will see that it will have grey, brown or grey-brown colors. It will also look dry and will have a grainy texture.