Freezer storage can be tricky. You might be looking at that ground beef in there wondering if you can safely eat or need to toss it out. Use this Printable Freezer Storage Times as a guide and learn how long food really lasts in the freezer.
I will share freezer tips to help get you set up for success! Learn how to safely and properly freeze foods and ensure they don’t go to waste. If you have spent all the time learning how to meal prep, you definitely don’t want to waste that food, money, and effort.
If you were wondering how long is frozen food good for? Let me help! No more questioning, or stress!
🧊 What Can You Freeze
Not sure what you can and can’t freeze? Let me share some items to toss in to extend the shelf life!
- Meats – fish, chicken, beef, pork, venison, veal, etc. This works great when you make Meal Prep Shredded Chicken or Air Fryer Turkey Legs that freeze and defrost so well.
- Vegetables like the Roasted Beets and Carrots or Roasted Rutabaga Fries.
- Fruits work great when you lay them flat on a sheet pan, freeze and then then individually freeze like we do in the Smoothie Packs.
- Freezer Meals
- Butter whether you snag a great sale or make your own.
- Some Pantry Essentials – chocolate chips, flour, etc
- Coffee Beans and Grounds
- Leftover Lemons to use for lemon juice
- Blocks of Cheese
- Baked Goods like Coconut Muffins, Blueberry Muffins, Coconut Flour Waffles or Pancakes.
💡 Top Tips For Freezing Food Correctly
- Make sure to use proper freezer-safe bags, containers, etc. I lean towards Ziploc’s Gallon Freezer Bags over other bands. I love how they seal up and my food never seems to get ice crystals on them as long as I take precautions. Avoid the bags that have the little slider going across as air easily slips in there and ruins your food.
- Make sure to let hot food cool down before bagging and placing in the freezer. If you bag it while it is warm, ice crystals will form and it will accelerate freezer burn.
- Keep bagged foods towards the back of the freezer. Opening the door will cause slight temperature changes, and the effects are much less for foods further back.
- Freeze soups and other items flat in freezer bags. That makes it much easier to stack and store.
- Make sure to properly label (use my free printable labels) the food, dates, and any other notes.
- If I don’t think I will eat the food right away or it is expensive, I like to double wrap it to give it extra protection.
🚫 What Not To Freeze
- High Water Content Vegetables – Lettuce, radishes, cucumbers, etc. They will become mush once thawed.
- Egg-based sauces like mayonnaise, etc.
- Hard-boiled eggs – you will find the texture can become pretty rubbery once it thaws. Muffin tin eggs work great once they are cooked.
- Sour cream – once it thaws the texture will not be the same.
👍 How to Thaw Frozen Food
Some food can be used straight from the freezer. Toss frozen berries, or veggies right into the food you are preparing. Pull out the Freezer Pasta Meals or Homemade Lean Cuisines and zap in the microwave for a great last-minute lunch.
The same goes for items like tomato paste, frozen herbs, etc. Just toss them right in.
Other foods like meats need to be placed in the fridge the night before. This will give them time to safely thaw. Sausage and seafood will thaw faster than say a large roast or steaks. We pull out the Make-Ahead Breakfast Sandwiches the night before so we can quickly reheat them in the microwave the next morning.
Check the directions for your Freezer Meals before you take them out. Most of them call for them to be removed the night before.
Don’t thaw food on the counter or place them in warm water for a quick thaw. If you aren’t careful, it can cause problems and just isn’t as safe.
- Print it!
- Once printed, tape it near your freezer or put it in a plastic sleeve in your recipe binder to protect it for long term use.
- Use this free freezer printable as a reference.
Use this free printable as your guide on how long items should store in your freezer. But for a general rule of thumb, aim for 2-3 months.
1. Make a list of all the items you have in your freezer.
2. Create a list with each item. Write dates on products, and refer to printable for time-frame. We use a Freezer Inventory Sheet for this.
3. Cross out items once you remove from the freezer to use.
Label and mark foods so you know what they are. Include the expiration date.
Use freezer safe bags, vacuum sealer system, or freezer containers to prevent freezer burns.
I love to use veggies in casseroles, soups, and crock pot recipes. Frozen fruit works great for baking and adding to desserts.
Air was able to sneak inside the container that you used. Make sure to use FREEZER grade bags or vacuum seal bags. Don’t use the cheap containers when storing food in the freezer. This is the time to reach for the heavy duty Rubbermaid ones or choose Ball glass jars with the snowflake on the side so you know they are freezer friendly.
What is one freezer tip you recommend to others?