Pork is a great choice when you need to hit your protein goals for the day. But if you find yourself wondering how long pork lasts in the freezer, you probably have many other questions about storing it and other meats, too.
When cooking at home, you can use this guide to learn how to freeze pork, so it’s fresh and safe to eat later. You’ll also learn how to reheat the meat and how long frozen meat stays fresh. When it comes time to thaw it, we’ve got all the details for that, too.
Can Frozen Meat Go Bad?
If not stored properly, frozen meat (or frozen foods) can go bad. It’s important to wrap the meat tightly and store it in a freezer-safe container. Frozen meat will last frozen for up to four to six months.
How to Freeze Cooked Pork
The first step of freezing pork after cooking is deciding when it’s worth doing. If you made way more than you can eat in one meal, freezing the leftovers in a food-safe container is easy to save them for later.
Plus, once you learn how long boiled pork lasts in the freezer, you can take advantage of sales and stock up on raw chicken, fatty fish, or pork for meals down the road.
Does Cooked Meat Go Bad in the Freezer?
Yes, cooked pork or fish will go bad if not stored properly. To prevent the bacteria that cause foodborne illness, you need to freeze your pork or lean fish as quickly as you can after cooking it. You should also avoid thawing and refreezing cooked meat or cooked poultry since this also increases the risk of bacteria growth.
Wrapping and Storing Pork After Cooking
Pork needs to be stored in an airtight container to ensure that it doesn’t spoil (or vacuum-sealed). First, wrap the pork in plastic wrap or place it inside a freezer bag; remove all excess air or cold water from the container before sealing it shut with a twist-tie or other closure. Label and date the package before placing it in your freezer for up to three months. Storing food correctly is the key to safe eating.
Thawing and Reheating Pork
Thaw frozen pork overnight in your refrigerator or under cold running water (for less than four hours). Once thawed, pork can be stored in the fridge for up to four days before it needs to be reheated. When you’re ready to eat, reheat the pork until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit to kill off dangerous bacteria. However, be cautious of freezer burn.
How Long Can You Freeze Ground Beef?
Like most frozen raw meat, frozen ground meat has a shelf life of up to a year. The key to correct food storage is to ensure the beef is in an airtight container and properly labeled with the date. And always follow your freezer guidelines.
Pork (even processed pork) is a versatile and delicious meat that can be enjoyed in many different dishes, even as lunch meats like hot dogs. If you have leftovers or want to cook in bulk and save for later, freezing pork is great.
Make sure to follow safe food handling guidelines to prevent bacteria growth and foodborne sickness.