Ohio Living

Tuesday Tip: Meat Freezer Stockpile

Tuesday Tip: Meat Freezer Stockpile

Anyone else have a few of these in your freezer?

Freezing meat is a great way to build a stock pile of main dish food at rock bottom prices.  Meat is usually the most expensive part of a meal, but when you can pick up an extra package or two at stockpile price and throw it in the freezer, you can really start to cut that part of your grocery bill.  You can plan meals around what’s on sale fresh that week and what’s already in your freezer, and you won’t ever have to pay full price for meat. 

For reference, here are Sara’s meat stockpile price points (these are for Northeast Ohio and may be different for you if you live in another area):


When you freeze meat, it’s best to put it in a zip-top freezer bag, labeled with the date.  The store packaging usually isn’t thick enough for long-term storage and if it tears you can end up with freezer burn.  Freezer burn doesn’t make your food unsafe to eat, but it can affect taste and texture.  If just a small part ends up freezer burnt, you can cut it off and use the rest. 

As long as frozen food stays below 0° Fahrenheit, it is safe indefinitely, but quality can diminish after a while.  Here are some freezer storage guidelines for different meats:

  • Bacon or Sausage: 1-2 months (I’ve kept mine longer and it was fine—nobody really needs to eat that much Indiana Kitchen bacon in a month!) 🙂
  • Casseroles: 2-3 months
  • Hot Dogs: 1-2 months (once again, something I’ve kept longer than the guideline…)
  • Lunch meat: 1-2 months  (I was surprised how well it froze when I stocked up on a good sale a while ago!)
  • Hamburger and other ground meat: 3-4 months
  • Beef, Veal, Lamb, or Pork:  Steaks-6-12 months, Chops 4-6 months, Roasts 4-12 months
  • Chicken or Turkey, whole: 1 year
  • Chicken or Turkey, pieces: 9 months
  • Soups & Stews: 2-3 months

Remember that it’s recommended to thaw meat either in the refrigerator or in the microwave, not on the counter.  Meat should be kept below 40 degrees before cooking to avoid growth of bacteria. 

Do you have a meat stockpile?  Do you have a good method for making sure you use what you have so it doesn’t get lost in the deep dark depths of the freezer?  (I’m not perfect on this, but I’m getting better!).   Share your hints in the comments or on Facebook!

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