The Best Ways to Store and Freeze Meat Skip to main content

The Best Ways to Store and Freeze Meat

Whether meat is a significant part of your diet or not, it’s crucial that you know how to store it properly. This is especially important if you are storing meat for a business. There are numerous reasons to store meat properly; failure to do so can result in adverse health, legal, and financial consequences.

This article explains everything you need to know about properly storing and freezing meat. As long as you follow these tips, you should be able to do so safely and effectively.

The Importance of Properly Storing Meat

Proper storage of your meat ensures its continued freshness and high quality. If you store it incorrectly, your meat may spoil quickly. When meat spoils, it is unsafe to cook and eat. Doing so could make you sick.

Storing meat properly also allows you to save money. If you find you won’t be able to eat the meat you purchased in a timely fashion, you won’t have to waste any of it. Freezing meat is an essential practice for food businesses that order large quantities of meat. Even one batch of spoiled meat could cost them hundreds or thousands of dollars. 

Different Types of Meat and Their Storage Requirements

Not all types of meat are the same, and it is imperative to store each kind in the best way. Each type may require different temperatures or methods.


When storing beef in the fridge, it should be kept under 40°F to keep it fresh. Ideally, it should be vacuum-sealed or wrapped tightly in foil or plastic wrap. Beef should also be vacuum-sealed and stored at 0°F in the freezer. Depending on the cut, it can last anywhere from four months to a year in the freezer.


Storing pork in the fridge is similar to storing beef, but you can allow the temperature to reach around 45°F. It is also perfectly safe to freeze, and you should vacuum-seal it if possible for freshness. It will last for approximately four to six months. 


For poultry products like chicken and turkey, the refrigerator temperature should not rise above 40°F. You should only store poultry in the fridge for about two days. After that, you can freeze it for 3-4 months. If possible, poultry should be vacuum-sealed, but if not, you can wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap and seal it in a zipper-lock bag.


It’s best to consume fish while it’s, especially because of its potent odor, but it can still be frozen safely. When storing fish in the refrigerator, make sure it is on a bed of ice, and try to cook or freeze it within the same day. If you must freeze fish, it’s best to vacuum-seal or wrap it like poultry. It will last anywhere from three to eight months in the freezer if it is stored at the coldest possible temperature.

Guidelines for Safe Storage

Whichever type of meat you are freezing, there are certain guidelines you should follow to ensure the meat stays fresh and safe to eat.

For instance, you should always make sure to avoid cross-contamination between types of meat. This can increase the rate at which bacteria grows and make your meat taste worse.

You should also pay close attention to the expiration dates on all meat products and label everything clearly when storing meat.

Tips for Preparing Meat for Freezing

Freezing is a great option if you want to store meat long-term, and there are certain measures you can take to ensure you keep your meat fresh for as long as possible.

For instance, portioning your meat before freezing will ensure every part of the cut is stored at the appropriate temperature. This practice also ensures you will have room in your freezer, as some cuts of meat are rather large.

If you don’t package meat properly, it will spoil within a few days. For most types of meat, vacuum-sealing is the most ideal method. However,  not everyone has the equipment. You should at least wrap it tightly in aluminum foil or plastic wrap. As long as you do that, you’ll find that you can freeze your meat for several months. Don’t forget to label everything appropriately so you know when to discard your meat. 

Thawing Meat Safely

It is equally important to know how to thaw meat safely. The safest method is to do it in the refrigerator. When you are ready to eat frozen meat, transfer it to the fridge and leave it there for as long as it takes to thaw. Depending on the portion size, this process could take up to 48 hours.

Alternatively, you could submerge the frozen meat in cold water and leave it that way until it thaws, but you should never microwave frozen meat or put it straight in the oven. This is incredibly dangerous and could make you sick.

How to Recognize Spoiled Meat

One of the most common problems with freezing meat is freezer burn. Freezer burn occurs when air seeps into the packaging and causes the meat to get ice crystals that oxidize. To avoid this, you need to wrap your meat well. If your meat does get freezer burn, it is safe to eat, but the taste and quality may be affected.

If you notice that your meat has changed in texture or color, these are signs that it has spoiled. Proceed with caution, as you could end up serving meat that is no longer safe to eat. It’s best not to take any chances here. Your safety is more important than whatever money you may lose due to food waste.

Where Can I Purchase High-Quality Meat?

If you are looking for the best responsibly raised, high-quality meat in Idaho Falls, contact Grand Peaks Prime Meats today. We have a large selection of cuts for your everyday cooking needs, all of which can be frozen for future use.

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