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How Long Can Food Remain in Your Freezer and What Is the Best Storage Method?

Freezing is a great way to make the most out of foods, but you should know that when you freeze food, flavors and textures can begin to deteriorate and there is an expiration date.

A few good freezing rules to live by are, if you aren’t sure, three months is a good rule of thumb for acceptable freezing time; and always label your freezer foods with names and dates for added assurance. You may think you will remember what is in the freezer and when you put it there, but months have a tendency of deteriorating anyone’s memory.

Okay, so let’s talk some specifics. Breads, cookies, cakes and cooked meats are fine for about three months, but certain uncooked items can last longer. Uncooked roasts, chops and hamburger can remain in the freezer for approximately four months. Uncooked steaks and butter can last six months (Soups and stocks can last about six months too.). Unbaked pies can go about eight months and uncooked chicken pieces can last for up to nine months.

When any item starts to show signs of freezer burn, toss it. If you store items properly, you can combat freezer burn for a little longer. Most importantly, you want to freeze your food with as little air surrounding it as possible because air can cause dehydration and oxidation. If you don’t have a vacuum sealer, rap freezer items tightly in plastic or foil and then give them some added protection with freezer bags or containers.