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May 18, 2007 03:40 PM

freezing cooked meat?

So I'm wondering -
I often have leftovers that I don't want to eat right away. Is it safe to freeze cooked meat, if I freeze it right away?
What I'd love is any resources/websites that you could direct me to, with detailed info about this.

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  1. I freeze cooked meat all the time. Only trick is reheating, since nuking it for too long makes it chewy.

    1. You could try freezing the meat in some sort of sauce or gravy-- makes re-heating a bit gentler and helps avoid the tough-dry problem.

      1. I just found a book at the library: Can I Freeze It? How to Use the Most Versatile Appliance in Your Kitchen, by Susie Theodorou. Haven't had a chance to look at it yet, though.

        1. Get a Foodsaver vacuum sealer. I cook lots of BBQ meats all the time, and reheat in the storage bag, either in a pot of water or in the microwave (the bag is approved for this... you just make a small puncture so it doesn't explode). Quality of the reheat is excellent. The key, I think, is that it is frozen with all the air removed... no freezer burn. Then, when you reheat, all the moisture stays in the bag (particularly with the bag in the pot of water, unpunctured).

          1 Reply
          1. re: woodburner

            On the temps... the literature from the local ServSafe course basically says you have a total of 4 hours in the danger zone, between 40 and 140. You want to keep meat either below 40 or over 140... time spent in between is the danger zone. You must consider the time you prep and cook, as well as the time food is served and sits out. And the time it takes to chill down. Of course, if you slow BBQ a pork shoulder or beef brisket, you will cook it for well over that time period... however, large, complete muscle cuts are not as easily subject to the issues for prepared food sitting out. Once you're done with your food, get it into the bag, vac seal it, and, if a large portion of food, you can put in an ice bath to cool it quickly, then into the freezer. Smaller portions, into the freezer.

          2. This one talks about grilling, but it applies to all cooked meats:

            edit: The key is in how quickly you cool to freeze and in the thawing/re-heating process.