Welcome to the EGGhead Forum - a great place to visit and packed with tips and EGGspert advice! You can also join the conversation and get more information and amazing kamado recipes by following Big Green Egg to Experience our World of Flavor™ at:
Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Pinterest  |  Youtube  |  Vimeo
Share your photos by tagging us and using the hashtag #BigGreenEgg.

Want to see how the EGG is made? Click to Watch

Question about freezing meat

We are getting a standalone deep freezer so that we can have more space. Krogers has sales on meats (ribs buy 1 get 1 free, pork butts, etc) at times and I buy some, but how long do you all keep meat in freezer before it goes bad? I have read up to a year, but I thought I would ask the experts. :-) 
(note: Not looking at storing meat for a year, but wanted to ask)
Also, what about after you cook it and seal it up? 

We love to cook but it's just the 2 of us so I hate to waste it and we get burnt out on the leftovers, so getting a sealer too.

Best Answers

  • JohnInCarolina
    JohnInCarolina Posts: 30,714
    Answer ✓
    A year I think is the conventional wisdom, but if things are vacuum sealed and frozen right away I bet they’re good for longer.  

    We vac seal and freeze leftovers all the time.  Reheating is a breeze - you just drop the bag in a soya vide bath for about an hour and you have it.  That will change your life.  

    When I do a whole pork butt, I’ll package the leftovers into 1/2 lb packets, vac seal them and freeze.  Always write the date on the package so you know when you made it, but we typically reheat within six months.  The wife uses them for all kinds of things - enchiladas, tacos, etc.  Quick and easy meals.
    "I've made a note never to piss you two off." - Stike
  • WeberWho
    WeberWho Posts: 10,983
    Answer ✓
    Like others have said, a vacuum sealer and sous vide are your friends. For years I'd buy 5-10 pork shoulders and freeze them when they would go on sale for under a buck. I'd cook the first pork shoulder, vacuum seal into portions, and freeze. The rest of the pork shoulders would go straight into the deep freezer when coming home from the grocery store. I finally said to myself, "What are you doing?" I got tired of thawing out frozen bowling balls of pork shoulders when wanting to cook one. So what I do now is smoke all of them before they go into the freezer and vacuum seal into portions. That way you can vacuum seal small portions for easy quick meals, or bigger bagged portions for parties in the future. 
    "The pig is an amazing animal. You feed a pig an apple and it makes bacon. Let's see Michael Phelps do that" - Jim Gaffigan

    Minnesota

Answers

  • ColtsFan
    ColtsFan Posts: 6,277
    edited September 2023
    I just pulled some vacuum packed sausage out of ours that had 2020 written on it. Well sealed meats will last a very long time without any noticeable quality degradation.

    Just two of us here. I’ll vacuum pack leftover pulled pork, brisket, etc. and reheat with the sous vide. 

    ~ John - https://www.instagram.com/hoosier_egger
    XL BGE, LG BGE, KJ Jr, PK Original, Ardore Pizza Oven, King Disc 
    Bloomington, IN - Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoosiers!

  • Elijah
    Elijah Posts: 672
    It's all about the packaging you freeze it in. Get a decent or better vacuum sealer and you'll be surprised how long it stays good. I have had steaks and sausage that got lost for 2 years without a noticeable drop in quality. Whenever there is a death or tragedy I'll smoke a few butts, seal and freeze. I figure it's more useful after the food train has stopped. 
  • Legume
    Legume Posts: 14,568
    I have found that it makes no sense for us to freeze big chunks of meat that are straight from the store with maybe the exception of good briskets found on a ridiculous sale.  

    Like others, I definitely freeze cooked, portioned meat.  I use the vacuum sealer a lot, but they do fail sometimes in the freezer, if I notice it, I just cut it open and seal in a new bag.

    If I get a 3 pack of ribs from Costco, I'll open it and freeze individual racks.
  • A year I think is the conventional wisdom, but if things are vacuum sealed and frozen right away I bet they’re good for longer.  

    We vac seal and freeze leftovers all the time.  Reheating is a breeze - you just drop the bag in a soya vide bath for about an hour and you have it.  That will change your life.  

    When I do a whole pork butt, I’ll package the leftovers into 1/2 lb packets, vac seal them and freeze.  Always write the date on the package so you know when you made it, but we typically reheat within six months.  The wife uses them for all kinds of things - enchiladas, tacos, etc.  Quick and easy meals.
    Thanks @JohnInCarolina

    So it has to be reheated in that soya vide or can you just use a big pot of water and heat that up?
  • A year I think is the conventional wisdom, but if things are vacuum sealed and frozen right away I bet they’re good for longer.  

    We vac seal and freeze leftovers all the time.  Reheating is a breeze - you just drop the bag in a soya vide bath for about an hour and you have it.  That will change your life.  

    When I do a whole pork butt, I’ll package the leftovers into 1/2 lb packets, vac seal them and freeze.  Always write the date on the package so you know when you made it, but we typically reheat within six months.  The wife uses them for all kinds of things - enchiladas, tacos, etc.  Quick and easy meals.
    Thanks @JohnInCarolina

    So it has to be reheated in that soya vide or can you just use a big pot of water and heat that up?
    Haha it’s “sous vide” - gd autocorrect.

    We use the Anova sous vide to reheat just because it’s so easy.  I reheat around 145F - hot tap water is pretty close to that temp.  You could probably manage just fine with a big pot of water but the challenge is to maintain its temp for an hour or so.  
    "I've made a note never to piss you two off." - Stike
  • lousubcap
    lousubcap Posts: 31,962
    Back to the original question-I have not and will not go down the Sue Vide (she's a $$ sink..) but rumor and allegedly documented has it that she does great things.
     As long as the original cryovac wrap is in place a year is easy, I found a turkey 3 years on and once cooked was a winner.  As above, the key is to eliminate the air/moisture from anything personal packed or cooked. 
    As I have mentioned before, the size of the suitcase, closet or freezer doesn't matter-they will all fill up.  B)
    Louisville; Rolling smoke in the neighbourhood. # 38 for the win.  Life is too short for light/lite beer!  Seems I'm livin in a transitional period.
  • Canugghead
    Canugghead Posts: 11,331
    Lots of good info above, depending on the type of food we also reheat in microwave or steam.
    canuckland
  • danhoo
    danhoo Posts: 672
    I have a chest freezer, manual defrost that sits at -8F.

    Temp stays within one degree. Stuff lasts much longer than my frost free.

    I bought some pork shoulder in winter 2020 for 97cents a pound. I smoked the last one a month ago it was fine. 

    I have some commercially made chicken sausage that's 18 months old. It's still good.

    Beef and chicken gets eaten faster so I just have to be careful to rotate the stock. 
    current: | Large BGE |  Genesis 1000 | Genesis E330 | 22 inch Kettle | Weber Summit Kamado
    sold:| PitBoss pro 820  WSM 22 
  • The way it was described to me by @nolaegghead and that I’ve seen it subsequently characterized in articles is that meat can be stored indefinitely if kept in the proper conditions throughout. The biggest risk of long-term storage is degradation of the texture. 

    We keep a very full upright standalone freezer and do not shy away from keeping meat several years, FWIW. Never had an issue. 
  • Thanks all. 

    The reason I ask about thawing it out in water is, I plan on giving my dad and my inlays some over time (my dad is 94 and living on his own, so he doesn't eat much), it would be nice to say "just heat up some water and put this in it until it is completely thawed out and heated up.

    I don't want them to have to buy an item that they might not want to use...
  • yeah, those things are $100 or so. I found this answer on a website:


    • Place the bag(s) in the pot with enough water to cover it.
    • Then remove the bag(s) and begin heating the water with a lid on the pot.
    • Turn up the heat.
    • When the water starts to simmer (a slow boil, 190F degrees) Place the bags back into the pot and replace the lid.

    A bag containing 4 lbs of non-sauced meat (enough to make 5+ lbs of BBQ) will take about 20-25 minutes if you are careful about maintaining a consistent heat by adjusting the burner of your stove…a 2 lb bag takes about half that time. Do not rapidly boil the water. Just a slight simmer will do the trick.

    When heated, the meat should reach a temperature of between 155 and 165F degrees, the meat in the bag will be soft and very hot to the touch while still maintaining its pinkish color. (If it turns grey you have over heated the BBQ.) Open the bag, empty the meat into the serving pan and mix in the premeasured amount of room temperature or warm sauce.


  • @JohnfromKentucky - I’m sure that will work fine.  And yeah you don’t want to be asking your 94 year old father to buy a sous vide unit to reheat leftovers, totally understandable.
    "I've made a note never to piss you two off." - Stike