How long does food last in the freezer

by Katrina - The Organised Housewife

Freezing food is a great way to store bulk food and always be prepared for meals. Here are my tips on how long food will last in the freezer.

I love to keep a well-stocked freezer so I always have food on hand for meals as well as readymade snacks. However, food doesn’t last forever, even in the freezer, so it’s important to keep track of how long various items will keep in the freezer. 

This is intended to be a general guide – always use your discretion and check the use-by dates of any pre-packaged frozen foods (such as ice cream and vegetables).

BAKED SNACKS

I’m a big fan of freezing snacks! When my kids were younger, I found it so handy to whip up a batch of cookies or cakes and freeze them for quick lunchbox and after school snacks.

Here’s how long baked snacks will last in the freezer: 

  • Biscuits – 3 months
  • Cakes and slices – 3 months
  • Muffins – 3 months
  • Icing – 3 months
  • Cookie dough – 6 months

Kat’s tip: Labelling food is a great way to organise it and keep track of what you have in the freezer.

FRUIT AND VEGETABLES

One of my favourite freezer tips is to put the bags of peas and corn into containers in the freezer to prevent them from spilling throughout the freezer. At times I store pre-chopped vegetables and fruit in the freezer. Sometimes I do the chopping and other times I buy it already chopped (especially when the fresh variety isn’t in stock or is expensive). I find this a huge time saver for meal preparation and it also encourages the whole family to eat more fruit and vegetables because it is so easy to grab and go.

Here’s how long to store fruit and vegetables in the freezer: 

  • Broccoli / cauliflower, florets – 12 months
  • Carrots, sliced and diced – 12 months
  • Cherry tomatoes, washed – 6 months
  • Capsicum, sliced – 8 months
  • Red onion, sliced – 6 months
  • Baby spinach, washed and dried – 6 months
  • Grapes, washed and off stalks – 10 months
  • Orange, peeled and diced – 6 months
  • Watermelon, cubed – 8 months
  • Apple – 4 months
  • Bananas, peeled – 8 months
  • Fruit juice – 12 months

meat

You can store raw meat in the original packaging from the supermarket, or portion it into smaller amounts and store in airtight containers or reusable bags that are suitable for the freezer.

Here’s how long to store uncooked meat in the freezer: 

  • Mince – 4 months
  • Beef – 8 months
  • Lamb – 9 months
  • Chicken pieces – 9 months
  • Pork – 6 months
  • Fish – 3 months
  • Bacon – 1 month
  • Sausages – 1-2 months
  • Hamburgers / Rissoles – 3 months
  • Hot dogs – 1-2 months

Here’s how long to store cooked / ready to eat meat in the freezer: 

SOUPS, BAKES & DINNERS

I have always made a lot of freezer-friendly dinners. This started when the kids were little as I sometimes found it hard to cook during witching hour. Having meals in the freezer was a lifesaver! As the kids got older, I still found this helpful because after school was often busy with driving kids around.

I still continue to store dinners in individual portions in the freezer. This is a great option for teens who are only home for dinner sometimes. This helps to reduce food wastage too! 

For things like soups and slow cooked meals, I use souper cubes (which are also amazing for baby and toddler food). To freeze other meals, I use freezer containers.

Here’s how long to store soups, bakes and dinner in the freezer: 

  • Pasta bakes – 4 months
  • Lasagne – 3 months
  • Soups and stews – 3- 6 months
  • Quiche – 2 months

dairy

Apart from ice cream, I don’t store a lot of dairy products in the freezer but lots of people do. For soft products like cream I would recommend using portion pods or souper cubes

Here’s how long to store dairy meat in the freezer: 

  • Ice cream – 4 months
  • Butter – 6 months
  • Cream – 3 months
  • Cheese – 6 months
  • Cream Cheese – 4 months

other foods

  • Bread – 3 months. I store bread in it’s original packaging. Just check there are no holes in the plastic.
  • Tortillas – 3 months
  • Nuts – 2 years
  • Egg whites – 12 months
  • Egg yolks – 3 months (it is recommended to add 1/8 tsp of salt for every 4 egg yolks)

FOODS THAT DON’T FREEZE WELL

  • Lettuce
  • Tomatoes
  • Salads
  • Eggs in shell / hard boiled eggs
  • Custard

Always ensure foods are properly sealed in the freezer and minimise opening of the freezer to keep temperatures stable. Happy freezing!

KAT'S RECOMMENDED PICKS
Souper Cubes for freezing meals from OrganisedHQ
Souper Cubes 2pk One Cup
Stasher - Reuseable Silicone Stand-Up Bag 1.66L
Stasher - Reuseable Silicone Stand-Up Bag 1.66L

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