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).
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
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
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:
- Chicken, poached and shredded – 3 months
- Cooked meat – 3 months
- Ham / lunch meat – 1-2 months
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!
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
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
- 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
Always ensure foods are properly sealed in the freezer and minimise opening of the freezer to keep temperatures stable. Happy freezing!