How Long Can Meat Of Various Types Be Stored In A Freezer?

First of all, its appearance is important. Poultry, such as chicken, or large meat (beef or pork) are kept in the freezer for different amounts of time. It is a totally different situation with minced meat, chilled meat or chopped frozen pieces.

Secondly, the temperature at which it is safe storing chicken, beef or pork in the refrigerator or freezer is important. Then also types of dishes that will help keep food fresh for a longer period. Some non-standard tips extend the freshness of the product.

Subject to the basic rules, the shelf life of the meat can be significantly increased, even if it is pieces of not frozen but chilled meat or minced meat, which always deteriorate faster.

How many days can you store different types of meat in the freezer?

In industrial freezers, any food can be stored for decades, but a standard home freezer is subject to a more stringent time frame, and you need to be careful about the food that you keep in there.

Cattle products (pork, beef or lamb) should be stored frozen from 4 months to a year. Poultry (whole carcasses of chicken, goose, etc.) can deteriorate faster. It can be kept in the freezer for a maximum of a year, but after 8-9 months the taste can be lost.

Poultry meat (chicken, turkey, duck), chopped in pieces, can be kept in the freezer for up to 8 months.

How long can minced meat lie in the freezer even at the lowest temperature is more difficult to predict. Any chilled food (minced meat, offal) has already been kept in the store for some time. The estimated shelf life of frozen minced meat is 4 months, but you should always check the expiration date on the package and subtract another month just in case. 

Tip: If there is a need to cook chicken that has been lying in the freezer for longer than the specified time, it is worth boiling it for at least an hour and a half. Various spices will help get rid of the unpleasant odor of old meat, but you need to be sure that the meat has not thawed more than once, otherwise it will no longer be suitable for cooking.

How long can meat be stored in the freezer at different temperatures?

Storage of meat is best done according to the temperature conditions presented in the table.

At a freezer temperature, ° C        The maximum storage time is
-4 … 0                                                           2 days

-5 … -12                                                      4 months

-12 … -17                                                   7-8 months

-17 … -24                                                     one year


If the electricity went off, nothing will happen in 2-3 hours, you should not worry. However, turning off the power for a longer time may cause poultry to deteriorate. In this situation, the product must be removed from the freezer and covered in vinegar or citric acid, and then put in the coolest place in the house.

Chicken or beef can not be stored for too long in the refrigerator at a temperature of 0 ° … + 4 °. In this case, it will need to be placed in a special dish: plastic, enameled or glass, and instead of a lid, use a paper towel or a napkin.

The answer to the question of how to store meat in the refrigerator is simple – a maximum of two days. During this time, it must be cooked or frozen, otherwise the product will deteriorate. If the product is minced or chopped into pieces (especially poultry: chicken, duck, etc.), the storage time in the refrigerator is 12 hours.


If it is impossible to keep the meat in the freezer or refrigerator, it is recommended to wrap the product with a cloth soaked in a solution of salicylic acid, which can be bought at a pharmacy, to preserve freshness. Also, to preserve freshness, you can dip a piece of poultry into ice milk or yogurt. Any of the methods presented above preserves the freshness of the product for 10 hours, not more.

So, we have found out that the meat can lie in the freezer for quite some time. Meat products of large animals, such as beef or pork, can be stored for a year or even more, but poultry meat, such as chicken or turkey, can be stored at low temperature for no longer than 12 months. The most important thing is to know exactly the “age” of food, especially chilled before your purchase, such as minced meat or whole chopped pieces.

In case of emergency, we gave you the tips for extending the shelf life using some old methods, but even then the time will be limited to 10 hours, not more.

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