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Can You Freeze Canned Meat?

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By Lewis Brindley

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Canned meat can be a really handy thing to have around. But if you’ve opened a can and only need to use half of it, then what can you do with the leftovers?

Can You Freeze Canned Meat?

Yes, you can freeze canned meat for up to 2 months. Drain the meat of any liquid, then move the food into a new, non-reactive container, typically one made from glass or plastic, and then seal that new container shut before freezing it.

Does Canned Meat Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Canned Meat? No

How to Freeze Canned Meat

Freezing canned meat isn’t as simple as putting the can into the freezer – the can could burst, making the food inedible. To properly freeze canned meat, follow these steps:

  1. Drain the Meat: You won’t want to freeze the canned meat in the brine or liquid, so ensure it is fully drained. Simply tip it into a sieve and allow it to drain in the sink. Give it a quick shake to remove any excess liquid.
  2. Add to a Container: Transfer the drained meat into a new, non-reactive container. Plastic or glass is most common, though ceramic would also work. Ensure the container is clean to ensure the meat lasts for as long as possible.
  3. Seal: Seal the lid of the container onto the top, being sure to fasten any kinds of snapping seals or similar systems. Once they’re sealed shut, the container is ready to be transferred into the freezer.
  4. Freeze: Place the container in the centre of the freezer, as that will prevent freezer burn from getting to the food itself as quickly as it could if the meat were at the edge of the freezer. 

3 Tips for Freezing Canned Meat

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing canned meat to have the best results:

Drain It Fully
The meat must be well-drained of any brine, as that liquid would expand during freezing, leading to the meat losing a lot of texture to freezer burn. 

Seal It Tightly
Ensuring that the container is sealed is vital – food contamination is a constant risk of working with meat, so ensure that the container is sealed to prevent contamination from occurring. 

Avoid Freezing It In Sauce
You can buy meat in sauce in cans. We advise against freezing since the liquid content of the sauce will lead to the whole thing being more likely to succumb to freezer burn. 

How Long Can You Freeze Canned Meat?

You can freeze canned meat for around 2 months before it starts to succumb to freezer burn.

Beyond that point, it’s likely to be still safe, but it will certainly not be as enjoyable. Any level of texture will be destroyed, leaving you with a sad meal.

How Long Does Canned Meat Last in the Fridge?

Once opened, canned meat will last in the fridge for only 3 to 4 days when kept in a covered dish or airtight Tupperware container.

How Do You Defrost Canned Meat?

The simplest way to defrost canned meat is simply to transfer the meat from the freezer to the fridge overnight. This will ensure that the meat thaws without being stored at a temperature that would be unsafe for the food.

Another benefit of storing canned meat in this way is that you can then treat it as though it’s raw meat from your fridge, being sure that your food is cooked as safely as possible.

Can You Refreeze Canned Meat?

No, you cannot refreeze canned meat.

You shouldn’t refreeze meat, along with fish and dairy, since they’re the foods most likely to get contaminated out of the freezer and take that contamination to your other frozen goods.

Does Canned Meat Freeze Well?

Yes, canned meat does freeze well.

The reason for this is that the canning process essentially pre-cooks meat, meaning that there’s minor textural damage that can be done from a starting point.

This isn’t always the case, and texture can always be damaged. However, you are approaching it from a better starting point, thankfully.

Of course, you do have to consider whether it’s worth freezing. There is no point freezing unopened canned meat as it will have a longer shelf life in the cupboard. Once opened, however, freezing it is a great idea to store it.

If you’ve still got questions about freezing canned meat or canned meat in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Canned Bolognese?

Although it can be frozen, it will become slimy and greasy once frozen and then defrosted. Unfortunately, freezing canned meat in a sauce is not a good idea.

Can You Freeze Canned Meat in the Tin?

No, this is a bad idea. There is a risk that the expansion of any brine or water in the tin will cause it to explode, leaving you with a huge mess and potential pieces of can in your freezer.

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