Can You Freeze Sloppy Joes?

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By Lewis Brindley

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Things don’t get much messier than sloppy joes. The clue is in the name after all. Surely, something so messy wouldn’t freeze well…

Can You Freeze Sloppy Joes?

Yes, you can freeze sloppy joes for up to 6 months. Freeze the meat and the bread separately. Portion the meat into airtight containers, and then cool before sealing. Wrap each bun individually in cling film then freeze the bread and meat together.

Do Sloppy Joes Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Sloppy Joes? No

How to Freeze Sloppy Joes

Freezing sloppy joes is straightforward, but we recommend following our steps to ensure you get the most out of your ingredients.

  1. Portion out: Portion out the bread and meat into the size that you’d be able to eat in one sitting. Meat cannot be refrozen, and bread will greatly decrease in quality if thawed and refrozen, so portioning well can help to eliminate waste.
  2. Cool: Waiting for the meat in the containers to cool will ensure that there is no hot, humid environment in which bacteria could thrive. In turn, your meat will be stored much more safely. Once the meat is cool, seal the containers tightly.
  3. Wrap: Wrap each individual bread roll that you’re working with in cling film, ensuring that you get a good seal. This will prevent the bread from taking on too much moisture in the freezer, which would damage it.
  4. Freeze Together: Keeping them together is a great way to make sure that you’ve always got enough bread for joes, and vice versa – if they’re kept together, you’ll have an easy visual indicator of how much food you have on hand.

3 Tips for Freezing Sloppy Joes

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

Just Freeze the Filling
Freezing bread for a long time can damage the quality of the bread itself. If you know that you won’t be coming back to the bread for a long time, then consider not freezing it, and instead buying fresh bread at a later date. 

Avoid Bubbles
Eliminating air bubbles cut down on the air that will condense to water, and then freeze to ice, leading to freezer burn. Tap the containers containing the sloppy joe meat on the counter a few times, as this should burst any bubbles within the mixture. 

Add Seasoning
Adding a little salt to the meat mixture can help to preserve the flavour in your freezer. A number of flavour chemicals can be dissolved by the ice in your freezer over time, so by adding salt and creating a more intense flavour to start with, the final flavour when thawed can be just right. 

How Long Can You Freeze Sloppy Joes?

You can freeze sloppy joes for around 6 months.

Beyond 6 months, you might notice that the bread becomes a little soggy when thawed and that the meat mixture loses some level of taste, and can become a little watery.

How Long Do Sloppy Joes Last in the Fridge?

Sloppy joes will keep in the fridge for around 4 days when storing just the meat. Once assembled they’ll only keep for around 12 hours before the bread turns soggy.

How Do You Defrost Sloppy Joes?

You can defrost sloppy joes really easily!

The best way to defrost the bread is to allow it to sit on the counter, unopened, overnight. Meanwhile, thaw the meat mixture in the fridge simultaneously, and reheat it to be totally hot in the microwave or on the stove.

Can You Refreeze Sloppy Joes?

No, not really.

Meat cannot be refrozen as, once it has been thawed, it becomes food unsafe, and bacteria on and around it can become dangerous over time.

Reintroducing those bacteria to your freezer can make the other food in your freezer unsafe.

While the bread technically can be refrozen, you’re also very likely to see a reduction in quality over time. For instance, the bread will usually become soggier with each refreezing.

Do Sloppy Joes Freeze Well?

Yes, sloppy joes do freeze well.

The main reason is that all the constituent ingredients freeze well, and the sloppy joe meat mixture is bought together in a dense, rich way. Therefore, it doesn’t tend to degrade in the freezer.

The bread can freeze well, especially if allowed to thaw in a dry environment.

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

Can You Freeze Assembled Sloppy Joes?

Although safe to freeze, you will ruin the texture of the bread if you freeze them assembled. Instead, keep the two elements of sloppy joes apart in the freezer.

Sources

We have verified the information on this page using the following resources:

BBC Good Food

Freezer Meals 101

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