Tips for Freezing Meat: How to Bulk Buy & Package Meat in the Freezer
Buying meat in bulk and then freezing the meat saves me money. I will show you how I prep and store bulk meat. I separate and package bulk meat into smaller meal-sized packages for the deep freezer all without any equipment, like a vacuum sealer. All you need are your baggies of choice. I find it’s the best way to freeze meat.
You’ll need bags. I use bags from Aldi, and they aren’t freezer bags. But I think the bags you use depend on how long you plan to store your meat in the freezer. I use sandwich-size bags and gallon-sized bags.
I use these bags because I don’t plan on keeping my meat in the freezer for longer than three weeks to a month. If you plan on leaving the meat in the freezer for a couple of months, I would suggest investing in Ziploc freezer bags.
These types of bags are more heavy-duty and will help your meat last longer in the freezer by preventing freezer burn from developing which can ruin the meat.
I have two packages of turkey I bought from Aldi. I put them into my fridge as soon as I got home since I didn’t have time to break them down for the freezer. I break these down by size based on what I have on my meal plan.
For example, I know I can cut each of these packages of turkey in half to make four meals.
1. Prep the bags
I’ll open four bags and have them ready to go. To make the process easier, you can get these storage bag holders with arms that hold the bags open. They could be a great investment if you do a lot of prepping bulk foods into bags.
2. Safety and hygiene
I make sure I touch the bags with the same hand only and the meat with the other hand only to keep bacteria from spreading.
After I’m done prepping one meat, I’ll wash my hands, knife, and cutting board before beginning to separate other meat. However, before I even close the bags, I’ll wash my hands.
3. Close the freezer bags
I like to close half the bag and then squeeze out the air before finishing closing the bag. Squeezing the air out of the bag keeps the meat fresher and also reduces the size of the package for a better fit in the freezer.
I have seen some people take a rolling pin and roll the meat out so it’s flat for storage. Rolling the meat out can also help it thaw faster. I don’t roll them out. All I do is use my hands to flatten them a bit and then I mark the labels on the bags.
I’m going to cut one large 2.3-pound package of ground beef in half and put them in two larger bags. I have another large 2.2-pound package of ground beef that I’ll cut into thirds.
I’m making one meal of sloppy Joe’s this month and one meal of tacos, that’s what I’ll use these two larger packages for. The other ground beef that I split into three packages will be used for other things, like Hamburger Helper, nachos, or taco salads.
1. Fill the bags
I am getting out two gallon-sized bags for my larger sections of meat. I’ll use smaller baggies for other smaller portions. Again, I’ll close the bags halfway, squeeze out the air, finish closing it, and label it.
2. Label the bags
Label the bags even if you think you'll remember what’s in them and when you put them in the freezer. It can be very helpful, especially when I’m packaging up leftovers and you can’t tell what they are when they are frozen.
I only go grocery shopping once a month. This big package of 22 hot dogs is usually gone by the end of the month. But lately, I’ve had to throw away a couple of hot dogs that got gross and grimy from sitting in the fridge and I don’t want to do that anymore. So, I”m going to split this package.
I buy these larger packages at Aldi. I’m going to take a couple of these hot dogs and throw them in a bag. Hot dogs defrost in no time at all, so it’ll be easy to pull them out when I need them. I will also put one bag in my fridge so they are ready to go.
I hope I inspired you to buy meat in bulk because it’s so easy to prep and freeze it. You can do this with any type of meat you see in the store.
You can buy a big tenderloin pork and cut that down. Use these bags to freeze whole chickens and anything you need for crockpot meals, too. Buying in bulk also helps you to reduce the number of times you have to go grocery shopping in a month.
Let me know if you buy your meat in bulk and share with us how you store it in the freezer.