Before you freeze it, make sure you know how long it can linger. We stuff our freezers on the daily and forget expiration dates—which is why a quick and dirty guide is what you need to keep frozen food as fresh as possible and not keep it past its quality time.
Of course, you’ll need to ensure that you’re freezing everything properly and following the generally advised freezing periods for each item so you’re not keeping items past the point of freezer burn. Getting the most out of our groceries and pantry items is key, so grab a pen and take note!
Just how long can you keep food frozen? Check out our easy guide below.
Let’s Break It Down: Different Types & Timelines
As an easy rule to follow, most food can stick around for 3–6 months in the freezer without any issues. Scientifically speaking, frozen temps stop the growth of bacteria, so you’re good to go indefinitely. But we always want the best quality possible and that’s where the below timelines come in handy.
Freezing your breads creates a much longer life and keeps the mold away. Here’s how long you can freeze different kinds of bread:
Baked breads | 1 to 3 months
Baked cakes (cupcakes) | 1 to 3 months
Baked pies | 1 to 3 months
Baked cookies | 6 months
Cookie dough | 6 months
Baked muffins | 6 months
Pancakes/Waffles | 1 to 3 months
Freezing Fruits & Vegetables
Fruits can be frozen as is without any issues. Veggies should be cut and cored to make cooking easier later. Blanch all veggies to retain color and nutrients!
Vegetables | 1 year
Fruit with pits (cherries, plums, etc) | 9 months to 1 year
All berries | 9 months to 1 year
Bananas | 9 months to 1 year
Apples | 9 months to 1 year
Citrus fruits | 3 months
Freezing Cheese & Other Dairy Products
Be careful with your dairy. Shelled eggs cannot be frozen.
Soft cheeses | Not recommended for freezing
All cheeses | Up to 6 months
Milk | 6 months
Yogurt | 2 months
Butter | 6 to 9 months
Freezing Soups & Stews
Some of the easiest items to freeze and reuse later are soups and stews. Freeze them, and put them away for a rainy day!
Soups | up to 3 months
Stews | up to 5 months
Freezing Pasta & Pizza
These are the best leftovers and easy to freeze. Use airtight containers.
Pasta | 1 to 3 months
Pizza | 1 month
When you double the recipe, you can freeze it all for a later date!
Casseroles with eggs | 1 to 3 months
Casseroles without eggs | 3 months
Vacuum seal your seafood to keep the air out.
Lobster or crab | 10 months to 1 year
Fresh shrimp or scallops | 3 to 6 months
Cooked fish | 6 months
Freezing Cooked & Uncooked Meats
Cooked meats should be prepared to freeze after they have completely cooled off.
Ground beef, turkey, or pork | 3 to 4 months
Steaks | 1 to 2 months
Ham | 1 to 2 month
Uncooked meats should be wrapped in freezer wrap (not plastic wrap).
Ground beef, turkey, pork, chicken | 1 to 2 months
Chicken or turkey | 6 months to 1 year
Steaks | 6 months to 1 year
Ham | 6 months
Tips & Tricks For Freezing Your Food
Not only should you follow the timelines provided above, but you should also follow these tips and tricks to ensure the best quality freeze:
As previously mentioned, freezing eggs is a no-no. They will expand inside the shell and cause a huge mess in the freezer—don’t do it!
When freezing liquid of any kind, be sure to include space in the container for expansion.
Write the date on the container so you remember how long you have left for the best quality. Organize the freezer by food type as well.
Use freezer bags and wrap food to avoid freezer burn.
Use vacuum sealing. It will always get the job done properly if you’re questioning any other packaging for the freezer.
Keep the freezer closed, especially if the power goes out. You don’t want warm air inside.
Once you thaw out your frozen food in the refrigerator, for the most part, it’s safe to refreeze. But know that the quality won’t be on par with when it’s fresh or frozen the first time.