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Freezing your smoked meats???

Discussion in 'Slicers, Grinders, Tools, Equipment' started by pellet, Jun 7, 2014.

  1. The wife took some pork chops that I smoked to work last week and when she heated it in the microwave the aroma filled the room. A co- worker of hers asked if it was smoked and wanted to know if I would smoke some meat for her which I was glad to.
    The suggestion was to do some Iowa Chops, chicken and a pork loin. She offered to pay but the wife just knew I wouldn't want any pay. (Right)! Anyhow I will be doing the meat on Sunday and the lady plans to freeze it for future use. Is this ok to do and will it keep in the freezer? How should I prep it for the freezer when it is done? Freezer bags? I personally like to eat what I smoke as soon as its done and then savor the left overs. Never froze a cooked chicken I guess. Any suggestions?
  2. forluvofsmoke

    forluvofsmoke Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    If you or she have a vacuum sealer, that's your best choice for frozen smoked meats. They will keep for several months (and then some) in a freezer at stable temps when properly vac-sealed. For shorter term storage, freezer bags will work, properly used...squeeze all the air out of the bag as you zip it closed, forming the bag around the food tightly and removing any voids between pieces of food, as well as between the food and the bag. This should store for about a month at stable freezer temps...some will last longer. The main issue with freezer storage is freezer burn, and two things can contribute to this: air in the package and unstable temps...either one will draw moisture from the meat and condense it on the surface of the package and food....the two working in combination can wreak havoc in short order. The packages also can be damaged while rummaging through the freezer looking for something, and at that point, the freezer burn will begin, as air will eventually begin entering the package.

    I have found vac-sealed packages of smoked meats that were over 3 years old...no issues. I have also found freezer bags of similar meats that were over one year old...no issues with them either. BUT, that's not usually what I will find. Freezer burn does not mean it's not edible, it's just not in as good of condition as you would like it to be. It will be noticeably dryer when reheated, or when thawed and eaten cold, but it's not the end of the smoked & frozen meat.

  3. cmayna

    cmayna Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes, vacuum seal is the way to go.   Just don't assume they will last forever.  Periodically your friend should check her inventory of frozen meats just to make sure that each package looks nice and sealed still.  Once in a while I have found a package that somehow has developed a hole which allows air in that starts to ruin the contents.  Those packages are immediately pulled and used.
  4. Thanks for the replies. I know I had seen this discussed on the forum before but could not find the thread.

     I will make sure the wife tells her to vac seal it. I am comfortable freezing the pork loins and chops but was nervous about the chicken. I always have been and became sick twice over the years from poultry, so I am wary of it always.

     Like I said, I like to smoke it and eat it. I was thinking that maybe I would take the pork to a lower allowable temp in the medium rare range so that it can be reheated in the oven or on the grill.
  5. I vac seal all my smoked leftovers as well.  Keeps them from getting freezer burn.   It's just 4 of us here so when dad decides to do a 12# Butt you KNOW there will be leftovers [​IMG]

  6. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    yeap... vac seal them. When I smoke I try to cook enough so I have a couple more meals that I can freeze and eat later down the road.
  7. It's just me here at the farm, I load my smoker up when I cook. Brisket, pork tenderloin, chicken, fatties, slice it into portions and vacuum seal it. Makes for easy lunches on the job site and dinners.
  8. Sholzman

    Sholzman Newbie

    Is there any length of time you want to wait to put it in the freezer?
  9. gmc2003

    gmc2003 Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Don't vacuum seal hot meat. I usually slice and seal the next day and then pop it into the freezer. Once the meat is at room temp or cooler you should be good to go. You don't want to make your freezer work harder then it needs to.

  10. uncle eddie

    uncle eddie Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Yes to vac-seal as well

    I especially vac seal my leftover pulled pork to add to pork and beans (boring).

    I make pork and pork and pork and beans (amazing)
  11. retfr8flyr

    retfr8flyr Smoking Fanatic OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    I like to do multiple butts, 3-4, when I cook them. We usually just pull one and freeze the others. I let them cool and I pull the bone and cut each one in half. I then vac seal the halves and freeze them. When it's time for more BBQ, I just heat the vac bag in my sous vide container at 160° for about an hour. It comes out nice and I can then pull it. A half is enough for us with leftovers, if we are by ourselves. I have found it comes out much better this way, then pulling it first and then sealing it.
  12. BigTurtle

    BigTurtle Smoke Blower

    I do it all the time and use the vacuum sealer.
  13. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster OTBS Member

    There are very few things that we don't Vac Seal & freeze.
    Cheese is one of them.

  14. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    If you don't have a vacuum sealer, this is a next-best way to use a ziploc bag for freezing food:

    uncle eddie likes this.