How long will Q last in freezer?

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bigal

Smoking Fanatic
Original poster
OTBS Member
Sep 21, 2006
970
10
Western Kansas
I have a 4-H banquet to cook for in early November and assume I will not have time to cook it a day ahead of time. Harvest is the big hold up which will last from Oct thru mid Nov, possibly.

I'm make'n pulled pork and sliced brisket for 200, about 1/2 pork 1/2 brisket. I'd like to smoke it, slice it, and pull it in early August. Why so early, well......planting wheat and corn harvest will start late August thru Sept, then on to milo harvest thru mid Nov.

My question is: If I freeze this meat, prep'd and ready to just heat up in some roaster ovens, will the meat last(and be good) for 3 months? My guess is yes, but wanted your opinion.

Another problem is my smoker size. Will only hold 2 12# briskets or 3 butts. I also don't want to "pin" the slicing and pulling all on my wife and kids.

Thank you for your help/ideas, much appreciated.
AL
 
I would think you might want to invest in a vacuum sealer if you don't already own one.
 
Go for it Al, but would definetly get a vacuum sealer, meat will taste like ya smoked it yesterday... If your gonna freeze anyways, break your smokes down to a couple days, do it when ya can, it'll all taste fresh in Nov.
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I thought about that, Ron, but I've never used one. I thought I'd be ok w/using 2gal zip lock bags.

It might be a good time to invest in a good one.

Any ideas on a good big one? Wal-Mart? Overstock. com?

Thanks
 
Thanks Bubba, sounds like a sealer is on the list of "needs"............another smoker is just on the list of "wants".
 
BigAl
I vacuum sealed chopped pork and forgot about it in the freezer for over a year..Decided to pull it out and give it a try on a camping trip and it was just as good as the day I smoked it!!!!!I use a Foodsaver purchased at Sam's Club, Work's Great!!!
 
Food saver is the way to go, I smoke in fall and enjoy "Q" till spring and it tastes just like the day she came out of the smoker. Get the bags in rolls, that way you can custom make your own. And once you use a food saver, you will find all sorts of uses for it.
 
I agree with everyone about the food saver. Have one and love it
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. Most of my Q never makes it to the freezer though. What I do end up freezing is only for a month or so and It still tastes great.
 
You definately deserve a food saver BigAl! I can also vouch for pulled pork being good over a year. Brisket doesn't seem to hold up as well, but the time frame your talking about it would be fine.

Another tip, particularly for the pulled pork is to let it cool all the way down and freeze it in big chunks. Then, reheat it and pull and add the finishing sauce if your going to do so. I have just started doing this and it seems to help it stay nice and moist. If nothing else, it reduces the amount of surface area exposed the dreaded freezer burn attempt.
 
Al if you don't have a food saver double bag and squeeze all the air out and it'll keep easily for 6 months - use freezer bags.
 
Another trick I do when using freezer bags with the zip lock is to close almost all the way , and then suck out as much air as I can, this works very well also
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I do that alot Tim, problem is that I gotta have just one more bite............soon the bag ends up in fridge for the next meal.

Wife is going to town today and is going to pick one up at Target or Wal-mart. Have an old one her mom gave her, tried it last night............I see why it was free.
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Good idea on freeze'n chunks Chad, I never thought of that. What I have found is that when I go ahead and add the "finishing" sauce, then freeze it is always moist when we reheat. But then again, I've never had anything smoked and frozen for very long.

Thanks for all the responses! Great help! Gotta love SMF people................no one else will
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Thank you
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I do it too...Just gotta be careful with raw meat, I broke down a 3' portk loin the other day to fit into freezer bags and almost got a mouthful of raw piggy juice when I sucked the air out of the bags.
 
If you're going to buy a food saver, make sure you get one with the "new" wider sealing strip and the instant vacuum stop button. I used to have problems w/the seal breaking while in the freezer w/ my old one, but not w/ the new one.

I freeze brisket a lot. I've kept it for over a year in vacpac bags. One thing I've found that helps is to put the brisket back together after you slice it and wrap it in plastic wrap before you bag it. If you don't, the slices can get broken up over time in the vacpac.

Easy reheat is to thaw in the fridge for a couple days, then place in
200* water for an hour or two before serving. At 200*, the meat will be nice and hot, but it won't overcook.

Tim
 
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