Let’s face it, freezer space is prime real estate. If you are severely limited on freezer space I recommend giving priority to freezing meat. Buying a little extra meat when it is on sale and freezing it will help you save a lot of money on your grocery bills.
If you are like me, you often forget to take the meat out of the freezer the night before. If you freeze meat in its original packaging, the meat freezes in one big chunk, and it takes much longer to defrost. Then you have to spend time trimming and cutting the meat.
I’ve learned that if I do a little prep work before I freeze meat I save myself a lot of time when I am ready to use the meat later. Not to mention I also reduce the risk that my meat will become freezer burnt.
For steak, I either wrap each steak individually in plastic wrap, wax paper, or butcher paper, and then place it in a gallon size freezer bag, or I slice the meat (like for fajitas and stir fry) and freeze the meat slices in a quart size freezer bag.
When slicing meat, always slice against the grain. This makes it more tender.
Trim any connective tissue and fat.
Freeze in portions. For my family of five, I freeze between 1 and 1 1/2 pound portions of beef. Don’t forget to label with content and date!
Before closing the bag, be sure to squeeze as much air our of it as possible. Air is the enemy!!! If you don’t have much air in the bag, your meat will stay fresh in the freezer for 3-4 months (and sometimes longer).
EXTRA Time saving tip: If you have a favorite marinade, mix it up and pour it over your meat before freezing. All that extra time bathing in marinade will make your meat super flavorful. Just be cautious with overly acidic marinades as it could turn your meat into mush.
For chicken or pork, the process is the same. Trim the meat of fat or connective tissue. Cut in strips or chunks and freeze in plastic storage bags. If you want to freeze whole chicken breasts or pork chops wrap each individually in plastic wrap or wax paper and freeze in a large freezer bag.