Lamb is one type of popular meat that can be used in a variety of different ways. It can be cooked, steamed, or grilled. If you enjoy cooking lamb, you may sometimes end up with leftovers. While you can store them in the fridge, they will only stay fresh for a couple of days. What if you need to store cooked lamb longer. Would the freezer be an option?
Can you freeze cooked lamb? Yes, you can freeze cooked lamb, both cooked and uncooked. It’s best to freeze lamb meat that is fresh and uncooked since it will be at its best quality. Cooked lamb that is frozen will cause the meat to change in texture and lose some of its flavors.
Does Cooked Lamb Freeze Well?
Yes, cooked lamb freeze very well and can last for several months if it’s properly stored.
If you’ve purchased lamb meat from the store, try to purchase the freshest lamb meat. On the package, it will usually have an expiry date on it. Make sure it’s well before that to ensure that it will freeze well in the freezer.
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When it comes to freezing cooked lamb, it’s simple and doesn’t require much time prepping them.
Below are the steps to prepping and freezing cooked lamb. It’s divided into several sections to make it easier to remember.
Step 1: Prepare the Lamb
There are many different methods to cooking lamb, just as long as it’s not soaked in sauce and liquids. If it is, you’ll need to take extra steps to prep it before it can be stored in the freezer.
Other than that, cooked lamb that is seasoned or has no seasoning at all will require no additional prepping.
The cooked lamb can either be frozen as a whole or shredded into small pieces. Freezing whole cooked lamb is recommended since it will retain its moisture and texture better than shredded meat.
Whether you choose to freeze whole cooked or shredded lamb, it should stay fresh for up to 3 months in the freezer.
Step 2: Choose a Container For Storing Cooked Lamb
When choosing a container, it should be approved for freezer usage. This can either be an airtight container or a freezer bag. As long as it’s made for freezer usage, you should be fine using it.
If using an airtight container, make sure that it’s large enough to store the cooked lamb inside it. This option is perfect for whole or shredded lamb. You can stack the meat on top of each other, but try to limit it to 3 cooked lamb in each container.
If you decide to use a freezer bag instead, it’s recommended for whole cooked lamb only. It will be a bit difficult to store shredded lamb meat as there’s no structure to hold them in place. This will result in the meat being crushed.
Additionally, when using a freezer bag, you should also wrap the cooked lamb in aluminum foil. This will help the meat retain its moisture and flavor while it’s frozen.
Step 3: Pack and Seal
This is the final step before storing the cooked lamb in the freezer. It’s best to store them in portions depending on how much of the meat you’ll be using.
By storing them in small portions, that will ensure that the cooked lamb will not go to waste.
For both the airtight container and freezer bag, make sure they are sealed properly and have no leaks. Just a small leak could allow air into the container or bag and cause the cooked lamb to get freezer burn.
How Long Does Cooked Lamb Last in the Freezer?
Cooked lamb will stay fresh for about 2-3 months in the freezer. This is only if it’s properly stored and prepped first. Without prepping and storing them in the proper container, they will not last very long.
How Do You Defrost Cooked Lamb?
To defrost cooked lamb, the recommended method is to place them into the fridge. Unlike uncooked lamb, cooked lamb doesn’t require a lot of time to defrost. It takes just about 20 minutes for a cooked lamb to thaw completely and be ready to be used.
If you need cooked lamb much quicker, you can place them into the microwave for 4-5 minutes. After 5 minutes, if the meat appears to be dry, add a bit of water and heat it again for another 2 minutes.
Can You Refreeze Cooked Lamb?
When cooking lamb meat, you may sometimes end up with leftovers. Since the lamb meat is already cooked, you can refreeze them without any issue.
Be careful not to keep the cooked lamb sitting at room temperature for too long. Whether it’s cooked or uncooked, bacteria growth occurs when the temperature is warm.
For that reason, if the cooked lamb is stored on the kitchen table for longer an hour, you should not refreeze it.
Can Frozen Cooked Lamb Go Bad?
Yes, frozen cooked lamb can go bad. This is usually due to the lamb being kept in the freezer for a prolonged period of time, or it’s left to thaw for too long.
The shelf life of cooked lamb in the freezer is about 2-3 months, depending on how well you’ve prepped and stored it. After that time, the cooked lamb will start to deteriorate in quality.
Once the cooked lamb has been in the freezer for 6 months or longer, it will start to get freezer burn. This will cause the quality of the meat to decrease dramatically. More than likely, it will not have any flavor to it and the meat will become chewy when it’s thawed.
Besides that, leaving the cooked lamb to thaw for too long can cause them to go bad as well. In the fridge, the lamb will thaw in about 20 minutes. If you’re not planning to eat it yet, you can store it for up to 2 days in the fridge. After that, the cooked lamb will start to go bad.
Leaving them outside the fridge will cause them to go bad much quicker. Bacteria thrive in warm temperatures, and storing them at room temperature will cause bacteria growth quickly. Once it’s thawed, it’s recommended to never leave cooked lamb out at room temperature for longer than an hour.
Other Questions about Cooked Lamb
Can you freeze cooked lamb meatball?
Yes, you can freeze lamb meatball, either with the sauce or without it. Before freezing it, make sure it’s cooked thoroughly and cooled down completely first.
Can you freeze cooked lamb soup?
Yes, cooked lamb soup can be frozen. Due to the high water content in soup, it will freeze well. Before freezing it, make sure the lamb soup is cooled completely first. Then place it in an airtight container and seal the lid tightly.
Can you freeze lamb chops?
Yes, you can freeze lamb chops. You can either freeze them raw or cooked. Whichever way you choose, ensure that it is well wrapped in aluminum foil or plastic wrap and then placed into a freezer bag. This will ensure the air doesn’t get in and dry out the meat. Also, it will retain the moisture and flavor of the lamb chop.