Pork chop makes a delicious meal for dinner or during a BBQ. This meat is tender and full of flavors. Most people will buy a couple of pork chops to cook and store at home for later. Pork chop tends to last for about a week in the fridge. If you need to store them longer than that, would freezing pork chop be an option?
Can you freeze pork chops? Yes, you can freeze pork chops, whether it’s cooked or uncooked. Properly stored, pork chops can last 4 to 6 months. From preparing to storing the meat, extra caution is needed to handle it. Improper handling could lead to bacteria contamination, which could make you sick.
Does Pork Chop Freeze Well?
Pork chops freeze very well due to their high moisture content. However, raw pork chop tends to last much longer than cooked pork chops.
When pork chop is cooked, most of the moisture is removed from the meat. Less moisture means it’s more prone to freezer burn. For that reason, it’s best to use frozen cooked pork within 2-3 months.
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Pork chops can be frozen, either cooked or raw. It doesn’t change the flavor or the texture as long as you prepare it correctly.
Freezing Raw Pork Chops
Step 1: Bagging
Once the pork chop is cut, place each cut of the meat in an aluminum foil. Wrap the foil around once or twice.
For added protection, especially if you’re going to store them for longer than a month, you can wrap them in a cling wrapper.
It’s best to wrap each cut separately, so it’ll be easier for you to remove them from the freezer.
Step 2: Storage Container
Place each cut into a freezer bag. You can add a couple of pork chops into a bag.
Once placed in the bag, squeeze the bag to remove any excess air from it. The less the air is in the bag, the less likely the pork chop will suffer freezer burn.
Step 3: Label and Freezing
Using a marker, write down the date of freezing on the freezer bag. Then place the pork chop into the freezer. It’s best to place them at the back of the freezer, where it’s less likely to be affected by fluctuations in temperature.
Freezing Cooked Pork Chops
If you have some leftovers from a meal, freezing cooked pork chop is a great way to store them for later.
Step 1: Cool Down
After the pork chop is cooked, allow the meat to cool down to room temperature. This is necessary to prevent condensation when the meat is stored in the freezer. Water moisture will form and cause damage to the pork chop.
In addition, the warm temperature will cause the freezer’s temperature to rise and thaw other foods stored there.
Step 2: Wrapping
Once the pork chop is cooled down, you can rub in some sauce before wrapping.
Then wrap each pork chop in aluminum foil. Make sure no part of the meat is exposed.
Step 3: Storage
Place the wrapped pork chop into a freezer bag. You can add a couple of them in a single bag, but make sure it’s not cramped.
Step 4: Label and Freeze
With a marker, write down the date of freezing on the freezer bag. If you’re planning to reuse the plastic bag, use paper tape on it. Tear a piece of paper tape and tape it to the freezer. Write down the date and place it in the freezer.
How Long Can You Freeze Pork Chops?
You can leave pork chop in the freezer for up to 6 months. Raw pork chops tend to last much longer due to having a lot of moisture.
Cooked pork chop, on the other hand, has less moisture. This means it will usually last for about 4 months.
After that time, the quality of the meat will start to deteriorate. You’ll still be able to eat it, though, but it won’t taste as good as it should.
How Do You Defrost Pork Chops?
For pork chops that are going to be used in soup recipes, you can let it thaw in the fridge. Simply take the meat out of the freezer, place it onto a plate, and pop it into the fridge. Leave it in the fridge overnight or for about 6 hours before using it.
If the pork chops are going to be used on the grill, no thawing is needed. Take the meat from the freezer and directly place it onto the BBQ grill. It may take 50% more time to cook it.
For cooked pork chops, if you can’t wait for them to thaw, you can use the microwave. This is not the best way to defrost pork chops since the quality of it will be affected.
Remove the pork chop from the freezer, unwrap the foil, and place it onto a plate. Then put the pork chop into the microwave. Set the setting to “defrost” and microwave the meat for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, flip the pork chop over and heat it for another 5 minutes.
Is It Safe To Thaw Pork on the Counter?
Whether the pork chop is cooked or raw, you should never thaw it on the counter. Defrosting pork at room temperature could potentially cause contamination of bacteria.
Bacteria thrive well in warm temperatures, and the countertop makes it an excellent place for that.
Therefore, it’s best to thaw pork chop in the fridge to prevent bacteria from growing.
Can You Refreeze Pork Chops?
It depends on how thawed the pork chops are. If the meat is removed from the freezer and place into the fridge for less than 10 minutes, you can refreeze them.
On the other hand, if the pork chops have thawed already, it’s best to not refreeze it. Doing so will cause the texture and flavor of the meat to alter. Once the pork chop is thawed, the meat will become very soggy and have no flavors.
Other Questions about Pork Chops
Can you freeze pork chops in marinade?
Yes, you can freeze pork chops in the marinade. The best way to do this is to marinate the meat and immediately place them into the freezer bag. Let the pork chop marinate while they’re defrosting.
When thawing pork chop, you can submerge the frozen meat in cold water. Make sure to leave them in the freezer bag, and it’s sealed tightly. It should be completely thawed within a couple of hours. Alternatively, you can defrost them in the fridge overnight as well.