Taco meat is a condiment that’s often used in tacos, burritos, and other various delicacies. The tasty meat is usually made from browning ground beef mixed with other ingredients such as tomatoes, beans, lentils, and onions.
Those who enjoy taco meat will want to make a lot of them since it takes a lot of time to prepare. After preparing them, you can store the meat in the fridge, but they tend to last only for a week or so. Would freezing taco meat be an option to extend their shelf life?
So, can you freeze taco meat? Yes, you can definitely freeze taco meat. Since the meat is cooked, it will be able to withstand the freezing temperature. Properly stored in a freezer bag that’s sealed tight, you can expect them to last for about 2 to 3 months in the freezer.
Does Taco Meat Freeze Well?
When it comes to taco meat, most meat products will freeze fine. However, what could affect the meat is the temperature of the freezer. The temperature s crucial to the quality of the meat. The meat must be properly stored to prevent air and moisture from damaging it.
The temperature should not fluctuate a lot. For most home freezers, this is something that’s not possible since the freezer is opened and closed often. Every time the freezer is open, the temperature will rise a bit. This can cause moisture to form in the bag.
How To Freeze Taco Meat?
Freezing taco meat is quite simple and doesn’t take a lot of time to prepare it. However, since this is raw meat, you’ll need to be careful handling them from preparation until they are in the freezer.
Step 1: Cooling Down
Allow the meat to cool down to room temperature. This will prevent condensation when it’s stored in the freezer. Also, it will prevent bacteria growth during freezing.
However, you’ll want to not leave them at room temperature for too long. Bacteria thrive well at room temperature. For that reason, avoid leaving the taco meat for longer than an hour after it cools down at room temperature.
Step 2: Portion the Taco Meat
Measure your taco meat and portion it into serving sizes. Doing this will prevent any leftovers as it’s not recommended to refreezing them. Recurring thaw and freezing affect the quality of the taco meat greatly.
Step 3: Storage Container
The best way to store taco meat is in a freezer bag. This will make it easier for you to remove them from the freezer. Also, it will help save a lot of space in the freezer as well.
Place the meat into the freezer and press on the bag to remove any excess air from it. Then seal the bag tightly.
Step 4: Label and Freeze the Taco Meat
With a marker, write the date of freezing on the freezer bag. This will help you know the date when to use it. If you have a lot of food frozen in the freezer, writing the date will help you a lot.
Then place the taco meat into the freezer. Avoid placing them near the freezer door where the temperature tends to fluctuate when the door is open and close. The best place is to put the meat at the far end of the freezer.
How Long Does Taco Meat Last In The Freezer?
Taco meat will last between 2 and 3 months in the freezer, depending on if it’s cooked or uncooked. Raw meat tends to last much longer than cooked meat.
When the meat is uncooked, they maintain their quality longer when frozen. For that reason, uncooked taco meat will last for about 3 months.
If you cooked the taco meat first, you can expect them to last for around 2 months. This is due to the moisture being lost during cooking.
How To Defrost Frozen Taco Meat
There are a couple of ways to defrost taco meat, but the best way is to thaw them in the fridge. This will ensure the meat is thawed evenly throughout and retain its flavor and texture.
Remove the meat from the freezer and place it onto a bowl. The bowl will help collect melted water from the meat. Let the taco meat sit overnight to thaw.
If you need to use taco meat much sooner, you three options. You can place the meat in a bowl of cool water, use the microwave, or the stovetop.
All three of these methods will cause the meat to lose its texture and flavor a bit though. You can add additional spices to bring back the flavor so.
For thawing in cool water, remove the meat from the freezer and place it directly into a bowl of water. Make sure to keep the meat sealed in the freezer bag. Every 10 minutes, replace the water until the meat is thawed.
If you’re using the microwave, place the taco meat onto a microwave-safe plate or bowl. Then add a splash of water onto the meat to keep them from drying out. Cover the bowl with a lid and heat up in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes.
The last option is to thaw the taco meat on the stovetop. Simply place the frozen meat into a skillet and heat it on low-medium heat for about 5 minutes.
Can You Refreeze Taco Meat?
It depends on how much the meat is thawed. If the taco meat has thawed to the point where it’s soft, you cannot refreeze it. Doing so will alter the texture and flavor of the meat greatly.
On the other hand, if you had a change in plan and the meat hasn’t thawed completely yet. Meaning you’ve just taken them out from the freezer for no more than 10 minutes. If that’s the case, you can simply refreeze them.
To avoid having to refreeze taco meat, it’s a good idea to freeze them in portions. This way, you’ll need to take the amount of meat you need from the freezer without having to worry about having any leftovers.
How to Tell When Frozen Taco Meat is Spoiled
Taco meat stored in the freezer does spoil. It’s either stored in the freezer for too long or it’s left to thaw for a prolonged time.
Meat that is stored in the freezer will eventually go bad the longer it’s in the freezer. This is due to the meat suffering from freezer burn. While the taco meat is safe to eat, you may not enjoy the taste and texture of it.
Another way frozen taco meat goes bad is when you leave them to thaw for too long. Meat can safely be stored in the fridge for up to 2 days once it’s completely thawed. After that, it will begin to spoil.
Can you freeze taco meat with beans?
Yes, you can freeze taco meat with beans. Both of the item freezer well. If it’s mixed in with the sauce, you can freeze them as well. Make sure to place them in an airtight container. Air and moisture that leaks in the container will cause freezer burn to the ingredients.
Is it better to freeze cooked or uncooked meat?
Uncooked meat will freeze better than cooked meat. This applies to beef, chicken, and pork meat. When the meat is cooked first, they lose a lot of the moisture and this affects how long they can be frozen. Cooked meat tends to not last very long, even if it’s properly stored. The longest you can expect cooked meat to be at their best quality is 2 months.
On the other hand, uncooked meat will last much longer since they retain most of their moisture during freezing. You can expect raw meat to stay fresh in the freezer for about 3-4 months.
A passionate cook and stay-at-home mom. Since I spend most of the time in the kitchen, keeping the pantry clean and organized is a top priority. Besides being a clean freak, I enjoy gardening, hiking and other activities under the sun.