Pork chops are a friendly family dinner option, If properly cooked. Your husband proposed a family weekend dinner, it is a very good idea and the kids will love it. Then, you decide to make their favorite; Pork Chops. You make a trip to the convenience store and find the right cut, it is of great quality too with small flecks of fat to give that special flavor. You also notice that the fat is white with no dark spots, that’s healthy.
You get to the cashier and find out there is a price cut on the pork. “Why not buy two cuts instead of one” she suggests. Without thinking, you replied, “Sure, I’ll take two”. You get back home happy with your lucky find. You prepared dinner, the servings were huge. Everyone stuffed their bellies full. But you have a great deal of leftover. The next dinner would be in a few weeks and it would not keep in the refrigerator for that long. That leads to the question; Can you freeze it?
Can you freeze pork chops? Yes, you can. Freezing pork chops would preserve their best quality for 4 to 6 months. It doesn’t matter if you have cooked it or not. It can still be frozen and preserved to a later date. Pork Chops have a large cut surface so they are prone to freezer burn other than that, it’s a great idea to freeze them.
Pork chops are delicacies that are not to be wasted. So, it is a joy to be able to freeze and preserve it. Although the USDA says that any meat frozen at 0° would stay indefinitely, to preserve the flavor and get the best quality out of your pork, six months of freezing would do.
How Do You Freeze Pork Chops?
Pork chops can be frozen either raw or cooked. It makes no difference. There is no change in taste or texture. Frozen raw pork chops that have been thawed and cooked can be frozen again and be kept safe to eat. Here’s how to go about freezing Pork Chops.
Freezing Raw Pork Chops
Step 1: Bagging
Discard the butcher paper or nylon your raw pork chops came in. Pick each cut of the meat and wrap them in aluminum foil. To help prevent air from ruining your meat, you can first wrap it in plastic before adding the protective aluminum foil. Wrap each cut of meat separately. Then place each wrap into an airtight freezer container or bag.
Step 2: Storage and Freezing
Before sealing your airtight freezer bags, expel as much air as possible. Then place at the bottom of the freezer where it would not be affected by temperature fluctuations from the opening and closing of the freezer. Mark the bags with a sharpie so you can keep track of the duration of storage.
Freezing Cooked Pork Chops
Step 1: Cooling and Wrapping
After cooking, let the pork chops cool down to room temperature. Then you wrap each piece individually. If you cooked the pork chops with a sauce, you can rub in some of the sauce before wrapping so that when it freezes and thaws you have moisture. Wrap each piece tightly in aluminum foil and leave no part exposed. Place each wrap into airtight freezer bags or containers. Don’t forget to squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing.
Step 2: Freezing
After the cooked pork has been wrapped and bagged properly, all that’s left is to put the bags into the freezer. Be careful to keep the pork chops away from anything that can contaminate the flavor. Also, don’t forget to mark the date of storage with a sharpie so that you can remember to eat it before it develops freezer burn.
How to Defrost Frozen Pork Chops
If your frozen pork chops are going to the barbecue pit, just take it straight to the pit and start roasting although the cooking time might be 50% more, you don’t have to thaw overnight or in the fridge.
If your pork chops are going into a soup recipe or sauce, all you have to do is bring it out of the freezer and let it thaw overnight in the fridge.
If it is frozen cooked pork chops, you can use your microwave to defrost. Check your microwave settings for cooking meat to do that. But do not defrost frozen pork chops in a slow pot. After pork chops are thawed it is only good to eat for 4 to 5 days in the freezer.
Is it Okay to Thaw Pork on the Counter?
Bacteria present in meat can grow at an incredible rate. Although the growth of some bacteria might not signal spoilage, it can be harmful to one’s health. So, it is safer to let your pork chops defrost in the fridge where the temperature is regulated.
How Can You Tell if Pork is Spoiled?
A slice of pork that has freezer burn doesn’t necessarily mean that it has spoilt. Freezer burn can affect the quality, taste, and flavor. But that doesn’t mean that your meat is inedible.
A spoilt slice of pork will have a slimy texture and would be accompanied by an odd odor or color. If you notice that a particular piece of your stored pork looks off, check the whole bunch, and if it’s all the same, please discard it. It is very unhealthy to consume spoilt food.