One of the easiest ways to save money on chicken at the grocery store is to buy in bulk when it is on sale, but you will want to learn how to freeze chicken properly first. When done incorrectly, your chicken won’t last as long or taste as fresh. Follow these simple steps for freezing chicken the right way.
Gather Your Supplies
You will want regular sandwich bags and freezer bags. The regular sandwich bags should be the type with the sealed top. A marker and paper towels are also needed for this project. If you will need to cut the chicken first, be sure to have a cutting board and knives available as well.
Divide the Chicken
Place the package of chicken on paper towels in your kitchen—this will cut down on any drippings that might contaminate your counter. Once the package is open, place one of the regular sandwich bags on your hand like a glove. You can then pick up a piece of chicken and pull the bag around it. This keeps your hands from getting dirty during the process. Place the bag of chicken in a freezer bag, press all air out of the bag, and then seal it. Be sure to label each bag with its contents and the date that it was placed in the freezer. Repeat the process until all the chicken pieces are bagged.
Make Room in Your Freezer
You won’t want random bags of chicken throughout the freezer, so create a space for the frozen food. You can get a simple plastic container from your local discount store that can be used to keep all frozen chicken together. If you freeze a lot of different meats, sauces, and soups, you may even want to get several small containers to keep the freezer even more organized.
Cycle Through Your Frozen Chicken
Use the chicken that was frozen most recently last. This way, you will never run out of chicken that is ready to be defrosted. Typically, a whole frozen chicken is good for 9-12 months, chicken pieces—breasts, thighs, and legs—are good for about 12 months. Ground chicken won’t last as long, and usually keeps for three months. Raw chicken keeps for longer when compared to cooked chicken. Keeping track of how old the food is will help keep everyone healthy and ensure the best taste for all your meals.
Once you learn how to freeze chicken, you can head to the store and take advantage of sales as you find them. Don’t be afraid to stock up now that you know how to master the art of raw chicken storage.