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Old 03-27-2015, 04:17 PM   #1
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Freezing Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts?

OK, so my local Sprouts has boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale for 1.69 per pound.

I eat a lot of those, and I'd like to stock up. I'm thinking I want to buy a bunch of them, and freeze them, but I have some questions.

First, everything I see on freezing chicken breasts has me using plastic, and ziplock bags. I hate the waste of that. I was wondering if I could use Tupperware containers? If not, is there a way to do it that doesn't involve putting so much non-recyclable plastic into the landfill?

Second, how long will they keep in the freezer?

Thanks,

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Old 03-27-2015, 04:26 PM   #2
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I wrap the individual breasts in waxed paper. Then I freeze them individually and drop them into a zip lock bag. That way they are easy to remove one at a time. As long as nothing leaks into that zip lock bag, I reuse it. The meat hasn't touched the inside of the bag. It won't keep as long this way as if the individual pieces are vacuum sealed. They will get freezer burned after a while. I don't remember how long.

If they get a little bit freezer burned, I use them in something with a lot of sauce or in soup. If they get badly freezer burned, I add them to the pot when I am making chicken stock. Or, I cut off the badly freezer burned bits and add them to the stock pot.
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Old 03-27-2015, 04:32 PM   #3
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Freezing Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts?

Sean, I have a confession to make. I just freeze the chicken breasts in the store packaging with the plastic wrap and styrofoam tray. I defrost them for a few minutes in the microwave, and whack them up while they're still partially frozen.

I've dug them out a year later, and they've been fine. I usually try to buy them partially or fully frozen.
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Old 03-27-2015, 04:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dawgluver View Post
Sean, I have a confession to make. I just freeze the chicken breasts in the store packaging with the plastic wrap and styrofoam tray. I defrost them for a few minutes in the microwave, and whack them up while they're still partially frozen.

I've dug them out a year later, and they've been fine. I usually try to buy them partially or fully frozen.
I have done that too, especially when I'm feeling lazy. I also do it when they have already gotten near the use by date and they are still in the fridge waiting to be dealt with.
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:11 PM   #5
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Wow. That's good news.

What about when you buy them in bulk, and there are 6-10 in a package?

I live alone, and go through about 5, or 6 chicken breasts in a week. I currently take the chicken breasts out of the packaging once it's been opened and store them in a pyrex container with a lid that seals tightly.

By the 5th, or 6th day, I've noticed the chicken breasts are looking a little dark, and maybe don't taste quite as good.

I was thinking about storing them in 2s, or 3s in sealed Tupperware-type containers and thawing out one at a time.

Bueno?
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Old 03-27-2015, 06:16 PM   #6
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Freezing Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts?

Muy bueno. You can even cover them in some water or broth and freeze.
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Old 03-27-2015, 06:18 PM   #7
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Sean

Don't keep fresh chicken breasts for 6 days. Freeze them.

The way you freeze them depends on how picky you are when they are thawed and cooked. The best way in terms of taste and texture is to wrap them tightly individually in plastic wrap and then put in a ziplock with all the air sucked out. Ziplocks can be reused forever


Or a foods saver.

If you don't individualy wrap them tightly they can dry out and get freezer burn.

Like you, I also buy a bunch of chix breasts in bulk to eat individually. You probably need to take them home and process them individually. They are much easier to manage on an individual basis. You don't want to defrost a bunch and have them sitting in the fridge if you aren't going to eat them.

Like I said, ziplocks can be recycled forever. If you don't want to use plastic wrap, use something else to keep the breasts separated from each other so you can remove them frozen one by one. Then put in a ziplock and seal as tightly as you can.
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Old 03-27-2015, 08:32 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by SeanCan'tCook View Post
Wow. That's good news.

What about when you buy them in bulk, and there are 6-10 in a package?

I live alone, and go through about 5, or 6 chicken breasts in a week. I currently take the chicken breasts out of the packaging once it's been opened and store them in a pyrex container with a lid that seals tightly.

By the 5th, or 6th day, I've noticed the chicken breasts are looking a little dark, and maybe don't taste quite as good.

I was thinking about storing them in 2s, or 3s in sealed Tupperware-type containers and thawing out one at a time.

Bueno?
Yes, fine. They may get freezer burn from not being packed away from the air but they won't do you any harm as long as they were good when they went I into the freezer.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:03 PM   #9
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I understand your desire to avoid overuse of plastics. However, any savings you realize from the purchase of BS chicken breasts can be lost through improper storage. Freezer burn won't ruin a chicken breast but will compromise quality.

I recommend tightly wrapping each portion in plastic, freezing them and sealing multiple portions in a ziplock freezer bag. I have a rule to NOT reuse ziplock bags that held raw chicken to minimize the risk of contamination.

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Old 03-28-2015, 11:29 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by SeanCan'tCook View Post
OK, so my local Sprouts has boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale for 1.69 per pound.

I eat a lot of those, and I'd like to stock up. I'm thinking I want to buy a bunch of them, and freeze them, but I have some questions.

First, everything I see on freezing chicken breasts has me using plastic, and ziplock bags. I hate the waste of that. I was wondering if I could use Tupperware containers? If not, is there a way to do it that doesn't involve putting so much non-recyclable plastic into the landfill?

Second, how long will they keep in the freezer?

Thanks,
They need to be wrapped tightly if they are going to be frozen for any length of time. If air can get to the surface, they will get freezer burn. This is the point of vacuum packaging. The ones I get that are bagged and frozen don't burn because they somehow have a water coating that turns to ice when they are flash frozen and protects against that. This is why I usually buy bagged frozen chicken parts (wings, thighs, breast) when I want them to last for a while. Then never seem to get freezer burn.
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Old 03-28-2015, 11:36 AM   #11
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Ziplock bags can be washed and reused, just like containers.

We vacuum pack anything bought in bulk, in meal sized portions. You can avoid buying a vacuum packer and get reasonable, not great results with ziplocks (not the slider kind) and a large pot of water. Put the food in, close the bag up except for a little bit at a corner, squeeze as much air out as you can, then slowly dip the bag in the water letting it push more air out and just before the open corner goes under close the bag.

This method won't get air out of pockets than can't be completely collapse, but it does pretty well.

We opted for a vacuum packer.
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankZ View Post
Ziplock bags can be washed and reused, just like containers.

We vacuum pack anything bought in bulk, in meal sized portions. You can avoid buying a vacuum packer and get reasonable, not great results with ziplocks (not the slider kind) and a large pot of water. Put the food in, close the bag up except for a little bit at a corner, squeeze as much air out as you can, then slowly dip the bag in the water letting it push more air out and just before the open corner goes under close the bag.

This method won't get air out of pockets than can't be completely collapse, but it does pretty well.

We opted for a vacuum packer.
I'm going to have to try that one of these days. When you mention air pockets and completely collapse, is that because the zip lock plastic is kinda thick and not completely flexible?
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:20 PM   #13
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Ziplock bags can be washed and reused, just like containers.

We vacuum pack anything bought in bulk, in meal sized portions. You can avoid buying a vacuum packer and get reasonable, not great results with ziplocks (not the slider kind) and a large pot of water. Put the food in, close the bag up except for a little bit at a corner, squeeze as much air out as you can, then slowly dip the bag in the water letting it push more air out and just before the open corner goes under close the bag.

This method won't get air out of pockets than can't be completely collapse, but it does pretty well.

We opted for a vacuum packer.
That's a smart trick!!
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Old 03-28-2015, 09:22 PM   #14
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I'm going to have to try that one of these days. When you mention air pockets and completely collapse, is that because the zip lock plastic is kinda thick and not completely flexible?
Sometimes you have things that just wouldn't let the bag collapse completely, for example something with a weird shape.
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Old 03-28-2015, 09:36 PM   #15
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When I wrap the individual piece of any meat, I run my hand around the edges and make sure the wrap is touching the product and there is no air there. When I take the item from the freezer, I never see frost or any freezer burn. I do use the plastic wrap on all my meats first, then into a zippy bag. When I have removed the last piece from the zippy bag, I do wash it in hot soapy water and rinse with cold to make sure all soap residue has been removed.

And like Frank says, make sure all the air has been removed. I use a straw on the zippy bag.
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Old 03-29-2015, 02:39 AM   #16
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I use a plastic sandwich bag for each breast, knowing I'm saving the landfill from my lack of disposable items in many other areas of my life. I like my chicken breast clean-clean, no trace of silver membrane, fat, or tiny strip of cartilage. When I get a bulk pack home, I trim up each breast, give it a gentle rinse and lay on a piece of paper towel that is on my largest serving platter. I continue to trim/rinse/dry each breast until they are all done. Then, after washing my hands, I pull out a zip sandwich bag for each breast, open it and fold it half-down, and slip a breast into each bag, pulling the sides up to cover it. When they are all in their bags, I wash my hands (they are almost chapped by the time I'm done ) and then squeeze each bag as I zip the closure. Once they are all sealed, I put several in a larger, freezer zip bag, date the bag, and freeze. I then take out as many as I need to defrost. I've used breasts that have been in the freezer for 6-8 months or longer and they taste just-bought when I take them out to use. Since every little bit of prep cleaning was done, I can pull a breast out, defrost it a bit in the microwave, and fix supper.

Needless to say, when I am all done cleaning chicken and have it put away, I wipe everything down with something that has bleach. I even do a quick swipe over the platter before putting it into the dishwasher. Trash out, fresh towel for hands on the hook, and I'm done.
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Old 03-29-2015, 08:28 AM   #17
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I'm with you CG. I am a chemist by trade with lots of experience in Mirco organism. In the food industry, Salmonella is one of the bad boys. I hear lots of people say "my mother never did all this....with chicken". That may be true, but the start of any micro organism issue begins at the chicken production site. Which we cannot control or know if all procedures were followed for that one piece of chicken sitting in front of us. You will never go wrong following the proper protocols of handling and storing raw poultry. You may waste a few zip lock bags, some bleach, paper towels, and some labor. But it will only take one good case of volcanic colon cleansing to change your mind.
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