Can You Freeze Cooked Pork?

Pork is the most-consumed animal protein in the world. However, given the size of many pork joints, you’re likely to find yourself with considerable leftovers that you’re not sure what to do with.

Unless you’re planning to eat your leftovers over the following couple of days, it’s best to freeze them and take them out whenever you’re ready to enjoy them. Let’s take a look at how to safely freeze cooked pork.

The Quick Answer

Yes, you can freeze cooked pork. Cooked pork can be frozen for around 3 months. If you’re planning to use your cooked pork within a few days, you can wrap and refrigerate them in portion sizes and take them out whenever you’re ready to enjoy them.

How to Freeze Cooked Pork

Freezing cooked pork is different from freezing fresh pork. You need to be extra careful when your meat is already cooked and be aware that it won’t last as long as fresh pork will when frozen.

The good news is that it’s not too difficult to freeze cooked pork, and you can learn exactly how to do it by following the simple steps listed below:

  1. Leave to Cool
    It’s vital that you leave your cooked pork to cool before transferring it to the freezer. Equally, you shouldn’t leave it on the countertop for too long, as doing so will allow bacteria to start growing on the surface of the pork. When it’s at room temperature, you can prepare it for freezing.
  2. Separate Into Portions
    Depending on your cut of pork, you will want to separate it into portions before freezing it. If you don’t do this, you will have to defrost it as a whole and use it all at once.
  3. Wrap Tightly
    Before placing it in the freezer, consider double wrapping your pork. First, place it into some film wrap and then place each portion into a freezer-safe, sealable bag.
  4. Label
    Once you have your cooked pork wrapped and ready to place in the freezer, make sure you label it. It’s a good idea to write the date you cooked it, as well as the use-by date, as it can be difficult to remember when it should be used by when you go to take it out of the freezer.

4 Tips for Freezing Cooked Pork

Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 4 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing cooked pork to have the best results:

  • Fresh Pork Freezes Longer – While you should only freeze cooked pork for around three months, you can freeze fresh pork for up to six months. Therefore, if you want your pork joint to last longer, consider cutting it before you cook it and freeze the part that you’re not going to use right away.
  • Refrigerated Pork Tastes Better – Cooked pork can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-5 days after being cooked. Therefore, if you plan on using it relatively soon after you have cooked it, you can keep it in the fridge. This will help preserve the taste, as putting the pork in the freezer will affect the meat’s overall taste.
  • Slice in Advance – If you have a large pork joint that you wish to freeze, slicing it in advance can save you time and effort. However, bear in mind that you will be increasing the pork’s surface area when you cut it, meaning it will affect the taste of the meat once it has defrosted.
  • Be Careful of Bones – If your particular pork cut has any sharp bones, make sure you carefully wrap them to ensure they don’t pierce the film that’s covering your meat.

How Long Can You Freeze Cooked Pork?

As is the case with all cooked meats, you have to be particularly careful when freezing cooked pork. As mentioned, don’t leave it uncovered on the countertop for too long, or you will allow bacteria to grow on the surface.

As soon as it’s down to room temperature, wrap it up and transfer it to the refrigerator (short term) or freezer (long term). Cooked pork can last in the freezer for up to three months.

Should you wish to preserve your pork for longer when frozen, consider freezing it before cooking, as fresh pork can be frozen for up to six months.

You Can Freeze Cooked Pork for up to 3 Months

How Do You Defrost Cooked Pork?

The best way to defrost cooked pork is in the refrigerator. With meat, you have to be careful when defrosting, as mishandling can lead to contamination.

Transfer it straight from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator the night before you plan to use it. Don’t leave cooked pork to defrost on your countertop overnight.

Can You Refreeze Cooked Pork?

Once food is thawed in the refrigerator, it is safe to refreeze it without cooking, although there may be a reduction in overall quality due to the moisture lost in the thawing out process.

What’s more, after cooking raw foods which were previously frozen, it is safe to freeze the cooked food. However, you must be careful with meat, and if it shows any signs at all of going bad, it’s best to throw it away and not take the risk.

Does Cooked Pork Freeze Well?

Cooked pork freezes well if you take care to cover it appropriately. It lasts in the freezer for up to three months and can be defrosted overnight. You should have no problems freezing pork if you follow the guidelines outlined in this post.

Related FAQs

If you’ve still got questions about freezing cooked pork or pork in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Sausages?

Sausages can be frozen, cooked and uncooked. Sausages should be sealed in thick freezer bags before being placed in the freeze. If you have an unopened packet of sausages, then you can usually freeze these straightaway. You can check the bag of the packet to be sure. 

Can You Freeze Sausages

Can You Freeze Cooked Pork Chops?

The method above for freezing cooked pork applies to all cuts of pork. You can freeze cooked pork chops, cooked pork shoulder, cooked gammon, cooked bacon… Any cut and any pork will work well for freezing. 

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