Schnitzel is a traditional German/Austrian dish made, traditionally, from chicken or pork. It can be made from any meat – pounded thinly, breaded, and fried. But, is it possible to store schnitzel in the freezer successfully?
Can You Freeze Schnitzel?
Yes, you can freeze schnitzel for up to 6 weeks. Be sure to freeze each schnitzel individually before packing for long-term storage, and cook them after thawing for the best texture.
Can You Refreeze Schnitzel? No
Does Schnitzel Freeze Well? Sometimes
How to Freeze Schnitzel
To freeze schnitzel, there are a few steps to bear in mind. They’re all perfectly simple, and give you great results every time:
- Make the Dish, But Don’t Cook it: You simply need to follow your recipe but stop a little earlier than you might have thought. Pound the meat out thinly, before flouring and breading. But, don’t place it in the hot oil, which would begin the cooking process.
- Place Each Schnitzel Separately on a Baking Sheet: The best way to do this is to line a baking sheet with foil or baking paper, before placing each schnitzel on the sheet, ensuring that they’re not overlapping or touching.
- Freeze the Schnitzels Separately: Place each baking sheet in the freezer, and allow the schnitzels to freeze all the way through in the freezer – it’s best to wait overnight for this step to complete. Waiting overnight will ensure the schnitzels are completely frozen before moving on.
- Pack the Schnitzels for Long-Term Storage: Remove the frozen schnitzels from the baking sheets, and then stack them up inside freezer bags. Double bag the stacks of schnitzels to prevent freezer burn.
3 Tips for Freezing Schnitzel
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing schnitzel to have the best results:
Freeze Before Cooking
Freeze the schnitzels before cooking – this will allow you to get them crispy when you do cook them fresh.
Store Deep in the Freezer
Place the schnitzel deep in the freezer so they freeze quickly, this will prevent bacterial growth. The deeper areas of your freezer will see fewer temperature fluctuations when the door is opened and closed.
Double bag the schnitzel to prevent moisture from getting to the breading, which would make them less crispy.
How Long Can You Freeze Schnitzel?
As a rule of thumb, schnitzel can be frozen for four to six weeks without losing too much flavour or texture. The thing that would destroy the texture is moisture getting into the meat and the breadcrumbs, preventing them from cooking properly.
Freezing schnitzels for any longer than six weeks could give you that moisture absorbing into the breadcrumbs and meat, which would affect the dish.
How Do You Defrost Schnitzel?
The best way to defrost schnitzel is to allow it to thaw to room temperature over the course of one to two hours, and then to fry it in hot oil as though it were fresh.
This is the best way to defrost schnitzel as you can ensure that the breading on the schnitzel is nice and crispy from the frying while also making sure that the meat inside is entirely cooked through.
Frying from frozen would be exceptionally dangerous since you cannot mix hot oil and ice. Therefore, going from room temperature is both safe and sure to give great results.
Can You Refreeze Schnitzel?
Technically, yes, you could refreeze schnitzel after cooking it. With that said, though, it would be a better idea to avoid doing that where possible.
You can freeze the schnitzel after you’ve cooked it, and the meat will be safe to eat. However, during the process of cooking, you will fry the breadcrumbs and, essentially, get the water out of them to make them crispy.
When freezing at home, you will introduce water back into those breadcrumbs, which would make the overall consistency of them much less pleasant – a little soggy and mushy.
Therefore, while it’s safe, we would advise only thawing the amount that you’re going to eat, rather than thawing too many and having to refreeze them.
Does Schnitzel Freeze Well?
When they’re frozen prior to being cooked, yes, they freeze very well indeed. Sometimes you may notice that the chicken is a little tougher than it was before it was cooked, but in other situations, you may not notice at all.
Freezing schnitzel before cooking, and then thawing rather than cooking from frozen, is better as you can be sure the breadcrumbs will become crispy during cooking, which creates the illusion of a very fresh meal.
When they’re frozen after being cooked, they actually freeze quite poorly. The reason for this is that while the chicken can be frozen perfectly safely after being cooked, the breadcrumbs will take on moisture in the freezer, leading to being soggy after being thawed and recooked.
Even if they were fried again as though the schnitzel were fresh, they would lose some level of the overall texture.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing schnitzel or schnitzel in general, then these may help:
Although it’s possible to freeze cooked schnitzel, you will find the breadcrumbs become soggy and mushy. This is hard to rectify. Instead, it’s a good idea to freeze uncooked schnitzel which you can fry fresh.
Yes, you can freeze schnitzel made with pork, beef, chicken and veal. Breadcrumb the meat as you normally would and then freeze it on a baking tray.
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