When it comes to cooking, the better you plan ahead, the easier your life will be.
Freezing is a popular way to store meat in your kitchen in case there are some unexpected guests who drop by suddenly or to not waste the delicious leftover dish.
Pork belly is a delicious and versatile cut of meat that anyone wants to possess in their kitchens.
So can you freeze pork belly and how should you do it so that you can still have the freshest cut of raw or cooked pork belly to serve the next time?
Let’s figure it out in this article.
Can pork belly be frozen and reheated?
Yes, it can. You can even store both cooked or uncooked pork belly in your freezer.
If you freeze the raw and fresh cut of pork belly that you have bought from a local butcher shop, you only need to defrost it before using this ingredient to cook, no need to reheat.
On the other hand, when it comes to freezing cooked pork belly, like an advanced meal or leftover pork belly, things will be a little more complicated.
You will need to properly thaw and reheat the meat so that it won’t lose moisture, texture, flavor, and nutrients.
How long does pork belly last in the freezer?
Actually, frozen pork belly is safe indefinitely.
However, for the best quality, it should be used within six months.
That means if you bring home a raw and fresh cut of pork belly, place it in an airtight bag and toss it in the freezer, it can last up to six months without losing its nutrients or flavors.
If you want to use it the following day, it will be fine to store your pork belly in a fridge, which will be safe in one to two days.
How do you store leftover pork belly?
- Airtight containers/ bags
- A freezer
- A marker
Time needed: 30 minutes.
So in case you have made a big batch of crispy roasted pork belly or braised pork belly and all members of your family are too full that they cannot take another bite, it’s time to store leftover pork belly.
- Make sure the leftover pork belly is completely cool
- Put it in an airtight container or bag (you should divide it into serving portions if it is too much and you think it cannot be consumed within the next meal)
- Squeeze as much air out of the bag and tightly seal it
- Use a marker to label the date you store the pork belly
- Put the bag/ container of pork belly in the freezer
What is the best way to freeze pork belly?
Freezing pork belly is a simple and easy task but can help lengthen the shelf life of your tasty pork belly cut.
However, there are some things you need to keep in mind when freezing pork belly, no matter if it is uncooked or cooked.
You should never put pork belly that is still hot in the freezer and make sure it is kept inside an airtight container or bag because if the meat is exposed to air in the freezer, it will create ice crystals and freezer burn that decreases the quality of the meat.
Moreover, you should divide the raw pork belly cut or the plan-ahead meal into serving sizes so that it will be safer and easier to defrost and reheat them the next time.
When applying these tips to freeze pork belly, you have the best way to store this fatty meat cut in the freezer without any change in the nutrient and appearance of the meat.
In conclusion, freezing pork belly is a great idea for many reasons as long as you properly store it.
Pork belly freezes very well with minimal loss of quality so if you are not sure what to make for dinner tomorrow, just take out the best cut of pork belly from a butcher and store it in your freezer from today.
Or if you have delicious leftover crispy oven-roasted pork belly or the tender and flavorful braised counterpart, never discard them because you can still have the delicious dish that tastes amazing like the first time if you put them in the freezer.