Wondering if you can freeze plant-based meat? The answer depends on the product. Frozen is safe to keep in the freezer, but thawed meat…
Plant-based meat is a convenient option if you’re looking to swap real meat for extra plants in your favorite recipes.
While cooking plant-based meat has many similarities to cooking real meat, storage of plant-based meat products isn’t as straightforward.
Unfortunately, there aren’t always clear answers for questions like “can you freeze plant-based meat?,” “can you freeze Beyond meat burgers” and “can you freeze vegan meat?” and other practices that may have an impact on the quality of the products.
Let’s break down the basics for safe storage of plant-based meat.
Can you freeze plant-based meat?
Unfortunately, the guidelines on freezing plant-based meat are a little confusing, and the safety depends on the type of product and how you initially purchased it.
Generally, plant-based meat that comes thawed is best kept in the fridge and used within a few days. And most companies (though not all) recommend that you avoid refreezing plant-based meat that comes thawed.
However, most companies also sell frozen versions of their meat, which can be stored in the freezer and defrosted when ready to use. This is the best choice if you’d like to freeze it.
After frozen plant-based meat is thawed, it’s best to consume by the best buy date on the package or in some cases within 10 days, whichever comes first.
Some companies also recommend eating the product within three days after the package is open to ensure quality and freshness of the product.
Freezing information for different brands
Proper storage guidelines, including freezing and refreezing plant-based meat, vary between brands. Always follow package instructions and practice safe food handling when preparing plant-based meat.
Below are the guidelines for proper storage from a few popular plant-based meat brands.
Can you freeze Beyond meat burgers? Let’s take a look.
Guidelines for storage of Beyond Meat can be found on the brand’s website. Their recommendation is to keep the products refrigerated unless you purchase them frozen.
In that case, you can keep them in the freezer to extend their shelf life. However, once the products are thawed, Beyond Meat recommends eating them within 10 days.
Additionally, after opening the products, Beyond Meat recommends consuming them within three days. According to the customer service team, Beyond Meat does not recommend refreezing products after thawing for better quality and taste.
The Impossible Foods website has a full page dedicated to proper storage of its products. According to the website, when purchasing thawed Impossible products, you should consume them by the best buy date indicated on the sticker.
Additionally, opened products should be eaten within three days of opening. Thawed Impossible products should also be eaten within 10 days of thawing while still following the best buy date on the label.
Unlike Impossible and Beyond Meat, Field Roast products have a longer shelf life and can be kept frozen for up to one year.
Once the product is thawed, it’s good for 65 days, according to the company website. The company also states that refreezing products purchased from the refrigerated section will extend their shelf life.
Incogmeato by Morning Star Farms:
According to the product’s customer support, it’s recommended that Incogmeato products be stored in the freezer for shelf-life purposes.
They also state that the products can be refrozen if there are still ice crystals on the products before freezing.
However, customer support recommends that products that you do not thaw the products before cooking them. This is because the taste, texture, and quality will likely not meet quality standards.
Most Gardein products can be found in the freezer section except for the brand’s line of soups.
The package label states to keep the products frozen and cook thoroughly, however the Gardein website indicates that products can be thawed in the refrigerator but should be consumed within three days after thawing.
Additionally, the products should not be refrozen.
Most Lightlife products are not frozen and according to the company website, the products are of their highest quality when kept refrigerated.
The company recommends avoiding freezing its products. However, if you plan to freeze a Lightlife product, be sure to put it in the freezer by the best buy date on the package and consume within one year.
What about freezing cooked plant-based meat?
Many companies do not provide detailed information on freezing cooked plant-based meat products.
However, Beyond Meat’s customer service team specifically states that its cooked products should not be frozen after cooking, due to quality and taste reasons.
Other products such as the Field Roast products may be more likely to retain taste and quality when frozen after cooking.
In general, the most likely reason for avoiding freezing plant-based meat is related to quality and taste, not food safety.
But it’s always best to check with the company in question. As with all plant-based meat preparation, be sure to follow the best food safety practices to ensure the products you prepare are free of bacteria that may result in a foodborne illness.
The bottom line
Plant-based meat offers a convenient way to eat your favorite recipes without animal products.
When it comes to whether you can freeze plant-based meat, the answer varies based on what brand you’re looking at. For instance, if you want to know if you can freeze Beyond meat burgers, the answer is yes.
Although many brands have different recommendations when it comes to freezing plant-based meat, most products can be safely frozen and thawed if consumed by the best buy date on the package.
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