If you have some extra chili or would like to do some food prep, this detailed guide on how to freeze and store chili can help you out.
I have found these methods to work out splendidly.
So, let’s get started.
- Freezer-Safe Air-Tight Container
- No special tools needed
- Prep and Cool: Make your favorite chili recipe, and then let it cool down to room temperature.
- Portion and Transfer: Divide the chili into portions you can easily consume in one meal time.
Transfer these portions into a freezer-safe air-tight container.
- Seal Them: Make sure to leave an inch space at the top of the container, to make space for when the chili expands upon freezing.
Then seal the container.
- Label and Freeze: Add a label on the container with the best-before date, and you are ready to freeze them till you need it next.
Freezing Chili in Ziploc Bags
Time Taken: 5 – 10 minutes
What You Need:
- Ziploc Bags
- Baking Sheets
If you have big batches of chili to freeze, then freezing them in Ziploc bags is the best option.
Prep and Cool
Once you have made your favorite chili recipe let it cool down to room temperature.
Label the Bags
It might get difficult to label the bags once you fill them.
So, go ahead and label the bags beforehand.
Portion and Pack
Divide the chili into single servings so that you can avoid having to refreeze.
Then pour the chili into the Ziploc bags.
Seal and Freeze
Seal the Ziploc bags, making sure to squeeze out all the excess air.
You are now all set to freeze the chili.
You can lay them down flat on a baking sheet, and later on when they are frozen solid, remove the baking sheet.
This video by ‘MOMables – Laura Fuentes’ on YouTube is a great tutorial on how to freeze chili in Ziploc bags
How Long Can You Freeze Chili?
You can freeze chili for 4 to 6 months.
But if you would like to get the best of its flavor and quality, it would be best to consume it within 2 to 3 months.
The longer the chili stays in the freezer, the more it is prone to getting freezer burns.
Freezer burns can ruin the taste and texture of the chili when they defrost.
The key to keeping them frozen for long is to make sure that they are in air-tight containers and protected from freezer burns.
How to Store Frozen Chili?
You can store frozen chili in any freezer-safe air-tight container or Ziploc bags.
You could also store them in mason jars if they are freezer-safe.
When storing chili in containers or mason jars, make sure to leave an inch space at the top.
This is to accommodate any expansion of the chili when it freezes.
If packed to the brim, the container can crack and leak its contents, spoiling the chili.
If you have big batches of chili to freeze, Ziploc bags are the ideal option.
They can be laid down on a baking sheet to keep them flat.
You can stack them one on top of the other to store them compactly.
How to Defrost Chili?
The best way to defrost chili is to keep the portion you need in the fridge for 6 to 8 hours or overnight, and let them thaw gradually.
Once it thaws, it can stay in the fridge for 2-3 days more.
If you forgot to defrost them beforehand and want to serve immediately, you can put the chili in a pot with water and melt it down.
You could also microwave it if you are in a hurry.
But if you chose the last two methods or leave them out on the kitchen counter, you need to consume them immediately.
Can You Refreeze Chili?
No, it is best recommended not to refreeze chili.
Repeated freezing and thawing can affect the texture and taste of the chili.
Each time it is frozen, the chili loses its flavor and can get unappealing to taste.
Also, if you have left it out for long, there are high chances of bacterial buildup.
If you wish to avoid refreezing the chili, you can always portion them beforehand into measures that you are confident you can use up in one go.
Does Chili Freeze Well?
Yes, chili freezes well, especially if it has been freshly made.
Left-over chili freezes well but if it has been left out for long, there are chances it won’t fare well in the freezer.
Freezing chili is a great way to meal prep.
It retains all its flavor and punch for up to 3 months in the freezer, but it is always best to consume them sooner than later.
If you are freezing veggie-filled chili, keep in mind that there might be slight changes in texture.
But this frozen chili is perfectly safe to eat once reheated. You could avoid this by freezing the chili base and adding the veggies later on if you prefer.
Yes, you can freeze chili made with kidney beans, and they can last well in the freezer for long. You can cool them down and portion them before storing them in a freezer-safe air-tight container or Ziploc bags.
They are best consumed within 2 months.
Yes, you can freeze chili made with beef, and they can last well for up to 6 months in the freezer. You would use the same methods as listed above.
Cool it down, portion, and then store in a freezer-safe air-tight container or Ziploc bags.
I hope this article helped you freeze and store your favorite chili.
If you have any doubts or would like to share some freezing tips of your own, it would be great to hear from you.
Feel free to share this article with your friends and family.