Yes, you can freeze chili to increase its shelf-life. Freezing chili the right way extends the expiration date by preserving its flavor and texture. Storing chili in the freezer can also yield better taste over time compared to fridge storage for the same duration.
Freezing chili in its original packaging may not provide optimal protection against freezer burn and flavor loss, whereas freezing chili in individual or smaller serving sizes can help maintain freshness and quality. The best method for freshness and longevity is freezing in smaller serving sizes, as this minimizes air exposure and prevents freezer burn.
How To Freeze Chili Safely
- Whether you have brand new or leftover chili, choose your storage method. We typically recommend airtight plastic/glass containers or sturdy freezer bags for long-term storage freshness.
- Transfer it to where you plan to store it.
- Be sure to leave about 1-2 inches of headspace to allow for expansion. Don’t leave too much room though because it’s generally good to minimize air exposure as much as possible when freezing food.
- Label your containers or freezer bags as ‘Frozen chili’ with today’s date.
- Lay the bags flat in the freezer so they freeze quickly. If you’re using containers instead, place them in the freezer upright. Once completely frozen, both the bags and containers can be stacked and/or stored upright.
When you’re ready to prepare the chili you just froze, do not thaw it at room temperature. Read our guide on how to thaw chili safely. Not only will it prevent you from getting food poisoning, using the correct defrosting techniques keep its texture & quality intact.
How Long Can You Freeze Chili?
You can freeze chili for up to 1-2 months as long as it’s frozen correctly. Freezing chili extends longevity & allows you to store it for an increased time but all frozen food expires.
Freeze smaller chili portions within 3-4 days of purchasing for optimal freshness. Store leftovers in an airtight container after it’s initially opened.
Removing & defrosting frozen chili within 3-6 months of freezer storage helps to prevent freezer burn, off-flavoring, and food poisoning. Anything longer than that puts the food at risk of:
|Dehydration and oxidation due to air exposure
|Use well-sealed containers or bags
|Loss of Freshness
|Flavor and texture degradation over time
|Consume within recommended time frame
|Potential bacterial growth if improperly stored or thawed
|Follow safe defrosting practices