A person grabbing freeze pops out of a bottom drawer freezer. Image 1: A white Whirlpool® deep freezer.

How long does food last in the freezer?

With your freezer set at the optimal temperature of 0°F, frozen food can be stored indefinitely. To ensure flavorful leftovers and the quality of your frozen foods, follow this guide to learn how long you can freeze meat, bread, produce and soup for optimal results.

A white Whirlpool® deep freezer.

Use these guidelines when freezing food

The quality and taste of your favorite foods can be preserved in the freezer anywhere from one to 12 months at the right freezer temperature. This time frame varies for fresh or cooked meats, fruits, vegetables, soups and leftovers. Before freezing, make sure to pack your items in labeled and sealed containers for easy access and to help prevent freezer burn. Keep dinnertime moving and learn how long to freeze different types of food with this convenient chart.

Type of Food

How Long it Lasts in the Freezer

Type of FoodUncooked chicken (whole) How Long it Lasts in the FreezerUp to 12 months
Type of Food Uncooked chicken (cut into pieces) How Long it Lasts in the FreezerUp to 9 months
Type of FoodGround chicken How Long it Lasts in the Freezer3 to 4 months
Type of FoodGround beef How Long it Lasts in the Freezer3 to 4 months
Type of FoodCooked ham, bacon & sausage How Long it Lasts in the Freezer1 to 2 months
Type of FoodUncooked beef & pork How Long it Lasts in the FreezerUp to 12 months
Type of FoodBread How Long it Lasts in the Freezer2 to 3 months
Type of FoodOranges How Long it Lasts in the Freezer3 months
Type of FoodBerries, bananas, apples, peaches & plums How Long it Lasts in the Freezer9 to 12 months
Type of FoodZucchini, broccoli, cauliflower How Long it Lasts in the Freezer8 to 12 months
Type of FoodSoups How Long it Lasts in the Freezer2 to 3 months
Type of FoodFresh crab & lobster How Long it Lasts in the Freezer2 to 4 months
Type of FoodPumpkin pie How Long it Lasts in the Freezer1 to 2 months
A person removing a roast from the oven.

How long does meat last in the freezer?

Fully cooked meats, like ham, bacon and sausage, can be frozen for one to two months to preserve their quality and taste. Fresh, uncooked beef, pork and poultry can last upwards to one year in the freezer, while raw hamburgers and ground beef can be stored for three to four months.

Be mindful to store your fresh or cooked meats in freezer bags to help prevent them from spoiling. For cooked beef, pork or poultry, make sure to let it cool completely before storing in the freezer to help prevent bacteria from forming. If you plan to freeze meat for an extended period of time, it’s important to know how to prevent freezer burn and what causes it. This can affect the texture and flavor of your frozen foods.

What if you took your frozen meat out to thaw, but turns out your dinner plans have changed? Not to worry. After it is thawed, raw meat can last in the fridge for three to five days. Even if you don’t cook it within that time, it can safely be re-frozen for future meals.

A chicken icon.

How long does chicken last in the freezer?

Fresh, raw chicken cut into pieces can last up to nine months in the freezer without losing its flavor or texture. If kept whole, it can be stored for one year. Ground chicken keeps for about three to four months, while raw and cooked chicken sausage can be frozen for one to two months. Whether you need to roast a chicken for Sunday dinner or whip up some chicken sausage for breakfast before school, your frozen poultry can quickly be defrosted in your microwave.

A package of ground beef icon.

How long does ground beef last in the freezer?

Ground beef lasts for three to four months in the freezer and provides a tasty, simple dinner option after a long day at work or school. Need a last minute meal and have a freezer full of frozen beef? Learn how to quickly defrost ground beef for meatloaf or taco Tuesday to help you get dinnertime under control.

A Whirlpool® deep freezer in a garage.

How long does bread last in the freezer?

Bread lasts two to three months in the freezer. Freezing bread can help prevent mold from forming on your family’s favorite hot dog buns or dinner rolls. If you’re in a pinch and need to make sandwiches for school lunches, frozen bread defrosts quickly in about 10 minutes at room temperature and still has the buttery soft texture you expect from the grocery store.

Ice cream, bread, vegetables and frozen meals organized in a freezer.

How long does produce last in the freezer?

Depending on your fruits and vegetables, frozen produce can typically last anywhere from three months to one year. If you buy a bag of frozen vegetables or mixed berries from the grocery store, check the date on the packaging for the recommended “use by” date. While these frozen items can last forever, keeping them frozen for too long can affect the taste or texture of your vegetable side dishes or fruit smoothie ingredients. Read on for tips on how long to store fresh vegetables, bananas, apples and more.

An apple and snowflake icon.

How long does frozen fruit last?

Frozen fruit can last anywhere from three months to one year, depending on what you are freezing. Oranges can be stored for three months in the freezer, while berries, bananas, apples, peaches and plums can last nine months to one year. If you are freezing oranges to make homemade juice, cut the fruit in half and leave the peels on. Or, feel free to peel and slice the oranges and freeze in an airtight freezer bag.

 

Before freezing, make sure to thoroughly wash your fruit and pat dry. Then, pack the items in sealed containers to help prevent freezer burn. Remember to label the bags with the date so you know when to thaw your frozen bananas for banana bread to get the most flavor.

A pea pod and snowflake icon.

How long do frozen vegetables last?

With the proper preparation, vegetables can be stored in a freezer for eight months to one year. Before freezing, most vegetables will need to be blanched (boiled or steamed) to help preserve the flavor, color, texture and nutrients of the produce. To get the most out of your frozen veggies, it’s best to blanch corn on the cob, zucchini, broccoli and cauliflower. Onions and bell peppers are the exception to this rule; they may be stored in the freezer without any special preparation.

A crossed out snowflake icon.

What fruits and vegetables should not be frozen?

Radishes, celery, lettuce, cucumbers and other vegetables with a high water content should not be frozen because they typically become soggy once thawed. Any type of fruit can be frozen after washing and placing it into a sealed freezer bag.

 

If you need to freeze potatoes for a stew or future meal, choose waxy potatoes, like Yukon Gold or red. These types of potatoes can be chopped, boiled and stored in the freezer, despite their water content.

A pot of vegetable soup on a ceramic glass stovetop.

How long can you keep frozen soup in the freezer?

Vegetable and meat-based soups and stews can last in the freezer for two to three months. Store soups in airtight containers to lock in the flavor. Be mindful to keep an inch or two of clearance between the contents and lid to account for expansion in the freezer. To keep your containers intact, make sure you are using tempered glass to avoid cracking during this process. Frozen soups can be a great time saver and provide a hearty meal after a long day. When it’s time for dinner, simply boil, serve and enjoy.

A container with a grilled chicken breast and slice of lemon.

What other foods store well in a freezer?

Along with meat, produce, bread and soup, many types of food can be frozen and served without losing texture or flavor, like leftover pizza, pumpkin pies, fresh seafood and lunch meat. Freezing is also a convenient tactic for meal prepping and getting some hours back in the week. Don’t let your groceries go to waste, and remember to follow these guidelines before freezing: 

  • Label your containers or freezer bags.

  • Use plastic or tempered glass containers.

  • Make sure containers and bags are sealed.

  • Wash and dry fruit before freezing.

  • Blanch most vegetables before freezing.

Shop for Whirlpool® freezers

Whirlpool® freezers can help you save money and cut down on food waste with the ability to buy in bulk and freeze for future usage. Whether you’re preserving leftovers for dinner after a busy day, or stocking up for holiday meals, a secondary deep freezer can handle your storage needs and lock in the flavors of your favorite foods.

Get more food storage tips from Whirlpool

Gold home heartbeat logo over image of a tablet with Whirlpool blog page displayed in the background

home heartbeat

Ready for more tips, home hacks and appliance guides?

Was this article helpful? Pass it on