Homemade chili is a hearty meal that can satisfy any comfort craving, and it makes delicious leftovers. Luckily, you can freeze chili easily and enjoy it for many more months! When you are short on time, a batch of frozen chili will be a lifesaver. So, how can you freeze chili?
Freezing chili is easy and only takes a few hours. To freeze chili, start by cooling the chili down to room temperature. Next, portion the chili into freezer-safe bags and remove all air inside. Finally, load the bags into a baking tray and place them in the freezer for 2-3 hours.
Tip #1: Freeze chili in meal-sized portions that you can quickly reheat. You can do this when portioning your chili into freezer bags.
Tip #2: Avoid freezing vegetable chili because it can get mushy after freezing.
Tip #3: Label and date your freezer bags and containers to avoid any mix-ups.
When storing chili in the freezer, you should use freezer-safe containers, such as freezer bags or freezer-safe jars. You may also want to consider your freezer space and portion sizes. It is easier to portion your chili into stackable freezer-safe bags rather than freezer jars.
If you are freezing freshly prepared chili, let it cool down to room temperature before freezing it. You may also cool the chili in the fridge for a few hours. Freezing hot chili can build condensation in containers, leading to freezer burn and mold. The hot chili may even thaw other frozen food in your freezer!
Divide your chili into portions to make it more convenient to defrost later. You can base portion sizes on freezer bag or freezer-safe jar sizes, but stackable freezer bags save the most freezer space.
After filling the containers with chili, you should remove as much air as possible from the bag. A vacuum sealer works best, but a straw can work if you put in some effort. To use a straw, seal the bag almost entirely but leave just enough space for a straw to pass through. Poke the straw through the opening and suck out as much air as possible to create a vacuum. Finally, you can remove the straw and completely seal the freezer-safe bag.
Flatten, label, and date your freezer bags before placing them on a baking tray. Place the baking tray in the freezer for 2-3 hours until it has frozen solid. Finally, you can remove the baking tray and stack the frozen chili as you need in the freezer!
There are a few different ways to thaw your chili when you need to use it. You can choose the method that works best for you, depending on how much time you have on your hands.
It is best to thaw frozen chili in the fridge to preserve its texture and taste. However, it will take the longest. To defrost frozen chili in the refrigerator, transfer your frozen chili from the freezer to the fridge and leave it overnight. By morning, your chili will have thawed, and you can heat it on a saucepan with a low flame.
Another convenient way to defrost chili is to use water if you lack equipment. After filling a large bowl with room temperature water, immerse your frozen chili bag in it for 2-3 hours until it has completely thawed.
Although it is quick to use, defrosting frozen chili in the microwave will lose a lot of its texture and flavor. Transfer your chili to a microwave-safe container and select the defrost setting to thaw your frozen chili. It will only take a few minutes for your chili to thaw, but you should still stir it occasionally.
Chili is a one-pot dish that satisfies your craving for comfort food. You can serve the chili over rice, use it as a topping on hot dogs or sloppy joes, and serve it with tortilla chips! To make delicious homemade chili, follow these simple steps.
Frozen chili will last in the freezer for up to 6 months. However, the taste and texture of the chili will start to diminish after a few months, especially vegetable chili that contains beans. As a result, you should store chili in the freezer for up to 2 months to enjoy its fresh flavor and texture.
It is best to freeze chili when it has cooled to room temperature after cooking. If you cook chili and store it in the fridge, you have up to three days before you need to freeze it. Otherwise, your frozen chili will lose its flavor and texture after thawing.
Yes, you can freeze chili with meat and beans. Meats such as beef and pork freeze well, and they maintain their taste and texture after being frozen. However, beans will lose their texture fast, so you should use frozen chili with beans within two months.
Frozen chili maintains its taste well, especially if you freeze it soon after cooking. If you want your frozen chili to retain its full flavor and texture, you should use it within two months. You can still eat it months after, but you may notice a change in its taste and texture.
Ziploc bags are thin and prone to tearing, so you should not use them to freeze chili. Instead, you can use freezer-safe bags or jars. They are thicker and more resistant to tears and punctures.
Making frozen chili is a convenient way to prepare meals for busy weeks, and it only takes a few hours for a large batch. The next time you cook chili, double your batch and freeze them to enjoy for many more months!
If you enjoyed this guide on freezing chili, you could also learn how to preserve peppers without canning!
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