I noticed that my friend freezes raw liver, raw red meat, and raw chicken.

I have the intuition that the fat goes bad (due to lipid peroxidation) even when frozen. However, I am not sure if this is bad for the food in terms of quality and safety.

So can I freeze these things raw?

  • I'm not sure I understand your question. What do you mean by intuition that the fat goes bad? As for the 2nd part of your question, are you referring to the quality of the meat or safety? Nov 20, 2014 at 20:55
  • @DanielChui 1st lipid peroxidation occurs regardless of the temperature. I think temperature does not affect it so much. However, not completely sure. 2nd part - both, quality and safety. Nov 20, 2014 at 21:11
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    The fat will go bad eventually. This is why freezing does not preserve food forever. Freezing does damage meat by bursting the cell walls as the water in them expands. You have to trade the loss of quality with the convenience of freezing. Nov 20, 2014 at 21:40
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    @ElendilTheTall It will? Why? The bursting cell walls is an issue, yes, but it pretty much just happens when you initially freeze it, not over time. (It's more the drying out and taking on smells that you have to worry about.)
    – Cascabel
    Nov 20, 2014 at 23:54
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    I'm puzzled how you can grow up around meat and freezers and not know that of course you can freeze raw meat.
    – Marti
    Nov 21, 2014 at 17:20

2 Answers 2


Of course you can freeze meat. If it would be unsafe, your local supermarked wouldn't be allowed to sell it.

What you have to keep in mind when freezing your own meat:

  • Storage time is limited, for guidelines see here or here.
  • Freezing does nor remove bacteria, mold and other "nasties", but stops them from multiplying. Rule of thumb: What's on the meat when it goes into the freezer comes out again. So follow the usual safety procedures for raw meat before and after freezing.

As the subject of fat going rancid has come up several times in comments: That's one of the reasons the recommended freezing time for bacon is 1-2 months only, for game meat up to 8-12 months.
Rule of thumb: The fattier the shorter.

  • Even raw meat and liver too? Nov 21, 2014 at 13:16
  • @masi of course raw meat is safe when frozen. That's the whole point of freezing it. The peroxidation you mention, more commonly known as going rancid, can still happen (I don't know in what timeframe it happens in the freezer, but slower than when warm), but it is not unsafe, just not tasty.
    – rumtscho
    Nov 21, 2014 at 15:32

You certainly can freeze raw meat - but only if it has not already been frozen and thawed. That is dangerous because it will have developed more bacteria.

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    Actually, if you keep safe time spans in mind, (all times are cumulative, no "resetting" of the clock) the issues are mostly about texture and quality, not safety.
    – Stephie
    Jan 13, 2016 at 11:20

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