I have some old chicken breasts, thighs, and a steak vacuum sealed in my freezer. I think it is between 1.5 and 3 years old.

I'm assuming it won't have a good texture if I cook it and eat it normally. What can I do with it? Can I at least toss them in with the rest of the bones when I'm making chicken/beef broth in my Instant Pot?

  • 1
    Time isn't as significant as how well it's been frozen. If it's badly freezer burned, I'd probably pitch it. If it's only lightly freezer burned, I'd use it like you suggested. 1.5 year old meat might be just fine if it was prepared well for freezing .... 3 year old might be pushing it, but it also might be fine.
    – Joe
    Jun 22, 2018 at 3:00
  • Can you add pictures? It would be good to see how well they're packaged and/or freezer burned.
    – logophobe
    Jun 22, 2018 at 3:01

1 Answer 1


It's perfectly safe, even if not a perfect texture, so I'd cook it and eat it. The only question is how.

I suggest that you first mince or finely chop it (even in a food processor) then brown it and cook it in a sauce. Chilli would work well, or curry, or pasta sauce (perhaps in a lasagne). If just cut up small, risotto is another option. These are just examples of what I would do. I've done this quite a lot with meat that I've cooked and frozen, less often with raw meat but still successfully. If you're worried about the texture, you may want to spare your nerves by not planning to serve it to guests, but it will be fine.

  • 1
    Or cook it using your favorite slow and moist method. That can help a lot with freezer burned meat. If it's still tough or funny looking after cooking, then cut it up add a sauce or something. The main problem will be if it picked up any weird freezer odors. But, being vacuum sealed, it's probably going to taste just fine.
    – mrog
    Jun 22, 2018 at 23:33

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