Freezing & Defrosting

Once your food is prepared, in order to get it ready for the freezer you will need to portion the food into your labelled bags. You will need to leave theses open until they cool, as below

Once cool, seal and flatten, making sure all the air is out the bag. I usually put these flattened meals in the fridge just to make sure they are a good temp before transferring to the freezer.

Freeze flat.

This makes them stackable and quicker to defrost.

Vacuum packing for the freezer

If you have chicken breasts, burgers or anything that is not in a sauce and therefore may have a chance of being freezer burnt, try to remove as much air as possible from the sealable freezer bag.

A great way to do this is flatten the bag and seal it leaving a small gap for a drinking straw. Then suck any excess air left in the bag out through the straw and seal the end of the bag.

How long can you freeze food?

Food can usually be frozen for 3 -6 months. Frozen food does not go off after this time it’s just it can start to get freezer burn and therefore dry out, but it is still safe to eat.

Defrosting Food

Always try if possible to defrost food slowly. The food standards agency says “The warmer the temperature, the busier the bacteria – so defrost food slowly, preferably overnight in the fridge. Cook within 24 hours”.

Occasionally I forget to take something out of the freezer the night before, my rule is unless its chicken I defrost either defrost it in the microwave on the defrost setting, or I use the cold-water method below:

Cold water method for defrosting food

Fill a container of your sink with Cold water, add the sealed freezer bag of frozen food to the water, as seen above. I use a large paper clip to keep it upright. It is important that the bag is sealed as you do not want the water touching the food as this can lead to contamination. Every 30 minutes change the water so that it remains cold. You will be so surprised at how quickly food defrosts in this way, especially if it’s a slim frozen flat meal.


If you have frozen minced beef in your freezer and you defrost it, as long as you have cooked it you can re-freeze it again. For example, defrost your minced beef, make it into a cooked Bolognese sauce, you can then refreeze the Bolognese sauce.


  1. Hi, I’m a fan of your batch cooking and wondered whether you had suggestions for this method that used less single use plastic? Thanks, JT

    1. There are some reusable silicone zippered bags on the market. They should work well, but will be quite an investment upfront.

  2. Suppose you buy a frozen chicken then defrost it.
    Then you cook it and pull off all of the meat.
    Then you make chicken pie filling. (Can you freeze the pie filling)
    Then you use the bones to make stock/soup. (Can you freeze your home made soup)
    At what point Do you have to stop freezing?

    1. Just read this added bit. the rule is cook, freeze, defrost cook. If you have a frozen piece of meat you can defrost cook and refreeze it in cooked version, this is perfectly safe. What you can’t do is defrost something then refreeze it in the same form, i.e it would need to be cooked if raw before freezing. Yes you can freeze your homemade soup using the stock, but once defrosted would need to use it all and not refreeze any.

  3. Suppose you cook a fresh chicken.
    Then you turn it into chicken pie filling. Can you then refreeze all the pie mix again?
    Then you use the carcass to make stock/soup. can you then batch freeze the soup/stock?
    This has always been my dilemma about batch freezing .
    Thank you so much for your help I love your channel and love watching you .

    1. Yes, you can cook the chicken, but make the pie filling first without the chicken then allow to cool and add the cold chicken into it before freezing, that way you have only cooked the chicken once. Then yes you can use the circus to make soup and stock this is fine to do. Thanks so much for following. Happy chicken Batching xx

  4. I have frozen chicken breasts. I’d like to cook them into currys and then refreeze that ok or am I going to get food poisoning? And if ok, how do I do it?

    1. Hi Vicky, Yes you can use frozen chicken breasts, simply defrost then cook, leave to Cool then freeze, once out freezer you can heat until piping hot and serve. Happy batching!

  5. Thank you for this. You were the only person who could tell me I could refreeze cooked Bolognese after I had defrosted the meat!!

    Norma 😍

    1. No it can go straight in the oven from frozen, just cover with foil if it is browning too quickly. Hope that helps!

  6. Is it okay to defrost a joint of gammon, cook, cool and reheat the next day in the microwave? Just realised tonight’s slow cooked meal won’t be ready before I have to take the kids to cricket tonight!


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