Why You Should Never Freeze Raw Chicken In Bulk

The U.S. inflation rate in July 2022 was around 8.5%, which is a significant decrease from the 9.1% inflation rate in June 2022 (via U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Furthermore, cereals and bakery products were at 15%; dairy and related products were at 14.9%; fruits and vegetables were at 9.3%; and meats, poultry, fish, and eggs were at 10.9% (per U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Because food inflation rates fluctuate so much nowadays, a lot of people have started buying their groceries in bulk. Wholesale grocery retailers such as Costco, Sam's Club, and Lidl make it easy and convenient for consumers to buy a lot of items at once.

There are a lot of benefits to buying items in bulk, such as items being cheaper per unit many times, fewer trips to the grocery store, and potentially less packaging waste (via U.S. News). However, buying items in bulk can also have some drawbacks, such as taking up more storage space, being more likely to expire, and being more expensive upfront. U.S. News recommends buying rice, canned goods, toiletries, and household supplies in bulk, but you should avoid buying perishable items — like milk, eggs, fresh produce, and meat — unless you plan on freezing them. There's actually a certain way to freeze raw chicken that your future self will thank you for later.

It makes it harder to use small portions at a time

Freezing poultry is a great way to extend a meat's shelf life, especially if you don't plan on using it for a while. However, Christopher Arturo, chef-instructor at The Institute of Culinary Education, advises against freezing raw chicken in bulk. "Wrapping a large quantity of raw chicken together to freeze isn't a great idea because it will be hard to take out a small quantity of chicken in the future," Arturo says (via Southern Living). Instead, he suggests freezing chicken in smaller portions so you don't need to bulk defrost when preparing one meal. Smaller portions also freeze quicker than larger portions, he adds.

According to Candice Christian, a consumer and retail food safety expert at North Carolina State University, you should also freeze poultry as soon as you can (per NCSU). Begin by portioning your chicken, then wrapping each portion first in freezer paper or plastic wrap. Next, wrap that same portion in a piece of aluminum foil, and finally store the wrapped chicken in a plastic container or freezer-safe bag. Be sure to wrap each layer as tight as you can to prevent air from getting trapped and spoiling the chicken. Christian says that wrapping poultry in plastic wrap or freezer paper and then aluminum foil will help minimize the risk of freezer burn on the meat. Here are some other mistakes everyone makes with frozen food that you should avoid.