What's The Best Method For Freezing Meat Pies?

Shepherd's pie in cast iron
Shepherd's pie in cast iron - Rudisill/Getty Images

Whether they contain beef, chicken, or pork, meat pies are a robust and filling meal, perfect for the winter months. And while making homemade pies can be a bit of a chore, rest assured that you can conveniently freeze pies to enjoy them on subsequent days and weeks. When it comes to baked pies, give them a bit of time to cool down before you pack them up for cold storage, then wrap them tightly. Parchment paper is a good selection, but you can also use plastic wrap in a pinch.

Once each pie is wrapped, place them into an airtight container for storage in the freezer. Freezer bags also work, provided they're completely sealed. The goal is to protect the pie from the cold air, which can cause freezer burns. While freezer burn doesn't affect food safety, it can decrease the quality of the pie, according to the USDA. The final step is to place the pies in a freezer set to at least 0 degrees Fahrenheit, which ensures that food will remain frozen for an extended period of time.

Read more: 15 Tips For Making The Best Meatloaf

How Long Will Meat Pies Last In The Freezer?

woman looking into the refrigerator
woman looking into the refrigerator - Brothers91/Getty Images

Meat pies should last about one to two months in the freezer when pies are properly stored and placed at the appropriate temperature. However, FoodSafety states that leftover meat and poultry can be safely kept in the freezer for up to six months in many cases. If you end up leaving meat pies in the freezer for an extended period of time, there are a few cues you can look for that may indicate spoilage.

The most obvious sign of a spoiled meat pie is visible mold growth. While mold growth is unlikely in cold storage, it can occur if the freezer isn't working correctly. This might be the case if the temperature isn't low enough or if a malfunction is allowing moisture to accumulate in the space. You can also tell that a pie has gone bad by its appearance and odor. Any discoloration or foul smells mean that the pie is not likely safe to eat and should be tossed.

Tips On Reheating Meat Pies For The Perfect Flavor And Texture

slice of pork pie plated
slice of pork pie plated - Elenathewise/Getty Images

How you reheat meat pies can also impact quality, but using the right method ensures they're as delicious as the day you cooked them. In this case, take the pie from the freezer and transfer it directly to an oven set at 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Allow the pie to heat up for about 20 minutes inside the oven, then decrease the temperature to about 350 degrees Fahrenheit. At this point, you should monitor the appearance of the pie to determine doneness.

It can sometimes take an hour or longer to fully heat the pie. You'll be able to tell that it's ready by assessing the texture in the middle, which should be nice and bubbly when the meat pie is fully heated through. If uneven oven temperatures are an issue, you may notice that the pie crust is getting dark too quickly. If so, take a sheet of aluminum foil and place it over the crust to protect it from burning. A treat perfect for the winter season, freezing and reheating meat pies reduces the work and ensures a hearty dinner whenever you see fit.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.