Leftovers are always confusing when you need to store them. So, can you freeze chicken salad, and will it change the quality of your food? Find out now!
Your refrigerator and freezer can be your trusty companion in the kitchen, but only if you put them into use correctly. Some have the habit of saving leftovers in the refrigerator for the next meal, however you should be careful when freezing your chicken salad.
In this article, let’s explore the question of “Can you freeze chicken salad?” and find out the benefits and consequences of doing so!
Can You Freeze Chicken Salad?
The answer is entirely dependent on what you have included in the salad, aside from the veggies and the chicken, of course. If you have ever bought chicken from malls and supermarkets, then you’ll know that defrosted chicken will taste just as good and fresh once all the surplus moisture has left the dish.
Cabbage and vegetables generally freeze well, too. However, veggies and chicken slices are not the only parts that make up a chicken salad, so let’s consider other factors, shall we?
When Shouldn’t You Freeze Chicken Salad?
Consider all your toppings and sauces before you move on, as well as how long it has been out and about because we will be listing some scenarios below. Once you have had your ingredient list in your hand, let’s dive in:
If you choose mayonnaise to be your sauce of choice or have anything to do with eggs, like placing hard-boiled slices on top, you should keep your salad out of the freezer.
Eggs and the freezing compartment of your fridge do not go well with one another, as low temperature causes the structure of the white yolk to become very hard and chewy.
Mayonnaise, as well as any egg-based sauces, will face the same consequences as well. The egg component of mayonnaise will separate itself from the oil and water components of the sauce, leaving you with a mushy and smelly sauce that does not taste too good.
The time your salad has been at room temperature
If you have left the salad outside for more than two hours, you should not let it stay in your freezer. This is not the case for chicken salad alone: the Food & Drug Administration – or FDA for short – warns that any cooked food’s natural bacteria will have grown to dangerous degrees if left at room temperature for more than 120 minutes.
If the salad is out for too long, don’t bother putting it in the freezer.
You will have a greater chance of contracting food poisoning if your food enters the freezer after this mark. The normally healthy bacteria of your food will grow exponentially at the fast increase of temperature when you pull your salad from the freezer. No tongue can bear the cold of the salad straight out of freezing, but no belly will tolerate the aftermath.
This is also why you should smell your salad carefully after the freezing treatment. Your salad might go bad before you put it in your mouth, and trust us when we say bad salad will not be kind to your palette.
Additionally, if you spot mold or anything peculiar growing on top of your salad despite covering it up, throw the dish away.
How Should You Prepare Chicken Salad For Freezing?
Suppose your salad does not have the qualities mentioned above, congratulations! You can follow this four-step guide on how to prepare your chicken salad goodness for freezing and enjoying later. All you need is a marker (or a sticky note), an airtight bag, and some tissue paper!
Label your food:
Put the sticky note on the bag and write down the future content (in this case, it’s “chicken salad”) along with the day you make it. This helps to keep track of the duration and the food’s state in the future. If you do not have sticky notes available, you can use a permanent marker and write on the bag directly.
If you pull out a bag that has been in the freezer for more than three months, that bag is going straight to the trash. Do not bother opening up to check, or you will have the worst stench to even reach your nose.
Toss your salad one last time:
Before your salad heads into the bag, give it a thorough toss, so all the ingredients are incorporated, rather than sinking to the bottom. This will also prevent your sauces from separating in your freezer.
Fill the container:
It’s time to fill the bag with your delicious foodstuff! If you can, try scooping the salad with a big spoon rather than tongs to grab the bites as well as the sauce. Fill the bag only until the midway point since going overboard will cause your bag to spill. Plus, stuffing too much food in your bag takes a lot of space in your freezer.
If you can, try marking your container to make it stand out from your freezer space. Otherwise, you will not remember to pull it out and eat your chicken salad before it goes bad. If you want to save space, a small airtight box also suffices.
Remove any excess air:
You can use a vacuum sealer for this task. Simply put the opening of the bag into the machine, and press a button. All the excess air and moisture from the bag and the food content inside will be removed instantly.
If you do not own such equipment, you can always remove the air inside your bag by laying it on its side and squeezing all the air out with your hands. It might not be as effective, but it is certainly better than nothing!
In Sum For “Can You Freeze Chicken Salad?”
That is the definite and full-fledged answer to “Can you freeze chicken salad?” for you and your family to make use of your fridge correctly! All in all, you will not have to worry about freezing up most food, as long as you have the proper coverings and you time the duration within the acceptable span. We wish you luck in the kitchen!