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The Muffin Pan Tip For Freezing Leftover Meat

Empty muffin tin on table
Empty muffin tin on table - KristenLynnWolfePhoto/Shutterstock

Muffin tins can be used to freeze small servings of soup, make homemade tortilla bowls, and even transport drinks. One of the best perks of this cooking tray, however, applies to meat. All those neat rows of perfectly portioned-out gaps ease the process of freezing and thawing everything from chicken to pork.

The reason this trick works so well is that the muffin tin acts as a portion guide, so single-serving meals become a breeze. When you're freezing meat, it's typically ideal to think on the smaller side — forgo freezing large portions to minimize food waste and both simplify and expedite the thawing process. By preparing and freezing food in muffin-sized batches, you'll also save time down the road. The tins help gauge the size of each portion and keep each serving of meat consistent.

Of course, you'll want to keep a few tips in mind whenever you're using this method.

Read more: 12 Different Ways To Cook Chicken

What Type Of Meat To Use And How To Freeze It

Ground meat
Ground meat - Wiktory/Getty Images

Meals might have just gotten a lot easier. That is, so long as you remember you're not freezing a ton of food at a time. Given the small size and rounded shape of each muffin hole, it's ideal to opt for meats that lend themselves to larger, overarching dishes. Shredded chicken thaws quickly and is especially great to freeze in portions. You can use the defrosted chicken as a topping for salads, tacos, and the like. Steak and ground beef are likewise great options for freezing and lend themselves to everything from burritos to casseroles.

As for how to freeze the meat, cook the food as you normally would and distribute it across the muffin tin. Then freeze the entire tray for about 20 minutes. Once it has frozen, remove each serving and add them to a plastic bag or freezer-safe container. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, cooked meat can last for about three months in the freezer, so you have plenty of time to take full advantage of the muffin tin's convenience.

Ultimately, with these neat, even portions of meat, you'll be able to easily use up leftovers and have delicious options for dinner.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.