How do I? ...Freeze


Poultry and Game Birds

Select only high quality, fresh poultry to freeze. The tender young bird is best for roasting, frying and broiling. Choose the more flavorful older birds for braising or stewing.

Package poultry in freezer paper or wrap using the drugstore or butcher wrap, or place in freezer bags. Storebought poultry needs to be over-wrapped before freezing because its clear wrap is not moisture-vapor resistant. When packaging pieces, arrange them to form a compact, square, flat package so they will stack better in the freezer. After packaging, seal and freeze immediately.

Quail, dove, duck, pheasant and other game birds should be dressed and gutted as soon as possible after shooting. Cool and clean properly. Remove excess fat on wild ducks and geese since it becomes rancid very quickly. Freeze as directed for poultry.

Do not stuff poultry or game birds before freezing them. During freezing or thawing times, bacteria that cause foodborne illness could easily grow in the stuffing. Commercially stuffed frozen poultry is prepared under special safety conditions that cannot be duplicated at home.

This document was extracted from "So Easy to Preserve", 5th ed. 2006. Bulletin 989, Cooperative Extension Service, The University of Georgia, Athens. Revised by Elizabeth L. Andress. Ph.D. and Judy A. Harrison, Ph.D., Extension Foods Specialists.

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