by Jade 

October 27, 2017

How To Freeze Chili

Great, you made a huge batch of chili - yes, that’s too much to consume in one sitting. Can’t take in anymore chili? What do you do with the leftovers? You can eat chili for a whole week if you're really addicted to it....or you could stash the leftovers in the freezer.

how to freeze chili

Well, before you decide on freezing the remaining chili let it cool down first to room temperature -- this minimizes the time the chili spends in the “temperature danger zone” and prevents rapid bacterial growth. 

Cmon! I’ll show you how to freeze chili and store it forever (just kidding).


Tips On Freezing Chili

Modify Your Recipe

how to freeze chili

Modify your chili recipe to counteract the ways freezing can change the ingredients. Black pepper and herbs, for example, tend to become bitter when frozen. Salt, when frozen, loses its flavor then fat coagulates and may become rancid sooner. Lightly season the chili or do the seasoning after reheating and before serving it.

Quick-Cool Your Chili

how to freeze chili

To immediately freeze the chili,

  • Soak the pot of hot chili in a bowl with ice water to quickly cool it down.
  • Stir the chili, especially the ones on the side, to distribute the temperature evenly
  • Keep the ice water cold with ice cubes as it melts. Cool it until it’s 40 degrees Fahrenheit, according to a food thermometer.

Do not quick-cool the chili inside the refrigerator or freezer. Hot foods raises the temperature inside the freezer or refrigerator temporarily, placing the other foods in the temperature danger zone.

Freeze Small Portions

After letting the chili cool down, divide it into small portions that you can consume in one sitting. Small portions are easier to store and freeze. When you want a quick meal, small portions are easier to thaw as well.

how to freeze chili
  • Scoop the chili (1 cup) into a container or plastic seal, leaving ½ inch of empty space at the top to tightly seal it.
  • Cover and label it with the date you made it and also the time you placed it in the freezer to monitor. Usually, chilies that are frozen are good for one week.
  • Place each bag of chili at the end of the freezer as this is the coldest part of the freezer.

Freeze and Reheat Safely

how to freeze chili

If you really want to store your chili for a longer period of time (four months is the maximum period), make sure the temperature of your freezer is 0 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the freezing limit, bacteria won’t reproduce and contaminate your chili.

Even well-packaged chilies that are placed at 0 degrees Fahrenheit can lose it’s moisture, flavor, and the fat in the meat turns rancid after four months. To reheat the chili,

how to freeze chili
  • Thaw the chili in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  • Place it in a pot over medium heat (rolling boil).
  • Keep the pot covered to retain moisture.
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    Upon boiling, lower the temperature down. At this point it’s necessary to season it because the flavor has diminished a little during the freezing process.
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    Serve it piping hot.

The Best Type Of Packaging For Your Chili

How you package your chili depends on what kind of room you have inside your refrigerator, how you plan to use your chili, and how you want to reheat it later on.

If you're going to have it for lunch at work or school, a plastic container or glass container with a lid will do. If you’re going to serve it for dinner, choose a larger container. If you’re freezer is jam-packed, use plastics that have zip lock features.

how to freeze chili



You may be using plastic, paper, or foil -- there are a number of wraps that help insulate food from the cold air of the freezer.

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Place the chili in a large container inside the freezer to prevent the wrap from sticking to the freezer. 

​Zip-Top Freezer Bags

Ziptop bags are available in various sizes and are great for storing chilies.


To use ziptop bags:

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Scoop the chili (1 cup) into the ziptop bag, leaving ½ inch of empty space at the top to tightly seal it.

Plastic Boxes with Lids


I bought commercial-style aluminum baking pans last week to store my chilies in huge batches for the birthday of my son. The aluminum lids make it easy to arrange and wrap my chilies quickly.

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Let the chili cool down at room temperature. Remember, aluminum conducts heat from chili so it may take some time to cool down.

​Vacuum Sealers

If you have the budget to buy a vacuum sealer, it’s an excellent machine for extending the shelf life of frozen chili. The vacuum sealer takes out all the excess air and eliminates condensation preventing it from accumulating moisture. 

To know more about vacuum sealing watch the video clip below:

Chili Recipe

Now, that I’ve explained to you how to properly freeze chili watch the video below to make the best chili:


Hopefully, I addressed some of your concerns on freezing Chili.

how to freeze chili

If you're interested in consuming chili on a daily basis, I suggest using the zip-top bag method mentioned above -- this will save you money because you can make huge batches of chili and just take out two to three bags for your meals instead of taking out the entire batch of chili. 

For further concerns, suggestions, or questions, kindly leave your comments in the section below. Don’t forget to sha​re this post. Take care!

About the author 


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