If you want to eat healthily, but don’t have time to cook or simply don’t enjoy the process of cooking, you have surely looked into various meal delivery services —like Factor!
But with these meals-for-the-week services, there is always the risk of not eating up everything. How do you store these meals?
Can you freeze Factor meals? Yes, you can freeze Factor meals. You can freeze unopened Factor meals in their original packaging. Once opened, you should freeze Factor meals in freezer-safe zip-top bags or freezer-safe containers. Frozen Factor meals are good for around 3 months.
In this article, we tell you why freezing Factor meals is a good idea, the best ways to do so, how long frozen Factor meals last, and everything else you might need to know about freezing Factor meals!
What Are Factor Meals?
Factor is a meal delivery service aimed at making it easy to eat healthy. This service delivers meals designed by dietitians and claims that it uses only fresh ingredients.
You can choose meals to fit your diet. Factor meals can be low-carb, low-calorie, plant-based, and keto.
The best part about Factor meals is that you don’t need to prepare anything! These meals come in containers. You only need to open them and reheat the food in the oven or in the microwave.
Another important point is that Factor meals do not come frozen — they are always fresh.
How To Store Factor Meals
Ordering Factor meals is a great way to have healthy food for an entire week. But the real question is, how do you store these fresh meals?
Factor meals come in boxes with gel packs that keep the food cold and prevent it from going bad. As soon as you receive your box, you should transfer all the meals into the fridge.
Can You Freeze Factor Meals?
Factor offers meal plans for an entire week – each meal can last seven days in the fridge.
The only thing you have to do is to refrigerate the meals in their original packaging as soon as you get them until it’s time to reheat and eat.
The only downside is that if you skip a meal or two, or decide to cook your own meals a couple of times a week, some of the Factor meals may expire.
Factor meals are freshly cooked and rich in nutrients. Depending on how which meal plan you get, you can pay anywhere from $11-$15 per meal. So, it isn’t a good idea to allow these meals to go bad.
An easy solution is to freeze unused Factor meals to extend their shelf life and enjoy them later.
Do All Factor Meals Freeze Well?
The Factor meals menu is updated every week. Each week you get dozens of new meal options. Some meals freeze better than others.
Roasted vegetables are a big part of Factor’s menu and luckily they freeze well. Cooked chicken, ground beef, mashed potatoes, and cooked rice freeze well too.
We recommend you consider each component of the meal and how well it freezes before freezing the entire Factor meal.
For best results, freeze the components of the meals separately. For example, if the cooked chicken breast comes on a bed of mashed potatoes, remove it from the potatoes and freeze it separately.
You shouldn’t freeze Factor meals if they have been in the fridge longer than a week. Also, don’t freeze (or eat) Factor meal leftovers if they have been sitting at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.
How Does Freezing Affect Factor Melas?
Freezing affects Factor meals just as it does any other food, be it homecooked or restaurant food.
Freezing does affect the texture of Factor meals to a certain degree. To minimize the texture changes, you should package the meals properly before freezing them as well as thaw and reheat them properly.
Factor meals may also undergo flavor changes if you freeze them in containers that are not airtight.
The flavor and texture of Factor meals will be largely affected if they suffer freezer burn as a result of improper freezer packaging or sitting in the freezer for too long.
How To Freeze Factor Meals
There are different ways to freeze Factor meals depending on whether you have already opened them or not. Here’s how to freeze Factor meals.
Freezing Unopened Factor Meals
If you are freezing unopened Factor meals, there is no need to open the packaging and transfer the food inside into another container.
You can freeze Factor meals in their original packaging so long as it is not damaged. Factor containers are insulated and work great for the freezer.
If you feel like the packaging is not safe enough for the freezer, wrap the container with a few layers of food wrap or aluminum foil.
Freezing Opened Factor Meals
If you have already opened the Factor meal, you have the option of freezing it in zip-top bags or in airtight containers.
Freezing food in zip-top bags is convenient as this way it doesn’t take up too much space. But the downside of this freezing method is that it may not work for different food consistencies.
Containers take up a lot more freezer space, but the good thing is that you can get airtight containers with compartments and freeze your Factor meal just like you have received it.
To freeze opened Factor meals, do the following.
- Portion the meals. Freezing meals in smaller portions always works better.
- Transfer the food into zip-top bags, remove the excess air, and seal. If you are using containers, make sure that they seal tightly. If they don’t, wrap the containers with food wrap to protect the meals from freezer burn.
- Label the bags with the date and freeze.
How Long Do Factor Meals Last In The Freezer?
As a general rule, Factor meals last up to 3 months in the freezer. If the temperature in your freezer is stable, the meals will last longer.
We recommend you eat frozen Factor meals as soon as possible to avoid flavor and temperature changes. Additionally, allowing these meals to sit in the freezer for too long creates a high risk of freezer burn.
Can You Refreeze Factor Meals?
Refreezing Factor meals is not recommended for two reasons.
First, exposing the food to temperature changes multiple times increases the risk of bacterial contamination. And second, refreezing Factor meal will further affect their texture and flavor.
Freezing Factor meals in small portions may help you avoid refreezing them.
If you do decide to refreeze Factor meals, do so only if they have been defrosted in the fridge. If you have already reheated the meals, allow them to cool, and only then refreeze them.
How To Defrost Factor Meals
The best way to defrost Factor meals is to transfer them from the freezer into the fridge. This is not only the safest way to thaw food, but also the best way to avoid texture changes.
It may take Factor meals up to 24 hours to fully defrost in the fridge. If you want to speed up the process, place the bag or container of Factor food under running cold water. Make sure the container or the bag is tightly sealed when you do this.
You can reheat Factor meals without defrosting them. However, this is not something we recommend you do as reheating frozen meals without defrosting them first causes major texture and flavor changes.
How Long Do Defrosted Factor Meals Last?
Factor meals that have been fully defrosted can be stored in the fridge for an additional day or two. However, it is best to reheat and eat Factor meals as soon as they have thawed.
How Do You Reheat Factor Meals?
You can reheat Factor meals in the oven or in the microwave. For the microwave, start with 3 minutes. If the food remains too cold for your liking, reheat in 30- to 60-second intervals until it is warm enough for you.
If you are using the oven to reheat defrosted Factor meals, transfer the food into an oven-safe dish, cover with foil, and heat it for around 15 minutes. You can adjust the time and temperature depending on the meal.
How Do You Know If Factor Meals Have Gone Bad?
According to the brand, Factor meals will last a full week in the fridge. Each meal has an expiration date so that when your next Factor meal delivery arrives you don’t get mixed up.
Factor meals don’t contain any GMOs and preservatives, so don’t expect them to last longer than homecooked food. These meals only last 7 days if they are unopened.
Factor meal leftovers may be good for 3 to 4 days. After this time, they should be discarded even if they smell and look good.
You should discard Factor meals if you notice an off-putting smell or flavor.
As for frozen Factor meals, let them defrost and only then check the meals for any signs of spoilage. Significant color and texture changes, off-putting smell, and mold are signs that the meal has gone bad.