Pate is one of those foods that is known for having a very short shelf life after it’s made. This French cuisine is a unique culinary dish that can be made a lot of different ways.
Liver pate is probably one of the most common but there are several other types as well, like mushroom pate.
When you make pate, a little bit goes a long way. Since the leftovers won’t hold up very long, what do you do with them?
It is essential to know and understand how you can safely handle dishes like pate and the best way to get the longest life out of them. It’s also important to know when it’s time to toss it out.
Can you freeze pate? You can freeze pate but because of the high-fat content in pate, you have to be mindful that the texture and taste can easily be affected during the freezing process. Cutting the pate into small, individual cubes and flash freezing is the best way to maintain the texture of the pate.
In this guide, we will share with you the answers to this question, complete with all of the details as to how you can freeze pate.
We will cover other topics like how long it lasts and even understanding when it’s time to throw it out.
Stick with us to learn how to freeze pate and more!
How to Freeze Pate – The Complete Guide
If pate is a dish that is fairly new to you, there is a certain bit of cultural nuance that surrounds the dish.
It is often considered a wealthy dish, much like caviar is. It is often made as a delicacy with gourmet foods like duck liver; however, pate doesn’t always use poultry.
What is really nice is that pate can absolutely be a fancy, gourmet dish that uses expensive materials; however, it can also be an inexpensive dish that is still often a popular addition.
Probably no one would even notice if you make an inexpensive pate. It will still be seen as a gourmet contribution.
Most people prefer chilled pate but it can be served as a hot or cold dish. Many experienced pate makers and servers will actually chill it for a couple of days before serving it because the flavor seems to stand out more when doing so.
The name “pate” comes from the French; the word translates to “paste” in English. Pate is typically molded into a small loaf or a crust to be served. It can be chunky or it can be creamy, and it no longer is always molded.
Sometimes, it is just served almost like a spread or a dip. It is typically served with bread or crackers to place it on as well.
Now, let’s talk about storing and freezing pate.
Can You Freeze Liver Pate?
Liver pate and any other type of pate is known for having a short shelf life. It really only stays fresh for a few days but it also doesn’t seem to run out very fast.
You can absolutely freeze pate, regardless of what kind of pate it is. What you need to know is that it is possible that your pate will not be exactly the same when you defrost it and use it.
It is possible for the texture to change simply because of what is in it and how it is made.
Here are some simple steps to freeze liver pate.
- It is best if you cut the liver pate into small portions. However, if it is unopened you can also leave it as is. We recommend cutting into portions because then you can just defrost what you need.
- Place the separated portions onto a tray or platter of some sort and pop it in the freezer to flash freeze for about 4-6 hours or even overnight.
- Once you have flash-frozen the portions, you can arrange them into a freezer-safe container that is airtight or place them into a freezer bag. We recommend separating layers with parchment paper to avoid sticking.
- Seal your storage means as tightly and airtight as possible.
- Label and date all of the packaging.
- Store in the freezer in this manner for up to 6 months.
If you follow these guidelines, you are likely to have much better results in the end. The reason that we recommend separating out portions is because you don’t want to have to re-freeze pate after it has defrosted.
It simply doesn’t go very well and it might not be very safe, particularly with liver pate that has meat and potentially seafood in it as well.
If you use the flash freeze and then be mindful to separate portions as well as freeze the liver pate in an airtight container, you shouldn’t have any major issues.
Can You Freeze Mushroom Pate?
If you don’t want to use liver or perhaps you want to enjoy a vegan version of pate, mushroom pate is another popular option that you can consider.
Rather than liver, seafood, and other meats, this pate uses things like mushrooms, garlic, rosemary, parsley, and pan-roasted walnuts made into a paste.
It’s a delicious version of pate and a nice twist when you just want to change it up a bit as well. So the question is, can you freeze mushroom pate like you freeze liver pate?
Freezing mushroom pate is very similar to freezing liver pate but it might actually have better results in the end. The texture is less likely to change in the freezer simply because of the substance of the dish.
Mushroom pate might change slightly when it is frozen but it should do pretty well overall. What really affects the taste is typically the fat content when you freeze a dish.
Much like with liver pate, we recommend that you freeze this in separate portions as you won’t want to re-freeze it after you have let it defrost.
If you aren’t sure how to separate portions, you can use molds or ice trays, or you can simply place scoops onto a tray.
If you know you will use 1/2 of a cup every single time you use it, then you can freeze it in those amounts as well. There is no specific guideline here, except it’s much better not to freeze an entire loaf of mushroom pate together.
Here are our recommended steps to freezing mushroom pate.
- Separate pate into desired portions before freezing. You will do a flash freeze in step 2 so just place the separated portions onto a baking sheet or some other useful item and leave it uncovered.
- Flash freeze the portions on an uncovered tray or dish. Flash freezing will help hold the ingredients together better and keep the different portions separated. It also helps the entire mushroom pate hold up better in the freezer so there is less change in texture when you remove it from the freezer.
- Allow the separated portions of mushroom pate to flash freeze for several hours. For mushroom pate, it probably will only take 1-2 hours but you can leave it longer or even overnight if you need to. Just be sure it is fully frozen before moving on.
- When your pate is fully frozen, remove it from the freezer and place the portions into either an airtight container or a freezer-safe storage bag. Separate layers with parchment paper so they don’t stick together.
- Seal all packaging in an airtight method, removing as much air as you can before the final seal.
- Label and date all packaging so you know the recommended dates to use it by.
- Freeze in this manner for up to 5 months.
This process is pretty simple.
If you are worried about freezer burn, you can also individually wrap each serving with plastic wrap or wax paper after you flash freeze it. This is simply an added precautionary step that you can take but it isn’t required.
If you follow the steps and tips in the guidelines provided above, you should have good success with your freezing processes.
Remember that you might notice a slightly different texture after it defrosts but it should be alright after freezing and the freezing process is safe and reliable.
How Long Does Pate Last?
Now, let’s talk a little bit about how long pate lasts. There are several different scenarios here.
How long does it last fresh? How long does it last in the fridge? How long does it last after you’ve defrosted it? We will answer each of these questions here.
When you freeze pate, the general consensus is that you can freeze it for about 3-6 months and maintain the quality.
Technically speaking, since it is in the freezer you could freeze it longer but these are the maximum timeframes to really ensure quality when you decide to remove it from the freezer.
When you purchase or make fresh pate, it does not last very long in general. It should always be stored in the fridge but the overall shelf life is rather short.
Some people like to chill pate for a couple of days before serving it so this time should also be considered in the total shelf life, not just the time from serving and beyond.
Typically, you can expect pate to last in the fridge for about 7-10 days. 7 days is the recommended timeframe but some people have been known to get 10 days out of it.
This is true of homemade pate as well as store-bought pate that is unopened.
If you know early on that you will need to freeze your pate, the sooner you freeze the better it will be. The general rule of thumb is that the freezer preserves foods in the state they are in at the time of freezing.
With that rule in mind, you should freeze as soon as possible for the best results with freezing. However, if all else fails, your pate should be fine in the fridge for potentially up to 10 days.
Defrosted Pate in the Fridge
The other element to consider is when you defrost pate, how long does it last? Ultimately, you should not try to re-freeze pate so when you put some out of the freezer and then put it into use, you need to either use it or toss it.
It is not considered safe or even tasty to re-freeze pate that has been defrosted and it will not go well most likely.
When you defrost pate, it does not last quite as long as when you originally had the pate. The recommended timeframe to use pate after defrosting it is within 2 days.
It is possible that the pate may last you up to 5 days but the quality will deteriorate much more quickly overall.
How to Defrost Pate
There are two basic options when you need to defrost pate. It is recommended that you plan ahead and let it defrost slowly. This is the best way to defrost it in order to not have to worry about quality going down.
If you simply don’t have time for a slow defrost, you can try to defrost quickly but be mindful that it may not work as well.
Here are the steps to defrost pate properly.
- At least one full day before you need to use the pate, remove it from the freezer and place it into the fridge.
- Allow the pate to defrost in the fridge for 12-24 hours.
- A slow defrost leads to quality pate that is chilled and ready to serve with little change in texture.
Obviously, this particular option takes some planning and effort on your part and there are times where it simply doesn’t work out.
If you need a quick method for defrosting pate, try out this one.
- Fill a bowl with room temperature water.
- Make sure the pate is in a fully wrapped or sealed bag that won’t let water in at all.
- Place the wrapped/packed pate into the water and fully submerge it.
- Allow the pate to sit in the water for 1-2 hours until it defrosts.
We highly recommend that if you are able, you use the long and slow defrost method. This is what will ultimately work the best and will leave your pate in the best state possible when you are ready to enjoy it.
You are more likely to experience textural and flavor changes if you try to use the quick defrost method instead.
We hope you find this guide to freezing pate to provide you with all of the details that you need to successfully freeze your pate. Check out our common question and answer section below for some additional details as well.
Can You Refreeze Pate?
We do not recommend refreezing pate as the quality and texture will degrade considerably.
Can You Freeze Terrine?
Terrine and pate are very similar and almost interchangeable. You can follow similar steps and guidelines to freeze terrine as well.
Can You Freeze Any Pate?
All pate is made with the same general concept, even if it has different ingredients. You should be able to freeze any pate using the tips we’ve shared in this guide.
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