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Preparing Poultry for a Freezer

Poultry is easy to freeze as a whole or half bird.

The only point to remember is that a whole or half bird may have sharp edges so these need careful preparation before freezing.

PREPARATION TIME: 30 minutes for a whole bird, more time if splitting it. Allow an additional 2 hours to activate a fast freze facility in your freezer
EQUIPMENT: Kitchen foil and a large freezer bag. If splitting the bird, you will need a large, sharp, strong knife and some muscle power. If you buy the poultry from your local butcher, he / she will be more than happy to split up the bird for you. 



If you are freezing a whole bird, set the fast freeze feature to "on" a couple of hours before putting the bird in the freezer. Whole and half birds will keep in the freezer for up to 9 months.

We have assumed the bird has been prepared for cooking. Make sure you remove any giblets which have been stored in the body cavity.


If you plan to use the chicken or turkey for a roast then it's best to freeze the bird whole.

But if you plan to use smaller portions then cutting the bird in two makes better use of freezer space, Click here for detailed instructions on how to joint a chicken. Just follow the steps until the bird is cut into two.

Chicken cut into two halves
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Chicken cut into two halves


Half or whole birds often have sharp edges, especially legs and joints. Use string to tie up the bird so that as many sharp edges as possible are protected.

For those sharp edges that remain, tear off strips of kitchen foil and fold them four or five times. Wrap the folded foil around the sharp edges to prevent them puncturing the packaging.

chicken ends protected
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chicken ends protected


Wrap the bird twice in kitchen foil excluding as much air as possible.

Mark up a large freezer bag and place the covered chicken inside. Gather up the open end of the bag and suck out the air with a straw. Seal the bag with a tie. Place the bird in the fast freeze section of your freezer.

Chicken ready for freezer
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Chicken ready for freezer

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