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What Should I Know About Freezing Meat?

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  • Written By: Margo Upson
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 27 September 2016
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Many grocery stores offer a great deal on large packages of meat. These packs contain several meals worth of meat, in one package, at a discounted price. Buying meat in bulk is a great way to save money, if you know how to properly freeze it.

When buying meat in bulk for the purpose of freezing it, it is important to know how to properly store it. Freezing meat must be done correctly, or else the meat may become freezer burned. The meat needs to go into the freezer immediately after you get it home. Carefully wash your hands and any utensils you may be using to avoid contaminating the meat with bacteria. Excessive fat should be trimmed off before freezing meat.

Meat should be stored in specially designed freezer bags, wrapped in foil over wrapped in plastic wrap, or both. Some plastic containers are also made specifically for freezing meat and other products. Cuts of meat can be separated with wax paper. Meat should be wrapped thoroughly, especially if not kept in a freezer bag. Most meats have a freezer life of a few months before even the best wrapped meats will begin to go bad.

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There are a few tips to keep in mind when freezing meat. Fresh seafood should be cleaned before being frozen. Clams should be shucked before freezing; however, this is not necessary for oysters. If meat is thawed, it is possible to refreeze it again, although some of the quality of the meat may be lost. Meat should be separated into packs that will freeze within twenty-four hours to keep meat from going bad before it is entirely frozen. This works out to around three pounds (a little under 1.5 kilograms).

Freezing meat bought in bulk is an easy way to cut down on grocery costs. Meat should be thawed either in the microwave or in a refrigerator. Allowing meat to thaw on a counter is dangerous, because bacteria easily multiply once the meat is over 40˚F/5˚C. Properly freezing, and thawing, meat will keep your meat purchases from decreasing in quality before you get a chance to enjoy them.

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LisaLou
Post 3

We keep an extra freezer in the basement and are able to store a lot of meat in there. Once when we lost power, we didn't realize the freezer had not kicked back on. By the time we realized it, a lot of the meat had started to thaw it. It was still partially frozen, so I went ahead and put it back in the freezer. It all turned out to be OK.

I think the best way to freeze meat is to be sure it is sealed tight - whether it be vacuum sealed or wrapped in plastic or paper. It is also helpful to write a date on the package so you know how long the meat has been in the freezer.

bagley79
Post 2

@myharley - I usually don't buy more meat than I can use in 6 months. I know some say you can go longer than that, but I think you lose some of the quality of the meat - especially if you get freezer burn.

I was always told that refreezing meat was not a good idea, but it sounds like it might be better if it has not completely thawed out.

myharley
Post 1

I try to save money any way I can, and like to stock up whenever I go to my local food warehouse because they have such great prices on meat. As soon as I get home, I divide it out into the right size servings and then put in the freezer. This makes is so much easier to just pull the right size out when you are ready to cook it.

I try not to buy too much because I don't have a lot of extra space in my freezer, but have always wondered how long can you freeze meat?

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