Proper Meat Storage is Important as it represents a large part of your Food Budget


Meat Storage is Important as it Represents a Large part of your Food Budget

Whether you are buying for a family or just one person, proper meat storage is important. One rule of thumb is never wash meat before storing. The added moisture will allow bacteria to grow, increasing the risk of spoilage.

Every year there are more cases of food poisoning reported like ecoli and samonella. Many of these could be avoided if certain food safety guidelines are followed.

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If you are planning on using the meat within two days, it may be kept in the refrigerator. Put it in the part that is the coldest (which is usually the top rear). If you are going to freeze it re-wrap in freezer safe wrap and make sure your freezer is not overloaded. Frozen meat storage is best if some air can circulate around the packages. A good air and moisture proof wrap is a must. Deep freezers are best for storing meats for longer periods of time. Tupperware has a great product for Freezing Meats,Defrosting them, and serving them in the same container.

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Canned meat can be kept on the shelf for basically the use by date. They have a fairly long shelf life. Never freeze canned meats. If your freezer stays between -10 degrees to 0 the life of the meat will be longer. That is why most refrigerator freezers are not a really good choice for meat storage. They are opened too often for the freezer to maintain the temperature required for optimum storage.

Storing Meat Properly is one thing but Meat Cooking Temperatures are important also!!!

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Usually it is not a good idea to refreeze meats. Frozen meat storage is meant for fresh meats, frozen for the first time because they retain their flavor and natural juices. Natural flavors and juices can be lost if you were to refreeze the meat. While some meats are ok if frozen for several months, some are not. Pork should only be kept for a maximum of 60 days. If you are not planning on using it within this specified time, you should not keep it. Beef can be frozen for up to a year if wrapped properly and your freezer maintains the temperature mentioned previously.

When wrapping for meats for storage make sure the meat is sealed properly so no air remains in the package. Large amounts of meat should be separated and frozen so they will thaw easier and risk of packages tearing and exposing the meat is lessened. Freezer burn can occur should packages are not sealed properly. Placing freezer paper between steaks, burgers, or pork chops helps you to be able to separate them while they are still frozen. Vacuum sealing your meat before freezing it is also a good option.

Refrigerated Meat Storage Chart

Frozen Meat Storage Chart

Frozen meat storage in bulk can be easier on your budget if you separate the big packages for more than one meal. Most stores have a lower price per pound on larger packages. That way that huge package of ground beef can be put in three or four packages which aids in freezing faster and thawing time is less. These days meat is expensive and if you can get a bargain, all the better.

The only problem with buying this way is making sure the food is stored, frozen, and organized. We know you’re probably wondering what organized has to do with it, well have you ever found that select cut of meat in the back of the freezer but it’s too late as there is so much freezer burn it’s ridiculous.

The best way is to use the First In / First Out basically newly purchased items to the rear of the freezer and older items upfront. You should keep the temperature at 0 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. Use moisture-proof, freezer weight wrap. Freezer bags and freezer paper are good, we normally stay away from foil as it sticks to the meat.

Just use common sense and reviewing manufacturers recommendations before storing meats either refrigerated or frozen and you will rest assured your meat will be fresh and ready to prepare your favorite family recipe.

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