Stocking up on meat can have a really positive impact on your food budget. It’s always good to know you have meat stored away in your freezer in case of bad weather or last-minute meal changes. Correctly wrapping meat for freezer storage is a vital part of the process.
Freezing meat stops bacteria and mold growth while reducing enzyme activity. Be sure to use absolutely clean cutting boards when preparing meat for freezing.
Frozen beef does not lose nutritional value during storage, whereas non-frozen meat can lose nutrients more quickly. For all of the above reasons, you’ll likely want to freeze at least some of the beef raised via the principles of regenerative agriculture that you order from Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed.
Here are the best ways to wrap that meat.
Every consumer wants to avoid freezer burn in their stored meat. Freezer burn is caused when water molecules near the top of the meat evaporate before going into their liquid phase. It’s technically known as sublimation. Rather than change from solid ice to liquid to gas – water vapor – that middle step does not occur. The result is dehydration, an unattractive appearance, and possible discoloration. The meat is safe, but it doesn’t look appetizing.
Using freezer paper eliminates freezer burn. Freezer paper is similar to wax paper, but there is a matte finish on one side. If you don’t have access to freezer paper, wax paper will substitute. However, wax paper is less water-resistant than bona fide freezer paper. Much depends on how long you intend to store the meat. If it’s just for a few weeks, wax paper doesn’t present a problem. For longer-term storage, definitely go with freezer paper.
Start by removing the meat from its original packaging. If there are any parts of the meat you don’t want, such as fat or bones, trim it and get rid of it. After dividing the meat into portions, use enough freezer paper so that there is a sufficient amount to wrap around each portion twice.
During the wrapping, take care to make sure little air gets into it. Lay the freezer paper flat and put the meat into one corner. After folding the corner of the freezer paper over the meat, roll the meat onto the paper, constantly keeping pressure to keep as much air out as possible. Fold the next corner of the freezer paper over and repeat the process. Fold in that next corner, then flip it again. The meat is then rolled over the remaining paper.
While maintaining pressure, use freezer or masking tape to keep the freezer paper in place.
After wrapping, place the meat in freezer bags or some other type of material that resists moisture. It’s a good idea to label each package so you know what it contains and when it was wrapped.
When storing meat in the freezer, leave ample room for air circulation between the packages.
Wrap the Package Again
While it is generally not a good idea to store meat in its original packaging, as these materials were not created for long-term storage, it can be done if you are pressed for time and intend to use the meat within a few weeks. Keep in mind the risk of freezer burn increases.
If you do want to store the meat in its original packaging, here is what the USDA recommends for maintaining quality: Wrap the package again in foil or plastic wrap designed for the freezer.
How Long Can You Freeze Beef?
When wrapped properly and stored in the freezer, frozen beef is safe indefinitely. However, it is best to consume uncooked steaks, chops, and roasts within four months to one year, as per the USDA. Ground beef is best used within four months of freezing.
What about cooked and refrozen beef? Make a meal of it within two to three months.
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When you order 100% grass fed beef from Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed, you are receiving the healthiest meat available. There are no hormones or antibiotics in this meat, and the cattle were never fed grain. Take advantage of our subscription deals and keep plenty of meat available in your freezer.
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