At The Best Stop, we’re firm believers that the best meat is fresh meat. But we also understand that eating meat while it’s fresh isn’t always a possibility—and we’d rather see our customers save our award-winning cuts of specialty meats for later than throwing away perfectly good food!
Between saving money on bulk purchases and saving time during a busy schedule, there’s a lot of perks to storing meat in the freezer for later. However, if not frozen properly, you can run the risk of ruining the flavor and quality of meat—or worse, developing harmful bacteria!
The Basics of Freezing Foods:
Different cuts of meats freeze differently and require different considerations. Chicken breasts should be individually wrapped and frozen quickly upon purchase, fish should only be frozen in water or airtight packing and beef only holds its flavor for about 4-6 months in the freezer.
However, despite the differences in cuts, they still all follow the same basic rules for proper freezing and storage. Follow these tips to keep your freezer neatly organized while ensuring that your meat is frozen properly and protected against harmful bacteria!
Organization is Key
A lot of people make the mistake of freezing large portions of meat at once. Avoid doing this whenever possible because it can make both the freezing and thawing process more difficult. Instead, meat should be stored in meal-sized portions with the cut, quantity and date clearly labeled. This way, you can ensure that your meat is freezing correctly without being exposed to bacteria and is thawing evenly.
Freeze Meat Fast
When it comes to freezing meat, it should always be frozen as fast as possible. This prevents the formation of large ice crystals along the meat’s surface, which can lead to freezer burn and result in dryer, tougher meat when thawed. To ensure that this doesn’t happen, make sure that your freezer temperature is set to at least 0ºF.
Wrap Your Meat When Freezing
The most important thing is to avoid exposing frozen meat to outside air. While a vacuum-sealer is ideal for ensuring that meats are packaged correctly, you can get by just fine with double wrapping cuts of meat with freezer paper, plastic wrap, aluminum foil or airtight zip-loc bags.
Thawing Frozen Meat
Food should never be thawed on the countertop or outdoors! Thawing at room temperature raises the chances of meat developing bacteria, which can make you sick and ruin the flavor of the cut. The safest methods for thawing frozen meat is in the microwave, in the refrigerator or in a cold water bath.
We’re firm believers that, for the best results, meat should always be thawed overnight (or a few nights for larger cuts) in the fridge for the best results. Plus, if you change your mind, meat that has been thawed in the fridge can be refrozen again.
But if you’re in a rush, placing fully wrapped cuts of meat in a bowl with cold water can safely thaw it in the span of a few hours. Just make sure that you’re replacing the water about every 30 minutes to protect your meat from the formation of bacteria.
Only use the microwave when you’re absolutely pressed for time—we find that thawing meat in the microwave changes its consistency and texture. Because every microwave is different, you should look up the manufacturer’s guide to double check that you’re thawing meat properly with your microwave!
It All Starts With High Quality Cuts
The only meat worth freezing is high-quality fresh meat. Fortunately, The Best Stop specializes in just that. For over 30 years The Best Stop in Scott, Louisiana has been providing award-winning cuts of specialty meats and Cajun cuisine to Acadiana.
With the launch of our online store, we are now able to ship our specialty meats nationwide!