14 Aug How to store meat in freezer?
Defrosting meat properly is as important as knowing how to freeze it. Carrying out this process well will protect you from intoxication and ensure quality and tasty food. For this reason, we find it very useful to share with you all the essential details of how to defrost meat and some interesting tips.
In this useful guide, you will have the three most recommended defrosting methods according to the experts, explained step by step and very didactically. In addition, we also tell you how to freeze meat effectively. Keep reading!
How to store meat in freezer?
The task of freezing meat is not complicated, although you need to consider some essential details to carry it out with good results. Here’s how to do it:
Know the potential of your freezer. Stars categorize home freezers from 1 to 4 (-6º, -12º, -18º and -24º). Since food needs to be refrigerated at least below -18º, freezers between 1 and 3 stars serve to keep food frozen, but they do not ensure an optimal process, so take it into account.
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Buy fresh, good-quality meat. Do not buy products that are about to expire, as you risk spoiling during the process. Likewise, avoid freezing minced meat as much as possible unless you are sure it is very fresh; in this case, you could freeze it. Finally, in the supermarket, he puts the meat almost at the end of the purchase.
He prefers cuts that are easier to freeze. All meats, without exception, can be frozen, although some are better than others for this process, either due to their ease of handling or their organoleptic characteristics. In this sense, keep in mind that lean pieces resist freezing better than pieces with higher fat content.
Freeze the meat as soon as possible. Preferably do it immediately. Keep in mind that although the package indicates several days to go to damage, it already slowly begins to deteriorate during that period. In other words, if you wait a long time, you will noticeably reduce the product’s durability.
Dispose of the waxed paper and the tray it comes with. The trays are made of a thermally insulating material known as XPS, which slows down freezing, takes up a lot of space and is not always hermetically sealed. On the other hand, the wax paper does not work well for freezing food.
Eliminate visible pieces of fat. Fats tend to turn up and therefore tend to accelerate the breakdown of the rest of the meat.
Store the meat in portions. If it is a large piece, cut it into portions of 200-250 grams. In this way, you will obtain several advantages: you will be able to handle the meat more easily, the pieces will take less time to freeze and it will be even. You will only defrost the necessary meat and the defrosting process will be easier and safer.
Wrap the meat rations very well. Make it first with plastic wrap and then put them in special plastic bags or containers to freeze. If you use bags, remove all the air and seal them. Another option to freeze meat without sticking would be to have a homemade vacuum packing machine.
Freeze large cuts in their original bag. We refer to products such as pork leg, roast, round, etc. In these cases, check the package and check that it is hermetically closed. Otherwise, store the product in special large bags for freezing or seal them with plastic wrap.
Label the containers. Give them the date of purchase, the day you frozen them (if you didn’t freeze them upon arrival) and the name of the product.
Keep a control. Keep a list in a notebook or any electronic device (mobile, computer or tablet). The good idea is to create a list in Excel.
Tip: wash your hands before and after handling any type of raw meat to avoid food contamination.
How to defrost meat correctly?
The US Department of Health and Human Services recommends keeping thawed foods no more than 4.44º. For this reason, slow defrosting in the refrigerator is the best option because it does not break the cold chain. Consequently, it better preserves the organoleptic characteristics of the food and its decomposition does not accelerate as much once defrosted. But if you need a faster and risk-free method, immersion in cold water will do.
How to defrost meat gradually?
Cuts under 2 kilos need about 12 hours, so you can defrost them overnight before cooking. Now, if you are wondering how to defrost roast meat and other large pieces, it can take approximately 24 hours for every 2.5 kg of meat. In these cases, you should check the meat every 24 hours since you need to ensure it is already thawed. Without further ado, we recommend that you review the following steps:
Transfer the meat from the freezer to the refrigerator. Never thaw meat with hot water or by leaving it at room temperature.
Place a deep dish or roasting pan under the meat. The idea is to prevent the liquid products of the defrosting process from touching the meat. An interesting suggestion is to place a rack over a bowl or roasting pan, put the meat on top and, finally, place both on the last floor below, towards the bottom. In addition, this practice avoids contamination of other foods.
Keep it before cooking. If you plan to consume it in a while or the next day, do not leave it at room temperature and keep it in the fridge. Ground meat, fish and poultry can be left for about 1-2 days, while beef, pork, veal or lamb will last for about 3-5 days.
How to defrost meat quickly with cold water?
This method lets you defrost 1 piece of meat weighing between ½ kilo and 1 kilo in approximately 15-30 minutes. If you are dealing with a 2.5 kilo piece, it will take about 1 hour. Finally, if you have cuts from 2.5 kilos, you will need about 2-3 hours. That said, we indicate below the steps to follow to know how to defrost meat with water:
- Put the piece in a bag. If it’s already in one, leave it there. Instead, if it’s in a plastic or other container, transfer it to a zip-lock bag.
- Check that the bag is tightly closed. This is very important, as no water should get into it.
- Dip the bagged meat in cold tap water. Tap water has a temperature that ranges between 7 and 10 degrees Celsius.
- Change the water every 30 minutes to keep it cool. When defrosting meat with water, never allow it to reach 30-42 degrees Celsius. For this reason, if you live in a very hot place, you may need to change the water more often and add 1-2 ice cubes.
- Cook the meat as soon as you defrost it. Rapid thawing methods accelerate the growth of bacteria.