Frozen meat: yea or nay?

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jdietz
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Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#1 Post by jdietz » November 5th, 2012, 2:52 pm

After reading Dick Krueger's report of "funky" flavors in some steak his wife found after who knows how long in the freezer, I started thinking about frozen meat, especially steak.

I, personally, buy steak fresh and don't freeze any. I can see if you killed a moose or a deer and have to store it. But beef?

What's the take on frozen meats?
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#2 Post by Henry Kiichli » November 5th, 2012, 2:58 pm

Hi JIm,

Well, fresh is obviously better, but one doesn't always have the option. For example, a colleague of mine just offered lamb from their farm. I took a leg and 2kg of chops, frozen. I had to buy it now, for use later.
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#3 Post by R A Rowe » November 5th, 2012, 2:59 pm

jdietz wrote:After reading Dick Krueger's report of "funky" flavors in some steak his wife found after who knows how long in the freezer, I started thinking about frozen meat, especially steak.

I, personally, buy steak fresh and don't freeze any. I can see if you killed a moose or a deer and have to store it. But beef?

What's the take on frozen meats?
I buy steaks fresh as well, as I never eat it on a whim anyways.
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#4 Post by Chris Presutti » November 5th, 2012, 3:06 pm

I added a few [flash frozen] mismatched NY strips to our last Flannery order. We had them on Saturday night and they may have been among the best tasting steaks we've ever had (and that says a lot).

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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#5 Post by c fu » November 5th, 2012, 3:06 pm

I don't see a problem as long as it's sealed properly
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#6 Post by Z. Hu » November 5th, 2012, 3:14 pm

Yea
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#7 Post by David K o l i n » November 5th, 2012, 3:19 pm

Yea. I often buy sub-primals when I see them at my butchers. Since only me and my daughter are meat eaters, I'll break them down and freeze what I don't eat fresh

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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#8 Post by SteveC » November 5th, 2012, 3:28 pm

Fresh is always much, much better. I hate to eat frozen.
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#9 Post by Chris Blum » November 5th, 2012, 3:56 pm

Length of time meat can survive the freezer depends upon how cold you can keep it, how stable you can keep the temp, what type of meat and how you package it before storage.

In our freezer, red meat and poultry should easily last 3 months and typically up to maybe 6-8 months before suffering. Oddly pork does not last as long nor does most fish. Salmon tends to survive longer but it could be that the flavor is strong enough to cover up better than some more delicately flavored fish.

We try to get rid of as much oxygen as possible using a ziplock and a straw or (just your mouth), then wrap in foil if we are gonna store longer than a month. you can add a layer of plastic wrap or wax paper between steaks for easy separation for faster thawing.
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#10 Post by Nolan E » November 5th, 2012, 4:18 pm

When prime beef goes on sale I may buy upwards of 15 pounds, so obviously I have to freeze it. If I buy pre-cut steaks, I will wrap each on individually in foil and put 2-3 in a gallon sized freezer ziploc bag. I usually write the date I froze the meat on the bag, too, and sometimes the cut if I get more than one type.
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#11 Post by Bill Tex Landreth » November 5th, 2012, 4:18 pm

Freezing does not affect dry aged beef. I have a freezer full and have no issues.

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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#12 Post by SteveC » November 5th, 2012, 4:23 pm

Creates even more shrinkage Bill
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#13 Post by Rick Smith » November 5th, 2012, 4:29 pm

Bill Tex Landreth wrote:Freezing does not affect dry aged beef. I have a freezer full and have no issues.

Waiting for a Smarty Pants response...
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#14 Post by Patrick Friel » November 5th, 2012, 4:40 pm

Frozen, yea, if you vacuum seal it in plastic or do something similar like Chris' straw method. I've also heard of putting it in a zip-lock freezer bag and submerging everything except the open end in a sink of water to force the air out before sealing it.

If I understand it correctly, what destroys the flavor of anything you keep in a self-defrosting freezer for an extended period is the defrost cycle repeatedly raising and lowering the temperature over time. The process dehydrates the food slightly each time and will alter the flavor eventually, aka, freezer burn.

I'm not even sure they make freezers that don't automatically defrost anymore. We had one when I was a kid. We'd buy a half a cow every year, cut up, wrapped and frozen and put it in a stand alone freezer. Never recall freezer burn from that machine but we had to manually defrost the thing every year to remove the layer of frost that would build up in the interior.

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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#15 Post by Andrew Morris » November 5th, 2012, 5:02 pm

Two things which make a difference in how frozen meat will be when thawed:

Was it very fresh when frozen?

What is the temp. and how much variation in temp. on the freezer?

We keep beef up to 15 month frozen between 0-5f in a chest freezer with no decline issues. I like to use the burger a little quicker, but that usually takes care of itself.

We buy grass & milk fed calf from a friend at 8-9 months and have the butchered. 1/2 a calf lasts 1 yr. @ $2.75/lb cut and wrapped.
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#16 Post by Bill Tex Landreth » November 5th, 2012, 5:25 pm

Rick Smith wrote:
Bill Tex Landreth wrote:Freezing does not affect dry aged beef. I have a freezer full and have no issues.

Waiting for a Smarty Pants response...
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#17 Post by S Haller » November 5th, 2012, 5:41 pm

Bill Tex Landreth wrote:
Rick Smith wrote:
Bill Tex Landreth wrote:Freezing does not affect dry aged beef. I have a freezer full and have no issues.

Waiting for a Smarty Pants response...
Must be nice to be rich.
It. Is. f*cking. Awesome!
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#18 Post by scamhi » November 5th, 2012, 6:10 pm

I would challenge someone to taste a difference between dry aged frozen meat and fresh.
Who wants to try?
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#19 Post by Peter Kleban » November 5th, 2012, 6:32 pm

scamhi wrote:I would challenge someone to taste a difference between dry aged frozen meat and fresh.
Who wants to try?
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#20 Post by Francis S » November 5th, 2012, 6:38 pm

I don't freeze much meat for very long; 3-lbs./3-wks. I don't think I can add much to your research sample.


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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#21 Post by Bill Tex Landreth » November 5th, 2012, 6:49 pm

Need to be a bit more creative and not so derivative or predictable.
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#22 Post by George Hejna » November 6th, 2012, 11:59 am

I used to dislike frozen meat then I bought a vacuum sealer. It made a HUGE difference. Also a slow thaw is very important IMO.

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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#23 Post by Bill Tex Landreth » November 6th, 2012, 12:02 pm

George Hejna wrote:I used to dislike frozen meat then I bought a vacuum sealer. It made a HUGE difference. Also a slow thaw is very important IMO.

George
Slow thaw is definitely key here.
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#24 Post by S Haller » November 6th, 2012, 12:26 pm

Does anybody ever use the "defrost" button on their microwave? I never have but there has been a time or two when I wanted. I ended up taking the family out to dinner instead.
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#25 Post by R A Rowe » November 6th, 2012, 12:38 pm

S Haller wrote:Does anybody ever use the "defrost" button on their microwave? I never have but there has been a time or two when I wanted. I ended up taking the family out to dinner instead.
Just once a few years ago. It was half par-cooked and half still frozen.
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#26 Post by Peter Kleban » November 6th, 2012, 1:02 pm

use it all the time. It works fine, but sometimes the time is a bit too short or long (most MWs ask for the weight to be defrosted and calculate the time from that)

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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#27 Post by George Hejna » November 6th, 2012, 1:29 pm

Not on any quality meat. Ground beef maybe. I will throw a steak in cold water if I am in a hurry.

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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#28 Post by Mel Hill » November 6th, 2012, 1:42 pm

S Haller wrote: Must be nice to be in the 1% neener
Speaking of.... What has become of Victor? No posts since Oct 29th? [stirthepothal.gif]

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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#29 Post by Mel Hill » November 6th, 2012, 1:43 pm

George Hejna wrote:Not on any quality meat. Ground beef maybe. I will throw a steak in cold water if I am in a hurry.

George

Isn't that cooking style known as "Manlin style"

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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#30 Post by jordan whitehead » November 6th, 2012, 1:49 pm

took out a shrink wrapped flannery from the freezer. giving it the usual 3-4 days in the fridge to defrost.
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#31 Post by Tom Moore » November 6th, 2012, 9:41 pm

Mel Hill wrote:
S Haller wrote: Must be nice to be in the 1% neener
Speaking of.... What has become of Victor? No posts since Oct 29th? [stirthepothal.gif]
My thoughts exactly, not that I miss him, just seems weird.

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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#32 Post by Robert Pollard-Smith » November 6th, 2012, 11:03 pm

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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#33 Post by Ramon C » November 6th, 2012, 11:24 pm

For steaks and roasts, unless we overbought (only happens when last-minute no-show by guests) and have to store, frozen is a no -no. Or in this case, a nay nay. All butchers that we buy from sell some form of the dry-aged kinds and freezing them ruins the cell structure upon thawing.
For stews, braised meat dishes and pot roasts, frozen is OK with us. But this still hardly the case as we usually just purchase fresh meat for immediate consumption.
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#34 Post by c fu » November 7th, 2012, 9:28 am

Ramon Cabrera wrote:For steaks and roasts, unless we overbought (only happens when last-minute no-show by guests) and have to store, frozen is a no -no. Or in this case, a nay nay. All butchers that we buy from sell some form of the dry-aged kinds and freezing them ruins the cell structure upon thawing.
For stews, braised meat dishes and pot roasts, frozen is OK with us. But this still hardly the case as we usually just purchase fresh meat for immediate consumption.
did a "blind" taste test of fresh/frozen 28 day dry rib eye. Couldn't really taste the difference.
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#35 Post by Tom Moore » November 7th, 2012, 11:18 am

Charlie Fu wrote:
Ramon Cabrera wrote:For steaks and roasts, unless we overbought (only happens when last-minute no-show by guests) and have to store, frozen is a no -no. Or in this case, a nay nay. All butchers that we buy from sell some form of the dry-aged kinds and freezing them ruins the cell structure upon thawing.
For stews, braised meat dishes and pot roasts, frozen is OK with us. But this still hardly the case as we usually just purchase fresh meat for immediate consumption.
did a "blind" taste test of fresh/frozen 28 day dry rib eye. Couldn't really taste the difference.
Now that wifey and I are empty nesters and still appreciate the value of Costco, we freeze tri tips and that level of quality meat in a vacuum sealer and it is fine. We actually use that sealer for just about everything and it is great!

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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#36 Post by Ramon C » November 7th, 2012, 11:32 am

Charlie Fu wrote:
Ramon Cabrera wrote:For steaks and roasts, unless we overbought (only happens when last-minute no-show by guests) and have to store, frozen is a no -no. Or in this case, a nay nay. All butchers that we buy from sell some form of the dry-aged kinds and freezing them ruins the cell structure upon thawing.
For stews, braised meat dishes and pot roasts, frozen is OK with us. But this still hardly the case as we usually just purchase fresh meat for immediate consumption.
did a "blind" taste test of fresh/frozen 28 day dry rib eye. Couldn't really taste the difference.
Hard to beat a true blind test. But it could be hard to do a true blind test because you'll need some time to freeze the same cut, same cow, meat and then thaw to room temperature before cooking.

We've done non-blind, side-by-side, with 21-day porterhouse from same butcher source. The frozen one was in the freezer for 2 weeks and thawed the day before dinner in the refrigerator. Fresh one was bought same morning as dinner tasting. Meats came from different cows. Oven-broiled exactly the same time/temp and could tell difference in color and flavor. More beefier taste and more intense with the fresh meat.

Btw, perhaps number of days to dry-age can also make a difference. I'm not a fan of meats that are dried for longer than 21 days. That liver and leathery taste starts to show itself the longer the drying time.
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#37 Post by Scott G r u n e r » November 7th, 2012, 12:16 pm

I can understand why dry-aged might perform better. Unless you are able to flash freeze, the freezing process is damaging due to the slower speed of freezing water. Fast freezing produces smaller ice crystals that damage the tissue less. This is why defrosting meat tends to release so much liquid.

The bad flavors are typically freezer burn. Freezing for 3-6 months should be fine in good freezer conditions.
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#38 Post by Robert M yers » March 28th, 2020, 10:00 pm

I was searching for room in my freezer tonight and came across a factory vacuum sealed log of andouille sausage from Cochon meats. Totally forgot about it obviously as it’s been in there for possibly 3 years. The fda says frozen meat is edible indefinitely, is that true? It’s thawing now, but is that thing going to kill me? I know the texture can get funky with raw meats, but since this is cured I’m wondering what its chances are? I almost chucked it but thought I’d seek opinions.

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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#39 Post by c fu » March 29th, 2020, 12:45 am

Robert M yers wrote:
March 28th, 2020, 10:00 pm
I was searching for room in my freezer tonight and came across a factory vacuum sealed log of andouille sausage from Cochon meats. Totally forgot about it obviously as it’s been in there for possibly 3 years. The fda says frozen meat is edible indefinitely, is that true? It’s thawing now, but is that thing going to kill me? I know the texture can get funky with raw meats, but since this is cured I’m wondering what its chances are? I almost chucked it but thought I’d seek opinions.
look forward to hearing from you tomorrow.

maybe.
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#40 Post by dcornutt » March 29th, 2020, 1:24 am

Dry aged beef seems to do well for quite a while.
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#41 Post by Brian Gilp » March 29th, 2020, 5:41 am

I’ve had well sealed frozen meat after years in the freezer that was just fine.

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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#42 Post by Sarah Kirschbaum » March 29th, 2020, 5:58 am

It's a near certainty that everyone who refuses to entertain the notion of frozen meat has had it many times at restaurants - even very good restaurants - and been none the wiser. Well sealed, properly thawed meat will be almost indistinguishable from fresh as far as taste goes. There may be a small impact on texture, but less so than you'd get from variations in your cooking method. I'd rather buy quantities of the very best I can afford, most of which I freeze (properly), than shop every time for fresh and sometimes have to sacrifice quality due to availability.

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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#43 Post by Mike Evans » March 29th, 2020, 8:43 am

Robert M yers wrote:
March 28th, 2020, 10:00 pm
I was searching for room in my freezer tonight and came across a factory vacuum sealed log of andouille sausage from Cochon meats. Totally forgot about it obviously as it’s been in there for possibly 3 years. The fda says frozen meat is edible indefinitely, is that true? It’s thawing now, but is that thing going to kill me? I know the texture can get funky with raw meats, but since this is cured I’m wondering what its chances are? I almost chucked it but thought I’d seek opinions.
I wouldn’t worry. I’ve had Flannery steaks that have been vacuum sealed and frozen for at least 4 years that were pretty much indistinguishable from fresh.

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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#44 Post by RyanC » March 29th, 2020, 8:49 am

Yea. Vacuum sealed and frozen meat tastes perfect. And it's great to have a stash in the freezer.
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#45 Post by Jay Miller » March 29th, 2020, 5:38 pm

scamhi wrote:
November 5th, 2012, 6:10 pm
I would challenge someone to taste a difference between dry aged frozen meat and fresh.
Who wants to try?
If you're cooking, any time flirtysmile

Edited to add: didn't realize those posts were from 8 years ago. newhere
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#46 Post by scamhi » March 30th, 2020, 5:39 am

Jay Miller wrote:
March 29th, 2020, 5:38 pm
scamhi wrote:
November 5th, 2012, 6:10 pm
I would challenge someone to taste a difference between dry aged frozen meat and fresh.
Who wants to try?
If you're cooking, any time flirtysmile

Edited to add: didn't realize those posts were from 8 years ago. newhere
when life return to normal, I would be happy to cook for you.
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#47 Post by Jay Miller » March 30th, 2020, 6:44 am

scamhi wrote:
March 30th, 2020, 5:39 am
Jay Miller wrote:
March 29th, 2020, 5:38 pm
scamhi wrote:
November 5th, 2012, 6:10 pm
I would challenge someone to taste a difference between dry aged frozen meat and fresh.
Who wants to try?
If you're cooking, any time flirtysmile

Edited to add: didn't realize those posts were from 8 years ago. newhere
when life return to normal, I would be happy to cook for you.
and vice versa of course.
Ripe fruit isn't necessarily a flaw.

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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#48 Post by Rich Salsano » March 31st, 2020, 1:21 pm

Brian Gilp wrote:
March 29th, 2020, 5:41 am
I’ve had well sealed frozen meat after years in the freezer that was just fine.
Same here. Depends on what you are doing with it also. If you are going to braise, stew, slow cook it anyway, generally no downgrade in using well packaged frozen meat. Chopped meat and stuff like that is where the difference is most discernible if you ask me.
Richard Salsano

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Andrew Kotowski
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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#49 Post by Andrew Kotowski » March 31st, 2020, 4:55 pm

I've got a freezer full of frozen, vacuum-sealed meat. It's pretty damn reliable, although I believe I've noticed some differences in texture with cuts that have large fat-caps, etc.

I'm super happy ordering in bulk and freezing, but I'll try to eat those cuts (tri-tip w/fat cap, picanha) fresh, if at all possible. Could be that vacuum-seals on those irregular cuts aren't as tight as what I've seen in a standard rib-eye or NY, which means the meat and juice is exposed to more air when I put in the freezer.

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Re: Frozen meat: yea or nay?

#50 Post by Michael Sopher » March 31st, 2020, 6:09 pm

I currently have a freezer that is literally half filled with Flannery. Vacuum sealed and never disappoints

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