How to Freeze Meat Without a Vacuum Sealer
Meat is among the more expensive items you can buy at the grocery store. High-quality meat products that are organic, free range, and grass fed can cost even more. Buying meat in bulk is a great cost-saver, but how do you store it so it does not go bad in a few days? The answer is freezing it in a way that preserves freshness and taste.
This method does not require a vacuum sealer, and does a great job sealing in freshness and preserving the taste of the meat.
• The meat you would like to freeze
• Plastic wrap
• Freezer-safe gallon-sized plastic storage bags
• Cutting board
1. Remove the meat from the original packaging and place on the cutting board.
2. Use a knife to cut out any fat or remnants from the butchering process.
NOTE: If you are freezing chicken, it is best to wash the chicken to remove processing remnants before you cut away fat, etc. Be sure to dry the pieces off with a paper towel after they are washed.
3. Tear off a piece of plastic wrap that is double to triple the width of the piece of meat you are storing.
4. Gently wrap each piece of meat individually, making sure no part of the meat is exposed, to protect against freezer burn. Try to wrap the meat as tightly as you can without manipulating its shape to minimize the air trapped with the meat (again, to prevent freezer burn). Tuck the extra wrap under the piece of meat, and place in plastic bag.
5. Continue steps two through four until all meat is wrapped and in bags. Label the bags with the type of meat and the date stored. Seal the bags, leaving as little air in them as possible.
6. Place in your freezer to store. When you would like to use your meat, take out as many pieces as you need and thaw in refrigerator overnight, or in the microwave (with plastic removed) using the defrost recommendations. Enjoy!
IMPORTANT: Remember to wash all the materials you used to wrap and freeze your meat thoroughly to prevent the spread of bacteria. Cutting board and knife should be washed thoroughly by hand or put in the dishwasher; use a kitchen or household spray to disinfect any surface you touched, including the sink faucet, plastic wrap box, and plastic bag box.
Here is a table* including the length of time types of meat can stay in the freezer without affecting taste:
|Chicken Parts||1-3 days||9 months|
|Ground Poultry||1-2 days||3-4 months|
|Beef||3-4 days||6-12 months|
|Veal||1-2 days||6-9 months|
|Pork||2-3 days||6 months|
|Ground Beef, Veal, Lamb||1-2 days||3-4 months|
|Ground Pork||1-2 days||1-3 months|
* Weight Watchers New Complete Cookbook. Ed. Nancy Gagliardi. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley Publishing Co., 1998. pp. 126 & 159.