The most important aspect when storing meat products is temperature. Different types of products have their own criteria for freezing. It is also necessary to consider the quality of the purchased product. It is not always that meat bought in the store meets the required characteristics. Despite all the aspects, it is necessary to strictly observe the exposure time of the product.
- At temperatures from 0 to minus 6 C, meat can lie for no more than two days. This is especially true for meat on the bone.
- The shelf life of a frozen product at a temperature of from -6 to -12 C is extended to four months. Such conditions are created in a refrigerator.
- At a temperature of – 18 C – about a year and a half.
How long can you store frozen meat at temperatures up to -24 C? For more than 18 months, but the structure can be damaged. A very low temperature doesn’t always have a good effect on the product.
To preserve the structure of the fibers of the chilled product, it is necessary to process each piece with sunflower oil. Before freezing for a long period, it must be washed off.
The appearance of the product is of great importance when talking about how much frozen meat can be stored in the freezer. Its structure and consistency are different and they perceive external factors differently.
- Beef or lamb can be kept for about 9 months, and this will not harm the taste.
- Turkey and chicken should be eaten no later than in 10 months.
- Pork is stored in the freezer for no more than eight 8 months, despite its fat content.
- Rabbit, goose and duck can lie there for up to six months.
Temperature is of great importance, but the method of freezing is also important.
Proper freezing conditions
How to store meat in a home refrigerator so that it stays fresh and does not harm your health after cooking and eating it?
Unpleasant mistakes during the freezing process can lead to a reduction in the shelf life of the product.
- Regardless of where the meat is purchased, it must be washed well under running cool water. Excess moisture must be removed with a paper towel or a napkin.
- A whole piece can be stored well in the fridge, which can not be said about the freezer. For long-term storage, it must be divided into small pieces. That way the product will freeze evenly and will be kept fresh longer.
- It is best if each piece is wrapped in cling film or foil. With such packaging the meat is put in containers and sent for freezing. This method allows you to save the juiciness of the pieces, regardless of their size.
- To be sure of the quality of your semi-cooked products, you must sign the contents of packages and containers. It is not superfluous to indicate the bookmark date in order to know how long the product is stored and in what amount of time it should be used.
- The temperature must be checked at all times while keeping meat in the freezer. Its differences adversely affect the structure of the fibers, and constant defrosting can lead to damage of the meat.
What to consider when storing meat products
Not everyone knows small tricks on how to increase the shelf life of meat. Freezing beef, lamb or pork in the freezer is not difficult if you follow the instructions.
1. Short-term interruptions in electricity will not adversely affect the quality of the pieces. If the unit remains de-energized for 3-8 hours, then all meat must be removed from the freezer, treated with a solution of vinegar or citric acid and left in a cool place. If you are going to place it in a bath, then you need to fill it with cold water to create the humidity required for the product.
2. If it is not possible to immediately place the beef in the refrigerator, then there are options for maintaining freshness for up to ten hours. The piece must be wrapped in a cloth pretreated with saline or salicylic solution, pour any unsweetened dairy product into the container, put the meat in it. It can lie like that for up to ten hours.
3. In the refrigerator, the average temperature is between 0 and +6 C. Beef is stored in such conditions for no more than twelve hours. In cellophane, meat will quickly suffocate and will not be suitable for cooking. The product should be put in a container with a damp paper towel on top. It will not allow the pieces to air dry.
In addition to lumpy meat, housewives put minced meat and offal in the freezer. It can be kept in there for up to four months, after which it needs to be cooked. Smoked meat, home-made sausages and saltisone are stored for up to two months.
Having figured out how much meat can be stored in the freezer, you need to find out what it can and can not lie next to. Often, different types of product are in the same refrigerator. There are rules for the storage and neighborhood of meat in one chamber. It is also required to properly freeze and thaw the product.
1. When storing cooled chicken, it must be laid separately from other products. Vegetables and fruits are not always subjected to heat treatment, and bacteria from the packaging can harm them. The same rule applies to the freezer in which fresh berries are often stored.
2. Liver, minced meat and other offal must be stored in closed containers separately from each other. They also should not come into contact with meat.
3. Do not leave meat without a cover. The surface of the piece begins to weather, it loses its mass, becomes more rigid. When cooking, such a product changes its natural taste. The meat absorbs the smells of the freezer, and cooked product can be spoiled or just untasty.
Any kind of meat during freezing for a long time retains its quality. Harmful microorganisms do not progress under the influence of low temperatures, therefore they are not dangerous to humans. Despite this, any product must be used before its expiration date. Proper freezing and storage allows you to protect yourself from some very unpleasant surprises.