The Ins and Outs of Meat Refrigeration and Freezing
Imagine hosting a charcuterie night only to realize last minute that your cold cuts have grown rancid. Apart from the embarrassment you’ll get from your friends, it would hurt your budget as buying meat is not always light for the pocket.
This can happen to meat because of the cooling condition of the refrigerator in which it was kept. Or likely from other food that was kept together with the meat. Regardless, this raises the need to determine how and why it happened to avoid yet another unpleasant party experience. Should it become a common occurrence, this then forwards the urgency to check how much is a small fridge and consider getting a new one.
For those with a tighter budget, this only serves as the final resort during the worst-case scenario. You could still save your frozen goods from getting spoiled by following a simple guideline and learning about the food you will store in your refrigerator.
The Practicalities of Meat Storage
The malpractice of meat-keeping goes like this: placing meat straight into the freezer and leaving it there until it’s time to cook.
On the contrary, meat stocks must be put in the refrigerator for a specified period before transferring them to the freezer. Bacon and sausages, for example, have a seven-day shelf life in the fridge, while they can last for one month in the freezer.
As for burger patties and ground meat, they are much more susceptible to bacteria. As this is the case, store them in the fridge for one to two days before transferring them for four-month-long keeping in the freezer. In contrast, fresher meats have a longer shelf life as they take a year before getting spoiled.
When cooking for your family, you may sometimes go overboard, with already satiated appetites and still plenty of leftovers becoming a problem. Make sure to save that extra fried chicken in the fridge for a maximum of four days if you plan on devouring it for another family night. As for the kids’ all-time favorite hotdog and luncheon meats, note that they have shorter shelf lives. Hotdogs usually last one week after opening, while two weeks in an unopened package would not harm it at all.
Ideal food positioning in the refrigerator and freezer has also saved meat from getting spoiled sooner than expected. Raw meats must be kept in their original packaging until you are ready to cook them. Make sure to put them at the bottom of the shelf to avoid possible contamination from spillage. As for cooked meats, you might want to cool them a bit, shred them to pieces, or even dice them before packing in clean, airtight plastic ware.
Transferring meat into the freezer requires extra work to remove them from plastic and transfer them to resealable containers. Apart from saving them from potential contamination, this also makes the defrosting go much more smoothly when it’s time to cook. Consider the servings you will need during the packaging phase to avoid any inconveniences during the thawing process and potentially save waste!
The last thing you want for a family gathering or a casual luncheon is to present a poorly prepared meal. While it is only natural for meat and other organic products to spoil over time, you could still avoid it by following safe and ideal meat storage. Plus, an optimum refrigerator will save you from future embarrassments.
Pop that wine, bring out the cheese, and invite colleagues over without worrying about rancid sausages and cold cuts. With Pixel Fridge’s mini fridge electricity and cooling systems, a nicely planned dinner will turn out the way you want it. Check out our other refrigerator guides today!