Freezing is the most optimal option for saving food longer and preserving all of its nutritious qualities, as long as taste, texture, and flavor.
This way of food keeping fits almost any kind of products including meat. However, when it comes to freezing fresh meat at home, people often meet certain difficulties regarding the package that would fit meat best of all.
If this is your case, you are lucky because in this article we will tell you a lot of useful things about wrapping meat for freezing!
Freezing Process Specifics
We all know that freezing makes food harder because of the constant influence of frost. But it would be useful for you to know some nuances of this process in order to better understand what happens to the food under the impact of the low temperature.
Among all the other things, it will allow you to freeze meat correctly without ruining it.
So, what happens to the food (and meat in particular) when we put it to the freezer?
Of course, it’s being under the influence of frost which results in decreasing the food’s temperature and, as a matter of fact, the growth of microorganisms slows down significantly. The same happens to the enzyme activity.
In its turn, these factors allow delaying the spoilage and help to keep it safe and consumable longer.
However, while being under the too long influence of frost or being frozen improperly packed, the food can become spoiled and what you get will only be frostbite caused to the food.
So what shall we do to freeze meat properly then?
How to Properly Freeze Meat. Wrapping Tips
Whenever it comes to freezing some raw meat, we often start wondering how to wrap it properly so that the product will not get ruined while staying in the freezer.
Some people simply wrap the meat with the plastic wrap or aluminum foil but these methods are not secure enough.
Choosing the most optimal packaging for the meat meant for freezing is indeed an essential part of the freezing process that will influence the further state of the food.
What options can be suggested?
- Can I freeze meat in a store packaging, you may ask?
This is quite a common question, in fact.
Well, everything depends on how soon you are going to use this meat. If it will be cooked within a month or two, feel free to freeze the meat right as it was sold in a store in its original package.
However, take into account that this sort of packaging is not absolutely airtight and some external air and moisture will anyway get inside the pack which can cause frostbites.
To avoid it, either re-pack the meat into something else (for instance, aluminum foil or freezer-friendly bag) or leave it in the store pack but wrap it over with the aluminum foil.
Is there the best way to wrap meat for freezing?
The most optimal way to protect the meat from frostbites is to cover it with a special freezer-friendly paper.
If you know not how to wrap meat in freezer paper, there is nothing to fuss about. Doing it is not a big deal at all.
Take a sheet of freezer paper big enough to cover all the meat that you are going to freeze. Since this paper is waxy, turn the waxy side towards the meat.
Wrap tightly and close it with the tape. Afterward, cover the package with the airtight aluminum foil and write down the date when the package was frozen.
- Can you freeze the meat in a butcher paper?
If you have ever wondered which packaging method is the best of all, freezing meat in butcher paper is the answer.
This paper perfectly protects from the impact of frost and prevents the content from getting a burn caused by the frost, especially if you keep it frozen for too long.
So yes, feel free to use butcher paper for preserving the meat!
- Are freezer bags good for freezing meat?
Well, it depends. The best would be to use the vacuum freezer bags of course but for lack of those, simply double-check that you squeeze the most of the air out of the bag with the meat inside before tossing it to the freezer.
Otherwise, the risk of the burn caused by the frost will be very high.
When using these tips for freezing meat at home, you will be able to protect the product from spoiling and ruination because of the intensive or long influence of frost.
A Bit About Freezer-Burnt Meat
However, sometimes it may happen that the meat suddenly gets freezer burn. And in this case, the only question that bothers everyone is whether frostbitten meat is still OK to use or not.
Let’s figure it out.
Freezer burn caused to the meat is the result of the impact of frost that was too intense or too long. Because of this, the product becomes dehydrated and its texture ruins.
Nevertheless, the meat with freezer burn is absolutely harmless to you as it has no harmful bacteria, only some dehydration here and there.
Can you eat freezer-burnt meat?
Of course, you can. However, when eating freezer-burnt meat, you may notice that it is a bit less juicy and a bit more stiff compared to the fresh meat but this is how freezer burn affects it.
Just cut off the frostbitten parts and cook the rest of the meat as usual. No specific cooking methods are needed.
Naturally, a question may occur on how to wrap meat to avoid freezer burns.
The optimal choice is to use either some butcher paper or some freezer paper. They are both waxed and protect the meat from extra moisture and air very well.
Now you know all the helpful tips regarding wrapping meat techniques and means that you can use in your kitchen. Be sure that they will contribute a lot to keeping your food tasty and fresh to its longest!