Rules and recommended terms
When deciding how long and how long to keep the meat in the freezer, you should first of all pay attention to the temperature at which it will be kept. Regardless of whether chicken or beef needs to be put away for storage, the following maximum holding times should be kept in mind:
- At a temperature of 0 to.the product will retain its freshness for no more than two days.
- In the conditions from.6 to.12ºC, the component will remain edible for 4 months.
- If you keep the product at 6 ° C, the product will keep fresh at that temperature.12.-At 18ºC, they will be able to remain in their original state for up to 8 months.
Tip: Pieces of chilled meat, when stored in the freezer, should be coated with a little vegetable oil to maintain their texture. If such a product should then be sent to the freezer, the oil must be completely washed off, otherwise it prevents the component from freezing evenly.
In addition, the shelf life of meat depends on the type of product. While beef and lamb will not spoil in the freezer even within a year, it is recommended to consume chicken and turkey at least 10 months. Pork, in spite of its fat content, has a shelf life of no more than 8 months. Rabbit, duck, goose (and other waterfowl) should be used within six months of freezing. If you keep the product longer, it will not spoil, but its taste characteristics will suffer noticeably, the meat will have an unpleasant smell.
Each product has a certain shelf life, and meat is considered perishable and without refrigeration it can be stored for only a few hours:
To increase the shelf life, you need to keep it in the freezer.
It is interesting that in industrial freezing units pork, beef, poultry can be stored for a very long time. even decades. And how long can you keep such a perishable product in the freezer compartment of a household refrigerator? How long you can keep it depends on the temperature you choose. If you plan to use your stockpile within the next 4 months, you can keep frozen meat at.8 degrees Celsius. You need to keep it for up to 8 months. set the temperature.1812 degrees and at 24 to 18 degrees below zero the product will keep for 1 year.
Preparing for freezing
Shelf life depends on which container you choose and whether you plan to keep your stock in the freezer as a carcass or in chunks.
Poultry, rabbit, nutria can be pre-sliced into portions, separated the flesh from the bone (to make a goulash) or kept in the freezer as a whole carcass.
Meat separated from the bone retains its fresh flavor longer.
Properly prepare the products: the pieces selected for storage in the freezer under no circumstances should not be washed, but carefully dried from excess moisture, blood residue with a paper towel, wrapped in cling film or use foil and parchment paper.
Meat is better preserved in coarsely chopped pieces, but repeated freezing repeatedly reduces the taste. So it is better to freeze the food right away. just as much as you need for one meal.
To keep meat in the freezer longer, put the portions in a hermetically sealed plastic bag, push the air out of the bag, close tightly and only then put them in the freezer.
Pack marinated and cooked meat in food-grade plastic containers with a tight lid, and pack smoked meat as carefully as possible so that its flavor does not permeate the contents.
Storing meat in the freezer
The optimum freezer temperature is said to be.18 °C.
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The main condition for preserving meat in the freezer is the absence of air in the package. Try to expel all the air from the bag with the meat and close it tightly. If you have a special vacuum packer, fine, use it. It is also a good idea to wrap the package of meat in foil.
To prevent large pieces from freezing, wrap each in cling film.
Make sure you sign all packages and containers. This way you always know how long the meat has been in the freezer.
A whole chicken, duck, goose, or turkey can be kept in the freezer for a very long time, up to 12 months. Individual poultry parts should not be stored for more than 9 months.
Large cuts of beef, veal, pork and lamb will also keep in the freezer for six months to a year. Small pieces of red meat will last less. 4 to 6 months.
Game (but not wild poultry) can be stored for 8-12 months.
Frozen minced meat should not keep more than 3-4 months.
Cooked frozen meat keeps its properties for 2-6 months.
How many days you can keep different kinds of meat in the freezer?
In industrial freezers, any food can be stored for decades, but the standard home freezer is subject to a more stringent time frame, and the issue of buying food should be approached with caution.
- Large livestock products (pork, beef, or lamb) should be frozen for 4 months to a year.
- Poultry (whole chicken, goose, etc). п.) can go bad faster. It can be kept in the freezer for a year at most, but after 8-9 months the taste is lost.
- Poultry (chicken, turkey, duck) shredded in pieces can keep for up to 8 months.
- How long ground meat, even at the lowest temperature, can stay in the freezer is more difficult to predict. Any refrigerated food (minced meat, offal) has been in the store for some time. The approximate shelf life of frozen minced meat is 4 months, but you should always check the expiration date on the package and subtract in your mind about another month. Supermarkets often make a mistake by reapplying labels with the date of production if something is stale.
If there is a need to cook chicken which has been in the freezer for longer than the given period, it is worth to boil it for at least an hour and a half. Spices can help to get rid of the stale smell, but make sure it has not been defrosted more than once, or it will not be good for cooking.
How long can you keep different types of meat in the freezer?
Shelf life depends not only on environmental conditions, but also on the type of meat.
Chicken carcasses will keep in the freezer without losing quality for 9 to 12 months. If the chicken is cut into pieces, the shelf life is reduced to 8-9 months.
As with any other kind, keep chicken in a separate, tightly sealed plastic bag.
The shelf life is also affected by the form in which you bought the product. If you have purchased fresh chicken, it will really last in the freezer for about a year.
Be careful with frozen chicken carcasses. The fact that the packaging may contain information about the date of packaging and freezing, which does not correspond to the time of death or cutting the chicken.
You cannot be certain that the time period is correct. If you buy frozen pork, play it safe and keep it in the freezer for up to six months.
Since beef has thinner fibers, more tendons, and a thin layer of fat, it can be stored in the freezer for about 8 months. Be sure to divide the fillet into portions and place in separate packages.
Shelf life of pork at temperature.18 degrees in the skin reaches 8 months, without it. up to half a year. It absorbs odors well, so it is recommended to pack it in vacuum packs or wrap it tightly in cling film. At temperature.25 degrees, product will keep in the freezer for at least 1 year without losing quality.
How long should you keep meat in the fridge or freezer?
The maximum shelf life is 9 months, but lamb loses its healthy properties and juiciness after 3 months of freezing. The reason is the peculiarity of the protein and water structure of the fibers, in which the bacteria multiply quickly.
If you freeze the turkey in portions the shelf life will be 9 months. If you buy a turkey carcass in its original packaging, it is not recommended to unpack it to preserve its juiciness. So it will not lose quality for 1 year. Turkey minced meat will stay in the freezer at a temperature of from.18 degrees 4 months.
Rabbit is very tender, so it should be put in the main freezer compartment for a few hours before freezing. So the product will retain its juiciness and useful properties. Regardless of whether it is whole or cut into pieces, rabbit meat is stored in the freezer for no more than six months.
Vacuum packaging has the following advantages:
- Keeps it fresh due to the lack of air;
- It blocks unwanted odors;
- preserves its juiciness;
- This process is called shrinkage;
- it limits the possibility of contamination during transport and sale.
Vacuum packaging helps to extend shelf life for a short time. If the product in a vacuum will lie in the freezer, its useful properties and structure will not be disturbed for a long time.
The storage temperature of frozen meat must be constant, otherwise it will lose flavor and aroma. But there are force majeure circumstances when suddenly there is a power outage or it is time to defrost the refrigerator. What you need to do to save food:
- You should not open the freezer door until you have prepared everything necessary to save the food. The temperature will rise gradually, which will give a small head start.
- If it happened in winter and it is freezing outside, you need to put all the contents into pots and metal buckets, take it out into the cold and tightly covered with lids.
- If it is warm outside, it is necessary to prepare large metal or plastic containers. Sort the products into meat, by-products, and semi-finished foods. Arrange them in different containers and put in the coolest place: if there is a cellar, then move the containers there, in the apartment. bathroom, closet. Cover the containers with blankets, plaids or feather coats for good insulation. This way the temperature will rise slowly.
- You can fill the tub with cold water and put the frozen food containers in it. This, though not for long, will maintain an optimal temperature.
To prevent water from leaking onto the meat when the refrigerator defrosts, it is better to keep it in the freezer in plastic wrappings. This will save your semi-finished product and will not let it get too rich with unnecessary liquid.
Meat lasts the longest in the freezer at minus 18 degrees and below. Shelf life of the meat product directly depends on the type of product, and from what variant of cutting was applied. It can be a single piece of meat, a whole chicken or minced meat.
Small and large pieces
Big chunks of beef, lamb, pork can be stored for 4 months to a year. The shorter the period on ice, the better the preservation quality. Small pieces, goulash, should not be kept in the freezer for more than 4 months. Pieces of poultry no longer than 8 months.
Poultry product carcasses can be stored all year round. Shelf life depends on the conditions in which the bird is kept and the type of bird. Optimum storage time at temperatures from.12° to.15° for geese and ducks for a week. Chickens, turkeys and guinea fowl. 10 days. At temperature.25° for 14 months.
Individual poultry parts
Pieces of shredded poultry can be stored for up to 8 months.
Boiled meat with broth can be stored up to 48 hours., Without broth for 24 hours. Can be kept frozen for no more than 2 weeks, after defrosting the cooked product must be immediately re-stewed or boiled.
Roasted meat is wrapped in foil and kept in the refrigerator for not more than 72 hours., At a temperature of 2 ° 4 °. Preferably also fried again afterwards.
Stuffing and by-products
Stuffing and by-products may soon go bad, so it is not recommended to keep them in the refrigerator for more than 8 hours. After this time, it is necessary to place these products in the freezer, wrapped in foil or plastic bag. Shelf life is 2 months.
Terms and conditions for storing meat
On observance of storage conditions of meat depends on its degree of safety, and hence ensuring the safety of its further use. Refrigeration helps to preserve maximum flavor, nutritional and technological properties of meat and meat products for a long time. When the temperature drops, physico-chemical, biochemical and microbiological processes in the meat are sharply slowed down. At low temperatures, microbial growth slows or stops completely, and most bacteria completely stop growing at 0C. Moldy mushrooms. at minus 11.6C. In addition, the activity of enzymes in tissues decreases. But it should be remembered that, though cold practically stops chemical processes in meat, it is not able to correct defects and signs of meat spoilage already existing in meat.
By thermal condition, meat is divided into: 1) steamed. immediately after slaughter; 2) cooled. chilled after cutting to a temperature of 12C. for poultry and rabbits. not more than 25C; 3) subfrozen. temperature in the thigh, at the depth of 1 cm, from. 3 to. 5C; in the thigh muscle thickness. from 0 to. 2С; 4) frozen. which has been frozen to a temperature of. no higher than. 8С. The storage temperature of meat throughout the whole carcass should be from. 2 to. 3С.
Veal meat should not be stored frozen or subfrozen. Shelf life of frozen meat depends on the type of meat and the storage temperature.
At temperature. At minus 25 degrees Celsius you can store beef. 18 days, pork and mutton. 12, poultry. 14 days, beef offal. 10 days, pork offal. 6, lamb by-products. 8 days.
At minus 20°C the following may be kept: beef. 14 days, pork. 7, lamb. 11, poultry meat. 12 days, beef and lamb offal. 7, pork offal 8 days. 5 days.
At minus 18°C the following products are kept: beef. 12 days, pork. 6, lamb. 10, chickens, chickens. 12 days, geese, ducks, turkeys. 10 days, beef and mutton offal. 6, pork offal. 5 days.
Ask the Test Kitchen: How Long Will Meat Last in the Fridge?
At minus 12 degrees C we keep: beef. 8, pork. 3 days, lamb. 6, geese, ducks, turkeys. 8 days.
Meat chilled in carcasses at humidity of 85% and a chilled meat storage temperature of minus 1C can be stored: beef. 16 days, pork. 12, by-products. not more than 2 days. Keep in mind that during freezing, cooling and subsequent storage of meat in carcasses, moisture evaporates from surface and body weight decreases slightly. This process is called shrinkage. Meat actually loses in the first two days when refrigerated in this way: pork. 0,2. beef. up to 0.03 %. And then the daily loss is 0.01%. To reduce shrinkage, the humidity in cold rooms should be close to one hundred percent. When storing frozen meat in blocks, there is almost no loss of moisture. When storing frozen meat for a long time, as the upper layers dry out, the meat loses its natural color.
At home, it is especially important to observe the storage conditions of meat, because if not stored properly, it spoils quickly and poses a danger to human health. With proper refrigeration (2. 4C) fresh meat can be stored for several days. Beef is allowed to be stored in this way three. four days, veal and pork should be processed within two. three days, and minced meat must be consumed on the day of purchase. To store meat for another three. four days at a refrigerator temperature of 5. 6C, it is recommended to put sheets of oiled parchment paper between the pieces, slices of meat and then wrap the whole into the same oiled parchment. The lack of air flow prevents spoilage and the meat becomes even more tender as it ages. You can add spices to it: garlic, herbs or chilies. This gives the meat a flavourful appearance. Remember that exposure to light and air causes vitamins to be lost in the meat, so keep meat in a dark place.
There is a time limit for storing meat in refrigerators at 4. 8C: ham and sausage sandwiches. 3 hours, minced meat, stuffed cabbage rolls with meat. 6 ч., Jellies, casseroles, meat patties, liverwurst and blood sausages, headcheese. 12 ч., Boiled meat, boiled sausages, ham, rolls, dumplings, boiled chicken. 24 ч., Meat packed, chunks of meat. 36 ч., roast meat. 48 hours. These terms were established for catering companies in Soviet times. They are the result of long and careful research.
Each meat product has a shelf life and period of use. If it is frozen semi-finished products, it is indicated on the packages or jars. For example, minced meat products should be stored at temperatures no higher than 6°C. For no longer than 14 hours. Maintaining proper storage and usage conditions ensures your safety.
How to freeze properly
important is the preparation for freezing. Meat should be placed in individual portions, not in a solid, frozen pile.
- Wash the fresh meat, wipe off any excess moisture with a napkin, and cut into manageable portions.
- Wrap each portion tightly in foil, paper or cling film.
- Place several portions in the same bag.
- Write the freezing date on a paper or sticker and put it in the same bag.
- Put everything in the freezer.
The date written down will help you determine exactly when you froze the meat and how much longer it can be stored. The pieces in the paper will not freeze to each other, will not be re-frozen. They are convenient to take out, defrost and cook.