Friday, January 15, 2010

Freezing meat...

After stocking up on pork chops at Albertson's I had the task of separating and preparing it to freeze. I thought I would do a little post about it. I know it's not rocket science and you probably already have your own systemof doing this, but I figured it couldn't hurt. Especially since I, myself, didn't always know the best way to do it, I thought it might help at least somebody out. :)

When you buy meat in large "max pak" packaging, it is best to take the time to separate it and freeze it in portions that your family will use. Don't laugh, but I used to just throw the whole big package in the freezer and call it good. Lol. When it came time to use it, I would just throw it in the fridge and wait a couple of days while it thawed. Then I would wind up only needing a portion of it and have all of this leftover that I had to find something to do with so that it wouldn't go bad.

Well, needless to say that since then I have found that it's worth it to take the time to separate it. Ok, so I knew I had to separate it, but I still didn't really do anything special. I would just separate it and throw it into a freezer ziploc bag, squeeze as much air out as I could and throw it in the freezer. Again, not such a bright idea. It wouldn't stay as fresh and was much more susceptible to freezer burn.

After a while and after gaining more experience, I found a way that WORKS! Lol. Just thought I'd share it with you in case you're like I was and just didn't know any better.

First I wrap what my family will use for ONE meal in cling wrap, pressing at ends to squeeze as much air out as possible before sealing the cling wrap together. In this instance, I put four pork chops as one meal. The tip I will give here, that I just learned a couple of months ago (yes, I'm slow) is to package your meat as flatly as possible. I used to just separate my hamburger and shape it in a "brick" type shape to freeze it not really thinking anything of it. Well, now I shape it in a flat "patty" type shape. Why? It reduces defrost time! Instead of having to defrost a big portion of meat that's packaged all compact like, and winding up with a still-frozen center, you now are defrosting a flat patty that defrosts quicker and more evenly. Wish I would have known THAT one sooner! Not only does it reduce defrost time, but it also makes them more stackable and easier to fit into the freezer. :)

Then, I wrap it in aluminum foil.

THEN, I put it in the freezer ziploc bag (squeezing as much air out as possible) and label what it is and the date I wrapped it and froze it. That way I am always using the oldest meat first when grabbing it out of the freezer. 

 There. Now I have seven, ready-to-go portions of pork chops, labeled and dated, ready to stack in my freezer. :)


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