"Discover Cooking, Discuss Life."

Go Back   Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums > General Cooking Information > Farm to Table > Canning and Preserving
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 02-05-2007, 06:13 PM   #1
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: San Antonio, TX USA
Posts: 24
How to keep meats?

Hi,

I live in Hawaii, and we have very few good butchers (if any.) Most of our meat is imported for obvious reasons. So, as a result, good meat is hard to come by.

The best place I've found good cuts of steak/good poultry at has been Costco. The unfortunate (or could be fortunate, depending on your replies) problem is Costco obviously sells in bulk. :) I am single and do not each huge amounts of food!

For instance, this weekend, I went shopping there. I purchased NY Strip (8.69/lb). The smallest package they had was ~3lbs. This is enough steak to last me for 4 BIG meals! I don't want to eat the same thing back to back, so it would probably be consumed over 2 weeks. I'd probably save half of each steak for later consumption (at work for lunch or something...)

I also got chicken breast, I think it was about 5lbs worth. Looked like 8 breast pieces or so. This will last 3-4 weeks, easily.

My problem, how do I store it? I believe the "sell by" date on the steak was Feb. 07 and on the chicken Feb. 10. Might have that reversed.

I bought ziplock bags, I was thinking to put the steak/chicken I would not eat in the first week since the purchase into individual ziplock bags, and store them in the freezer. The steak/chicken I would eat within a week, keep in the fridge. Is this the best way to go about this?

When I am ready to cook the steak/chicken that has been frozen, how best to unthaw/how long/what process/etc?

I really appreciate this, Costco certainly saves me a lot of money on top of having better quality food that the rest of the places around here, but everything comes in bulk! :)

Thank you very much in advance,
David

__________________

__________________
ormandj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2007, 06:23 PM   #2
Executive Chef
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: SE Pennsylvania
Posts: 4,655
Sounds very reasonable. Thaw by placing in fridge the night before...should be fine by cook time next day.

Another idea is to cook a few pieces at a time and then freeze the already made dish...this works for soups. stews or some caseroles. But if you are grilling steak, that would not be the best way.
__________________

__________________
Robo410 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2007, 07:00 PM   #3
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: San Antonio, TX USA
Posts: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robo410
Sounds very reasonable. Thaw by placing in fridge the night before...should be fine by cook time next day.

Another idea is to cook a few pieces at a time and then freeze the already made dish...this works for soups. stews or some caseroles. But if you are grilling steak, that would not be the best way.
Thanks! So a week in the fridge is ok, even if it elapses the "sell by date" by a few days? Or better to freeze by the sell by date?

Smart on the cooking more than you need/freezing part. I was thinking about making home-made broths and such, I read somewhere you can put it in ice cube trays, and it'll make broth icecubes, which sound perfect for doling out broth when you need it! Easy to measure, too. :)
__________________
ormandj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2007, 07:41 PM   #4
Chef Extraordinaire
 
Katie H's Avatar
Site Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: I live in the Heartland of the United States - Western Kentucky
Posts: 15,156
Hi David,

First let me welcome you to DC.

Now for your question. There are only two of us here...Buck and I. We buy in bulk frequently and freeze a considerable part of our food.

One thing I do before I freeze chicken pieces, steaks, chops, etc. is to wrap each piece in something called Glad Press 'n Seal. I think there's even a freezer version of this wrap. At any rate, it seals each piece nearly air-tight. I then put the sealed food into a zipper-lock freezer bag. I don't know if you can get this wrap where you live but it's a great product for this use.

I also buy large packages of our favorite bacon, portion it out into what we usually eat at breakfast. Seal it with the Press 'n Seal and store it in the freezer like the other meats. Works like a charm.

I've been able to freeze many things for a couple of months with little change/damage to the food.

Thaw in the refrigerator as someone else recommended.

One thing is paramount, though, always write the contents and date (when put in the freezer) on the bag/package before freezing.

I also keep a wipe-off board on my freezer door with what's inside so nothing gets too old. As the food gets used, it gets "erased" from the board.
__________________
"As a girl I had zero interest in the stove." - Julia Child
This is real inspiration. Look what Julia became!
Katie H is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2007, 08:21 PM   #5
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: San Antonio, TX USA
Posts: 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Katie E
Hi David,

First let me welcome you to DC.

Now for your question. There are only two of us here...Buck and I. We buy in bulk frequently and freeze a considerable part of our food.

One thing I do before I freeze chicken pieces, steaks, chops, etc. is to wrap each piece in something called Glad Press 'n Seal. I think there's even a freezer version of this wrap. At any rate, it seals each piece nearly air-tight. I then put the sealed food into a zipper-lock freezer bag. I don't know if you can get this wrap where you live but it's a great product for this use.

I also buy large packages of our favorite bacon, portion it out into what we usually eat at breakfast. Seal it with the Press 'n Seal and store it in the freezer like the other meats. Works like a charm.

I've been able to freeze many things for a couple of months with little change/damage to the food.

Thaw in the refrigerator as someone else recommended.

One thing is paramount, though, always write the contents and date (when put in the freezer) on the bag/package before freezing.

I also keep a wipe-off board on my freezer door with what's inside so nothing gets too old. As the food gets used, it gets "erased" from the board.
Those are all very excellent tips. I know (in a past life....uhm.....) I've frozen things before only to forget their date. Not pretty! Dating the bags and having a whiteboard will make that a heck of a lot easier, AND stop me from buying far too much food. I can check the whiteboard for stock levels!

Actually, I'll just write an application to keep track of that stuff. I've got dumb terminals all around the house, it'd be actually really fun to write an application to manage food-inventory levels for my home. :p Heck, could even integrate it with a recipe system I've been working on, and then you could click a button to see what recipes you could make with your current fridge/freezer inventory, haha.

Thanks for inspiring me,
David
__________________
ormandj is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2007, 10:07 PM   #6
Sous Chef
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 905
The best way to preserve this is using a FoodSaver vacuum sealer--even for what you keep in the refrigerator. You can get one for as little as $50. It will pay for itself.
__________________
Candocook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2007, 02:20 PM   #7
Senior Cook
 
Poutine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 381
Quote:
Originally Posted by ormandj
Thanks! So a week in the fridge is ok, even if it elapses the "sell by date" by a few days? Or better to freeze by the sell by date?
I would not leave raw meat in the fridge for a week.
When you get home from the store freeze what you do not want to use in the next 3 days.
For the frozen items that you want - take them out of the freezer the night before you want to use them and put them in the fridge (on a plate so you don't get any juices leaking in your fridge).
You can also freeze your individual pieces of meat in marinades. Just mix up the marinade and pour over your meat in the freezer bag.
__________________
"Feminism is the radical notion that women are human beings"
-Cheris Kramerae, author of A Feminist Dictionary, 1996.

Poutine is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2007, 02:37 PM   #8
Master Chef
 
expatgirl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Texas girl living in Kazakhstan
Posts: 5,575
Ormandj,
Have you tried talking to a butcher or a meat counter person there to give you smaller portions?? It doesn't hurt to ask especially if there aren't many stores there that stock meat. If they go to that trouble on a regular basis you might want to "tip" them ever so often. Never hurts to ask.
__________________
The only difference between a "cook" and a "Chef" is who cleans up the kitchen.
expatgirl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-06-2007, 04:31 PM   #9
Assistant Cook
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: San Antonio, TX USA
Posts: 24
Thank you all. I ordered one of those foodsavers (fancy one haha), that looks like a REALLY handy tool to have.

I'll talk to the butcher if I can find him in Costco. You're right, always worth a try!
__________________

__________________
ormandj is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



» Discuss Cooking on Facebook

Our Communities

Our communities encompass many different hobbies and interests, but each one is built on friendly, intelligent membership.

» More about our Communities

Automotive Communities

Our Automotive communities encompass many different makes and models. From U.S. domestics to European Saloons.

» More about our Automotive Communities

Marine Communities

Our Marine websites focus on Cruising and Sailing Vessels, including forums and the largest cruising Wiki project on the web today.

» More about our Marine Communities


Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:56 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.