Thursday, June 2, 2011

Freezing Meat

Have you noticed the outrageous prices for ground beef? Maybe it hasn't been so bad at Fry's or Wal-mart, but to avoid antibiotics and hormones I only buy my meats from either Sprouts or Sunflower. They usually have ground beef on sale for $1.99 a lb once a month or so, but it hasn't been on sale for at least 4 months now and I have a really hard time paying $4.99 a lb for ground beef - the humblest of all meats. Anyway, it finally went on sale this week, so I stocked up.
This is my process whenever I buy ground meat:

I try to divide and wrap the meat as soon as I get home. If I put it off, I will forget until it is too late and I end up throwing it away. I clean my counter really well and accept the fact that raw meat and juice will get all over it. I first divide the meat into 1 pound chunks - or as close to 1 lb as possible. Then I want to form it into a flat square shape for easy freezing, storing and thawing. I found this tupperware container is the perfect size. Line it with wax paper, press the meat into it and then wrap it like a gift. Ta da! A 1lb meat sheet! (all my recipes call for 1 lb) Then I lay it flat in our freezer until it freezes and then put it in a ziploc freezer bag. Why freeze it in a sheet? For easy, fast thawing of course! If I were to freeze it in a round chub it takes 3 times as long to thaw.

I am so thankful that we have our chest freezer. It has allowed me to save money by stocking up on items when they are on super sale. Now I have 25 pounds of ground beef ready to go, in meal size portions.

Our other meat staple is chicken tenders. They also were on sale at Sprouts this week so I got quite a few pounds. (Again, no hormones or antibiotics) The freezing process is much simpler for them. Lay them individually on a cookie sheet, freeze and place in a ziploc bag. (I double layer the bag) It is so nice to be able to grab as many as you need and not have to thaw a whole package.

Because the chest freezer gets so much colder than our regular freezer, I have found that the meats (so long as they are packaged correctly) will taste as fresh as the day you froze them for at least 5 months.

I love the feeling of a well stocked freezer! I shouldn't have to buy meat until after Peanut is born!

3 comments:

  1. Kathleen,

    In case you didn't know about this, here is another option for purchasing meat in bulk that is 100% natural. I receive updates when they are in town and pre-order how much I want, pay and then go pick it up at the date and time. Great chicken and who can beat $1.64 a lb. The price varies each time they come out.

    https://www.zayconfoods.com/faq
    Michele Anderson

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  2. I like the tip of laying the ground beef out flat like that!

    We use mostly ground turkey these days... for tacos, spaghetti, meatballs, burgers and whatever else usually calls for beef. For some reason I like the flavor and texture. Have you tried it?

    Another tip I would give you is seasoning the chicken before freezing. I place several strips or breasts of the chicken in a freezer bag and add a marinade. It freezes and the flavor soaks in :o)

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  3. Stacey, I have never thought about pre-seasoning, I'll have to try it. I have not tried ground turkey. I thought about it because Jeff has said that you guys don't really eat beef and he seems to not mind. Next time it is on sale I'll have to try it and see what my husband thinks.

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