Freezing Beef

Asked November 19, 2016, 3:21 PM EST

I purchased beef from a farmer. When it was processed it was wrapped in butcher paper and frozen. I am considering vacuum sealing if that will extend the shelf life so question 1: Is vac sealing a good idea? And if so, question 2, would it be ok to vac seal with the meat wrapped in the paper? I would like to avoid unwrapping it if I can. Thanks! Laura Allison

Calvert County Maryland

1 Response

Good question, Laura. Fresh meat that is properly handled, trimmed of excess fat, wrapped well in butcher paper, and quick frozen should last 4-12 months in a freezer that maintains a temperature of 0°F or below. It is not necessary to wrap this frozen meat in any additional packaging material or to vacuum seal it. By removing the freezer wrap to vacuum seal the already frozen meat will expose the meat to air, which you are correctly trying to avoid. The recommended storage time will not be extended further by vacuum sealing it. ithttps://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/storagetimes.html . However, placing the already frozen, wrapped meat into a freezer bag or container will add another layer to help protect the meat during storage. When ready to cook the meat, thaw it for 1-2 days in the refrigerator, or cook it frozen, to the proper internal temperature https://www.foodsafety.gov/keep/charts/mintemp.html