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LOCATION: Recipes >> Preserving Meats >> Some restaurant techniques that I've used in freezing meats:

Print this Recipe    Some restaurant techniques that I've used in freezing meats:

Dip the steaks into any oil, wrap and freeze quickly in a single
layer. When frozen (24 hours) they should be stuck into zipper
bags for additional protection. If you use a flavor-infused oil,
so much the better.

Brine the meat in 1 qt water, 1/4 cup salt and 1/4 cup sugar
overnight. Pat dry, wrap in cling wrap, lay out to freeze, and
put into zipper bag.

Dry rub the meat, let it sit in the fridge for a day or so, wrap,
freeze, put into zip bag.

Single layers of wrap won't protect the meats, especially in a
frost-free freezer. I use at least three layers; cling wrap, a
zip bag and a zip bag. If you oil the meats and package them this
way, they'll last a year with no noticeable quality loss. The
frozen oil minimizes moisture migration in the meats. They will
ultimately become rancid, but that's year off.

The meats need to be frozen quickly or they'll lose a lot of juice
when thawed. Slow-freezing lets long spiky ice crystals form in
the meats. They puncture cell walls and the juices leak out. Your
freezer should be set below 0 degreesF. Even better if you can
get it down to maybe -20F

When thawing meats, do it in the fridge. Foods thawed under
refrigeration will lose less moisture and retain a better flavor
profile. It will usually take 2 or more days to thaw a chicken.
maybe 12 hours to thaw a steak. Don't thaw meats or fish in warm
water. Makes the meat dry and tough. Same for the mike.

Frost-free freezers alternately warm and cool the freezer compartment
to keep the frost down. That accelerates freezer burn. That's
why I have a big, upright freezer that isn't frost free. With
oiling and wrapping carefully, I can keep foods in the upright for
a much longer time than in the frost-free freezer that's part of
my fridge.

Take meats to freeze out of the store packaging. That film is
intended to let oxygen in. You want impermeable wrapping for your
meats in the freezer. The only exception is when you buy big cuts
like sirloin tips or whole rounds that are packed in cryopack bags.
Then you can stick the whole thing in the freezer as is. The
plastic wrap they use for that is airtight.

Grinding dry meats with a little suet will add some moisture to
the mouthfeel, but it'll still have an "off" taste. Time for some
stew, preferably one made with strong flavors like cumin, dry red
wine, cinnamon, garlic... you know the ones.

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