Today’s NPR Marketplace report discussed the current beef glut and associated price drop. This is happening because cattle ranchers can’t afford feed and water for their livestock. Grazing land is terrible as a consequence of drought and high heat. So they are sending younger than usual animals to slaughter, including cows and heifers who would normally be bred next year.
So, there will be much less beef available for the next year or two, at least. This is good news for Impossible Meat and Beyond Burger, but bad for entrenched carnivores, and for much of the flesh and fiber industry.
Hmmm … Worrisome but good to know. Anyone want to share sources for “stocking up”?
Besides Costco I sometimes use Crowdcow and Heritage.
About once a month or so, Kroger puts T-bones on sale for between $4.77 - $5.77 per pound. Don’t let the price turn you off. They’re good steaks.
Interesting - prices were up at Costco when I was there last week. I’ve been having better luck with both price and quality at Restaurant Depot lately. Will have to keep an eye out for a dip and stock the freezer accordingly.
I won’t stock up because I can’t stand meat that becomes freezer stale or freezer burnt. I don’t keep beef in the freezer longer than 3 months, if I can help it.
I’m already paying $7 Cdn/ lb for ground beef, and $22 Cdn/lb for ribeye. We’ll see what the prices are like in 6 months or next year.
Even vacuum sealed? I don’t freeze what I can get locally, but sometimes get some shipped and I thought it worked out okay. Now I’ll be .
To really preserve the taste of the meat (as well as kill bacteria) is to freeze first, then vacuum seal.
Interesting! When I have it shipped to me, it’s already vacuum sealed and frozen, not sure if it’s in that order. Maybe I’ll try that when I’m splitting something I buy locally, like prime steaks from Costco. Just freeze it naked? Sometimes I’m freezing in the original packaging, like a pound of bacon.
I admit, I haven’t been vacuum sealing. Relatively few meat products are vacuum sealed up here and I don’t own a sealer. I only know of one butcher shop that will vacuum seal on request in my city.
I often freeze meat, but don’t tend to repackage it.
If you mean you are freezing fresh meat in original packaging - on a disposable tray, covered in thin plastic film, no wonder it gets freezer burn. At the very least, put the package into a freezer baggie first. That still doesn’t remove the air already enclosed by the plastic film. If you don’t vacuum seal it, try removing the packaging, wrapping tightly in better plastic, like Saran or Glad wrap. Then cover that with aluminum foil and place inside a zipper style freezer baggie. Use a straw to suck out air before pinching it and completing the zip as you withdraw the straw. The reason for the Saran is that aluminum foil can freeze to the meat and be hard to unwrap, leaving bits of foil still stuck to the meat.
Sorry to disappoint, but that’s exactly what I do. Wrapped in a second plastic bag, thrown into the freezer and used within 3 months.
I used to split bulk packs of chicken when I shopped at Costco, and rewrap, but I stopped doing that when I stopped shopping at Costco 7 or 8 years ago.
Some meats are wrapped in butcher paper, then placed in a plastic bag.
I’ve got a vacuum sealer that I use for nearly everything. But I’ve also had success with wraps like Glad Press-n-Seal. It’s coated with a food-grade adhesive so it sticks evenly to the meats and to itself. I’ve kept meat frozen for six months wrapped in it.
I see from their website that they now have a thicker version, explicitly for freezing.
I use a grass fed meat delivery, so I am already stocked up (so to speak). I also vacuum seal and I haven’t noticed any deterioration in quality. Maybe I’m going through this before it gets really bad, but I’ve certainly had 6 months before using meat without noticing huge quality issues.
Yeah, I only freeze in original packaging if said packaging is vacuum sealed (like bacon). Otherwise I vacuum seal myself. The cheapy sealer I bought a few years ago has paid for itself many times over.
This is an interesting thread. I get 4-6 years of frozen beef, chicken, and turkey with no deleterious effects as far as I can see. I do not have a “deep freezer”, but on the other hand my old fridge (in the basement, where I keep frozen beef) runs extremely cold (-25°F), so it is kind of like a “deep freeze”, I guess?
Steaks I repackage as well as standing rib roasts, so that they’re completely covered tightly in aluminum foil with no airspace. I’ve cooked 5 year old standing rib roasts with no problem at all, unless the foil got torn at some point which required me to trim the freezer burnt portions. Whole chicken and turkey I just keep in their original cryovac packaging.
I’m currently thawing in the fridge a turkey from 2017, with plans to smoke it on Monday. I’ll let you know how it turns out.
Please do. I’ve thrown out 2 year old turkeys.
I almost completely ruined 4 very nice 2-inch thick Porterhouse steaks by not repackaging them. I found them in the freezer around March 2019 and the sell-by was Feb 2017.
I kept wondering, “How did I manage to put these down in that freezer without repackaging? I never do that!”.
It took me 2 months to finally recall that Feb 2017 was a winter storm that left us without power for 4 days. By late day 2, the upstairs fridge and freezer were getting warm enough that I was worried about the meat, so I ran to the grocery and got 4 slabs of dry ice, ported all the upstairs meat to the downstairs freezer and distributed the dry ice in that freezer.
Then, crisis averted, I promptly forgot about the originally packaged steaks. By the time I found them and trimmed off all the freezer burn, from maybe 8 pounds original I had about 2 pounds of usable meat, which I minced and cooked up to add to the dogs’ food.
I was one sad puppy.
But they sure weren’t!
A funny on meat going bad (favorite line, “Well my arm went numb!” [Edit - had to switch out. The first version I posted had a lot of F-bombs]):