Fresh & Frozen Meat and Poultry
morning I woke up and wanted to try something a little different
for breakfast. I decided to try an oven-pancake filled with a
mixture of sautéed gf sausage, pears, apples and onions
and topped with pure maple syrup. I pleasantly discovered that
I had most of the ingredients on-hand and set to work on my early
morning creation. I pulled some ground pork out of the freezer
and proceeded to defrost it in the microwave. I noticed that after
it was defrosted it had an odd smell. I went ahead and sautéed
it with the other ingredients
but I couldnt get it
out of my head that something just didnt smell quite right.
So, while my oven-pancake was baking perfectly in the oven
I did some research on pork sausage and meat storage overall.
Heres what I discovered:
meat should be kept in the refrigerator at a temperature between
34º-40º F. In general, pork is going to be less stable
than beef, lamb and veal due to the larger fat content. Roasts
will hold for 3-5 days and chops for 2-4 days, and cubes, stew
meat, ground meat and fresh sausage for 2 days. Always check
raw meat for freshness before cooking, it should have no odd odor
or be slimy to touch. If your fresh meat cannot be eaten within
the above timelines, freeze it for future use.
freezing meat, it is best to leave it in its original package.
If it came in butcher paper, leave it in its wrap and place it
in a sealable plastic bag. Assuming your freezer is 0º or
lower, beef, lamb and veal steaks or roasts will keep for 1 year;
pork chops and roasts for 4-8 months; ground meat for 3 months;
and sausage for less than 3 months. For best taste and texture
do not keep meats frozen for more than a month. Also, never re-freeze
meat that has been previously thawed.
meat should be completely thawed before cooking to eliminate possibly
undercooking parts of your meat. Harmful bacteria can grow easily
in the partially cooked meat inside and can cause illness. The
best method of defrosting your meat is in the refrigerator. Put
a plate or something underneath to catch any drips. Steaks and
chops will take about 1 day, while larger cuts of meat could take
as long as 3 days.
poultry should be stored in the refrigerator (kept between 34º-40ºF).
They should be cooked and eaten within two days of purchase. Any
poultry that cannot be eaten within the recommended time period,
should be frozen. Leave it in its original packaging. Assuming
the freezer maintains a temperature of 0º or lower, poultry
will keep for a year or longer, however, for the best taste and
texture, cook it within a month.
poultry should be completely thawed before cooking (for the same
reasons as the meat above). If thawing in the refrigerator, set
the bird, in its original package, on a baking sheet and defrost
1 day for every 6 pounds. If you are in a hurry, you may seal
the bird in a zip lock bag and set the bird in cold water and
weight it with a plate to keep it submerged. Defrost it for 1
to 8 hours, depending on the weight. When completely defrosted
the legs and wings should move freely at the joints and the flesh
should be pliable.
avoid the fishy taste of fish that has been previously frozen
try this method of defrosting (this will work great, provided
your fish has been frozen correctly): Place your frozen fish in
a plastic bag and seal. Lay the fish on a tray of ice and place
tray in the refrigerator. Rotate the fish periodically throughout
the thawing process. It should take a couple of days to thaw a
medium size fish. The theory behind this is that the slower the
thawing of the fish the less chance water has to penetrate into
the flesh thereby causing the fishy flavor.
that will help you. I know that it cleared things up for me. After
discovering that my pork sausage had been frozen for about 4-5
months, I immediately discarded my sautéed mixture and
enjoyed the oven-pancake by itself (albeit not quite as exciting
as I had originally planned). Better luck next time!
was gathered from the following source:
All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking", Irma S. Rombauer, Marion
Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker, Copyright 1997.
may purchase the Joy of Cooking by clicking
It is a wonderful cookbook, with an abundance of information.
It even has a few gluten-free recipes!