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Help with eating old freezer stuff!

OK, I am new and I need help. I have spent all day looking on the net for some answer and you all sound very experienced perhaps you can help. We got into a buying club and they had wonderful pre-packed steaks and pork steaks and fish that they would bring to your door. This was great when I had time to cook. I never needed to go to the store. However life changed and I was gone so much I never had time to cook anymore. It kept building and building up in the freezer. We have finally canceled the club and at least 3 years have gone by, now we are left with slightly old freezer goods. The last steak I tried to cook had that "Freezer burn" taste to it. So I put it in a stew, we called it the stew of mediocre-ness. It wasn’t bad but it wasn’t good either. We managed our first helping but the leftovers sat in the fridge until it was eventually tossed.

What can one do? Any marinates that I can whip up to help? How old is too old? How long can you keep something in the freezer? What can you do to make it taste great again?

I hate to throw it all out we spent so much money on it and they are great quality meats. Can anyone give me some advice?

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  1. honestly? most stuff isn't much good after 6 months or so in the freezer. i suppose if you concoct something truly spicy so that it overpowers all else on the planet there may be hope, but you've already experimented, so i think you know the answer here. i don't see the point in putting more time and effort into this stuff.

    1. Since you have so much of it, it might be worth a couple more experiments. I would try browning the *hell* out of the meat and making a highly flavored stew (unless you did that last time). Maybe the flavor produced by serious searing would overcome the freezer flavor. The other thing I'd try before just throwing it away would be stock. Brown it super-well again, and just boil all the goodness out of it. Maybe the freezer taste wouldn't be noticeable in the stock?

      But it's only worth experimenting if you have some time you don't mind wasting, if it doesn't work out. I wouldn't hold my breath for that meat ever tasting good again, never mind great.

      1. The stuff over one year old toss. 6-12 months, try a marinade or braise in a heavy flavored recipe.

        1. Well tonight I am trying a new experiment thank you so much for you ideas I wanted to make sure I was on the right track and sounds like I am. Tonight I am using A-1 sauce which as my Dad puts it would make a shoe taste good with a few other spices and oils making a marinate, so we will see. After a good long soak I will try the pan sear method. I hardly ever fry meat I always bake it or grill it or stew it. 8) I will let you know how it works out. Thank you for all the help.

          1. I'd look at crockpot recipes that simmer for a long time and allow the meats to bask in the flavors.

            1. Marinade, marinade and then more marinade.

              A little anecdote that may or may not work for you. A while back I was the "fortunate" recipient of 100 cans of V8. While I don't mind drinking V8 some of the time, downing a 100 cans in any reasonable amount of time was not something I was looking forward to. Eventually, I decided to use it as a marinade for my meats, incl. several pork chops that had been making themselves comfortable in my freezer for about a year. Two days in a tub of V8, grilled, and topped with a soy-wasabi reduction, it turned out to be quite a meal.

              1. OK guys guess what?! I took the marinade, heavy spice and pan searing advice and rolled them all into one and IT WORKED! The steak was a little tough but the Pork steaks were Awesome!

                I took some A-1 Sauce original and mixed with water that filled a deep casserole dish. I dropped some (fresh) freeze dried garlic, parsley, sage, basil, oregano, and teaspoon of flavored oil. I mixed it up and heated it in the microwave till it got warm then placed the meat in the marinade.
                I let it sit for 5 hours.
                Then I pan seared it and then turned down the heat. I boiled the marinade in the microwave and once boiling I poured some over the now simmering meat. I cooked it for long time and it worked! I served with wild rice pilaf although I wish they had been mashed potatoes as the marinade and simmering sauce would have made a great gravy!

                So for anyone else having trouble with freezer burnt meat please take all this wonderful advice and give it a whirl you can save those steaks!

                I can’t wait to try the V-8 recipe I have some Wasabi I have been looking for an excuse to use it!
                Thanks again all for the warm welcome and the wonderful advice!

                1 Reply
                1. re: KitikattsKitchen

                  If you have a dehydrator, consider making jerky ...

                2. Cool never thought of that, I actually do not own a dehydrator, I may need to get one though as I have recently bought a lot of berry bushes. So between the steaks and the fruit it might be cost effective.

                  1. I would toss frozen meat more than 6-7 months old. If you have some oldish beef or pork that you want to use, make a quantity of nice spicey pulled-meat barbecue in the Crock Pot and freeze it in pints. The sauce and long cooking will compensate for any dried-outness, while convenience and tastiness will guarantee that you will use the BBQ quickly.

                    1. I don't know where some of you heard to throw it out after 6-7 months? It all depends on the temperature of your freezer. I am talking about a deep freeze and not the fridge freeze:) The lower the temperature the longer the food will last. I have had beef up to 2 years without being freezer burnt what so ever. As long as you have it wrapped well and freeze turned to the coldest. One thing too don't have people going in and out of your freeze all through the day. That's a real no no too :)

                      1. If you like spicy food, look at curries and vindaloos.

                        1. Try a vindaloo - marinating overnight, pan searing and then slowly cooking in a very flavourful sauce. Or other curries in general.

                          Beef redang. Moroccan beef stew with chickpeas and tomatoes. Beef stew with whole mushrooms and tiny onions and red wine. Beef and mushroom stew make with dark beer. Chili con carne. A big pot of hot borsht for a cold winter night.

                          1. Added note unless its grounded soak it in a bowl of water with salt for 24 hrs redo the water a few times. Before using it press as much of the water as you can out then marinade it. Plus searing it and so on as others suggested. I just did this with a ham bone freeze burn doesn't make you sick it just taste bad. You can keep meat a lot longer than most suggested I do it all the time. I am washing freezer burn off my food a lot lol.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: LynxRuby

                              freezer burn doesn't "wash off". the molecular structure of the protein has been negatively impacted.