Food Storage Solution
I'm doing a lot of weight training and need to safely store as much meat as I can. I have two questions:
1. How long does, say, chicken last if properly refrigerated and will it last even longer if I get something like rubbermaid premiers?
2. Is the length of time something lasts for affected by the use by date on the packet? For example, I usually make sure I eat something within 3 days of cooking it, ignoring the use by. I often treat use by as 'cooky by' Is this correct?
3. Is Rubbermaid premier the best storage container out there?
There's nothing special about the Rubbermaid Premier brand that keeps food fresher, longer. Like any other good storage container, it's airtight. The other properties seem to be flexible lids and some kind of different plastic that claims to be more stain resistant.
I think use by is the same as cook by, but I could be wrong. Obviously, as you know, a cooked chicken dish does not last long in the fridge, maybe three to four days tops.
Frozen chicken should last about 6 months or more. Is there any reason you can't do that?
In my experience, the "Use By" date is indeed the same as the "Cook By" date. And honestly there's a little room there, too. But cooking meat when it is as fresh as possible will yield the best results.
We use a lot of food storage containers. Between packing stuff to eat at work and storing leftovers from weekend cooking sprees, our fridge is usually full. We eat leftovers until the next weekend with no ill effects. We have expensive tupperware, rubbermaid, etc. and cheap containers that came with takeout food. They all seem to work the same.
I can't give you exact dates as I'm no expert. I wouldn't store meat on the bone for that long. But yes, sometimes we have chili, soup, or a casserole in there all week. A lot depends on how the chicken is prepared, the temp of your fridge, etc. And what you personally prefer. I wouldn't cook up 10 pounds of chicken not knowing when we'd eat it.
I like the rubbermaid premier, but I think the primary advantage is that the four primary sizes come with only two sizes of lids, so, it all nests and interchanges nicely. They are sturdy and they don't leak. Aside from that, I don't really know if they are more effective than any other food storage containers.
As another poster said, check your fridge's temp.. needs to be below 40, and if you are letting stuff sit in there a while, I might take it a bit lower. Try to minimize how often you open it as well.