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Using Meat Past Expiration

I bought 2 10 lb beef rib roasts for Christmas. We had to pick them up from the butcher yesterday (12/14/2010). (Not alot of choice there, we had to go out of town & won't have time to make another trip) The expiration sticker says good until 12/19/2010. I really hate to freeze them since we splurged for good quality. Think if I keep them in the coldest part of the fridge they'll hold until the 25th? I'll freeze them if I need to, but would rather not. I'll probably end up calling the butcher but want your opinions also.

I don't want this to get into a big debate about food safety, there are plenty of those threads already. I just want an idea how long meat can stay "good" for.

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  1. They must be frozen, they will not keep until Christmas.

    1. It's my understanding that the dates are not precise. There is some leeway. The meat won't suddenly turn bad at the stroke of midnight. Check with the butcher to be safe.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mucho gordo

        That's what I do with dairy, too. God forbid you drink the milk the next day -- GASP -- six hours later!!

      2. Is there any way to vacuum seal between now and when you want to cook them? This would help so as not to have them get over "ripe" as long as you keep them in the coldest part of the fridge.

        1. I'd freeze them because what are you going to do if they don't keep? Thawing premium beef is a lot less painful that having to toss 20 pounds of beef rib roasts because they ended up spoiling. Not to mention having to come up with an alternate meal plan.

          Generally, beef is thought to stay fresh for up to 5 days in the fridge. If it were a week it might be worth the risk, but almost two weeks is not a bet I'd want to make.

          1. when will you be leaving and when will you be returning?

            1. They won't get freezer burn in such a short time. Yet they will thaw and taste like fresh.

              1. I don't want this to get into a big debate about food safety, there are plenty of those threads already. I just want an idea how long meat can stay "good" for.

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                No way to know because we don't know how the meat was handled prior to your purchase, or even how long it sat around with the butcher.

                Just to be safe, I would freeze and thaw. 11 days is just on the border of pushing your luck.

                1. Thanks everyone. That was my original plan, to freeze them. I don't think we'll lose to much quality. It is only for a short period of time, not like 6 months in the freezer. I called the butcher & he recommended freezing them also. I'll just wrap them up really good or vacuum seal them & get 'em really cold before popping them in the freezer.

                  I was thinking about dry aging them, but I don't want to deal with it for a special occasion dinner. Maybe I'll try it another time when I'm only feeding my family & haven't spent so much money. :)

                  It never hurts to ask, right?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: jcattles

                    See.....I actually think this is the perfect time to experiment with dry aging.....especially if you have two refrigerators. Dry aging technically requires a controlled environment.....the fact you will be away insures that the refrigerator door will not be opened. There have been threads where some have kept their uncovered steaks in the crisper for 10-14 days with great success.

                    All you really need to do is suspend the meat so it does not sit or touch in it's own juices. Alton Brown has an episode on a very easy method. Ten days is nothing to worry about. In professional applications, they are aging 65-70 days now. I'd have more concern with defrosting them on time.

                  2. WHEN IN DOUBT, THROW IT OUT!!!