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Jul 27, 2012 03:25 AM

Freezing some meat - should I let it sit in the fridge until expiration date first?


I bought some rib-eye steaks yesterday, with expiry date july 30th. I'm planning to eat some of it within a few days, as far as I understand they will be at their best as close to the expiry date as possible, right? Anyway, I won't be able to eat all of them, so I have to freeze the rest. Now my question is, would the steaks be better if I let them sit in the fridge until expiration date before I freeze them? Or does this "as-close-to-expration-date-as-possible"-thing for some reason not apply to meat that is to be frozen?

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    1. Fresh meat should be consumed immediately or frozen immediately. I am not sure why you think you should eat as close to the xpiration date as possible? I have worked in the food industry for 22 years and that has never been the case. Also bacteria growth happens quite quickly, and is not destroyed during the freezing process. To minimize risk, cook within a day of purchasing, or freeze . And why would they be best as close to the expiration date as possible?The aging process is done in a safe environment and by a process, it doesnt occur as we bring it home. Marinated meat can be kept up to 4 days in the fridge, but no longer.Hope this helps...

      1. So if the expiration date is August 1, the best time to eat is 11:59pm July 31?

        I'd say freeze them as soon as possible.

        But I will add that you can easily and safely age at home.

        Wet aging is generally done commercially when the primal cuts are vacuum packed on the way from the producer to the consumer. You could purchase a vacuum packed cut and let it age in your fridge (just make sure the cryovac remains sealed the whole time).

        Dry aging exposes the cut to air. You can do this at home as well (I have a rib roast currently going on 40 days). Place it on a rack in a clean fridge (preferably a dedicated fridge). You'll have to trim the outside (plenty of microbial growth) before cooking.

        Having a simple steak sealed in a styrofoam container atop a kotex pad is NOT a medium for aging and your steaks will spoil - the sooner you freeze, the sooner you slow the spoilage factor.

        1 Reply
        1. re: porker

          Thank you for clarifying Porker. i had assumed henrikbe was referring to steaks in the styro container, and not vaccume sealed...I have actullay aged meat at restaurants I have worked at, but I dont think the majority of folks have a fridge dedicated to that sort of thing, at their home...hell I dont and I cater full time for 3 different companies! I should say though that aging at home is definately worth it, nut I am concerened about health and safety....proper temp control and process is also interesting to note that bacteria that forms on beef does not penetrate the meat, merely stays on the surface, so cutting off the surface will eliminate the bacteria...but please just throw those bad boys in the freezer and dont risk it!

        2. Where on earth did you come up with that understanding? Unless you are properly aging your meat (and there is a science involved), you should eat it while fresh. Why would you want to let your food sit around going bad and then eat it?

          1. I too age beef. I keep it in the bottom of the fridge for a week or two before using or freezing. Made
            it through 71 years with out poisoning myself. There is an active blog going on on this site about that
            very subject.