Meats tend to spoils quickly, due to its moist content (meat juice), especially if kept in a warm environment will simply encourage bacteria to grow. Avoid keeping meat anywhere at room temperature and above. There is a few types of method used to extend its freshness. Just make sure that the meats you purchased are of good quality, fresh, and in good condition. (Learn about cooking meat here)
Storing Meat in Refrigerator/Chiller
Generally, a temperature that falls to 40 °F or below will slow down the growth of bacteria. Take note, it does not stop the growth of bacterial. In a common household, there will be a mixture of greens, meats, poultry, etc kept in the same fridge. If all are not kept properly, this would lead to cross-contamination. Hence, as a prevention, it is recommended that the meat you purchase from your local butcher, pat dry with a paper towel. Use a cling wrap to wrap it up or simply keep in a container before storing in the refrigerator. The method will keep the meat fresh for up to 2 days.
This method would dry the meat of its moist, hence removing the important factor which promotes the growth of bacteria and gives an end result of darker color and smoky flavor. Smoked meats keep well up to a week in the fridge and a maximum of 2 months in the freezer.
Traditionally done under the sun during the dry season. Meanwhile, some countries did it during winter where it is their driest time of the year. However, in the commercial era, it is done with freeze-drying techniques. Smoking and curing techniques can be combined with drying techniques to improve the flavor of the dried meat.
Salting or Curing Meat
The basic method is infusing a high concentration of salt that is used to salt raw meat to reduce the moisture content through the osmosis process and also does improve the meat flavor. This method can be combined with drying or smoking. If the salted or cured meat you purchase is straight off from the farm, do desalt the meat before cooking.
Meats that are processed with radiation to kill pathogenic bacteria on the meat, hence sterilizing the meat. According to the FDA, this method extends the shelf life of the meat, and all the food eaten by astronauts in space are treated with radiation.
Considered a new method of storing meat and with the fairly expensive machines. Firstly, the meat is brought down to a 40°F or colder which freezes the meat. Then a strong vacuum is created before the meat is slightly warmed up. So that the ice would be vaporized and evaporate into gas state. Then the freeze-dried meat is sealed in moisture and oxygen-proof bag or container. In typical freeze-dry meat, the water content is lower than 2%. Water is added before serving to regain its freshness.
Wrap your meat well with cling wrap or simply keep in a freezable container to prevent the meat from drying out. This method should be done as quickly as possible to prevent large ice crystals from forming. Thaw your meat as slowly as possible to prevent excessive moisture (meat juice) lost which would affect the flavor and nutritional value of the meat. Thawing in your refrigerator is probably the best way.
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