Have you ever stopped to think about where you put your food before you shove it in the freezer? If you don’t take them out of the packaging, you’re missing out on ways to maximize their freshness.

Up to 30% of food goes to waste around the world for various reasons, with poor storage as one of the primary reasons. So, it’s crucial to make sure you understand the proper way to store raw ingredients.

Here are a few simple steps to keep in mind when dealing with raw meat storage in the fridge.

How Long Can You Keep Raw Meat Frozen?

According to food safety guidelines, raw meat can last in the freezer from a month to a year, depending on the type of meat. Even so, many suggest avoiding refreezing to maintain the texture and flavor. This is because repeated freezing and thawing exposes it to moisture loss, affecting the overall quality.

If you intend to cook the meat soon, you can keep it refrigerated in an airtight container or bag. Otherwise, you want to freeze it to prevent it from spoiling sooner.

Do note that while freezing keeps it from growing mold and bacteria, raw meat is usually in its best condition fresh. So, unless you’re keeping it for future meals, you may want to freeze it for less time.

Raw Meat Storage Methods

Quality meat is likely to maintain freshness and last longer than other variants. Aside from this, the way you store them is just as important in maintaining their quality.

Note that raw meat storage temperature is usually the key to proper preservation. When freezing, you want to be sure it stays at 0°F.

There are no exact limits to how you should keep raw meat in your freezer. But, you can consider the following methods to keep it as fresh as possible.

Basic Freezing

Some people would store meat in the freezer in its original packaging. While this isn’t always an issue, food safety in raw meat storage should always be your top priority.

Even with basic freezing, you want to be sure you move it to an airtight container or bag to prevent it from contaminating other food. It also minimizes the meat’s exposure to moisture, allowing it to last longer.

Food Safe Containers

If the meat comes in butcher paper, consider moving it to raw meat storage containers. These are often airtight and fit the freezer with ease. By doing so, you can maximize space and be extra sure you aren’t risking contamination of any sort.

Vacuum Packaging

Vacuum-sealed packaging is one of the best raw meat storage techniques. Compared to other methods, it keeps air out completely until you open it. So, you know the meat is safe as long as it’s in the bag.

However, you might have to reseal or transfer the meat to a different container if you want to put it back into the freezer after opening.

How Do You Thaw Frozen Meat?

Experts recommend thawing frozen meat gently to avoid compromising the meat quality. Even so, how you thaw it can vary based on your needs. The following are a few ways to consider:
  • Refrigerator method: Move the meat to the refrigerator from the freezer and leave it until it softens. Doing this usually takes the longest time, especially for bigger chunks.
  • Water bath: Rapid-thaw the meat by letting it sit in a bowl of cold water. Note that some meat is better left dry, so be sure to check twice before you consider this method.
  • Microwaving: Some microwaves have the option to thaw meat. Until it’s necessary, try to avoid this to preserve the meat’s original texture and quality.

Maintain Freshness with Proper Frozen Raw Meat Storage

Raw meat storage is the secret to maintaining freshness and quality. Freezing is one of the best methods for long-term preservation. By following the proper way to freeze raw meat, you can keep it in its best condition, even after leaving it frozen for weeks to months!