Freezing & Defrosting Meat

Truth – you may think that by freezing meat, it would perhaps tamper with the freshness or flavour – this however is not true. We wanted to share some helpful tips on how to freeze meat, whilst maintaining its freshness, quality and flavour.

Packaging – depending on how you buy your meat, it may be frozen in its original, unopened, packaging – or if purchased fresh from a meat counter (like us), you may need to package it yourself before freezing. We recommend vacuum packing, or using a sealable bag (making sure all air has been squeezed out of it).

Don’t Hang About – the quicker you freeze your meat, the better! If meat is partially frozen it can cause ice crystals to form, which can then damage the meat cells – this leads to a loss of the meats natural juices, and this can change the texture of the meat. The quicker you are to freeze meat, the smaller the ice crystals – the less damage is done. O’Keeffe’s suggest a minimum temperature of -18° or less to ensure the meat is thoroughly frozen, basically the colder the better!

Don’t Squish It In Your Freezer – when you find yourself pushed for space in your freezer drawers, the temptation is always there to squish and squash items into whatever space is available! We suggest that you refrain from doing this (this includes placing heavier objects on top of meats). Changing the shape of meat can cause damage.

Freezing Is Good – did you know that freezing can actually help lock in nutrients, when meat is left it starts to lose nutrients. Basically if you buy meat, but don’t plan to eat it within a few days – freeze it!

Lastly, Label It – try to get into the habit of making a note of the date you freeze anything. We don’t recommend keeping, or eating anything frozen for more than 3 months from the date it is frozen.