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View Full Version : Aging Cryo Wrapped Briskets...freeze or no freeze?


Three porks
09-18-2011, 03:17 PM
So I've been aging my briskets for 45 days from the kill date then popping them in the deep freeze until about 5 days before the comp.

I'm usually happy with aging 30-50 days but does anybody think that freezing actually helps the final product? I understand that freezing helps halt the aging process and prolongs storage but many times I can time it to where I don't have to freeze it. I do this out of habit/thinking that freezing has a direct relationship with tenderness. Is there any truth to this?

Should I freeze or not freeze?

My hypothesis to freeze is as followed:

Freezing causes the fluid in the cells/muscle fibers to rupture causing more water to be "shed off" thus concentrating the beefy flavor. (pre-cook)
Shedding of cellular "water" causes less collagen to be run off with the excess "water" during the cooking process. (intra-cook)

Ron_L
09-18-2011, 03:26 PM
If you don't have to freeze meat, you'll be better off. The info that you quoted is true. Take a picture of a brisket in the cryo before freezing and then compare it to the same brisket after freezing and then thawing. You'll see a lot more liquid in the cryo after thawing.

Now, I have used both briskets that have never been frozen and ones that I froze, and while there is a difference, I didn't find that it was a huge difference. I prefer o to freeze, but I will if I have to.

Scottie
09-18-2011, 04:53 PM
I have never had any problems or have noticed any difference with freezing. My worst score in brisket this year was with a brisket that was not frozen...

Three porks
09-18-2011, 05:21 PM
Take a picture of a brisket in the cryo before freezing and then compare it to the same brisket after freezing and then thawing. You'll see a lot more liquid in the cryo after thawing.


Ron this is so true. I've compared the non-frozen vs. frozen and the frozen definitely has more shed "water".

Three porks
09-18-2011, 05:21 PM
I have never had any problems or have noticed any difference with freezing. My worst score in brisket this year was with a brisket that was not frozen...

Thanks Scottie, I appreciate your input!

Three porks
09-18-2011, 05:25 PM
I just found this study with pretty statistically significant results. Just thought I'd share. Pay special attention to the results sections.


Abstract
The eating satisfaction of beef meat is the result from the interaction between tenderness, juiciness and flavor, with tenderness as the most important trait (Koohmaraie, 2002). It has been found that freezing causes several physico-chemical changes in meat that lead to a worsening in organoleptic quality (Ngapo et al., 1999). This deterioration is one reason for the reduced acceptability of frozen meat by consumers (Farouk et al., 2003).

In this study nine young bulls of the Swedish Holstein breed were used. Both Longissimus dorsi (LD) from each animal were analyzed. Both LD muscles were cut in four pieces, vacuum packed and stored at 4 C for 2, 7, 14 days, day 0 being the day of slaughter. At each time one sample from each animal was split into two parts and one was cooked to measure water holding capacity and shear force, and the other one was frozen at -20 C to be analyzed later. Shear force was measured with a Warner-Bratzler shear force method. Sensory analyses were performed either with a trained panel and with a consumer panel.

Instrumental measurements indicate that both freezing and ageing time influenced meat Warner Bratzler Shear Force (WBSF) values and Water Holding Capacity (WHC).

RESULTS
The frozen samples had significantly lower WBSF values (P<0.01) than the chilled samples for beef LD aged 2 and 7 days post mortem. Samples frozen and thawed before cooking had higher water loss (P<0.001) at 2 and 7 days post mortem.
In samples with different ageing time WBSF values declined over time (P<0.01) indicating a higher tenderness with longer storage. Water loss was the highest in meat aged for 7 days.
According to the sensory panel, the chilled meat obtained higher sensory score for all of the tree parameters judged; tenderness (P<0.05) juiciness (P<0.01) and meat taste (P<0.01). The consumer test showed that the chilled and frozen meat did not differ significantly (P=0.25).
Results show that meat that was frozen and then thawed is more tender according to shear force measurements but is not perceived as more tender by sensory panel.

Ron_L
09-18-2011, 05:29 PM
My worst score in brisket this year was with a brisket that was not frozen...

So was mine. But, so was my highest. How's that for inconclusive :-D


Results show that meat that was frozen and then thawed is more tender according to shear force measurements but is not perceived as more tender by sensory panel.

So it's more tender, but not? I love these studies. :thumb:

Three porks
09-18-2011, 05:34 PM
I'd like to see a study with the same specs except add aging up to 30-50 days post-mortem and also adding a injected/non-injected with phosphate group. Plus the fact that they used a "trained" panel is questionable but I think it's a decent study.

I'm located here at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana. Maybe I'll go to the meat science department and see if there interested a new study. Anybody want to help with a study?

jbrink01
09-18-2011, 05:36 PM
With all the "stuff" we pump in them, does it really make a difference? Does freezing restrict fluid retention? Somebody ask Dave Bouska............

Three porks
09-18-2011, 05:36 PM
So it's more tender, but not? I love these studies. :thumb:

HAHA, yeah I'm still trying to wrap my brain around that one!:shock:

Three porks
09-18-2011, 05:44 PM
Does freezing restrict fluid retention? Somebody ask Dave Bouska............

That's a great question! Since after aging and freezing, you lose lots of intra/extra-cellular fluid, how readily will the brisket accept new fluid.....interesting!

I suppose the two possibilities would be 1. it would be very accepting of fluids, like a dry sponge. or 2. the vasculature of the muscle fibers/intracellular areas are now damaged not accepting of the additional fluids. I suppose with the Butcher injection being thick, this solution doesn't run off as easily should help.

Scottie
09-19-2011, 10:20 AM
I think that if it works for teams then do it. Different techniques work for different teams. I freeze all my briskets and have never noticed extra moisture in the cryvac. That works for me though. I use FAB and can say i have never had a dry brisket. Other folks will swear by fresh. But how fresh is fresh when aging for 40 days? Honestly, i never pay attention to studies. They dont know everything...

tmcmaster
09-19-2011, 10:59 AM
So it's more tender, but not? I love these studies. :thumb:
Must have been government funded.

Three porks
09-19-2011, 11:25 AM
Yeah studies like this are pretty much take it or leave it. I just thought it was interesting. Probably to many variables to mention but I'm the kind of person that needs to know why/how things work. I totally agree to just go for what works for each particular team but I guess I'm still working on that 180 brisket. I guess I'll just keep aging then freezing cause that's whats been working.:thumb:

Dan - 3eyzbbq
09-19-2011, 11:49 AM
Results show that meat that was frozen and then thawed is more tender according to shear force measurements but is not perceived as more tender by sensory panel.

My day job will show here (I look at lab results quite a bit), but take this as "below detection limit", it IS more tender but humans can't detect the difference. So, does it really matter. IMO, no.

Vince RnQ
09-19-2011, 12:12 PM
Here's my thought on the OP's question:

If you like ageing but don't like freezing and can time it in such a way so as to be able to cook your aged meat without freezing, great!

If you don't care about freezing, then it doesn't really matter. Freeze as necessary!

Just call me "Mr. Helper"!

Butcher BBQ
09-19-2011, 06:16 PM
As stated when freezing meat the water freezes before the cell structure. The water forms into ice crystals and that is what bursts the cell structures in which causes more purge. If this has happened to you, you need to better learn the art of freezing your brisket. We have been freezing beef in the meat biz since the invention of refrigeration and it has been working just fine.

Now that has been said. We all know that studies can be read to say what you want them to say. So even read this post and read only what you believe. :becky:

PimpSmoke
09-19-2011, 06:43 PM
I know if you salt beef heavily and rinse, it removes a lot of moisture. Steaks cooked this way have a more intense "beef" flavor as the intramuscular fluids are drawn out. Think dry aged.

Why would freezing hurt this? It draws out fluid. And if the cellular structure is damaged, then you need to cook hot and fast to not harm the cellular structure as much right?

Voodoo I tell you, all of it. Where is that guy from IL anyway? He had a killer mustard sauce and knew good beer, miss ya bro.

luckyduk
09-19-2011, 07:35 PM
I age and freeze briskets regularly, my only first in brisket was froze, also one of my best tasting brisket was only 10 days old!! It depends on the meat also!!!

I believe "the butcher" may be onto something about freezing them correctly......quickly I believe ?

Butcher BBQ
09-19-2011, 08:50 PM
I age and freeze briskets regularly, my only first in brisket was froze, also one of my best tasting brisket was only 10 days old!! It depends on the meat also!!!

I believe "the butcher" may be onto something about freezing them correctly......quickly I believe ?

Quickly is the correct way, a whole brisket should be froze solid in 1 hour. Then the muscle (cells) will freeze prior to or right along the same as the moisture in the meat. Because meat freezes at a half degree to one degree less than moisture. That is why when the moisture freezes first and forms ice crystals it punctures holes in the cell (muscle) walls and allows it to purge out more when thawed out.

Let the record be shown I freeze 100% of all the comp briskets I have ever cooked.

Three porks
09-19-2011, 09:12 PM
Thank you very much!! This is very helpful information and really appreciate you posting this! :clap2:



Quickly is the correct way, a whole brisket should be froze solid in 1 hour. Then the muscle (cells) will freeze prior to or right along the same as the moisture in the meat. Because meat freezes at a half degree to one degree less than moisture. That is why when the moisture freezes first and forms ice crystals it punctures holes in the cell (muscle) walls and allows it to purge out more when thawed out.

Let the record be shown I freeze 100% of all the comp briskets I have ever cooked.

nthole
09-19-2011, 09:38 PM
Quickly is the correct way, a whole brisket should be froze solid in 1 hour. Then the muscle (cells) will freeze prior to or right along the same as the moisture in the meat. Because meat freezes at a half degree to one degree less than moisture. That is why when the moisture freezes first and forms ice crystals it punctures holes in the cell (muscle) walls and allows it to purge out more when thawed out.

Let the record be shown I freeze 100% of all the comp briskets I have ever cooked.

Hmmm, so this begs the question, how can a person at home freeze a brisket solid in one hour? I'm sure you might have some handy devices that can do it, but how would one accomplish this at home? I'm doubting my refrigerator freezers nor my deep freeze could accomplish this task. Packing in dry ice? This would seem an expensive route to do to every single brisket.

Ideas?

roksmith
09-20-2011, 05:31 AM
We don't comprehend the science behind it all completely, but here is what we think.
All things being equal, I'd prefer 45 day briskets never frozen. Since we have to order our briskets well in advance and they don't always come in exactly when we would like and since we have no real control over how old they are when we receive them, we almost always end up freezing them. To us, in addition to quick freezing, we like a slow thaw. Best results when we use a colder refrigerator and let the briskets thaw over a week or more. When they thaw too quickly.. like in a warmer fridge, or under cool water, they seem to dump more of their fluids.
We do inject, so most of the fluids lost can be replaced, but the elasticity of the meat cannot be regenerated once it's lost. And we believe its lost when the cell walls are damaged.
There are obviously better brisket cooks out there, so take what I say with a grain of salt.

Butcher BBQ
09-20-2011, 06:29 AM
Hmmm, so this begs the question, how can a person at home freeze a brisket solid in one hour? I'm sure you might have some handy devices that can do it, but how would one accomplish this at home? I'm doubting my refrigerator freezers nor my deep freeze could accomplish this task. Packing in dry ice? This would seem an expensive route to do to every single brisket.

Ideas?

A few folks I know use ice chest and dry ice. Not a handy device but the results are great.