PDA

View Full Version : How long will meat keep in the freezer


FatDaddy
08-26-2009, 07:52 AM
Ok after reading N8man's thread about his 3 year old chicken in the woodpile it got me thinking about all the deer meat and bbq in my deep freezer. It is all wrapped in butcher paper and some of it is a few years old by now.. When should I look at cleaning it out and getting rid of it?

willkat98
08-26-2009, 08:07 AM
I just came across this thought myself.

Found 2 freezer vacu packs (with a good seal still) of cooked and pulled beer can chicken meat, both labelled 10-7-2007!!

Is this still good?


But a question for FDaddy:

You mention butcher paper, but is it cryo-sucked or air removed at all?

I had a 30# box of bacon broken down into 2-3# packs that I had in only butcher paper. Found a few of them couple years later that got lost (full stand up freezer in garage) and they were trashed.

Even cooked, tasted like bad ice. Freezer burned to the max.

timzcardz
08-26-2009, 08:19 AM
Well here is what the USDA says about freezing:

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets...zing/index.asp

Foods in the freezer -- are they safe? Every year, thousands of callers to the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline aren't sure about the safety of items stored in their own home freezers. The confusion seems to be based on the fact that few people understand how freezing protects food. Here is some information on how to freeze food safely and how long to keep it.

What Can You Freeze?
You can freeze almost any food. Some exceptions are canned food or eggs in shells. However, once the food (such as a ham) is out of the can, you may freeze it.

Being able to freeze food and being pleased with the quality after defrosting are two different things. Some foods simply don't freeze well. Examples are mayonnaise, cream sauce and lettuce. Raw meat and poultry maintain their quality longer than their cooked counterparts because moisture is lost during cooking.


Is Frozen Food Safe?
Food stored constantly at 0 F will always be safe. Only the quality suffers with lengthy freezer storage. Freezing keeps food safe by slowing the movement of molecules, causing microbes to enter a dormant stage. Freezing preserves food for extended periods because it prevents the growth of microorganisms that cause both food spoilage and foodborne illness.

The_Kapn
08-26-2009, 08:47 AM
Well here is what the USDA says about freezing:

http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Fact_Sheets...zing/index.asp


Let's see....(short form)

"May taste like Chit, but safe to eat". :lol:

That has always been my experience with vacu-sucked meats.
Even the flavor hold up well.

TIM

maxwell7
08-26-2009, 08:52 AM
My late wife NEVER thawed her Thksgvng turkey. Been trying to convince my current wife to try it! She finally did thanks to the American Turkey council web-site that gave a full explanation on how to do it , as well as saying it's best and safest that way. They also said that while quality could not be assured , a frozen turkey will keep in the frozen state indefinitely!!Why not other foods? If you look at FDA guidelines , they don't agree with the Turkey council. Sooo, whom do you believe-- beats me--ours was over a year old and tasty and juicy!:eusa_clap:razz:

Lake Dogs
08-26-2009, 09:49 AM
Having had a bad case of salmonella in the past (is there such a thing as a good case?),
I suggest that if you think it's getting old, it probably is, and I'd throw it OUT.

FatDaddy
08-26-2009, 12:29 PM
But a question for FDaddy:

You mention butcher paper, but is it cryo-sucked or air removed at all?



Even cooked, tasted like bad ice. Freezer burned to the max.

No. It is tightly wrapped in waxed butcher paper. It is primarily venison. most of it in cutlets or ground sausage. I wanna say some of it is at least 3-4 years old now that I think to when I got my deep freeze.

Bigdog
08-26-2009, 02:21 PM
We cooked a 4 year old cryo brisket. It was safe to eat, but it tasted like $hit. :icon_sick

Jacked UP BBQ
08-26-2009, 03:20 PM
I am a firm believer in 6 months toss is out. That is if there is no freezer burnt pieces. Get freezer burnt out whenever it happens. We all cook well and deserve better than chit.

Grillman
08-26-2009, 06:35 PM
Foods that have been frozen are safe to eat...even if having been
frozen for years.
You can't get food poisoning from eating it.
It can loose some flavor if it has been frozen for years...but; is safe
to eat.
Since flavor is what we all like...you might wait and use those old
cuts of meat this winter in a stew...in the crock pot.
You can smoke it first for maximum flavor if you want.
The parts that show "freezer burn" can be cut off if you want; but,
they are perfectly safe to eat.

To help protect the flavor of foods when you freeze them....vacuum
pack them first...that way if it gets lost in your freezer for several
years...it will still have decent flavor.

blues_n_cues
08-27-2009, 07:13 AM
here's my rule:

store bought-no more than 6 months(like it lasts that long around here anyway)

wild game- no less than 6 months
http://home.att.net/~sajackson/wildgame.html

blues_n_cues
08-27-2009, 07:19 AM
here's a better link
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/Focus_On_Freezing/index.asp

Smokin Turkey
08-27-2009, 08:27 AM
The food saver vac advertises as long as 5 years when properly packaged in the freezer which I can only attest to 4 years since that is as old as my machine and I just pulled out some zucchini and fried it. It was a little soft after the thaw but came out as good tasting as it went in.

I used to wrap my meat in butcher paper in deer season and our rule was if next deer season it wasnt gone, it was time to trash or cook it up with rice for the dogs. I do know air easily permeates the butcher wrap and quickly burns meats.

smoke it if ya got it
08-27-2009, 01:59 PM
I'll have to try to make these so called piggles.

big brother smoke
08-31-2009, 09:55 AM
For quality assurance, 6 months cryo-sucked is my limit!

Hugh Jorgan
09-04-2009, 09:47 AM
I have eaten my deer meat and sausage at two years wrapped in butcher paper in the freezer. I even ate some sausage once from 3 years that was wrapped only in butcher paper. Tasted like chit. Now I vacuum pack it.

I wouldn't hesitate to eat anything 3 or 4 years old. It won't hurt you and salmonella and botulism won't grow in the freezer. The only thing to suffer will be the taste.

tmcmaster
09-21-2009, 06:09 PM
And, depending on the meat/protein, the texture... I advise AVOIDING tilapia that is over 18 months old... vacuum sealed or not... ;-)

Dink
06-19-2011, 10:00 PM
I like to go elk hunting every couple of years and often have some summer sausage made and have it kryo-vacc'd. About how long is it good before it needs to be pitched?

Smiter Q
07-03-2011, 08:39 AM
My late wife NEVER thawed her Thksgvng turkey. Been trying to convince my current wife to try it! She finally did thanks to the American Turkey council web-site that gave a full explanation on how to do it , as well as saying it's best and safest that way. They also said that while quality could not be assured , a frozen turkey will keep in the frozen state indefinitely!!Why not other foods? If you look at FDA guidelines , they don't agree with the Turkey council. Sooo, whom do you believe-- beats me--ours was over a year old and tasty and juicy!:eusa_clap:razz:


Lets see... who are we to believe?

1)A greedy capital conglomerate whose goal is to breed profit for it's members at all cost?:twisted:

Or....

2)A corrupt Gov't agency that does what big greedy capitalist conglomerates pay them to do?:evil:

hmmmm..... hard choice. Guess someone at the FDA did not get their pay off.

<pay no heed to the man behind the green curtain, which is me>

bigabyte
07-03-2011, 09:33 AM
I wrapped some pork chops real solid and air tight with Glad Press & Seal and then wrapped and sealed with some aluminum foil and they kept for a year and were still like new. That's the longest I've ever had anything stick around in my freezer though...

El Lobo
07-03-2011, 09:59 AM
I can't in good conscience just toss out old meat. For one it cost me money, and two, an animal was slaughtered for it. So I have come up with two uses for proteins more than a year old or otherwise not enjoyable for consumption.

One is dog food, thaw it and serve over next two days, no more, no re-freezing. If it's any type of meat that can be broken down (ribs, chops, steaks, etc), I will usually take a cleaver to the frozen piece and leave the rest in the freezer.

The second thing I found it useful for is seasoning pits. I've had enough friends buy pits that it went to good use. Throw it on some high heat and let that freezer-burnt meat spread the love. I guess it depends on how you season your pit, but this has served me well.

expatpig
07-03-2011, 12:34 PM
Good ideas El Lobo, I don't have a dog but I guess i can feed it to the bears.

Grillman
07-03-2011, 12:44 PM
I can't in good conscience just toss out old meat.

All "old" meat and any other food that has been frozen is safe to eat, no
matter how long it has been frozen.
Food that has been frozen for many, many, many years is always safe to
eat. It doesn't ever need to be thrown away or given to dogs.

bigabyte
07-03-2011, 12:51 PM
My mother in law cleaned out her mothers freezer a couple years back (she has had dementia for some time now) and found buried in the back a package of hamburger in butchers wrap with an attached hand written receipt from 1976. There were also some steaks in similar packaging right next to it but no date. When they opened it up, they said the hamburger looked like some sort of diseased brain. They thawed it out of curiosity and they said it had a foul, most unusual odor. They tried boiling it to serve to the dogs and the whole house smelled so bad they tossed it instead and then tried getting the smell out of the house.

Now, that said...you have to wonder if, and how many, power outages there might have been in that house since 1976, and did she properly preserve the meat during those power outages? So was it bad from age, or from improper storage, or all of the above?

chad
07-03-2011, 01:36 PM
Depends! How's that for an answer.
1. How much fat makes a difference. Fatty meat doesn't keep as well as lean.
2. Vacuum bagged will keep longer no matter the type of meat.
3. If it's frozen in ice, not just ice crystal coated, it'll keep a good long while. We used to freeze fresh caught fish in milk cartons filled with water. Of course, that keeps the air off it.
4. Turkey or chicken in the original "shrink wrap" will keep for a LONG time. Wrapped in the looser retail bags...not so much. Freezer burn is waiting for ya!
5. General rule is 6-12 months for pork and that tends to be true. If you see ice crystals and the edges looks pale - it's gotten freezer burned. It won't kill ya, but it will taste like crap.
6. Prepared meats like sausages will keep for a really long time if vacuum packed.

I keep going back to vacuum packing and I have not financial interest in FoodSaver, but if your food is packed in one of their bags and the seal is right, the meat will last for a long time.

El Lobo
07-04-2011, 05:42 AM
All "old" meat and any other food that has been frozen is safe to eat, no
matter how long it has been frozen.
Food that has been frozen for many, many, many years is always safe to
eat. It doesn't ever need to be thrown away or given to dogs.

I agree Grillman, it's not a food safety issue. As I said, if its not 'otherwise enjoyable for consumption' then I find another practical use for it.

I came up with a value proposition. Giving to a dog is actually a very good option in my opinion. If I work out the cost of the raw meat compared to cans of QUALITY dog food, you'll find raw meat to be a pretty good value. No preservatives, no questionable meat, etc.

Simply an option for freezer-burnt or otherwise tasteless meat.

Rare Gramps
07-31-2011, 06:09 PM
Frozen meat doesn't go bad as far as causing food born illness. But after 6 months it starts losing it's flavor. Beef goes faster than pork with the exception of sausage that contains spices. Spices in sausage (beef or pork) are done in about 6 months and do not add to the taste of the item any more. So you folks that have meat in the freezer for a year and want to get rid of it, invite the mother-in-law over for dinner.

BC Squared
10-05-2011, 05:59 PM
I use a Food Saver, and had tried meat frozen up to a year...haven't had any issues, still tastes like it just came off the grill.

JazzyBadger
07-26-2012, 05:35 AM
Man, reading through all this old information is like digging through ancient civilizations. Still good for a read though. Not trying to tout this off as a new thread or anything! It's certainly new to me though.