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View Full Version : cryo-vac pork spare ribs in the fridge, how long?


colonel00
07-05-2010, 12:50 AM
I have some spare ribs in the fridge that I ended up not cooking this weekend. I can plan to try to cook them next weekend but I am not sure if I want to. So, the question is, how long can I keep them refridgerated? Will they make it til next weekend? Or, should I refreeze them? These were cheapo Hormel ribs bought on special so if they are waste I am not that upset. Just looking for feedback on the best course of action.

Phrasty
07-05-2010, 01:02 AM
A week is iffy, I'd freeze them IMHO. Better safe than sorry. you got these cheap, but that doesn't mean that the ones you'll have to buy to replace these will be cheap also.

Cheers

colonel00
07-05-2010, 01:28 AM
Yeah, I guess the better question is whether a package of previously frozen meat will be good with thawing and refreezing. If its a bad idea, I can try to do something with them.

Crash
07-05-2010, 01:31 AM
Freeze them for sure. We've frozen ribs for months and they are just fine.

Louisiana Smoker
07-05-2010, 08:09 AM
If they were frozen once (and from my experience stores receive them frozen) then I would not re-freeze them. The same question came up during our Serve safe class and the instructor said never refreeze without cooking first.

doctorsmoke
07-05-2010, 08:22 AM
If they were frozen, then thawed, it is safest to NOT refreeze them.

Instead of throwing them away, you could put them in the oven and bake them, say with some BBQ Sauce, or with some Potatoes and Carrots, etc., or with some Sauerkraut.

colonel00
07-16-2010, 09:30 PM
I do have a followup question along these same lines. I know a lot of people will save their spare rib trimmings and use them later for other stuff. Is that not the same?

My line of thinking is this:

If they are cryo-vaced, it is assumed they have been frozen before they get to the store, correct? Once at the store, many times the meat partially or fully thaws. From there, I would bet many people load up in bulk when there are sales and take the meat home and freeze it. Second freeze. Now, are people that save their trimmings thawing the ribs (second thaw), trimming, and then freezing the trimmings for a third time?

And yes, my obvious concession is when the ribs are fresh cut by the butcher and you trim and freeze immediately.

I don't mean to beat a dead horse (although I do love to rub a dead pig) and I hope my question is clear enough. Thanks for the responses.

campdude
07-16-2010, 09:34 PM
As long as they were kept cold (under 40 degress when thawed it's ok to refreeze).

Chef Jim
07-16-2010, 09:37 PM
If it's for you, re freeze. If you intend to serve them up to others, don't take the chance.

blackdog043
07-16-2010, 09:42 PM
From the USDA site
Refreezing
Meat and poultry defrosted in the refrigerator may be refrozen before or after cooking. If thawed by other methods, cook before refreezing.
http://www.fsis.usda.gov/Factsheets/Keep_Food_Safe_Food_Safety_Basics/index.asp
I always freeze my meat after I buy it unless I'm using it in a couple days. I would say most meats are frozen when they come to grocery stores. so it would be a second freeze like you are saying.

colonel00
07-16-2010, 09:51 PM
blackdog, I have read that as well and that part makes sense.

However, as campdude points out, you need to keep it at refridgerator temps. However, once you open that package and do all your trimmings I would assume your meat temps will rise quickly towards room temp. And thus, you are refreezing meat that has been previously frozen, thawed and exposed.

And yes Chef Jim, it is for "me", not for catering. However, the "me" can easily include friends, family, and God forbid :pray: I should ever make the girlfriend sick :puke: with bad meat :help:

dmprantz
07-16-2010, 11:05 PM
I would say most meats are frozen when they come to grocery stores.

Not trying to be a jerk, but I don't think this is true at all. I think that whole, cryovaced food is almost never frozen. It is packed, irradiated, kept cold, and delivered to the store that way. If it has been frozen it is either sold as such or labeled "Previously Frozen." Same goes with seafood. If it was frozen and has been thawed, it must be marked as such.

Ground meat products are a little bit different. I have seen sausages including Jimmy Dean (can we say fatty?) and Johnsonville placed in the chill chest frozen and left to thaw out there, or just kept that way, but I think there are different rules regarding sausage products. I'm too lazy to look it up on the FDA / USDA website, but I'm pretty sure "fresh" meat is required to be fresh or marked otherwise.

dmp

Smokin Mike
07-16-2010, 11:25 PM
I would just freeze them myself, and check(sniff) them before smoking, I would bet they are fine anyways,,,, I heard somewhere that pork on a bone is good for 14 days, after that toss them

Smokesman
07-17-2010, 12:35 AM
I have some spare ribs in the fridge that I ended up not cooking this weekend. I can plan to try to cook them next weekend but I am not sure if I want to. So, the question is, how long can I keep them refridgerated? Will they make it til next weekend? Or, should I refreeze them? These were cheapo Hormel ribs bought on special so if they are waste I am not that upset. Just looking for feedback on the best course of action.

Since they are still in the cryo and were thawed in the fridge then you are fine to refreeze. Intact cryos have a long shelf life when kept between 32 & 40 degrees - once opened though all bets are off and they go funky pretty quickly.

Neil
07-17-2010, 06:38 AM
Whether fresh or frozen, all pork spare ribs come cryo-packed from the meat packer. Fresh pork needs to be used or frozen within three weeks of the kill date which to my knowledge is only posted on the outside of the case. If not purchased in case lots, the store is required to put the "sell by" date on the package label. Since these were previously frozen, and you don't have time to smoke them, I would bake in the oven at 200* for four hours then let them cool and go back into the freezer to be used at a later date with saurkraut or in a batch of baked beans.

Smokesman
07-17-2010, 08:46 AM
So now that your thoroughly confused???

The sell by date is one guideline. Some labels also have use or freeze by dates. For raw meats if I know it will be used within 3 days of the sell by date it goes into the fridge - if that isn't going to happen then into the freezer at any point within that time.

Since were discussing pork that has never been out of a cryovac and always in a refrigerated or frozen state again I think your fine. If they were frozen well in advance of the sell by date then and thawing for a couple days then again your fine. If they were frozen on the sell by date then thawed in the fridge for a week then you could run into problems. Trust the sniff test - open up the package, rinse in cold water and sniff - if they smell clean then fire it up baby!