04-07-2005, 02:24 PM
Join Date: 04-08-04
Location: Marianna, FL
From the same source, same page.
Question from Ed,"I have a brisket flat in the cryopac. How long can I keep it refrigerated past the "Sell By" date before it goes bad? Thanks."
Ed, simple question but a tricky answer. Beef packers do NOT put a sell by date on their meat. That date must've been put there by the store, on the price label (?), and really means nothing. I'll get back to that in a second, further down.
Packers will put a 'packed' date on the box that is shipped to the store. For "BEEF" only, as long as it has been kept cold, 32-38°, and not jostled around and the cry-o-vac is STILL intact (tight) and in good shape, you can keep beef around for up to six (6) weeks from the 'pack date'. Sometimes longer, depending on conditions. DrBbq ages his briskets six weeks, by the way. We are talking 'wet aging' here, not ddry aging.
Here is where it gets tricky. The store gets them in and puts them out on display for retail sale. The date on the price labeling machine is 'usually' set for a few days (3-4) and sometimes up to a week. If the dept manager knows what he's doing (most don't, sorry), he will put a date on the package of 30 days from the packing date, just to be safe. But, like I said, not all stores follow this policy.
You really, really need to know the "pack date" in order to make an intelligent decision on aging and use of expiration dates. As long as the one you have is still in good shape (kept cold, juices are not cloudy, the cry-o-vac is not puffy or broken) then you might be safe to go a week past the date, just to be on the safe side. Sorry I couldn't be more specific.
While on the subject, the 'expiration' dates put on lunch meat, hot dogs, sausages, bacon, etc BY the manufacturer, MUST, by law, be still edible for up to seven days past the expiration date.
DF and I (and others) buy brisket from the distributer in case lots and have the processing date on the case. So, our target is 40 to 50 days from that. Kept in a 35Deg frig that is stable at that temp.
Results are wonderful, to say the least.
"Flirtin' with Disaster" BBQ Team (RETIRED)
FBA and KCBS Cook and Judge.
Former owner of a WSM, a Smokey Joe, a Charbroil Commercial gasser (junk), the legendary "StudeDera", a Fast Eddy PG500, and Sherman.
Now cooking with a Yoder YS640
Proud Pellet guy cooking on real wood.