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Unread 09-18-2011, 03:17 PM   #1
Three porks
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Default Aging Cryo Wrapped Briskets...freeze or no freeze?

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)
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Unread 09-18-2011, 03:26 PM   #2
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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.
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Unread 09-18-2011, 04:53 PM   #3
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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...
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Unread 09-18-2011, 05:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
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".
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Unread 09-18-2011, 05:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottie View Post
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!
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Unread 09-18-2011, 05:25 PM   #6
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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.
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Unread 09-18-2011, 05:29 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scottie View Post
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

Quote:
Originally Posted by Three porks View Post
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.
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Unread 09-18-2011, 05:34 PM   #8
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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?
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Unread 09-18-2011, 05:36 PM   #9
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With all the "stuff" we pump in them, does it really make a difference? Does freezing restrict fluid retention? Somebody ask Dave Bouska............
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Unread 09-18-2011, 05:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
So it's more tender, but not? I love these studies.
HAHA, yeah I'm still trying to wrap my brain around that one!
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Unread 09-18-2011, 05:44 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbrink01 View Post
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.
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Unread 09-19-2011, 10:20 AM   #12
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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...
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Unread 09-19-2011, 10:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
So it's more tender, but not? I love these studies.
Must have been government funded.
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Unread 09-19-2011, 11:25 AM   #14
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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.
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Unread 09-19-2011, 11:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
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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.
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