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Old 11-25-2011, 10:01 AM   #1
eggzlot
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Default RD Pork Butt - how long can it last in sealed plastic?

All -

I am going to make some pulled pork next weekend (7 days away). I am free this weekend though to go to Restaurant Depot and get the pork butts, it is hard for me to get there during the week because they close at 6 and I work til 5:30.

So could I buy them this weekend and just leave them, sealed in the plastic wrap, until next weekend? Could they last a week in the plastic in my fridge w/o having to freeze/thaw them?

Same with a brisket, not that I am getting one this weekend, but how long could a RD sealed in plastic brisket last in the fridge before you have to cook it?

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Old 11-25-2011, 10:09 AM   #2
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The brisket should be fine, but if you can find out the pack date, you would know for sure. I've aged briskets in the cryo in the meat fridge for 40 days after the pack date.

I wouldn't keep the butts in the fridge for a week, however. You'd be better off freezing and then thawing in cold water the day before the cook.

BTW, on the RD label there is a 3 or 4 digit code. That code is the Julian date that they put the meat in the case. Look for the highest number. Today is Julian day 325.
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:13 AM   #3
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Hi Ron

Thanks for the quick reply. I have looked for a traditional package date before on RD meat but never found one, did not know there is a Julian date, learn something new every day, thanks.

How many Julian dates could I go with a pork butt? If I cant buy it this weekend for next weekend, maybe go Wednesday or Thursday or so? Would that be more ideal?
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:39 AM   #4
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During the comp season I go on Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning to get my butts and I've only had one time that they were bad on Friday, and I think there was a hole in the cryo that I didn't see. I still buy the freshest butts I can find, just in case.
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Old 11-25-2011, 10:45 AM   #5
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At cash & carry they told me 30 days from pack date in the cryo bags properly refrigerated. if the bag is opened, all bets are off.
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:23 AM   #6
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Hmm big difference from 3-4 days to 30 days!

I'll try to go mid week, my RD doesnt always have a huge selection of pork butts, and like I said, it can be tricky for me to get there by their 6pm close time, but I'll make it work somehow.

Always better be safe than sorry.
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:44 AM   #7
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Hold time also depends greatly on how often the fridge is open & closed. If you have a fridge you can dedicate to the butts - one that will not be opened at all - you'll be fine buying this weekend for next so long as you get the freshest pack you can find. If you're placing it in a high traffic fridge - where temps are going to swing up & down - the 3 day rule is best to apply.
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:49 AM   #8
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Quote:
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At cash & carry they told me 30 days from pack date in the cryo bags properly refrigerated. if the bag is opened, all bets are off.
If you know when the hogs were killed you may be able to go 30 days from then, but at RD the only date is the date when they put the price tag on the meat, and that could already be 2-3 weeks from the kill date for all I know, so I don't take any chances.
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Old 11-25-2011, 11:51 AM   #9
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The RD here opens at 6am - if that's the case where you're at you can maybe go before work (if, of course, they have a viable fridge at your job where you can keep the meat that day). May not be practical but just another option to think about.
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Old 11-25-2011, 12:44 PM   #10
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Ice chest with a big bag of ice will do wonders here. As Greg says try 6am if possible!
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Old 11-26-2011, 03:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
BTW, on the RD label there is a 3 or 4 digit code. That code is the Julian date that they put the meat in the case. Look for the highest number. Today is Julian day 325.
Is the "304" in the example below the Julian date? If, so it would mean that RD labeled this case a week after pack date.


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Old 11-26-2011, 03:34 PM   #12
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304 is Thursday, October 31st.
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Old 11-26-2011, 04:55 PM   #13
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Quote:
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Is the "304" in the example below the Julian date? If, so it would mean that RD labeled this case a week after pack date.


Yep, that's it. With unbroken cases you can at least see the pack date, but if you are buying one or two pieces from the loose meat case the date on the label is the date that they broke it out of the case. It the case sat on the rack for a few days before they opened it to put the meat in the case the date on the label could be two weeks from the pack date. Or, it could only be a couple of days. That's why I don't try to hold anything but briskets for more than a couple of days unless I am buying by the case.
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Old 11-26-2011, 04:57 PM   #14
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BTW, that looks like a case of frozen ribs (the FZN in the description). They probably put the label on when they froze them, and they probably froze them because they weren't moving a lot of ribs and they would possibly be too old before they sold.
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Old 11-26-2011, 05:02 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron_L View Post
BTW, that looks like a case of frozen ribs (the FZN in the description). They probably put the label on when they froze them, and they probably froze them because they weren't moving a lot of ribs and they would possibly be too old before they sold.
That is what I figured, thanks for the clarification on the Julian date, I always wondered what those numbers meant.
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