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Unread 04-24-2012, 08:24 PM   #1
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Default FReezer Not Cold Enough 37 Degrees - Is My Meat BAD?

Went to take a pork butt out of the freezer today and it was kind of soft. The freezer compartment is 37 degrees. I have a bunch of steaks that are vacuum packed. The meat is thawed. I know everything was frozen the weekend before Easter. I did some pork butts on that weekend. They still had ice on them when I with to apply the rub, after being in the fridge for 5 days.
Do you think that it can be grilled up or should I just throw it out?
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Unread 04-24-2012, 08:29 PM   #2
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If the temp never went above 37 you are okay for awhile but I would start eating. If they are discolored or even remotely smell funny then "when in doubt throw it out".

I went on vacation a couple years ago and grabbed some ice for a cooler. A week later I come home and the freezer door is still open. $200 worth of meat. I just got in a hurry.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 08:39 PM   #3
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My freezer has gone wonky for months now. Nothing freezes solid, I can't even keep ice cream. But, I had a couple of butts in there for two months in cryo and they were fine.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 08:47 PM   #4
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I'd follow JP's advice, but play it safe. Our fridge developed a freon leak about 2 weeks ago and we didn't notice until some stuff thawed in the freezer section. Luckily, we have a second fridge in the garage so we didn't lose much. We cooked the meat that thawed but it wasn't that much. Most of our meat is vacuumed packed in the other freezer.

Hope things turn out okay. They don't give those steaks away. I'll be up your way in a few weeks for the Braves-Cards series. Go Cards!
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Unread 04-24-2012, 08:55 PM   #5
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Best thing to do is to use your nose when you open the packages. If you cook things thoroughly, it's not going to kill you, but it's also not going to taste good. Use your nose, or better yet, the nose of the nearest woman you can find. Theirs are more sensitive.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 09:19 PM   #6
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Did you temp the meat? It absolutely must stay under 40 degrees. If it's above that, toss it.
Most pork will have a bit of funk(shouldn't be overpowering though) when you crack the cry-o-vac. I usually rinse it down good and see if it smells after that. If your not sure, toss it.

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Unread 04-24-2012, 09:45 PM   #7
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The Pork butt was not cryo vac wraped. It was a meat tray from a local store and I double wrapped it in freezer paper.
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Unread 04-24-2012, 10:05 PM   #8
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I had freezer trouble a few months back, went to get something out and moved a half gallon ice cream container and it wasn't rock hard, started checking and hotdogs on door were not hard either. mine was at 34* and unit running all the time. I emptied everything into several ice chests and then in freezers at 2 of my daughters houses. Mine is a frost free upright freezer. I took the shelves out and the panel that the thermostat mounts to and behind that panel is the evaporator and it was solid ice. I just left the door open and unit unplugged for a week and all it needed was a thawing out good. I put the panels back together and plugged the unit up and ran it for a week before putting anything back in it. I keep it set at -5*, first thing back in was ice cream and it got rock hard so I filled it back up and all has been well since, and the compressor cycles on and off as it should again.
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Unread 04-25-2012, 10:24 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMantlow View Post
I had freezer trouble a few months back, went to get something out and moved a half gallon ice cream container and it wasn't rock hard, started checking and hotdogs on door were not hard either. mine was at 34* and unit running all the time. I emptied everything into several ice chests and then in freezers at 2 of my daughters houses. Mine is a frost free upright freezer. I took the shelves out and the panel that the thermostat mounts to and behind that panel is the evaporator and it was solid ice. I just left the door open and unit unplugged for a week and all it needed was a thawing out good. I put the panels back together and plugged the unit up and ran it for a week before putting anything back in it. I keep it set at -5*, first thing back in was ice cream and it got rock hard so I filled it back up and all has been well since, and the compressor cycles on and off as it should again.
I would bet the heating element has gone out of the frost free cycle. If you look at that evap it should have a heating element that is attached to it. I bet it's bad or the thermostat for it is bad...

I think the meat is fine @ 34°-37° I would cook it and eat it...
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Unread 04-25-2012, 10:27 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JP7794 View Post
If the temp never went above 37 you are okay for awhile but I would start eating. If they are discolored or even remotely smell funny then "when in doubt throw it out".

I went on vacation a couple years ago and grabbed some ice for a cooler. A week later I come home and the freezer door is still open. $200 worth of meat. I just got in a hurry.
Good advice. I agree. I would treat it like refrigerated meat, especially anything not vaccum packed.
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Unread 04-25-2012, 01:41 PM   #11
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It all really depends on when the compressor gave out and how long after that every thing thawed. Seeing as how you don't know that for certain, I would feel relatively safe with cryovac meat or vac sealed meat. Standard store wrapped...that's a very iffy one for me. There's been air allowed into the packaging, and that's where the spoilage get's it's fuel. I'd do a very good smell test. The coloring would be a strong give away on if it's still any good also. Red meat will be turning brown when it starts going bad, and chicken will have a grayish color to it and smell like rotten eggs. If it's spoiled, you'll probably know as soon as you nreak it open. If it has a little funky smell to it, gently rinse it and give it a minute or 2 and smell it again. If the smell went away, chances are it's still good. If not, throw it out.

Once you establish what's still good...I'd cook it all and refreeze it for later use.
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Unread 04-25-2012, 03:53 PM   #12
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One other thing you could check is the condenser coil either under the unit or in back. When they get clogged with dirt and dust, you'll get symptoms like that.

If it has a fan under it, make sure it's running too.

If it's auto defrost, there could be a problem there too. You will notice an ice buildup around the evaporator coil.

If it's not one of the above things, The compressor is probably gone. How old is it?
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Unread 04-25-2012, 05:51 PM   #13
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Not sure who you are talking to now. Mine will be going to the scrap yard. It didn't work that good to begin with. It's a hand me down.
May it R.I.P.
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