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Q-talk *ON TOPIC ONLY* QUALITY ON TOPIC discussion of Backyard BBQ, grilling, Equipment and just outdoor cookin' in general, hints, tips, tricks & techniques, success, failures... but stay on topic. And watch for that hijacking.


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Unread 03-21-2013, 01:22 PM   #1
NazBQ
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Default Frozen meat, negative effects?

My butcher periodically has great deals on pork shoulders, etc. I was just curious if throwing it in the deep freezer (and smoking it months later) has any negative effect on the quality of the meat?
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Unread 03-21-2013, 01:26 PM   #2
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I've never noticed any negative effects... That's using a real deep freeze, not a refrigerator freezer. I'd never trust a refrigerator freezer for more than a couple weeks. Too much of a temp swing causing all kinds of bad stuff to the meat, like freezer burn. Cheers!!!
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Unread 03-21-2013, 01:38 PM   #3
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I have never noticed a difference in frozen pork before. I do however think that beef loses some of its flavor after being frozen for a long period of time.
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Unread 03-21-2013, 01:38 PM   #4
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I was just about to post this almost same question :)
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Unread 03-21-2013, 01:41 PM   #5
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I’m happy to hear these answers, given the fact I've already loaded up on some butts. :-)
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Unread 03-21-2013, 01:45 PM   #6
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Like any meat that is frozen there will be some compromise of meat texture between fresh and frozen. This happens because the ice crystals will damage the meat fibers and if you thaw and freeze meat over and over, it will eventually turn to mush. Now if you buy a piece of meat and freeze it and leave it, it will be fine to cook several months later provided you dont get freezer burn. I have stocked up on ribs and pork butts and cooked them 2-3 months later with no damaging effect on the end quality of product.
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Unread 03-21-2013, 02:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aawa View Post
Like any meat that is frozen there will be some compromise of meat texture between fresh and frozen. This happens because the ice crystals will damage the meat fibers and if you thaw and freeze meat over and over, it will eventually turn to mush. Now if you buy a piece of meat and freeze it and leave it, it will be fine to cook several months later provided you dont get freezer burn. I have stocked up on ribs and pork butts and cooked them 2-3 months later with no damaging effect on the end quality of product.
Thanks! Good info.
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Unread 03-21-2013, 02:51 PM   #8
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I always stock up when meat is on sale and freeze it, no problems. I also put several deer and wild hogs and a bunch of other fish and game in the freezer every year. A vacuum sealer is a great investment if you do a lot of freezing-I've eaten vacuum-sealed meat that had been in the freezer for three years and it still had good flavor.
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Unread 03-21-2013, 02:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aawa View Post
Like any meat that is frozen there will be some compromise of meat texture between fresh and frozen. This happens because the ice crystals will damage the meat fibers and if you thaw and freeze meat over and over, it will eventually turn to mush. Now if you buy a piece of meat and freeze it and leave it, it will be fine to cook several months later provided you dont get freezer burn. I have stocked up on ribs and pork butts and cooked them 2-3 months later with no damaging effect on the end quality of product.
AAWA said it best. Cyro-packages will last even longer than just wrapped meat.
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Unread 03-21-2013, 02:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NazBQ View Post
I’m happy to hear these answers, given the fact I've already loaded up on some butts. :-)
We deep freeze ours @ 0* and never had one bad. Some up to a year old, when the stock gets low, we shop and fill it back up.

Same with high quality briskets
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Unread 03-21-2013, 03:00 PM   #11
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The formation of ice crystals degrade meat. The faster the freeze, the smaller the crystals and the less damage. Some people cannot tell the difference, others can. For me, it depends also on how you're cooking it. I would never freeze a steak for later. If I'm making stew, or something where texture is not critical, then I'd consider it.
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Unread 03-21-2013, 03:04 PM   #12
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Average sized butts and spares that have been trimmed to St Louis (including the trimmings) fit in the 11" Food Saver bags. When I buy the twins pack of butts or 3 pack of spares from Sam's, the ones I'm not going to cook right away I rinse, trim, vacuum seal and freeze. I've cooked both so far up to 6 months after purchase with no freezer burn or noticeable decrease in quality.
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Unread 03-21-2013, 03:04 PM   #13
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The issue with freezer storage at home is most home freezers have a self defrost feature, that can cause increased rates of oxidative rancidity, and increased frost crystal formation. To improve the self life of frozen meat, vacuum package in a heavy vacuum bag, at least 2 mil thick, then freeze at quickly as possible, ensuring that plenty of air can move around the package as it freezes. Keep the freezer as cold as possible. Frozen meat will lose some moisture (purge) due to structural damage from the freezing process, but if done properly, the average person can not tell any difference.
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Unread 03-21-2013, 05:22 PM   #14
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Yes. HUGE difference. When I buy and cook fresh most butts take about 12 hours. When I cook frozen, I gotta wait 12 to 72 hours (depending on how I defrost) before I can start the 12 hour cook.

Other than that I don't notice much difference. I bought roughly 120lbs of butt last time it went on sale for .99lb here.

The tough part is planning far enough ahead to defrost in time. And then when it is defrosted or in the middle of the defrost, hope nothing comes up to pull you away.
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Unread 03-21-2013, 05:28 PM   #15
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Something I find helps prevent freezer burn is to wrap tightly in plastic wrap before vaccuum sealing.
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