Tips on freezing & cooking meat

What is the best way to freeze & cook meat?

Freezing meat bought on sale is a great way to save money at the grocery store. But if you don’t properly store and protect the meat, your savings can be wasted due to freezer burn. If you follow the steps listed below you’ll rarely be disappointed.

Reader Question about Freezing Meat

How do you freeze filet mignon, and keep it from getting dry and tough? We recently purchased filet mignon from Costco, ate two of them (they were delicious) and froze the others. When we defrosted and cooked them, they were awful. Is there is a better way to store them to preserve the flavor and texture?

 
 

Tips for properly and safely freezing meat

We don’t buy filet mignon so can’t address that cut of meat specifically. But we do successfully freeze lots of other cuts of meat and enjoy it weeks and months later by using the following principles.


Step 1. Get the air out.

When we repackage bulk meat, we triple-wrap it in plastic wrap, careful to get all of the air out. Some friends swear by those vacuum sealers for their meat. Careful packaging keeps air out and reduces that freeze- burned taste.

Step 
2. Don’t store it too long

Vacuum-sealed turkeys and other meats in thick plastic wrap can last more than a year without loss of flavor. But storing meat in the Styrofoam trays with a single layer of plastic wrap for more than a month is asking for trouble. If you’re planning on long term storage you may want to invest in a vacuum sealer.

Step 3. Tenderize and marinate

After taking the meat out of the freezer and defrosting it we use some favorite marinades that taste yummy and enhance tenderness.

Step 4. Cook to perfection

While this has nothing to do with freezing meat, it does have something to do with the flavor. Cooking to a proper temperature kills all harmful bacteria. But with beef, people have different tastes, some like it rare, medium rare, medium, or well-done. When we cook beef on the grill, (and other meats), Steve uses a digital meat thermometer to ensure “doneness.” Annette likes her cuts of beef on the more cooked side, while Steve prefers medium rare. The thermometer allows us to hit the mark just about every time.

  • Italian Dressing: One option is Italian salad dressing — we’ve used it on chicken and steak — it tastes great.
  • Wine & Teriyaki: Another is teriyaki and wine — 1/2 cup of teriyaki, 1/2 cup of the cheapest red wine you can find and 1/2 tablespoon of ginger powder per pound of meat. We let the meat marinate in a deep roasting pan all day and it’s always tender and delicious after being cooked.

If you follow our 3 step process your filet mignon, or any other cut of meat, will taste fantastic and even more, you’ll savor the savings if you purchased it on sale!


Freezer Pleazer

This is a reader tip to make the freezing of meat easier.

I just reorganized my freezer using plastic bins.  It’s great and really easy to find what I need. I marked them “Beef,” “Chicken” and “Pork.” This has really helped me to know what I already have in the freezer so I can shop more carefully. Leslie Wilson – Jacksonville, FL

If you’re looking for more options for cooking beef, check out our Beef recipes super page here.

We have several of our favorite recipes in the recipe section of our website here.

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