How To Freeze Meat Without Freezer Bags?
Meat, as an animal-based perishable food, needs to be stored in a certain condition to keep it eligible for eating later. In lower temperatures, microorganisms can’t habitat in meats. Thus the meat remains edible due to slower enzymatic activity and prevention of oxidation of fatty acids within the meat. Depending on the type of meat and refrigerator it is being stored, it needs between +2° to -2° for storing meat. Usually, freezer bags are used to store meat in the freezer. They are usually bags made out of plastic.
But as the world is going ‘Plastic-Free’, you might be looking for an alternative medium to store meat, quitting freezer bags. If you have decided to reduce the single-use plastic bags in your home, then it is high time for shifting to alternatives. Your effort may seem very little for bringing substantial change but it is better to take the initiative rather than using plastic knowing that they cause great damage to our beloved planet.
- Stainless Steel Containers usually don’t leak chemicals from their built materials and are almost completely air-tight featured.
- Aluminum foils used in wrapping the meat for freezing have a secondary use for storing other foods.
- Freezer burn causes extreme cold impacting the less protective covered meats. Freezer Burn decreases the meat test and quality.
7 Alternatives of Freezer Bags
Every now and then we shop for anything from almost anywhere, the retailer hands over bags of plastic and our products within them. For your information, five trillion plastic bags are produced annually and an average American family takes home almost 1,500 shopping bags annually.
A mare percentage of these returns to recycling and leaving our landfill, sewerage, and nature- full of plastics and plastics. If you want to bring change in these statistics positively then here are a few alternatives for you.
1. Stainless Steel Containers
Stainless Steel Containers can be a great deal for storing meats in the freezer. These containers come in different shapes and are particularly made for storing perishable foods in the freezer.
Two benefits of using stainless steel containers are that, firstly they do not usually leak chemicals and pour extra water out of the meat. Secondly, steel container doesn’t absorb any bacteria. The material is non-staining. Cross-contamination is no longer a concern when using stainless steel as they don’t absorb bacteria.
Just make sure the steel container has an air-tight lid to prevent air from moving in or out. These will also prevent the fleshy odor of the meat to release and making a mess.
2. Tempered Glass Containers
Tempered Glass is made of silicon and is perfect for storing meat in the freezer. Just like steel containers, they also come in a range of sizes. A tempered glass container with an airtight lid will cover the prevention of air and smell spreading.
There are various types of glass containers available in the marketplace. Read carefully the description and labels while purchasing to ensure they are freezer and oven friendly. Extreme cold may crack their surface. Also, leave a bit of space on the top for air while storing the meat. This will prevent the tempered glass from cracking.
3. Butcher or Freezer Paper
Butchers and retailers use a special type of paper to wrap the meats while delivering you. It is one of the primary ways of covering meats for freezing. There are two types of freezer paper available. Bleached and unbleached parchment papers.
Bleached parchment paper has a lighter color texture but they usually contain Chlorine and can leak a small amount of dioxin into your meat if they are in a warmer environment. So it is better to use the unbleached parchment papers which are way safer to use as a cover for meat. Also, they are biodegradable, meaning you can dispose of them once you are done using them. It also reduces the freeze burn extensively and is ideal for using big chunks of bone-structured meat.
4. Vacuum Packs
Many butcher and retailing shop sells meat in the form of a vacuumed packet. This packaging can go straight to the freezer without doing any other processing.
The main reason behind rotting down meat is air. Air helps the bacteria to defrost the meat. So if the air is vacuumed out then it is in ideal condition for storing in the freezer. You can do your vacuum if you have to handle, process, and store in the freezer a big amount of meats quite often. Vacuum packs are easily sourceable from the market and using a vacuum machine to do so is relatively easy.
5. Aluminum Foil
Heavy-duty aluminum foil is an excellent way for freezing meats. They are reusable, thus you can use of for storing meat in the freezer over and over again until they tear up. Heavier aluminum foil papers are recyclable, after you have thawed the meat, clean the papers in your sink and they are ready for use again. After you are done using them just make sure you have thrown them in your recyclable trash bin and that will make sure they don’t end up in the landfills directly.
Light aluminum paper is not a great choice for storing meat in the freezer as they are too weak to handle heavy food like meat and can tear up after a little use and may cause a scene in your freezer. They also can be used for other purposes, meaning there is ZERO wastage.
6. Freezing Meat In Default Package
If your meat comes in an air-tight and has a minimum air space, then you can store the meat in a freezer with its default packaging as a cover. Read for any instructions written in the packaging for finding out if the packaging is freezer friendly. Some company distributes their meats with such packaging that allows the consumer to directly throw them into the freezer and only take it out once they are needed to cook.
This is the simplest and most effective method for storing meat in the freezer.
7. Reusable Wax Wraps
Reusable wax wraps are made of environmentally friendly materials like bee’s wax, organic oils, sustainable cotton, tree resin, and jojoba oil. They are more cost-effective than other regularly used plastic and metal containers. They come in different shapes and colors. They are very durable as you can reuse them for a long time and ideal for storing other perishable food like fish in the freezer. So it is a total win-win.
Disadvantages of Using Meat Freezer Bags
Apart from creating waste and pollution to the environment, plastic-made meat freezer bags has some other notable cons. Some of them are as follows:
Causes Freezer Burn
Almost all meat-freezer bags are made out of plastics and formed in a very thin layer of the outer structure. Keeping meat in this bag doesn’t prevent forming freezer burn. Thus after long storage, stored meat becomes less tasty and feather-like flesh after thawing.
Takes Longer Time to Defrost
Freezing meats using freezer bags causes the meat to be extremely cold and thawing takes even longer time for complete defrost. Usually, meats take more or less 24 hours to thaw if kept in the refrigerator. So you might think regarding time ahead before cooking your meat.
Bags Can Rip, and Air Can Seep
Meat freezer bags aren’t suitable for long storage. They aren’t properly airtight and as a result, oxygen can slip into the bag and reduces the quality of the meat even defrosting them permanently. Also as the bags aren’t durable enough to handle heavy stress thus they can rip anytime unnoticed, resulting in their use being meaningless.
Not Recommended for Some User
As meat freezer bags are mostly made of plastic, they can trigger sensitive diseases symptom in some consumers. Bags can contaminate the meat while in the freezer and consumers like pregnant women, and the allergenic-prone consumer may become a subject of disturbance. So the use of a meat freezer bag isn’t recommended for such people.
Tips For Meat Freezing
- Use a hardened container or multi-layer wrapping for freezing meat. It will help to prevent freezer burn.
- Use a normal refrigerator with a higher temperature than the freezer to slowly thaw your meat. You can use cold water in bowl therapy for higher-speed thawing.
- Consider buying better quality meat for long-term freezing but still better taste.
- Try to keep the meat along with the bones. Though it will take space the result is worth it.
- Based on your need, try to pack meats separately. Take one package at a time for defrosting and use.
Putting the meat in the water for thawing purposes is fine and somehow is a faster process. Cold water breaks the cold buildup gradually and as the water becomes less cold, the meat defrosts too. But putting meats directly into the water causes unwanted quality issues.
Meats can be kept frozen as long as they are kept frozen with a well-wrapped, stable, and constant heat supply. So it is OK to eat 1-year-old frozen meat. But you may find taste and quality has significantly dropped.
If your container has one or two dotted snowflake symbols that means it is safe for freezer use. Also, it may be written on the labels while you buy them.
Congratulations! For searching for plastic alternative solutions for freezing meat in the freezer. The methods may seem complex to you at first glance but you will get used to them once you start. Using alternative methods for freezing meats instead of freezer bags will not only benefit you will healthier solutions but will also help nature have a chance to heal. There is a phrase saying “Prevention is better than cure.” It will be wiser If we focus on applying eco-friendly solutions for everything rather than spend resources and time cleaning them.
The alternatives of meat-freezer bags will benefit you by a great margin. So why not take a little step towards green Earth by implementing those? You are wished the best of luck by us.