Buying meat in bulk is a great way to save loads of money. Whether you invest in buying a whole or have beast, organise a bulk pack from the butcher or just buy meat when it is on sale and pop it in the freezer for later use, there are certain things that you should know when doing so. If packaged or stored incorrectly it can mean freezer burn, spoiled meat and a big waste of money.
Freeze In Portions
Firstly, when freezing meats of any kind it’s a good idea to freeze in meal sized portions according to your families size and eating habits. Not only does it make it easier to stop overeating, it makes it much less likely there will be wastage or spoilage from excess meat as well as saving time defrosting. The recommended portion of meat is actually 120 grams (4oz) of raw meat per person for a main meal. For an easy example a standard deck of playing cards is roughly the same size as 100 gram of meat. So for an average family of four separate mince, steak, chicken, Pork, Lamb and fish into around 500 gram lots,
Freeze about 6 – 8 sausages together depending on children’s ages and the sausage size and rissoles into lots of 6. Remember that it is important to use lean meats or trim away the excess fat prior to freezing. If this doesn’t sound like a lot of meat, remember you will be bulking up a meat with vegetables, rice and other accompaniments. Meat is the most expensive part of the meal – so this is a great way to stretch the dollars.
Packaging and Storing
Once you have sorted out the portion sizes the next step is packaging. Use good quality freezer bags or plastics that will seal out all of the air which can cause freezer burn. I love using GLAD Snap lock Bags for storing our meats. They are tough, easy to use, airtight, stackable and save a lot of freezer space.
6When storing rissoles,fish fillets, chicken,steaks or just about any cuts of meats, place some GLAD Go-Between, between the individual cuts so as to stop them from sticking to one another in the freezer. This really is a handy item to have in the cupboard! It saves so much trouble and mess when separating the frozen cuts at meal time and if you only need to cook for one or two it means that you can easily remove what you need without having to defrost it all. Once the GLAD Go-Betweens are in place simply pop the food into a bag (as mentioned) or wrap in some trusty GLAD Wrap.
Once you have everything packaged up, it’s a great idea to use a permanent marker and write the type of meat, the cut of meat and the freezing date onto them so you know exactly how long it’s been in there!
How to Store Your Meat IN the Freezer
WAIT!!…. Don’t just throw it all in the freezer willy-nilly. It is best to store your larger cuts of meat (roasts for example) in the bottom of the freezer. This allows for them to freeze a little quicker, stop the freezer drawers/shelves from sagging and means no more squashed snags! Also if you freeze the same types of meats together it saves time and you know exactly how much you have on hand.
If you have invested in a whole beast and your freezer is very full – you will need to rotate the meat around as it will take longer to freeze. Every 12 hours give your freezer a good re-arrange so that the meat freezes evenly and in a timely manner.
General Meat Freezing Guide
As a general rule only freeze Sausages for 1-2 months (regardless of what type they are). Mince for 3-4 months.Chops and poultry up to 6 months and Roasts, Steaks, lamb and roasts up to 12 months.
If you (like myself) prefer to make up some bulk meals with that fresh meat you have just purchased take a look at our handy, Once a month Freezer-Meal Cookbook for a whole lot of yummy, easy and unique recipe ideas that all freeze well!