How long can I freeze beef for?
Your side of beef is an investment, and you want to make sure it will last
longer than it will take to eat!
Freezing beef extends its life significantly over refrigeration alone. Beef, once frozen should be kept frozen and not repeatedly thawed. Basically, it’s a one-way trip from your freezer to the fridge, and then into the frying pan!
There are many opinions around the best way to defrost beef, but I find that placing my chosen cut into the refrigerator the night before is usually sufficient to cook for dinner the next day.
According to the “International Institute of Refrigeration (2006).” Beef cuts, steaks and mince products will last a minimum of six months if refrigerated at -12 degrees, and up to 18 months if that temperature is below -18 degrees!
Smaller Portion Sizes, and Packaging Type Can Make A Difference
Of course, through the Farmer to Fridge platform you are able to purchase a smaller quantity of beef, such as an Eighth or a Quarter of a cow which represents a side between 4, or 2 people respectively.
Recently, cryo- vaccing meat has become a popular request from customers to help extend shelf life and prevent freezer burn. This is where air comes into contact with the frozen beef and impacts the taste and appearance of the meat. While reportedly safe to eat, it is visually unappealing.
There is anecdotal evidence that cryo-vaccing meat can help extend the freezer life, however it is more time intensive and therefore more expensive for butchers to perform this service.
One definite advantage of a vacuum sealed meat over trays is that by
definition there is less air around the product, and so it does occupy less
space in your freezer!
References and health claims in this post come from MLA