At what point do you put boxed beef in the freezer?
By Bob Oros
Beef should not be frozen except as a very last resort. Before thinking of freezing beef, the product should be properly aged, approximately three weeks.
Next the meat should be taken to a cold storage facility that has the ability to blast freeze it, slow freezing it in a regular freezer takes days and as the temperature decreases from 39 to 32 degrees the water in the meat will expand and the meat will be dry when it is cooked.
When the meat is delivered frozen it is normally needed before it has time to properly thaw. This also lowers the quality of the finished product. Blast freezing is expensive and there is also an "in and out" charge. When you add the amount of time it takes to the cost of freezing and handling, the end product may end up more expensive than the anticipated market increase.
There are some products that can save money when bought and put in the freezer, however, they are mostly frozen to begin with. Back ribs are in short supply at times and a load put in cold storage might give an operator a certain feeling of security. Off the Carolina coast there is more "fresh" flounder sold than could possibly be caught in a single season. The fish are stored during the off season and sold during the summer months.