Why Frozen Meat Is The Freshest & Answering “How Long Can Meat Be Frozen?”

How long can I keep my beef in the freezer? This is a question we get a lot. From the moment you pull a steak from the freezer to that finishing garlic butter sizzle as it slips off the grill, get the most flavor from your frozen beef with these food preparation and storage tips. 

How Long Can Meat Be Frozen? 

Most of our cuts of beef, from steaks to roasts, keep nicely in the freezer for up to 12 months. For packaged ground beef, it’s closer to three to four months. Use this FDA refrigerator and freezer storage chart for safely storing all types of meat!  

But here’s the catch. Not all meat is vacuum-sealed or flash-frozen at the height of quality like Oreganic beef. So, if you stock your freezer with meat every six months to keep from making that extra trip to the grocery store, you’ll want to hear this. 

Which Is Best To Buy : Fresh Or Frozen Meat?

There is a common misconception about frozen meat. Maybe you’ve heard frozen meat is less fresh than the bright red-colored beef you see shrink wrapped on those styrofoam meat trays in the deli. But it’s not true! Meat that is vacuum-sealed, flash-frozen, and shipped is much fresher than the unfrozen steaks you see at the store. 

Unfrozen beef oxidizes faster than frozen beef

This is because, as soon as red meat is exposed to oxygen, the enzymes in the beef begin to break down. When fresh, unfrozen beef is in transit from the meat packaging facility to the distributor for sale in grocery stores, the clock is ticking on its “sell by” date.

Bright red meat doesn’t indicate freshness (and here’s why)

We’ll let you in on a little insider industry secret. Most grocery stores keep meat in-house between 10 to 14 days, during which the steak’s oxidation process is ongoing. That is why meat packagers often use an FDA-approved technique called modified air packaging

This is the practice of infusing oxidized meat (which inevitably turns greyish in color) with a mixture of gasses, including carbon monoxide, to change its color to a vibrant, attractive red. Yes, carbon monoxide: the same toxic substance found in cars and furnace exhaust! 

While consumer advocacy groups widely criticize the practice, it is still used by grocery store chains to make the meat appear artificially at peak freshness. 

Just say no to preservatives and buy flash-frozen beef 

How long can meat be frozen? Frozen meat, specifically Oreganic beef, which is individually vacuum-sealed and flash-frozen at sub-zero temperatures, keeps well for up to a year. In addition, flash-freezing prevents enzyme breakdown during transportation, eliminating the need for preservatives. 

Flash-freezing meat (in minutes rather than hours) keeps ice crystals from forming on the meat’s exterior. This prevents the meat from drying out and shields its juices from the effects of freezer burn. 

Flash-frozen beef keeps its same flavor profile as the day it was packaged. There’s no thick ice crust formation like what you see when you pull a forgotten item from the back of your freezer. 

What Causes Frozen Meat To Go Bad?

Frozen meat can go bad, but it’s usually due to an issue with packaging, storage temperature, or the age of items in the freezer. 

Spoiling From improper storage temperature

Meat can spoil in your freezer due to a power outage or electrical malfunction of your freezer. Your freezer should always be set to zero degrees Fahrenheit. If you notice that your freezer has experienced a power loss or reached a sustained temperature above 40 degrees for two hours or longer, be safe and throw everything out. Suppose your foods inside the freezer are still below 40 degrees. In that case, you can safely relocate the meat to another freezer. 

Freezer burn from packaging without a vacuum seal

Ever experienced those frustrating ice clumps inside your bags of frozen vegetables? Freezer burn is a common phenomenon for anyone with a freezer. But the good news is that proper packaging techniques for frozen beef will help the foods retain flavor and stop the invasion of ice crystals into your frozen foods. 

Freezer burn dries out food by drawing out its moisture and forming an ice mass outside the food. This leaves foods like meat more tasteless and dry when they are prepared. 

With Oreganic’s vacuum-sealed meats, as long as you keep the original packaging intact, you will never need to worry about freezer burn! Rest assured, your frozen steaks will stay as juicy and tender as the day they were packaged. 

Age of beef

We would like to tell you that all meat will stay fresh in your freezer forever. But since we dry-age our beef, some fermentation breakdown has already occurred with the meat before it is flash-frozen. This doesn’t mean it is bad to consume meat safely stored longer than a year, but it likely won’t taste as fresh as it could if you prepared it sooner.

Meat that lingers in the freezer a bit too long (for over a year) will inevitably lose some moisture and shape, making it a bit less appetizing. However, if you still want to cook the meat, using a brining technique may bring back some of the richness lost over time. 

Stock Your Freezer With Oreganic Flash-Frozen Beef And Know You’re Getting The Freshest

We hope you use these freezer storage tips to get the most flavor from our high-quality grass-fed and finished beef. Flash-frozen beef from Oreganic is securely vacuum-packed and individually chilled to seal all the amazing nutrients and flavor. 

We guarantee delivery within 72 hours if the order meets our cut-off shipping date (before Tuesday at 8:00 AM). Every cut of Oreganic beef is certified USDA-organic and processed without the use of any preservatives or artificial ingredients. So shop now and experience the grass-fed difference!