Got a dry-aged beef but do not want to eat it yet? No problem, you can freeze dry-aged beef as well as fresh meat without any negative effects. However, make sure you take care of a few things while storing the dry-aged beef and freeze it within a few days of purchase.
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Before freezing dry-aged meat, you must consider a few things to get it right, like fat content in beef, cuts of aged beef, and short shelf life. We have shed light on all the crucial factors involved in freeze-drying aged beef in this article. You will get familiar with how to freeze natural grass fed beef, or any type of beef, the right way.
So, let’s dive in and know more about it.
What Factors Should You Consider To Freeze Your Dry-Aged Beef?
Before freezing a dry-aged beef, it is imperative to know about the crucial factors you need to consider for effective freeze-drying. Here is what you need to know:
- Fat Content: Consider less fat content in beef as fats and oils do not freeze-dry well. Opt for leaner cuts or eliminate extra fats before freeze-drying the beef. You may freeze-dry the steak with the fat, but it will reduce the shelf-life of your freeze-dried beef.
- Cuts Of Aged Beef: Pick thinner cuts of beef as they freeze-dry better than thicker cuts.
- Short Shelf-Life: Do not expect to store steaks for 10 or 25 years. They do not have a very long shelf-life. You can freeze-dry and store different cuts of meats for several months or years.On average, you can store the dry aged steak for up to a year.
- Rehydrate Dry-Aged Beef: Do not rush this step, or else the meat will have a crunchy texture, especially in the center. The rehydration of the dry-aged meat takes around 24 hours in the refrigerator.
How To Freeze Dry-Aged Beef?
Let’s go through the different steps of freeze-drying your aged beef cuts. Here is how you do it:
- Pick Your Preferred Beef Cut
Consider leaner and thinner cuts of beef to store them longer since thinner cuts reform better than thicker cuts of beef.
- Prepare Your Beef
You may cut thicker cuts into half or eliminate any extra fat to store and freeze-dry them well in this step. At this stage, you may also add salt and flavor to the meat to make the end product perfect for you.
- Sous vide The Meat
In this step, cook the meat to a degree below the level of being done. If you prefer medium-rare steaks, cook it to rare. The meat is cooked to your desired degree when it goes through the process of freeze-drying, reconstituting, and grilling later on.
- Pre-Freeze The Meat
It is better to pre-freeze the meat before freeze-drying it. This technique improves the freeze-drying of the meat. This technique proves to be effective for freeze-drying anything else as well.
Finally, keep your meat in the freezer, making sure it is stored at 0°F or below the whole time. Store those cuts of beef that you do not plan on using anytime soon at the bottom and back of your freezer.
Doing so will save them from getting exposed to changing temperatures occurring due to the opening of the freezer. Keep the cuts you plan on using sooner, at the front of the freezer.
- Store The Meat In A Ziploc Bag
You must wrap the meat in a plastic Ziploc bag or a re-sealable bag. If you want to increase your meat’s shelf-life, you may vacuum pack it to keep oxygen from reaching it. Be extra cautious in this step to prevent moisture loss as it may result in beef being chewy and dry.
Why Should You Freeze Dry-Aged Beef?
Freezing your dry-aged beef has plenty of benefits that make it a preferable method. Read below to know more about its benefits:
- Preserves Quality of The Beef
Beef is usually frozen to preserve its quality. Dry-aging beef ensures maximum flavor and tenderness. The structural breakdown of muscle fiber due to the formation of crystals during the freezing and thawing cycle improves beef tenderness. Also, if the beef is packaged well, it helps in preserving its quality.
- Frozen Beef Lasts A Long Time
Frozen beef lasts longer, given it is frozen and packaged the right way, at a certain temperature to maintain its quality. The meat is packed in a way that prevents oxygen from reaching it, minimizing bacterial growth. Also, it needs to be frozen at a cold temperature so that ice crystals do not form.
Freezing beef increases the shelf-life to a great extent, which is why it is a preferable method. If all the steps are followed and executed correctly to freeze the beef, your beef may last for up to three years.
- Reduces Waste
Around one-third or one-half of the food produced across the world is lost, wasted, or go unused. Many people would bring fresh meat from the store that they do not utilize and ultimately throw it away.
Freezing beef is the best way to address this issue of food wastage. You no longer have to eat the meat right away, but you can freeze and store and have it whenever you please.
- Protects Cow’s Lives
Do you know a single cow can feed a family of four for more than a year? There is plenty of meat from one cow if you have purchased a whole or half cow from the local rancher.
You must freeze a cow’s meat when you bring it from a rancher since it is impossible to consume all at once. Freezing the meat allows you to feed the entire family from just a single cow, instead of buying fresh beef and eating hundreds or thousands of cows. Consequently, frozen beef saves the lives of cows and feeds several people.