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On Freezing and Meats

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    On Freezing and Meats

    In On Food and Cooking the freezing of meat is described as diminishing the quality of meat by

    1. Cell Damage and Fluid Leakage as a result of ice crystals puncturing cell membranes leading to fluid loss before cooking and losing fluid more than usual while cooking.

    2. Fat Oxidation and Rancidity increase because the greater concentration of salts and trace minerals promotes oxidation of unsaturated fats and rancid flavors develop.

    3. Freezer Burn caused by the formation of a thin outer layer of freeze-dried meat with accelerated oxidation of fat and pigment.

    While I am not above picking up clods of meat from Costco for fun, when I am having an event or catering an event I cut no corners. I developed all the recipes from scratch (not that I invented dalmatian rub), I source side ingredients from farmer's markets as much as possible. I make the best food it is in my power to make. Not only is it fun to eat and fun to watch people's reactions but it is promotional, as well, as I am working on opening a barbecue restaurant.

    I was looking at Snake River Farms brisket. It seems like a great product. But it ships frozen and arrives either frozen or partially thawed. So now I am scratching my head wondering how frozen Wagyu compares to never-frozen Prime. Clearly the right thing to do in this situation is a BRISKET SHOWDOWN and let the proof be in the meat. But while I wait for meat to be delivered I thought I would bring it here to The Pit and see what you folks thought about it.


    #2
    For the past two years I've been purchasing my beef, pork and poultry from a local farmer. The cattle are grass-fed, the pigs forage through the forrest and the chickens follow the cows. Up until two years ago I purchased whatever was on sale. I can certainly taste the difference between meat from Costco, and meat from my local farmer. I did in fact, put it to the test. My family can taste the difference as well. The meats that I purchase from my local farmer are sometimes frozen... some are not. In this case I can't taste the difference between the same item being frozen, or not frozen. Without getting into a "what's healthy, and what's not" conversation, I think the grass-fed beef and so on is a far better quality of meat than what I can get elsewhere.
    As far as the Snake River Farms briskett goes... I personally can't see spending $65 for a hunk of beef that's mailed to me... just because someone says it's better or "competition" grade (which is all just a marketing scheme by the way).
    My suggestion to anyone... put it to the test and see for yourself. I also like that fact that I'm supporting my local community by keeping it local. Costco is "big agriculture" that mass produces cheap products to the masses.
    Just my opinion!

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      #3
      I myself can't tell the difference between fresh and frozen meat - but i vac-seal all my meat before freezing. Not sure if it makes a difference apart from not getting freezer burn....

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        #4
        My guess is that most of that purge is going to come out sooner or later, especially with meats taken to 200+ internal.

        I've not noticed a drop in quality by freezing briskets or chuck roasts or ground meat. I have seen wet-aging briskets for a long time (40+ days) seem to take things up a notch.

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          #5
          My interest is not in their marketing; my interest is with Wagyu's increased marbling over USDA Prime, which is measurable and I can definitely see and taste the difference between Choice and Prime. For my restaurant I want a consistent, year-round supply and the ability to order as much as I need. I have not found a local source that can deliver that but I am hoping to find one. I have been using Creekstone in Kansas; Snake River is closer to me so there would be less resource usage sourcing from them. I also like the fact that they are pre wet aged so I don't have to do that part, saves me fridge space. I am just not sure about this freezing business. But I am looking forward to BRISKET SHOWDOWN

          I prefer grass-fed steaks and ground beef but I do not care for it as smoked brisket.

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            #6
            I realize that not everyone has access to locally raised beef, and so on. I have a few friends who are in the restaurant business. One of which owns two successful establishements. What really matters is the meat. No matter how good, or expensive your equipment is, no matter what your technique is, or how much money you put into your establishement... what really matters is the quality of your product. That means good, quality meats and fresh ingredients. I'm sure that you realize that it starts with high-quality ingredients. From what I understand in the quality restaurant business... no food stays frozen longer than 2-3 days. At least that's what my friend tells me. Other restaurants may have a different opinion about this but, I think this is what puts his restaurant over the top.... he uses the freshest ingredients possible. If Creekstone, or Snake River is your only resource for quality meats, then by all means... use them. I just think that they are over priced in comparison with the local farmer.

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