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Freezing large cuts of meat

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    Freezing large cuts of meat

    Hey, folks. I headed to Sams’s this past weekend and they had beautiful meaty 3-bone short rib plates (2 per cryovac) and of course I had to buy one. I need to freeze them but of course they are too big to vacuum seal. What is the best way to freeze a large cut of meat when vacuum sealing isn’t an option? I don’t plan to keep them frozen long but I don’t want to cook two at the same time.

    I've used these Expandable Bags a few times but I must admit they are kind of a pain. But sure to cut them large enough so they fold over and seal better.



      We on this site, mostly, know that air in the packaging is the "problem", and that the vacuum machines suck or push that air out which avoids freezer burn. Short of the bags above, an alternative is the "trick" of putting your ribs in a zip lock bag that's large enough, say a gallon size. Fill the sink or a tub of sufficient size with water. Lower the bag into the water with the opening upward. The pressure of the surrounding water will displace the air in the bag, and if you're careful in your lowering, you'll get almost all of the air out before lowering the bag far enough to take on water. Some sealing gymnastics are needed to do that, but there are lots of videos that show how that are aimed at the sous vide folks. For your projected short term freezer stay that should work well.


        I use this a lot. It’s very good at sealing the meat or whatever, and not allowing the air in. It’s very sticky and will cling to almost anything. I’ll wrap the meat with this and then put it in freezer bags, squeezing the air out of the bags also. I’ve had very good luck with this over the years and never had any freezer burn. It’s not a Syran wrap type of plastic, it’s a lot thicker and better. I’ve got a vacuum sealer also and I rarely use it anymore because this does as good a job for me, and not near as expensive as the sealer bags.

        In your particular case with the large beef ribs, I’d wrap them with this, then wrap in HD aluminum foil or freezer paper, ( if you don’t use freezer bags ) You’ll be able to freeze the ribs for a long time this way, not just short term. By the way, in case your ribs don’t fit in a gallon freezer bag, they do make 2 gallon freezer bags which should work fine, if you decide to go this route.
        Attached Files
        Last edited by Panhead John; June 14, 2021, 01:19 PM.


        • Dan Deter
          Dan Deter commented
          Editing a comment
          I likewise had good luck pre-vacuum sealer with layers of tight wrapped plastic wrap and then into a freezer bag with as much air squeezed out as i could. I was pretty much just following how the butchers wrapped when we were getting a steer done.

        • Steve R.
          Steve R. commented
          Editing a comment
          I scrolled down to make this very same comment, but you beat me to it. Press 'n Seal is great for this. I then place the tightly wrapped package into whatever size freezer bag I need and squeeze the air out of it as well.

        I appreciate all the tips, fellas. These ribs are pretty substantial, so I'm going with the Press n' Seal.


        • Panhead John
          Panhead John commented
          Editing a comment
          You’ll really like it I’m sure. I wrap all my steaks, chops and bacon with this stuff. When I buy a new package of bacon I’ll wrap 4 or 5 slices at a time in the Press n Seal, then place them all in a gallon size freezer bag. I’ve wrapped half briskets with this also, followed by a wrap in foil or freezer paper. Once you try this, I really believe you might cut back on your vacuum sealer usage. It works just as good for less $.
          Last edited by Panhead John; June 14, 2021, 08:26 PM.


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