Thursday, February 26, 2009

Cooking Tips: Freezing Poultry and Meat

In this economy, it makes sense to buy poultry and meat in bulk since the prices for family packs are usually cheaper per pound. This strategy can backfire, however, if you don’t use the items right away and they go to waste.

Earlier today, I used half a package of chicken cutlets for dinner and froze the rest, since I know I won’t use it until next week. All I have to do is take it out of the freezer, unwrap it and place it in the refrigerator the night before I want to cook it (this way I don’t have to worry about taking it out in the morning). It will defrost and be ready to cook that evening.

The best way I have found to freeze poultry or meat is as follows:
- Wrap the package in plastic wrap to make sure the package is sealed
- Cover it with aluminum foil
- Put it into a plastic freezer bag
- Use a sharpie marker to label the bag with the name of the item and the date you are freezing it

I have heard that you should remove the butcher’s plastic wrap and wrap *each* item with plastic wrap to prevent air from getting into the food and causing freezer burn. I would heed that advice if you are freezing the item for an extended period of time. I freeze poultry and meat for a month at the most and I have never encountered freezer burn using my method.

Do you think it’s economical to buy in bulk and freeze? Let me know what you think!

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