Beef Basics: Buying & Storing

Beef

Beef

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When buying meat, keep these factors in mind. . .

  • Choose packages without any tears, holes or leaks.
  • Choose packages with little or no liquid in the bottom of the tray.
  • Avoid packages that have been stacked too high in the meat case because they may not have been kept cold enough.
  • Check the sell-by date and use within 2 days of the date.
  • Don’t buy or use meat that has turned gray or has an off odor.
  • Not sure which cut to buy? This article by Dinner Planner can help: Beef Cuts – How to choose the right cut of Beef.

When storing meat. . .

  • Meat wrapped in butcher paper should be repackaged tightly in plastic wrap, foil or freezer zip lock bags.
  • Meat packaged in clear plastic wrap on a plastic or syrofoam tray doesn’t need to be repackaged.
  • Store meat in the meat compartment or coldest part of your refrigerator or freeze it as soon as possible.
  • Ground meat is more perishable than other cuts.
  • Cook or freeze meat within 2 days of the sell-by date.
  • If meat was refrigerated several days before freezing, use it the same day you thaw it.

Thawing meat. . .

  • Thaw meat slowly in the refrigerator in a dish or baking pan with sides or in a re-sealable food-storage bag to catch any drips during thawing.
  • Don’t thaw meat on countertop because bacteria thrive at room temperature.
  • If you need to thaw meat in a hurry, thaw it in a pan of cold water. (You can read about how to do that here.)

Cutting raw meat . . .

  • Put meat in the freezer until it’s firm but not frozen, about 30 to 60 minutes.  Then cut as desired.
  • Sometimes kitchen scissors are easier than a knife.

Servings Per Pound. . .

  • Boneless cuts like ground, boneless chops, loin and tenderloin yield 3 to 4 servings per pound.
  • Bone-in cuts like rib roasts, pot roasts, county-style ribs yield 2 to 3 servings per pound.
  • Very bony cuts like back ribs, spareribs, short ribs and shanks yield 1 to 1-1/2 servings per pound.
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Born in Kentucky, I am a wife and mom to 1 son and 2 daughters . I have an ink pen obsession, as well as a love for all things planner. I have been married for 10 years to my high school crush. I am a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

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