The way you wrap your meat is crucial for maintaining the quality and conditions of the meat when it is not in use. It is not enough to put meats in plastic bags and throw in the freezer, as that can cause chemical and physical changes to the meat that changes the taste and safety levels.
Since raw meat can get contaminated easily, you will want to do your best to store it in the safest way possible to keep you and your family and friends safe. In this guide, you will be taught different ways you can package and store your meats, and how you should wrap them when needed in certain recipes. Read on for more information.
When you have meat that has to be packaged, the first thing to learn about is the different options and methods for effectively storing your meat in the freezer.
The most common method of meat storage is by covering the meat as tight as possible with plastic wrap. You really want to pay attention to this step, as allowing air into the wrap and meat can cause unwanted bacteria to form.
You can also use aluminum foil to make the packaging even more airtight and seal with tape to finish it off. Another popular and more effective way to store meat is by using freezer paper, which is specifically designed for meat storage. It is made with one side with a wax coating.
Whether you are using plastic wrap or freezer paper, you want to tear off enough to wrap the meat completely. If you end up with paper that is too short to wrap the entire piece of meat, try to avoid ripping off a second one if you can.
Using one sheet will make the packaging more effective since there is less risk of air entering the package, and using two increases the chance.
If you are using the freezer paper, make sure that you place the meat on the wax side of the paper so that the wax paper is facing the inside of the package. Be sure to label the packages with the type of meat and date of wrapping so that you will know without having to open it and check.
You can also use butcher paper, although it is not as effective as freezer paper. Many people wonder if freezer paper is the same as butcher paper, and the answer is no. They start off the same, but one side gets coated, creating the waxy film described above. It makes it more effective for freezing, but butcher paper is also a great choice if you want to save money.
There is a lot of debate about whether you should get butcher paper or vacuum seal packages since they are similar in price and are comparable. Vacuum seal packs seem to be more effective than butcher paper, or any paper for that matter since it guarantees that all air in the package is gone.
This increases the longevity of the packaged meat, and sometimes with meats such as sausages and certain meats, can last up to a year in vacuum seals. You can get close to the same effect if you wrap the meat up in plastic wrap first and then the butcher paper.
With this, it boils down to personal preference and how long you need the meat stored. If for a shorter amount of time, butcher paper is the more affordable and practical option.
Wrapping meat to smoke is done similarly to freezing, except that you cannot use freezer paper or vacuum seals. For this type of cooking, you are going to want to use either butcher paper or aluminum foil.
The whole point of wrapping up meat during the slow cook process is to get the inside as juicy and tender as possible, and this is best achieved by wrapping up the meat. Without wrapping, your meat will dry out a lot faster and won't stand up to Texas barbecue standards, unless you have a high-quality grill.
The first thing you do is tear off just enough paper to completely wrap the meat like you would if you were freezing it. Then, you fold it as tightly as possible to ensure that there won’t be any leaking coming through during the cooking process.
You also want to pay attention to the amount of material that you use. While it is important to prevent any leaking, you still want to make sure that there is enough breathability for the meat to be smoked. If it is smothered by too much paper or foil, the tenderness of the inside is at risk for being too tough.
If you are wondering which material is better for smoking, there is no real answer. The result with each is very similar, so you won't go wrong with using either one, depending on your preferences.
The slight difference that may occur is that the outside of the meat may be a little more tough with the use of butcher paper, which may or may not be a bad thing to you.
Some people notice a difference in taste sometimes when comparing foil and butcher paper, but most tend to use too much butcher paper which influences the taste, as mentioned previously.
When deciding how to freeze and wrap your meats for smoking, you have to decide what you prefer and what your needs are to determine the perfect method for you.
You also have to consider the price and outcomes of each process to see which one works better with your budget. Thank you for reading, we hope that you learned something new about how to handle meat.