Freezing: Meat, Poultry, Dairy, & Fish
All store-packaged fresh meats should be repackaged in freezer materials at home, since "butcher paper" usually is not moisture/vapor-proof and contains air pockets.
[ Meat | Poultry | Dairy Products | Fish ]
- Beef, Lamb, Mutton, Veal, and Venison Cuts:
- Roasts, rolled roasts, steaks, chops, stew meat, frying meat, and ground meat. All may be stored frozen for one year if desired. (3 months is the maximum time to freeze liver. 3 to 4 months is the maximum time to freeze ground meat.)
Use only good quality meat from carcasses that have been aged about one week., in a relatively dry room, at about 35 degrees F. Cut meats as for cooking, removing as much bone and other waste as possible, and package in family-size servings. Keep meat cold while it is being cut and wrapped. Large pieces should be wrapped individually in freezer foil, film, or paper.
Steaks or chops should be wrapped the same way except a double layer of moisture/vapor proof material should be placed between each piece of meat to make separation for cooking easier. Ground meat should be packaged in family-size servings and wrapped as large pieces. For short storage periods, the cuts may be frozen in Ball plastic freezer bags.
- Pork, Opossum, Rabbit, and Squirrel Cuts:
- Suitable for roasting, broiling, frying, or stewing; and ground meat. Use frozen pork and opossum in about 6 months; after that long, it could become rancid.
- Pork meat products should be frozen or prepared for curing as soon as chilled. That is, second day after slaughter.
- Fresh meat:
- All of the cuts of this type should be frozen fresh except hams, bacon, jowls, and sausage, which may be cured instead. While cutting into cooking-size pieces, as much bone and fat should be removed as possible. Wrapping should be the same as for beef.
- Cured pork:
- Freshly cured pork loses desirable color and flavor during freezer storage. Therefore, it has a very short shelf life in the freezer.
- Make sausage from trimmings of lean portions of pork. Sausage to be frozen should contain approximately 3 times as much lean as fat. Prepare the sausage, using your favorite recipe. Pack sausage tightly in Ball Can-or-Freez jar or Ball plastic freezer box. Seal, label, and freeze. It may also be stuffed into casing and smoked. For country-style flavor, cure stuffed sausage for 5 days at 35 degrees F. before freezing. Wrap tightly in family-sized servings in freezer foil, film, or paper. Seal, label, and freeze.
- Thawing and Preparing Beef-Pork-Lamb-Mutton_Veal-Venison:
- Leave package wrapped until ready to cook. The refrigerator is the best place to thaw meats. Slow thawing allows the meat to absorb the thawed ice crystals. Also the meat is less likely to spoil and develop off-flavor. If you must thaw meat fast, use the electric fan.
Thaw frozen meats just long enough for the ice to disappear in the center. Never thaw meat and allow it to return to room temperature. It is best to put meat on to cook while is still contains a few ice crystals. Usually roasts and steaks over 1 1/2" thick should be thawed before cooking. Thin steaks, chops, or patties may be cooked from the frozen stage, but the cooking time must be longer to allow for thawing the meat.
Use a recommended meat cooking chart for accurate times and temperature for completely thawed meats. Add from 12 to 21 minutes per pound for roasting meats that are still frozen.
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- Chicken (Fryers, Broilers, Roasters, and Hens)
Select choice birds that have grown rapidly and are well fattened. If practical, starve birds overnight before killing.
Kill by cutting throat while hanging from the feet. Scald fryers 30 seconds in water at 128 degrees F. to which a little soda or a little detergent has been added; older birds require much longer for scaling
After picking, singe pin features in a smokeless flame and wash thoroughly before eviscerating. Chill carcasses in refrigerator below 40 degrees F. for 12 hours before freezing to insure maximum tenderness. Fresh chickens bought at the market have already been chilled.
Fryers and broilers - (Whole):
For short storage, pack the whole bird in Ball plastic freezer bag, and seal air tight. for long storage wrap the bird in a freezer film and overwrap with a freezer paper. Seal, label, and freeze
Disjoint or otherwise cut birds suitable for cooking and pack closely in Ball Can-or-Freez jar or Ball plastic freezer box. Seal, label, and freeze. If several birds are prepared at one time, package the various pieces separately. Place livers in a separate package and use within 3 months.
Split the birds in halves, package in family-size packages with a double layer of moisture/vapor-proof material between each piece. Package same as whole birds.
Roasters and Hens
Prepare same as whole fryers.
Allow carcass to chill two days then prepare same as whole fryers.
- Thawing and Preparing Chickens and Turkeys
- Frying Chicken:
Thaw cut-up fryers in the refrigerator until the pieces can be separated easily. They should then be prepared and cooked as fresh.
- Roasting Chickens and Turkeys:
Thaw unwrapped roasters completely either in refrigerator or closed brown paper bag or cold water -- never at room temperature. They should then be prepared and cooked as fresh.
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Select eggs as fresh as possible.
Wash eggs, then break each egg separately into a clean, small bowl and examine by smell and appearance before mixing with others.
- Whole Eggs
Gently mix the whites and yolks by putting them through a sieve or colander without forming air bubbles. Package in Ball tapered half pint jars or Ball Can-or-Freez jars or Ball plastic freezer cartons, leaving head space. Seal, label, and freeze.
Gently mix the yolks without forming air bubbles. To each six yolks, add one teaspoon sugar or one-half teaspoon salt to reduce coagulation. Package same as whole eggs.
Gently mix whites, without forming air bubbles. Package same as whole eggs.
(Use thee measurements for frozen eggs.)
3 tablespoons of whole eggs = 1 egg
2 tablespoons of egg white = 1 egg white
1 tablespoon of egg yolk = 1 egg yolk
Freeze only pasteurized milk. Package in Ball Can-or-Freez jar or Ball plastic freezer box, leaving head space. Seal, label, and freeze.
Freeze only heavy cream containing 40% or more of butterfat. Heat to from 170 - 180 degrees F. for 15 minutes. Add 3 tablespoons sugar per pound of cream. Cool quickly and package in Ball Can-or-Freez jars or Ball plastic freezer box, leaving head space. Seal, label, and freeze.
Freeze only high quality butter made from pasteurized cream. Mold into desired shapes. Wrap tightly in freezer film and package in Ball plastic freezer bags. Seal, label, and freeze.
- Ice Cream and Sherbet
Prepare your favorite recipe and freeze it in a hand or electrically turned ice cream freezer. Package in Ball plastic freezer box. Seal, label, and freeze.
Place original carton in a Ball plastic freezer bag. Seal, label, and freeze.
Hard or semi-hard cheese - Cut in 1/2 to 1 pound pieces. Wrap tightly in a freezer film and package in Ball plastic freezer bag. Seal, label, and freeze.
Wrap tightly in a freezer film and package in Ball plastic freezer bag. Seal, label, and freeze.
Use uncreamed cheese. Package in Ball Can-or-Freez jar or Ball plastic freezer box, leaving head space. Seal, label, and freeze.
- Thawing & Preparing Dairy Products
- Place the frozen product in the refrigerator to thaw. After thawing, it may be used as fresh.
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It is important that only strictly fresh products be used for freezing. Being a perishable commodity, it should be kept under refrigeration at all times. The freezing of these products shortly after catching is very important.
Select any kind of desirable fish, as fresh as possible.
Prepare fish for freezing the same as for cooking. Freeze small fish whole. Large fish may be cut into steaks or fillets or left whole. Steaks and fillets need a thirty-second dip in a 5 % salt solution (2/3 cup salt in 1 gallon water).
Wrap each fish tightly in a freezer film, foil, or paper, then place in a plastic freezer bag. Seal, label, and freeze.
Fish may also be frozen by placing them in a plastic freezer box and covering with water, leaving head space. Seal, label, and freeze.
Prepare the oysters as for using fresh. Package in small size Ball Can-or Freez jars or Ball plastic freezer box, leaving head space. Seal, label, and freeze.
Several methods are recommended for freezing shrimp:
- Remove the shrimp head and freeze.
- Remove the shrimp head, shell, clean, and freeze.
- Cooked shrimp - Boil five minutes in salt solution (2 1/2 ounces salt per gallon of water).
- Breaded shrimp - Peel the raw shrimp, de-vein it, bread with your favorite breading method, and freeze.
- Pre-cooked shrimp.
Methods 1 & 2:
Package in Ball Can-or-Freez jar or Ball plastic freezer box. Cover with water, leaving head space. Seal, label, and freeze.
Methods 3, 4 & 5:
Package in Ball plastic freezer bags. Seal, label, and freeze.
Prepare crabs as for using fresh. Grade the meat by size. Package in meal-size Ball Can-Or-Freez jar or Ball plastic freezer box. Seal, label, and freeze.
- Fish Roe
Thoroughly wash roe, package same as crab meat.
- Same as crab.
- Thawing & Preparing Fishery Products
- Fish, Oysters, Shrimp, Crab, and Lobsters.
Place the unopened package in the refrigerator until thawing begins and the product softens slightly, then remove the food and cook as fresh.
Source: Ball Corporation
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