How long can
uncooked meat be frozen? How long can it be
Depending on the cut, uncooked
meat can be stored up to 12 months in the freezer.
However, we recommend eating the food within a
reasonable time period for quality's sake. Larger cuts,
like steaks and roasts, can be safely stored for up to 6
months. Smaller cuts, such as veal chops, should not be
frozen for more than 4 months, and ground meat should
not be frozen for more than 3 months. Remember, meat
stored in the freezer should be kept at 0 degrees F (-18
Roasts, steaks and chops can be stored in the
refrigerator from three to five days. Ground meat should
be used within a day or two of purchase.
Would you please
tell me if it is safe to freeze leftover meatloaf?
You may freeze leftover meatloaf;
however, don't wait until all the after-dinner dishes
are done before you wrap it up and place it in the
freezer. Make plans to freeze the leftovers as soon as
possible. Place the meatloaf, uncovered, in the
refrigerator until it is completely cool. Then, wrap
tightly, and use airtight containers or bags made
especially for freezing to ensure the quality of your
foods. Foods frozen in inferior packaging run the risk
of leaking or absorbing smells from other foods in the
freezer. Once frozen, meatloaf can be stored up to 3
months. Thaw in the refrigerator, oven or microwave --
never at room temperature.
What is the best
method for thawing meat?
There are several methods to thaw
food safely -- in the refrigerator, under cold, running
water, and in the microwave. To ensure that your food is
safe to eat, follow one of these methods:
In the refrigerator: Plan ahead as this is
the slowest thawing technique. Small frozen items may
thaw overnight in the refrigerator, while larger items
will take significantly longer.
In cold running water: Place the frozen food
in a leak-proof bag and place it under cold running
In a microwave on the defrost setting: Plan
to cook the food immediately after it has thawed in a
microwave, because some areas of the food may have
begun cooking during the defrost cycle.
I see a lot of
recipes for grilling. We don't have a grill, so can I
broil these recipes instead?
Yes, you can use the broiler for
recipes that call for grilling. Grilling and broiling
are basically the same cooking method -- cooking within
several inches of a heat source. Keep in mind your
broiler is probably not capable of attaining the heat of
a hot grill. The food will need to be placed closer to
the heat source when broiling, usually within 1 to 3
Could you tell me
what "stew meat" is?
Traditionally, tough, inexpensive
cuts of meat are used to make stew. Meat cut from the
chuck portion contains a lot of connective tissue,
particularly collagen. Collagen melts during cooking,
making the meat intensely flavorful. Stewing, or cooking
in liquid for several hours, makes this otherwise tough
meat tender, and adds all those wonderful flavors to the
stew. You can use more tender cuts of meat in a stew.
However, more tender cuts tend to not only be much more
expensive, but also not as flavorful.
When roasting a
large piece of meat, do I need to use a roasting rack?
Do I need to cover it?
We recommend that you use a
roasting rack, but you don't have to cover it.
Roasts placed directly into a roasting pan may cook
unevenly. A roasting rack allows the heat to circulate
around the meat, cooking and browning the meat
uniformly. Covering the roast is generally not
recommended, because this interferes with the browning
I often find myself
adjusting recipes in order to make enough for my family,
but it doesn't quite work for some recipes. Do you have
any advice for me?
Changing recipes in order to make
more or less servings is called "recipe scaling."
Whenever you alter the amounts of ingredients for a
given recipe, you may also need to adjust the cooking
temperature, cooking time, pan size and seasonings. But
for food chemistry reasons, recipe scaling simply does
not work well for some dishes: delicate foods such as
soufflés, baked items requiring yeast such as breads,
and recipes for a single large item that is meant to be
later divided into smaller portions such as cakes, pies,
breads and whole turkey.
Recipe Scaling Page will give you a reliable
framework for successful recipe scaling: It offers detailed
guidelines for recipe scaling.