Please note that the way beef is stored can affect its quality and cleanliness. Not only affects the taste, apparently the health of the family at home also depends on how we store it.
Some microorganisms can develop on raw meat if it is not stored properly. Call it salmonella which is the bacteria that causes typhus, to E. coli which causes serious intestinal infections. In fact, the growth of these bacteria can be prevented by storing raw meat at a certain temperature.
The proper freezer temperature for preserving meat is below 0° F (-18° C). This temperature does not kill bacteria, but it can slow their growth. But that does not mean we are also free to store meat in the freezer for too long. This is because the quality of the meat such as the taste changes so that the tenderness can be reduced.
The right way to store beef
Here is how to store beef in the refrigerator which is quite simple but has a significant impact on its quality.
- Immediately Enter the Refrigerator
Raw meat, both beef and chicken, should not be stored for more than two hours at room temperature. In fact, if the outside temperature is more than 32°C, we should immediately put the meat in the refrigerator after an hour at the latest.
As previously discussed, temperature greatly affects the growth of bacteria. Ideally, don’t immediately store meat in the freezer. Put it first in the chiller at a temperature of about 4° C. The goal is that the meat does not experience drastic changes in temperature which can also damage its quality.
- Wrapping the Meat Tightly
Wrapping or containing meat also plays an important role, especially for meat with high fat content. The reason is that fatty meat is more prone to freezer burn, which is a condition where the surface of the meat is covered with ice crystals from evaporating water molecules.
Freezer burn will make the meat harden and reduce its quality. Meat that experienced freezer burn can still be consumed, but the quality of the taste has been greatly reduced. To prevent this, we can wrap the meat with safe materials. Use materials that are not easily damaged at very low temperatures, and do not contain chemicals that can poison food.
Now there are many environmentally friendly plastics that can be used to wrap food in the refrigerator. The tighter and less air in the container, the better.
- Don’t Wash the Meat First
Have a habit of washing meat before putting it in the refrigerator? It is better to stop this habit. Washed meat contains a lot of water and storing juicy meat will make it prone to freezer burn.
In addition, bacteria will not be removed by simply cleaning with water. Bacteria will only die when cooked to a certain temperature. What happens is that the meat is contaminated with other bacteria from the washing place or from the water itself. In fact, raw water can contain a lot of bacteria.
- Provide Date Note
Forgot when to put meat in the fridge? Overcome by giving a note every time you buy meat. Write the date on the meat container or wrapper. This note will serve as a reminder for us to choose which meat to cook first.
Beef and chicken have different durability. Beef can be stored in the freezer at a temperature below -18°C for a maximum of 6-12 months. While chicken meat can be longer, which is one year as long as it is put in the freezer in a fresh state.
Different parts of the meat, different durability. The deep hash meat can last up to 12 months, but the tongue or offal can only last up to 4 months in the freezer. But for home use, of course ideally it doesn’t need to be that long and can be immediately used for daily cooking activities.
- Ensure Refrigerator Temperature
The temperature or temperature of the refrigerator plays the most important role of the many ways to store beef or other meat. Set the temperature when the meat is put in the refrigerator and make sure the freezer temperature is below -18° C. Also, the contents of the refrigerator should not be full or too empty. If it is too full, the air circulation will not flow properly. But if it’s too empty, the refrigerator will try harder to cool the food so it draws a lot of electrical power.
If the lights go out, we can store the thermometer in the refrigerator, but make sure the thermometer used is resistant to extreme temperatures. Don’t get into the habit of opening the freezer door too when you don’t need it because it will affect the temperature inside. Check the thermometer when the power comes back on. If it is still in the optimal temperature range, it means that all food is safe.
The five ways to store beef above will feel lighter if we get used to it. By paying more attention to simple things, the health of the family will be more awake and the taste of the food produced is certainly more delicious.