Fresh meat vs frozen

Discussion in 'Food & Cooking' started by redvan, Oct 9, 2014.

  1. redvan

    redvan

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    My father was the last generation of a family of butchers thanks to the emergence of the mega-markets. Dad always said nothing beats fresh cut meat and most nights, that's what we had for dinner, some cut of meat, usually the best cut of whatever was on hand in his shop.

    Now, I can get sub-primal cuts from my local wholesale club and thanks to dads training, cut them up to make my own thick cut steaks and special delights. I try to keep as much as I can consume in a few days fresh and the rest I vacuum seal and freeze.

    The problem is this; I've noticed that when eating a sirloin steak that has been defrosted, it tastes different than what I had when the steak was fresh cut. The flavor's still there but the texture is off a bit. I assume this is from the ice crystals that have torn apart the cell walls during the slow freezing process, even though my freezer is set to 0.

    I saw a TV chef using dry ice to freeze fruits and such to avoid a sloppy thaw due to cellular damage and now I'm wondering if this would make any difference in the texture of my steaks.

    What say you all?

    Red.
     
  2. decrotie2004

    decrotie2004

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    ---Warning the following comment is made in ignorance and is to be taken with a grain of salt:---

    Alton Brown Covers this exact situation on an episode of good eats. According to the episode, your statement that the slow freeze causes ice crystals to tear at the meat are correct.

    He also suggests freezing meats on a baking sheet lined with parchment before putting them into "Ziploc bags", I do not remember the reason for this.

    When cooking it is also said to benefit cooking from frozen vs cooking after thawing completely. Again I cannot remember why.

    ---Please take all of this as second or third hand information, and I have no real experience or expertise in this area.---
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014
  3. apprentichef

    apprentichef

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    1. Always chill anything you want to freeze before tossing them in the freezer. This means that it freezes quicker and ice crystals are smaller.

    2. You freeze individual cuts on a sheet tray then bag them so that you don't have 12 chops all frozen and stuck together.
     
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  4. spoiledbroth

    spoiledbroth

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    Err... cooking from frozen? Really?
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014
  5. tweakz

    tweakz

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    You'd use the sheets / parchment for a nice flat surface to sear evenly when frozen, then finish in an oven.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2015
  6. decrotie2004

    decrotie2004

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    If I remember correctly, this was only for cuts thinner than 1/2 inch

    also please see below:

    "---Warning the following comment is made in ignorance and is to be taken with a grain of salt:---"
     
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014
  7. redvan

    redvan

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    Spoiled broth,
    You never ever cook something that was previously frozen?
    Do you live on a farm?
    Next door to a supermarket perhaps?
    I read some of your other posts and there is a continuing tone in each, your very cynical and opinionated.
    I'm a home cook working on a budget not running a restaurant. I try to eat good but stay within budget. I don't serve frozen steaks at events or BBQ.

    Red
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2014
  8. butzy

    butzy

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    I am quite sure Spoiled Broth will pipe in, but I read his comment as wondering about cooking a still frozen (or half frozen) steak.

    Not about freezing meat, defrosting and then cooking.

    Having said that, I have cooked a number of steaks that were still frozen and it gives me the chance to have the meat very very dark on the outside and still rare on the inside. Gotta be careful with the timing as you don't want a steak that is still cold inside
     
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  9. redvan

    redvan

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    Butzy,
    Perhaps, but I made it clear that the issue was after defrosting a steak so I don't see how it could be taken another way.
     
  10. eastshores

    eastshores

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    I'm surprised no one mentioned using liquid nitrogen. From what I understand it is pretty cheap and would allow you to flash freeze the meat before vacuum packing it. Not that I've ever done it myself, but if I was doing a lot of primal breakdown or hunted wild game like deer I'd certainly look into it to preserve the integrity of the meat.
     
  11. decrotie2004

    decrotie2004

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    I had thought about liquid nitrogen as an option, but seeing as I have no real experience other than liquid nitrogen margaritas I was keeping my mouth shut. could this not freeze dry it though? ( no clue what i'm talking about )
     
  12. eastshores

    eastshores

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    I don't see any mention of that. There's a wiki article that basically reinforces that flash freezing with liquid nitro would minimize the cell membrane damage from ice crystals. I have never done this so I am just going off what I have read.
     
  13. spoiledbroth

    spoiledbroth

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    This is what I meant. I dont think it's ever a good idea to cook frozen meat because you're breaking up those ice crystals in the most violent way possible; ie appication of high heat. Better to temper them slowly (defrost in fridge) and then let them sit until they reach room temperature. I know it happens if you havent pulled enough for service or whatever but I believe the best practice is to never cook meat in that fashion unless totally unavoidable.


    I was referring to decrotie. I eat frozen steak all the time, but I thaw it completely before cooking.
     
  14. tweakz

    tweakz

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  15. spoiledbroth

    spoiledbroth

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    loooooool "while we prefer to start with a fresh steak which will give us the best texture" coversation over. Cook from frozen if you think you're going to overcook your steak and want to mascerate the insides (people love schnitzel). Love ATK but gotta disagree wholeheartedly on that one. Also what if you want rare? :( the proper way to eat steak anyway.
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2014
  16. panini

    panini

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    If I'm freezing steaks, I get them almost frozen so I don't extract any liquids when I vacuum seal them. If I'm skillet cooking inside I will cook lean beef/horse/goat steaks frozen. If you cook them at room temperature you usually achieve to large a bark/cooked ring, whatever you want to call it. If you cook a 1 "steak and have a 1/4 inch cooked ring around it, you have over cooked 1/2 of your steak. @SpoiledBroth, Rare, I'm not so sure there is a given proper way to eat a steak. I think it's personal preference. I usually go Med/rare for most, but a beef tenderloin, char/ burn/ throw it in the fryer, Pittsburg, against the wall,  for me./img/vbsmilies/smilies/drinkbeer.gif  
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2014
  17. spoiledbroth

    spoiledbroth

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    Blasphemer!
     
  18. french fries

    french fries

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    The only time I freeze meat is chicken bones, for stock. I can't stand the taste and texture of frozen meat - I'd rather have a good vegetarian meal. 
     
    Last edited: Oct 12, 2014
  19. carlos75

    carlos75

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    If raw, frozen meat never seems to taste as good for me, when it has been cooked I don't notice the difference. If meat is cooked in a chilli or bolognese sauce I think it tastes after being frozen, defrosted and reheated - not sure if that is just me!
     
  20. spoiledbroth

    spoiledbroth

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    do you ever eat salmon?