Most of the meat we sell is at it’s best the day it’s delivered to you and will have a limited period within which you can use it. The exception to this is beef, where the flavour and texture may become better from a few days or more of ageing in the fridge, depending on the cut and your particular taste. The main causes of problems are oxygen and light, microbes and bacteria and warm temperatures.
How to age beef in the fridge
For some larger cuts of beef, you can keep them in the fridge at home, in the vacuum pack or open and covered loosely with some paper (ideally on a rack to allow air to circulate).
Where to keep meat
Keep your meat in the coldest part of the fridge. If your meat came in a vacuum pack it’s best to keep it in this until you’re ready to use it. If it came in a shrink wrapped tray, then remove from the tray, pat dry with paper towel and re-wrap in cling film or keep in a sealed container.
When to use meat by
You should cook your meat within a few days if it’s a larger cut. If it’s minced or diced it should be cooked within a day or so of arrival. Meats in a larger cut with hard fat such as beef, mutton and lamb will keep best.
How to freeze meat
If you want to keep your meat for longer, then the best option is freezing. This should be done as soon as possible after the meat has arrived. If the meat has arrived in a vacuum pack from us this will be perfect for freezing unopened.
Beef and lamb will keep for up to a year when frozen properly. Pork will keep for 6 months and poultry for 3 months.
Keep in mind that freezing meat will cause changes in the quality and structure. Ice crystals will form and this will cause moisture loss. The freezer can cause damage to the surface of the meat, know as freezer burn, that will make the meat taste off.
How to minimise damage when freezing meat
Freeze you meat as fast as possible in a freezer at a very low temperature. If possible keep in the vacuum pack that it arrived in. If re-wrapping try to avoid any air pockets and wrap as tightly as possible. For smaller cuts of meat and mince etc, keep the portion size as small as possible and wrap in a number of layers of good quality bags or cling film. If possible use a final layer of paper or foil to prevent exposure to light.