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Freezing meat without single use plastic


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#1 purpleduck

Posted 11 December 2019 - 11:48 AM

I'm on a bit of a meal planning jag at the moment and it occurred to me that I can buy meat in bulk and then just freeze it in but I hate the idea of all the extra plastic. I'm also working with regular size freezer space, so am working on keeping things compact.

Does anyone use their regular reusable plastic containers (eg Sistema/decor) or have any other ideas? My local butcher is happy to put stuff direct into my containers when I purchase but I'm just struggling with how I can freeze them in in portion sizes.

Is freezer burn still an issue etc?

Thanks!


ETA - have found this thread from last year which has given me some ideas about reusing our soft plastics we accumulate from other groceries.... http://www.essential...astic-spin-off/

Edited by purpleduck, 11 December 2019 - 11:53 AM.


#2 born.a.girl

Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:04 PM

I re-use every single plastic bag that comes into the place.

Magazine plastic, bread bags, you name it. The largest ones are used for storing something like lasagne.

#3 purpleduck

Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:06 PM

We do go through weetbix like there's no tomorrow and that may be good as a layering plastic for portion sizes.

I'm still wondering about freezer burn - is it only on the uncovered surfaces of meat, eg at the top of a container?

#4 IamOzgirl

Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:07 PM

I have been know to wash zip lock bags. They are quite sturdy and survive the dishwasher.

#5 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:13 PM

I use zip-lock and wash between uses.    Get more than 10 goes each with them usually.  

I tried plastic containers but the freezer burn is worse.  I only use them for cooked portions.  If I'm doing something freezable - curries, bolognaise, stews etc - I make 4 times as much and freeze in portions.  I prefer this unless its steaks or something for the bbq, generally.

#6 purpleduck

Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:15 PM

From wikipedia:

Quote

Freezer burn is a condition that occurs when frozen food has been damaged by dehydration and oxidation, due to air reaching the food. It is generally caused by food not being securely wrapped in air-tight packaging.
Freezer burn appears as grayish-brown leathery spots on frozen food, and occurs when air reaches the food's surface and dries the product. Color changes result from chemical changes in the food's pigment. Freezer burn does not make the food unsafe; it merely causes dry spots in foods. The food remains usable and edible, but removing the freezer burns will improve the taste.

I've tried snap lock bags before but didn't keep to it. Probably because I get a bit paranoid about if I can get it clean again, even if only using on meat.

Edited by purpleduck, 11 December 2019 - 12:17 PM.


#7 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:25 PM

View Postpurpleduck, on 11 December 2019 - 12:15 PM, said:


I've tried snap lock bags before but didn't keep to it. Probably because I get a bit paranoid about if I can get it clean again, even if only using on meat.

I don't worry too much about it, as long as it is washed in soapy water and dried well between uses.  I keep them separate so they only get used to freeze raw meat, not mistaken for kids snacks or lunches.

I also think that as I will be cooking the meat afterwards anyway, there shouldn't be any problem with contamination - have been doing it for around 5 years and never had an issue.

#8 born.a.girl

Posted 11 December 2019 - 12:41 PM

View PostIamOzgirl, on 11 December 2019 - 12:07 PM, said:

I have been know to wash zip lock bags. They are quite sturdy and survive the dishwasher.


That's news to me, thankyou!


As someone who's suffered from a long bout of non-correcting campylobacter years ago, I'm a bit paranoid about raw chicken, and prefer to freeze it first, as it at least kills that.

Wary of ziplock for meat for that reason, but the dishwasher would fix that.

#9 Kiwi Bicycle

Posted 11 December 2019 - 04:40 PM

You can also get silcone freezer bags which can go through the dishwasher fine. Exxy but long lasting.

#10 Claudia Jean

Posted 11 December 2019 - 06:06 PM

I re-use ziplock bags.  I have about 20 and haven't bought any in at least 2 years, although every month or so I get a new one from my dumpling lady at the milk bar!

#11 purpleduck

Posted 11 December 2019 - 06:39 PM

No dishwasher here :cry:

#12 Claudia Jean

Posted 11 December 2019 - 06:53 PM

I have a dw but I wash my plastic ziplocks by hand.

#13 Ruf~Feral~es

Posted 11 December 2019 - 07:36 PM

I wash them by hand too, even though I have a dishwasher.

#14 maryanneK

Posted 11 December 2019 - 07:37 PM

I've had the same issue as I always bulk buy and freeze meat.
I use the plastic takeaway containers - either re-used from actual takeaways/food delivery, or the new ones from the supermarket
I find them to be a good size (ie the 500 ml container will neatly hold 500g of mince without any airspace for freezer burn or wasted freezer space) The systema type containers are too bulky.
I also use the silicone freezer bags - flexible, stackable, and washable/reusuable. They are good for putting in things like a single chicken breast or piece of fish or steak.

#15 22Fruitmincepies

Posted 11 December 2019 - 07:54 PM

I use the sistema sandwich containers to freeze smaller portions of meat, they are quite thin so it makes it easier to defrost. They stack well and I don’t freeze meat for long enough for freezer burn to be an issue.

#16 archyandmehitabel

Posted 11 December 2019 - 08:17 PM

We buy butter in paper wrapping and wash and reuse those for between portions. You can't be too rough with it but it is pretty sturdy paper.

Also second using the inner bags from cereal packets, cut into strips and rewashing plastic ziplock or even bread bags.

BTW, at this time of year I do think in terms of cooking a fruit cake. Am I the only one who remembers a parent using old butter wrappers as greased linings for cake tins?

#17 Lalala4

Posted 11 December 2019 - 08:19 PM

Sorry to hijack OP but I also hand wash ziplocks and would Love to know how they could be done in the dishwasher! Please tell!

#18 lozoodle

Posted 11 December 2019 - 08:39 PM

I use ziplock bags and wash

#19 kimasa

Posted 12 December 2019 - 05:43 AM

I use sistema-style containers. No freezer burn.

#20 wilding

Posted 12 December 2019 - 06:17 AM

View Postarchyandmehitabel, on 11 December 2019 - 08:17 PM, said:



BTW, at this time of year I do think in terms of cooking a fruit cake. Am I the only one who remembers a parent using old butter wrappers as greased linings for cake tins?

haha, mum did this. I do this every now and then but not a big baker.

#21 born.a.girl

Posted 12 December 2019 - 06:33 AM

View Postarchyandmehitabel, on 11 December 2019 - 08:17 PM, said:

We buy butter in paper wrapping and wash and reuse those for between portions. You can't be too rough with it but it is pretty sturdy paper.

Also second using the inner bags from cereal packets, cut into strips and rewashing plastic ziplock or even bread bags.

BTW, at this time of year I do think in terms of cooking a fruit cake. Am I the only one who remembers a parent using old butter wrappers as greased linings for cake tins?


I remember that very well, I think we might be showing our age. :)

#22 Caribou

Posted 12 December 2019 - 06:39 AM

I use silicone bags from Howard’s storage word. You can put them in the dishwasher once you’re done. Love them.

#23 overlytired

Posted 12 December 2019 - 07:02 AM

Another vote for silicone zip-style bags. In addition to those, I bought actual zippable PEVA bags (would have preferred silicone but wanted bags large enough to hold a whole chicken and couldn't find any silicone ones at a price I was willing to pay).

#24 PoolsideMasterchef

Posted 12 December 2019 - 07:15 AM

View Postborn.a.girl, on 11 December 2019 - 12:04 PM, said:

I re-use every single plastic bag that comes into the place.

Magazine plastic, bread bags, you name it. The largest ones are used for storing something like lasagne.

This is what we do,  I reuse bread bags to freeze meat.  I tried the freezer containers and it doesnt work that well - I gather its air around things thats give frostbite. Id be pretty sure you could also buy purpose made reusable freezer bags.

You can get beeswax reusable wraps to cover salads etc but no idea if that would work in a freezer

#25 overlytired

Posted 12 December 2019 - 08:40 AM

View PostMincePieMasterchef, on 12 December 2019 - 07:15 AM, said:

This is what we do,  I reuse bread bags to freeze meat.  I tried the freezer containers and it doesnt work that well - I gather its air around things thats give frostbite. Id be pretty sure you could also buy purpose made reusable freezer bags.

You can get beeswax reusable wraps to cover salads etc but no idea if that would work in a freezer

The beeswax wrappers are porous and would therefore not prevent freezer burn and food smell "contamination".

They do work well for keeping foods fresh though. I made a spice cake which stayed in the pan with a beeswax sheet on top (twisted at the edges) and the cake was still fresh 3 days later.




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