Freezing in plastic bags

Frax

Well-Known Member
#1
Like most people here I guess, I freeze a lot of meat. I joint it/portion it, pack it in bags and whack it in the freezer.

Now, when I come to thaw it out I get large amounts of bloody water coming from the outside of the bag. Why is this? Am I doing something wrong or does plastic become porous after being frozen?

Anybody shed any light.
 
D

Davie

Guest
#2
Most modern plastic bags are not air tight they or deliberately left with holes so that if you put it over your head you don't die .If you use the proper freezer bags yu should find no leaks
 

griff

Well-Known Member
#3
Venison needs to be frozen immediately after cutting so that it doesn't have time to leach.
Also if you wash your carcass leave it to dry thoroughly before cutting and bagging.

The ideal solution is vac-packing but the machines are not cheap, there are some semi-commercial ones out there, look on the Cabelas website to get an idea.

regards
griff
 

K333ROE

Well-Known Member
#4
I never put water near my venison, I rub down with vinegar and don’t have water retention nor does it react with the fat.
 

Pete E

Well-Known Member
#6
Frax said:
Like most people here I guess, I freeze a lot of meat. I joint it/portion it, pack it in bags and whack it in the freezer.

Now, when I come to thaw it out I get large amounts of bloody water coming from the outside of the bag. Why is this? Am I doing something wrong or does plastic become porous after being frozen?

Anybody shed any light.
I have noticed the same thing...I have a feeling that the standard freezer bags bought at a supermarket are slightly porus. Under normal circumstances, its not enough to notice and they can be effectively considered airtight, but they will leech out water/blood when you defrost.

In the short term, it shouldn't actually be a problem as you don't need to seal the bags in the freezer anyway. For instance, many Yanks don't use plastic bags at all, and still parcel their gamemeat in "freezer paper" which is akin to a heavyduty grease proof paper...

For long term storage in the fridge or freezer, undoubtedly vac-pacing is the way to go although even the domestic machines are quite expensive with basic one being around £100 and the better ones being around £200..

The cheap answer is of course to eat more venison so it doesn't accumulate in the freezer! :p

Regards,

Peter
 

Pete E

Well-Known Member
#8
Xim,

Not sure really and I don't think there's an absoulte answer..

In ordinary freezer bags, I've kept venison for six to eight months with no problems, but thats been cassorole cuts... With good cuts such as fillet ect, after a similar lenth of time, you might find that while still edible, on defrosting the quality has droped and they don't look "acceptable" due to freezer burn..

I've not used a vac-pac machine, but I believe cuts will last at least 12 months and are immune to freezer burn...Hopefully somebody with such a machine will chime in and comment on how it works in reality..

Regards,

Peter
 

Pete E

Well-Known Member
#10
6.5 x 55 said:
http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Vacuum-Sealer-Food-Bag-Packing-Machine-FREE-ROLLS-NEW_W0QQitemZ380091464492QQcmdZViewItemQQptZUK_HomeGarden_Kitchen_FoodStorage_GL?hash=item380091464492&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14&_trkparms=72%3A1298%7C66%3A2%7C65%3A12%7C39%3A1%7C240%3A1318

not to deer reaLLY
The various cheaper units seems to get very mixed reviews, but I suppose it all depends on the quantities you intend to freeze, and how often you intend to use it..

I can't find the model now as the site is down, but Bushwear used to sell a couple of models starting at around £170 IIRC, and they seemed to be popular with people who have good amounts of venison to freeze..As I don't sell venison, I'd be had pushed to justify that sort of price when standard freezer bags have always worked fine for me.

That said, Bushwear aren't particularly cheap any more and I suspect you could get the same machines cheaper elsewhere.

For home use, the machine Monkey Spanker mentions looks to have a decent spec, and seems a good compromise between cost and size ect..But again, it would come down to how much improvement it offered over standard freezer bags as do I really want to keep venison over 6 months anyway??
 
D

Davie

Guest
#11
The reason i put that one up was a friend of mine and a friend of Pete e uses it and says its the dogs bollocks .For me a roll of old freezer bags has never been a problem. With regards Bushwear they have to be avoided if you value you pounds as they are the dearest place to by stalking stuff except of coarse the BDS site
 

griff

Well-Known Member
#12
When it comes to vac-packers you get what you pay for! Our first was was over £1500 ten years ago, followed by another smaller unit which cost £600 about 5 years ago..
The link to one on ebay sucks the air out of the bag and does not remove all the air..the commercial ones have a vacuum chamber where all the air is removed and once 1 atmosphere is reached then the pressure from outside is then re-introduced into the chamber to expel [/u]ALL
the air from within the bag..

regards
griff
 

The Mole

Well-Known Member
#13
Clingfilm works for me. The key to avoiding freezer burn is putting a barrier between the meat and the cold - clingfilm acts as a second skin and prevents this, and a second layer is belt & braces. Put the package inside any other bag (like a carrier bag or an 'ordinary' freezer bag) and you have all the protection you need.

As for 'how long', I've always worked on a recommended 12 months for game, I think it was on a user guide with a new freezer years ago. But we've had venison that's been in suspended animation for well over this and couldn't taste the difference.
 

jingzy

Account Suspended
#15
I ate a piece the other day that I found in the freezer that was 2 years old. It tasted just fine, it was roe.

As for the packers, i did use a lidll one, gets rid of a lot of air but not brilliant. Moved onto another on at around £70, although not as good as a commercial, it gets rid of a 99%of the air. It is very presentable for friends and will make food last up to 5 times longer.

The only thing with these is that you need a bag that has a criss cross pattern in it to allow the machine to such as much air as possible out.

J
 

Stayangry

Well-Known Member
#16
A quick tip lads -

When you freeze meat, ice crystals will form in the muscle cells, bursting the cell walls in just the same way as ice can burst water pipes in cold weather.

This causes the texture of the meat to change and also causes the meat to "sweat" a pinkish liquor as it defrosts - it's water leaking out of the ruptured flesh.

Obviously, the bigger the ice crystals, the more damage they will do, so the home meat packer should aim to create the smallest possible crystals, which means freezing the meat very quickly.

To speed up freezing, leave the meat in the fridge overnight so that it is already very cold and then use the "fast freeze" facilty on your freezer, if it is present. Dividing the meat into small packages will also help.

James
 

Trapper

Well-Known Member
#20
Well thats my contribution to freezer burn chaps, wipe it, drain it chill it ,and ponce about with then bang it back in the chiller till you eat it!! :lol:
.at 7c it will last a month !, till you joint up !. very tender ! Just my 2p worth ! but the vacuum packer is a diamond in disguise ! up to 4x keepability ! if that is a word!
Regards Trapper.
 

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