or Connect
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Fresh meat vs frozen
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Fresh meat vs frozen

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 

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.

When it's smoking, it's smoking!
Reply
When it's smoking, it's smoking!
Reply
post #2 of 22

---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.---


Edited by decrotie2004 - 10/9/14 at 7:58pm
post #3 of 22

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.

Apprentichef - Six stitches to go home early and you can't die until your shift is over.

 

Reply

Apprentichef - Six stitches to go home early and you can't die until your shift is over.

 

Reply
post #4 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by decrotie2004 View Post

---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.---
Err... cooking from frozen? Really?
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by decrotie2004 View Post
 

---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.---

You'd use the sheets / parchment for a nice flat surface to sear evenly when frozen, then finish in an oven.

post #6 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpoiledBroth View Post


Err... cooking from frozen? Really?


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:---"
 

post #7 of 22
Thread Starter 
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
Edited by redvan - 10/10/14 at 5:27am
When it's smoking, it's smoking!
Reply
When it's smoking, it's smoking!
Reply
post #8 of 22

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

Life is too short to drink bad wine
---Anonymus---

Reply

Life is too short to drink bad wine
---Anonymus---

Reply
post #9 of 22
Thread Starter 
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.
When it's smoking, it's smoking!
Reply
When it's smoking, it's smoking!
Reply
post #10 of 22

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.

post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by eastshores View Post
 

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.

 

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 )

post #12 of 22

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.

post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by butzy View Post

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
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.

Quote:
Originally Posted by redvan View Post

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.
I was referring to decrotie. I eat frozen steak all the time, but I thaw it completely before cooking.
post #14 of 22

post #15 of 22
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? frown.gif the proper way to eat steak anyway.
post #16 of 22

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.:beer: 


Edited by panini - 10/19/14 at 7:22am
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
Reply
FOR YEARS I LIVED TO WORK! NOW I WORK TO LIVE!
Reply
post #17 of 22
Blasphemer!
post #18 of 22

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. 

post #19 of 22

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!

Share your recipes online
http://www.cookbookinteractive.co.uk/
Reply
Share your recipes online
http://www.cookbookinteractive.co.uk/
Reply
post #20 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by French Fries View Post

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. 
do you ever eat salmon?
post #21 of 22

If you do have to cook a steak from frozen then sous vide works very well.  No need to thaw first, just drop the froze stuff right in the tank.

"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
"Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit." - Aristotle
Reply
post #22 of 22


This is not the reason for freezing in this manner. By freezing on a metal plate with parchment makes the steak freeze faster and therefore deters the destruction and or  expansion of cells of the meat. The expansion is what causes the meat to throw out so much blood when defrosted. This is how I.Q.F  started for shrimp and individual pieces of product. The parchment simply stops the steak from sticking to the tray when frozen, . In a quality upscale steakhouse meat is never frozen, in an Outback like place its dipped in a papain based tenderizing solution then frozen or frozen thawed and then dipped. This is why when you cut into one of there filets or steaks very little blood comes out on your plate.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

Reply
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Food & Cooking
ChefTalk.com › ChefTalk Cooking Forums › Cooking Discussions › Food & Cooking › Fresh meat vs frozen