Can you freeze aged beef? 

In this brief guide, we’ll address the query: “Can you freeze aged beef?” Also, we’ll explore how beef should be frozen, how beef should be frozen, what should be taken into account when freezing beef, how beef can be aged, and what other ways beef can be used to preserve beef. 

Can you freeze aged beef

Yes, aged beef can be frozen. Freezing beef is feasible when it is fresh, or when it has been properly preserved, such as dry or wet-aged in controlled conditions.

As freezing only preserves beef in its current state, and does not restore freshness, users should be wary of what quality and state they freeze meat in, as they may be allocating meat that isn’t worth preserving to space in the freezer better destined for other foods. 

Below, we’ll discuss how beef should be frozen, regardless of whether or not it’s been aged.  

How should I freeze beef

Beef should be frozen when it is fresh, and by placing it in quality freezer bags, that can have the air content pushed out. This is especially handy for smaller portions such as diced meat and ground beef. 

Alternatively, larger portions such as cuts and joints can be covered in plastic cling wrap,  then wrapped in brown paper, and placed at subzero temperatures. 

Frozen ground beef can keep for up to three months at peak freshness, and larger cuts such as steaks and joints can be preserved for six months to one year. 

What should I take into account when freezing beef

Readers should bear in mind that freezing works best when the meat is at its peak freshness. 

Therefore, when buying or otherwise procuring large volumes of beef, it should be readily frozen to assure that it is preserved fresh. 

Beef can be refrigerated for 3 to 5 days, though as the idea behind freezing is to preserve freshness, it would make little sense to freeze beef that has aged in refrigeration. 

The size of the portions is also important, as smaller cuts and ground beef will defrost considerably faster than larger cuts and joints. 

For safety reasons, it’s best to defrost beef by leaving it in the refrigerator overnight, and if necessary, for one to two days in advance of cooking. 

Defrosting at high temperatures such as microwaving is not ideal for larger portions of beef, as the exterior may begin to cook well before the interior temperature has even warmed. 

How can I age beef

Aging beef can be done by dry-aging, which is a technique that is centuries old, or it can be wet-aged, which is a relatively new technique, developed in the 1950s. 

First, we’ll review dry-aging. 

Dry-aging beef requires that a refrigeration installation be prepared. This may involve a fridge designated for this specific purpose, as a conventional, food-stuffed fridge may pass on other odors and flavors to the beef. 

This fridge should then have a ventilation system (usually a small fan set up on the inside) and a wire rack propped up over a tray. The tray will serve as a basin into which the drippings will fall, rather than splatter and build up in the fridge’s interior. 

The beef should then be cut and set up on the rack over the tray, and then placed in the refrigerator.  

The aging period can vary between 2 weeks to 1 month if looking to tenderize the meat, while 4 to 6 weeks conveys the signature dry-aged flavor. Six to eight weeks are recommended for the development of more complex flavors and aromas. 

It should be noted that professionally dry-aged beef is done under strictly controlled conditions, with professional equipment. 

At-home dry-aging processes may require fine-tuning to achieve similar results and it’s not uncommon for cuts of aged beef to grow mold. This meat can be trimmed off and discarded, while the remainder can be cooked. 

Wet-aging beef is a significantly less-sophisticated process. It involves storing freshly cut pieces of beef and storing them in vacuum-sealed plastic bags. This prevents airborne microbes such as bacteria and molds (which can cause spoilage) from reaching the meat’s surface.

When stored in vacuum packaging, these cuts of meat can be preserved in refrigeration for up to six weeks. The term wet-aging alludes to how the meat is being preserved in its juices. 

Wet-aged beef is more commonly found in butcher shops, and it reputedly doesn’t offer the same complexity in flavors as dry aging. 

To be clear, signs of spoilage, while unlikely to be found in wet-aged beef, are not impossible, and wet-aged beef that shows questionable signs or gives off odd odors should be discarded to prevent food poisoning.

Beef is nutritious meat that can provide high-quality protein, and help build muscle mass. Regardless of whether our readers decide to partake in classically dry-aged or wet-aged beef, we’re certain they’ll find a recipe that’ll appeal to their taste and health.

Other FAQs about Beef that you may be interested in.

Can you freeze Arby’s roast beef sandwiches?

How long does it take to thaw ground beef in the fridge?

How are cold cuts made?

  

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the query: “Can you freeze aged beef?” Also, we’ve explored how beef should be frozen, how beef should be frozen, what should be taken into account when freezing beef, how beef can be aged, and what other ways beef can be used to preserve beef. 

References 

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/foods/beef

https://meatscience.org/TheMeatWeEat/topics/meat-safety/article/2018/08/20/aging-beef

https://www.healthline.com/health/food-poisoning

https://www.seriouseats.com/the-food-lab-complete-guide-to-dry-aging-beef-at-home#:~:text=Wet%20aging%20is%20simple%3A%20 Put,is%20nothing%20like%20dry%2Daging

https://www.insider.com/how-to-tell-if-beef-is-bad-2019-5#:~:text=Beef%20that%20has%20gone%20bad,Call%20the%20USDA’s%20hotline.

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.