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Advice on shopping for and storing a week's worth of meat and fish?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created October 07, 2010 at 12:34 AM

I'm a bit overwhelmed with everything that goes into the shopping and storage of a week's worth of protein. I find it most convenient to go grocery shopping once a week and buy all my poultry/beef/fish for the week in one go. But then I have no idea what I should be doing with the stuff that I won't be eating till later in the week. Freeze it and then defrost it later? I often buy "air-chilled" chicken at Whole Foods, or occasionally pony up for wild fish that's never been frozen, so it seems silly to freeze it. Also, sometimes fish never quite bounces back in flavor after being frozen. Should I leave it all in the refrigerator and eat it as I get to it? Would having it out that long be safe?

Any advice is greatly appreciated. How are other people processing the huge amount of meat and fish that Paleo calls for?

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 07, 2010
at 03:12 PM

This is basically what I do as well. Plus I keep some frozen meat in the freezer at all times in case I run out or need more for some reason. I like to have some of each kind of meat in the freezer for whatever recipe I might suddenly want to cook. Bacon also freezes well and is good to have at all times.

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9 Answers

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2
Dfd71315b44a74520ead7d6752e70fc7

(678)

on October 07, 2010
at 01:13 AM

It may start getting a little bland but this is how I tend to handle things. I generally don't buy fresh meat and then freeze it, as you said it seems like a waste. What I WILL do is buy frozen food, keep it frozen, and then take it out as need be. A lot of local farms have to freeze their meat because of the cost-loss aspect. They don't sell enough meat per day to justify keeping their meat fresh. They slaughter a cow and or two, freeze all the meat and sell it as the market allows. Those meats stay frozen until a day or two before you take them out. The other benefit to this is you can make a trip to your local farm every few weeks/a month and stock up on some frozen meat to last you the next several Thursday-Fridays. When you go to the super market and buy fresh meat, eat that at the beginning of the week. I tend to have chicken and fresh fish often on Monday or Tuesday and then my pork/beef/frozen fish the second half of the week. You can flip this around if your shopping day is Wednesday, eat the fresh meat the second half of the week.

I wouldn't leave fresh meat in your fridge for over a week. It SHOULD be fine but it might lose a bit in taste and if something happens to come up that weekend and you don't get to cook the food in your timeframe, you might be tossing money in the trash.

62ed65f3596aa2f62fa1d58a0c09f8c3

(20807)

on October 07, 2010
at 03:12 PM

This is basically what I do as well. Plus I keep some frozen meat in the freezer at all times in case I run out or need more for some reason. I like to have some of each kind of meat in the freezer for whatever recipe I might suddenly want to cook. Bacon also freezes well and is good to have at all times.

1
1f70da0b737e9c6e7679a248f4228a01

on October 07, 2010
at 02:55 AM

I buy about six months worth of meat direct from my farmer, which is shipped vacuum-sealed and chilled. It all goes into the freezer, and I thaw it in the fridge for a day or so before I want to eat it. I don't eat meat that has been sitting, thawed, in the fridge for a week.

I also buy a lot of fresh meat when I want something other than beef and lamb, and it's fine to freeze. There's no impact on flavour or texture - most meat is frozen at some point during its travels from farm to customer.

When I buy fish, I never freeze it, since fish is best eaten fresh within a day or two of purchase.

0
5983854773a45b09a77a09ee97bdef42

on April 14, 2013
at 02:23 AM

This is a growing issue not just for Paleo Dieters but everyone looking for high protein meals that are healthy with no gluten, dairy or preservatives, and can be refrigerated or frozen and eaten whenever. i would suggest doing a google search for "high protein meal delivery" in your local town. My company specializes in providing exactly this service.

0
142d7e06e608cff536ab78e6ca78ce38

on April 14, 2013
at 02:02 AM

Something I have found useful, I love squid, a way to keep it longer in the fridge is to put it in coconut milk and it keeps for up to a week. Its yummy too, makes it really tender. So you can buy things like that for later in the week and have the fresh meat at the beginning of the week.

Also you can cook a big paelo meat stew and that will keep for a few days.

0
Medium avatar

on December 10, 2011
at 11:30 PM

If it's a choice between keeping fresh meat and fish in the refrigerator long enough that I worry it will go bad, and freezing such items the day I buy them, freezing wins out hands down. I don't get how it's a "waste" to freeze fresh fish/meat. Sure, thawed foods aren't as tasty as fresh, but for me the larger waste is food allowed to go bad, sitting in the non-frozen section of the fridge for too long.

Speaking of being spoiled, I definitely am. I live within 5 minutes of Whole Foods and Trader Joes and shop at them both daily, to and from various appointments and so forth. I actually enjoy daily shopping, which is not to say I particularly enjoy going into chain supermarkets.

0
Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

on December 10, 2011
at 02:17 PM

i always look at the meat expiration date. if its less than a week away i wont buy it no matter what the price. now that i own a meat grinder i may make chicken or pork sausage and freeze it if i have too.

0
100fd85230060e754fc13394eee6d6f1

(18696)

on October 08, 2010
at 02:09 AM

I air-dry beef in the fridge: take the steaks out of the packaging and let them sit on racks near the bottom where it is very cold. I find they taste better and last longer. I like them best at about 4 days. Some people actually dry age their meat like this -- a large slab can sit for weeks and only improve. I have sometimes let a slab or large roast dry for a week or more, cutting steaks off as I go. I don't know if it works for poultry or fish, though. But if you are buying "air-chilled" poultry, then presumably it works for that. Why not buy it fresh and air-chill it yourself?

0
415ce5b8f88f4d762fa946f9f43d94b6

(564)

on October 07, 2010
at 04:20 PM

As others have said, eat the fresh meat early in the week, the frozen meat later. I like to roast a chicken on Sunday. I throw the carcass in the crock pot with a couple of roasted carrots, cover with water, and cook on low for a day. It makes a broth so good (especially with a tbsp of heavy cream in a cup of broth) it only lasts a couple of days.

Beef and lamb freeze well, so I'll buy a Costco-sized pack and have some of it fresh early one week, freeze the rest, then have some it from the freezer late in the next week.

0
F82f7d4dafb6d0ffc4c2ee2a85420786

(484)

on October 07, 2010
at 02:46 AM

You could consider getting a vacuum-sealing machine - although it does mean putting eveything in plastic - but it keeps for at least a week, if not two or three, without freezing. You get them in department stores and the like.

I personally freeze a lot of beef and lamb and chicken, it seems to have no impact on flavour, and you get the advantage of better prices by buying in bulk. I usually only eat seafood the day I buy it, or the day after. The fish markets people told me not to leave it in the bag when you get home, but lay it out on a plate and cover in cling film.

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