5

votes

Got a Plastics-Free meat freezing method that's working for you?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created December 04, 2011 at 7:12 PM

Anyone have a working way to freeze meat without using plastic bags and containers? I live somewhere I can't buy good meat regularly so I stock up for about 2 months at a time--chicken, beef, pork, fish... I always cut them into 4oz portions and store in plastic bags but the endocrine interruption evidence around BPA's is pretty chilling.

There are metal airtight containers and perhaps a large metal box to store a bunch of meats separated by wax paper would work? Not sure if it'd cause freezer burn if there's too much air/room in the box. Ideas? Experiences? http://lifewithoutplastic.com/boutique/food-storage-airtight-containers-c-66_71.html

2a00b9a42e4cb6e489a0e69d20714576

(3043)

on June 17, 2013
at 07:00 PM

Not true, you have to buy the ones that specifically say BPA free.

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 06, 2011
at 06:53 PM

Thanks for the BPA clarification. Yes, been using ziplocs. Just trying to steer the whole ship away from le plastic.

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 06, 2011
at 06:50 PM

KOOL idea. I don't mind wasting fat. Otherwise I wind up wearing it.

3bad4b0b105bf44d7650e7fdfbe15cbd

(860)

on December 06, 2011
at 05:29 AM

Are you using Ziploc bags? Ziploc bags have no BPA. I freeze tons of stuff in them. http://www.saranbrands.com/faq.asp#1

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 06, 2011
at 12:11 AM

Well, if it's on the paper in starch form I think you are going to eat it. That's my point. You're wrapping the meat in paper that's been coated with soy starch.

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 05, 2011
at 11:21 PM

Personally I'd prefer soy to paraffin since I'm not gonna eat it. It also sounds soy based wax paper, then foil, then one of these could work well: http://lifewithoutplastic.com/boutique/airtight-rectangular-storage-container-4-l-1-gal-new-p-415.html

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on December 05, 2011
at 05:52 PM

Yep, but i havent found a satisfactory alternative, best way to freeze is to vacuumseal. Least amount of oxidation and freezer burn.

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 05, 2011
at 05:37 PM

Super. This seems like a very sound method. My inclination is to still store the meat in butcher paper, heavy foil and THEN put it in one of those large glass or stainless steel boxes in the link at the top, but I'm glad to know it's not entirely necessary. I just really don't want any freezer burned dinner. When I have a stocked freezer I feel rich. Don't want a little air to turn my currency to nothin!'

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on December 05, 2011
at 03:07 PM

Anything I'm freezing for more than 60 days goes in the doubled wrapping. Things I'm storing for 60 days or less goes into the freezer in just the butcher-paper wrap, and I haven't had any problems with that.

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on December 05, 2011
at 03:05 PM

With the combined wrap, I've kept my meat in the freezer for upwards of a year... organ meats for at least 6 months... with no loss of flavor or moisture.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 05, 2011
at 02:23 PM

Yikes- it pays to check eh.

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 05, 2011
at 04:16 AM

Nope, plastic: http://www.reynoldspkg.com/reynoldskitchens/en/product.asp?prod_id=1798 "The plastic coating provides a barrier to air and moisture to protect the quality, flavor and nutrition of foods during freezing."

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 05, 2011
at 03:52 AM

Those look way fun, but yup, still PLASTICK!

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 05, 2011
at 03:52 AM

Funny, I never use aluminum pans but hadn't thought about foil. Tx for the point--tho I tend to use it just on top. More on my note to Nance below...tx!

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 05, 2011
at 03:51 AM

As I understand it the estrogens and endocrine interruptive elements (not sure exactly what they all are chemically) don't just have to be touching the food--they just need to be near it. I think that's why there's so many floating around in the environment but the technical info is beyond me. I'd just like to try and remove plastic from my apartment's kitchen since the cupboards are full of particle board! It's a matter of triage and reducing the damage with what I CAN control. It's not about purity--just lessening.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 05, 2011
at 03:50 AM

I think it is waxed.

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 05, 2011
at 03:46 AM

Sounds like a good idea, but how long does your meet keep using this process? Like roughly how many days, weeks, months?

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 05, 2011
at 03:45 AM

I like the feel of freezer paper but I can't find anything as to what kind of plastic is used on the coated side. I'll contact Reynolds and try and find out.

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 05, 2011
at 03:24 AM

@rdizzle, how long do you keep them in your wax paper/freezer paper mummy in the freezer?

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 05, 2011
at 01:57 AM

Except you're never going to package up an entire cow (even half or quarter!) in glass containers.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on December 04, 2011
at 11:09 PM

Why not waxed paper, *then* plastic?

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on December 04, 2011
at 10:33 PM

This is pretty much where I am, too. I have been getting most of the plastic out of my life bit by bit, but my grassfed/pastured meat share comes in (mostly vaccuum sealed) plastic bags. If something plastic-free comes along that will protect the meat, I'm sure they'll switch, but for now I'm just going to have to settle for good enough.

A3f8b8cf6b1e665cacc38cb431631274

(111)

on December 04, 2011
at 09:28 PM

I use double wrapped wax paper. Then tape the crap out of it. So far my bison and grassfed beef and lamb are burn free!

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 04, 2011
at 08:22 PM

Foodsaver uses plastic, too.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 04, 2011
at 07:44 PM

Wax paper, then freezer paper, if you're really paranoid about plastics.

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 04, 2011
at 07:36 PM

I haven't tried wax paper but suspect it will lead to freezer burn since it's not air tight. I'm not willing to chance it on my !$$$$! meat.

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on December 04, 2011
at 07:29 PM

What about wax paper?

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on December 04, 2011
at 07:26 PM

Freezer paper is paper with a plastic coating.

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12 Answers

best answer

4
Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on December 05, 2011
at 02:54 AM

Butcher paper is my choice (Freezer paper without the plastic coating). I order mine here. http://www.webstaurantstore.com/435/butcher-paper-twine.html

The coating on the butcher paper is starch-based, not plastic. You'll have to be aware, though, that your meat will be more likely to develop freezer burn with long storage.

For extended storage, I use butcher paper, then wrap that in a layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil. The foil never touches the meat, but the foil layer helps to prevent the dehydration that causes freezer burn.

"Freezer paper" is coated with polyethylene -- a plastic... so I prefer not to use it, even though the 2-layer method takes a bit more work.

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 05, 2011
at 05:37 PM

Super. This seems like a very sound method. My inclination is to still store the meat in butcher paper, heavy foil and THEN put it in one of those large glass or stainless steel boxes in the link at the top, but I'm glad to know it's not entirely necessary. I just really don't want any freezer burned dinner. When I have a stocked freezer I feel rich. Don't want a little air to turn my currency to nothin!'

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on December 05, 2011
at 03:05 PM

With the combined wrap, I've kept my meat in the freezer for upwards of a year... organ meats for at least 6 months... with no loss of flavor or moisture.

Ca1150430b1904659742ce2cad621c7d

(12540)

on December 05, 2011
at 03:07 PM

Anything I'm freezing for more than 60 days goes in the doubled wrapping. Things I'm storing for 60 days or less goes into the freezer in just the butcher-paper wrap, and I haven't had any problems with that.

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 05, 2011
at 03:46 AM

Sounds like a good idea, but how long does your meet keep using this process? Like roughly how many days, weeks, months?

5
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 04, 2011
at 08:38 PM

I've gotten rid of my plastic dishes and glasses, but I've still been using plastic bags to freeze individual portions. I like the idea of separating portions with waxed paper and freezing a number of them in a glass dish, so I may try it, but I have a tiny RV freezer so I don't know how well that would work.

Also, the grassfed beef from US Wellness is in plastic and the grassfed ground beef at Safeway is also in plastic. I don't know if we can get to perfect.

EDIT: I found a nice article by a pork farmer discussing different types of wraps. In a nutshell, she says meat should be chilled thoroughly before wrapping--also, butcher paper may be worse than other types of wrapping. Worth a read at least.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on December 04, 2011
at 11:09 PM

Why not waxed paper, *then* plastic?

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 05, 2011
at 03:51 AM

As I understand it the estrogens and endocrine interruptive elements (not sure exactly what they all are chemically) don't just have to be touching the food--they just need to be near it. I think that's why there's so many floating around in the environment but the technical info is beyond me. I'd just like to try and remove plastic from my apartment's kitchen since the cupboards are full of particle board! It's a matter of triage and reducing the damage with what I CAN control. It's not about purity--just lessening.

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on December 04, 2011
at 10:33 PM

This is pretty much where I am, too. I have been getting most of the plastic out of my life bit by bit, but my grassfed/pastured meat share comes in (mostly vaccuum sealed) plastic bags. If something plastic-free comes along that will protect the meat, I'm sure they'll switch, but for now I'm just going to have to settle for good enough.

3
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on December 04, 2011
at 08:20 PM

Glass is the absolute safest method. Buy similar sizes so stacking is easy. Pyrex has the widest variety of sizes available and their lids are BPA free. Truly, it depends on your level of "oh no" in regards to toxins and such. Wax paper, foil, parchment paper, all have their health quirks. The containers you have in the link I have never frozen in, but have used to pack lunch. Would be an interesting experiment.

Here, this is cool, The National Center for Home Food Preservation. Everything you ever wanted to know about food preservation but were afraid to ask.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 05, 2011
at 01:57 AM

Except you're never going to package up an entire cow (even half or quarter!) in glass containers.

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 05, 2011
at 03:52 AM

Funny, I never use aluminum pans but hadn't thought about foil. Tx for the point--tho I tend to use it just on top. More on my note to Nance below...tx!

2
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 05, 2011
at 09:46 PM

(This is my second answer, after doing some browsing.)

Whew! I'm kind of sorry I did some online research on this. It makes this a great question though.

1) waxed paper has either oil-based paraffin or SOY wax.
2) freezer and butcher papers most frequently have plastic and, if starch, may also have soy. Even if coated on only 1 side, once it's pressed into a tight roll I assume it's on both sides.

For right now, once I've used up my plastic bags I DON'T KNOW what would be best to do!

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on December 06, 2011
at 12:11 AM

Well, if it's on the paper in starch form I think you are going to eat it. That's my point. You're wrapping the meat in paper that's been coated with soy starch.

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 05, 2011
at 11:21 PM

Personally I'd prefer soy to paraffin since I'm not gonna eat it. It also sounds soy based wax paper, then foil, then one of these could work well: http://lifewithoutplastic.com/boutique/airtight-rectangular-storage-container-4-l-1-gal-new-p-415.html

1
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on December 06, 2011
at 11:38 AM

Not sure if this would work, but whenever I have meat that's already cooked, I cover it in it's fat. For example, ribs make a lot of liquid, mostly fat. So I fill the glass container (pyrex) with the liquid fat before freezing/refrigeration, and that keeps oxygen out, then I wrap plastic wrap around the outside of the container to prevent any air from getting in (as the rubber/plastic from the pyrex container gets hard/brittle).

Of course, you'd throw away the layer of fat at the very top, as that's the sacrificial part where any PUFAs might go rancid, and you don't have to worry about very much of anything leeching from the plastic.

I suppose that this could work with raw meat, but you'd waste a lot of fat, and would need to wipe it down after you thaw it.

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 06, 2011
at 06:50 PM

KOOL idea. I don't mind wasting fat. Otherwise I wind up wearing it.

0
5661757f5a7ad1d09c44d7b3ce9b533f

on June 17, 2013
at 06:08 PM

My own corollary question is similar to Joey's. In the following list of phytoestrogen content (µg/100g), where would a typical plastic container fit in?

http://www.dietaryfiberfood.com/phytoestrogen-hormones/phytoestrogen-food-sources.php

Soy Beans = 379,380 Multigrain bread = 4,798.7 Soy milk = 2,957.2 Garlic = 603.6 Olive oil = 180.7 Coffee, regular = 6.3

The above is not at all the complete list; follow the link for that.

Anyway, will I get more, or less, estrogenic effect from keeping my meat in a plastic container than I will from a cup of coffee? From frying my eggs in olive oil? By how much?

0
303da756656a877256622dd5dcf0a02e

(157)

on June 17, 2013
at 03:14 PM

I don't think the amount of BPA leached from the plastic would be that significant unless you're the foods you're freezings are largely liquid based or placed in the plastic straight after cooking at high heats, but I'd love to get other people's views on this.

0
Medium avatar

(10611)

on June 17, 2013
at 01:02 PM

Freezing food in plastic is about as paleo as, well, freezing food. I haven't given much thought to BPA consequences. But I've given a lot of thought to freezer burn.

-For uncooked seafoods I use ziplocs full of water. This would mitigate any BPA effects since BPA solubility in ice would be trivial. I do this to keep the seafood fresh but inadvertently have reduced my BPA exposure.

-For other meats I wrap in foil then freeze in ziplocs. I store bacon and smoked fish this way, and use the ziplocs to prevent dessication.

I've tried freezing in glass but have broken too many containers to do it on a regular basis. Plastic sometimes splits or leaks but that is a small consequence compared to ingesting glass fragments or having a thawing bottle dump its contents all over the kitchen.

0
4652c67255730dff6790fc5217e9a9d3

on June 17, 2013
at 11:39 AM

Freezer papers are better in quality and as they are plastic coated. why not you go to http://www.chefneeds.com/ to see more details.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 05, 2011
at 12:55 AM

My vote is for freezer paper- if it ain't broke don't fix it. Freezer paper worked just fine all the years we raised our own meat. I think waxed paper would wimp out too soon.

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 05, 2011
at 04:16 AM

Nope, plastic: http://www.reynoldspkg.com/reynoldskitchens/en/product.asp?prod_id=1798 "The plastic coating provides a barrier to air and moisture to protect the quality, flavor and nutrition of foods during freezing."

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 05, 2011
at 02:23 PM

Yikes- it pays to check eh.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on December 05, 2011
at 03:50 AM

I think it is waxed.

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 05, 2011
at 03:45 AM

I like the feel of freezer paper but I can't find anything as to what kind of plastic is used on the coated side. I'll contact Reynolds and try and find out.

0
44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on December 04, 2011
at 08:03 PM

I use a foodsaver, havent found a better method of freezing meat than vacuuming. Less oxidation and freezer burn.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on December 04, 2011
at 08:22 PM

Foodsaver uses plastic, too.

44348571d9bc70c02ac2975cc500f154

(5853)

on December 05, 2011
at 05:52 PM

Yep, but i havent found a satisfactory alternative, best way to freeze is to vacuumseal. Least amount of oxidation and freezer burn.

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 05, 2011
at 03:52 AM

Those look way fun, but yup, still PLASTICK!

0
9bbb1f98c06c293a21df47c71e2c4508

on December 04, 2011
at 07:19 PM

Freezer paper works for me.

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 04, 2011
at 07:36 PM

I haven't tried wax paper but suspect it will lead to freezer burn since it's not air tight. I'm not willing to chance it on my !$$$$! meat.

A3f8b8cf6b1e665cacc38cb431631274

(111)

on December 04, 2011
at 09:28 PM

I use double wrapped wax paper. Then tape the crap out of it. So far my bison and grassfed beef and lamb are burn free!

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on December 04, 2011
at 07:44 PM

Wax paper, then freezer paper, if you're really paranoid about plastics.

3fc07ff31006b1860083f0cfe4472ae4

(561)

on December 05, 2011
at 03:24 AM

@rdizzle, how long do you keep them in your wax paper/freezer paper mummy in the freezer?

13a44ea00b0c9af0b6d0f3d5f5c2cfca

(7223)

on December 04, 2011
at 07:26 PM

Freezer paper is paper with a plastic coating.

531db50c958cf4d5605ee0c5ae8a57be

(8878)

on December 04, 2011
at 07:29 PM

What about wax paper?

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