Meat Storage – Frozen Flat

http://greenlitebites.com/2007/11/12/frozen-flat/

Update: Click here to see a video demonstration of this tip!

It may sound odd, but this is something I came up with when breastfeeding. Bear with me, it may make more sense in a minute.

While breastfeeding I would pump and store extra breast milk in the freezer. I tried all the crazy contraptions they had for storing milk but found they took too much room in the freezer and normally took too long to defrost. So I came up with what I called “the gift bag trick”.

Beef frozen flat in zip lock backI found a gift bag that could fit a breast milk bag lying flat on the bottom. I then cut a ½ inch slit on one side of the bag and used it as a dispenser for frozen flat bags of milk. Think upside down pez dispenser.

This solved three problems for me. 1.) Storage – All the milk was now in one gift bag I could keep on the side of the freezer, 2.) Quick Defrosting – The bags were flat so just running them under warm water would defrost them in seconds! and 3.) Milk Management – The upside down nature of the “dispenser” had me placing newer bags on top and removing older bags through the bottom. It was truly perfect!

So I took this same concept and used it with ground meat. Normally I buy lean ground beef and turkey in bulk (when possible). Then I separate the meat into 8 oz bags, flattening them for storage and quick defrosting. Not a bad idea! Huh?

Seriously, when I forget to defrost something for dinner this is a lifesaver. I’ll pull one out and run it under water to defrost and viola! Meat for dinner!

Update: Click here to see a video demonstration of this tip!

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18 Comments and 0 Replies

  1. Cindy

    What a wonderful idea! When I was breastfeeding for my first little one, I had to make sure we had plenty of stored frozen milk. My husband was with baby when I returned to work and when I had exercises where I was gone for a week at a time, it was essential that he had the milk. Our freezer was over run with frozen milk. And keeping up with the “older” milk became a headache of it’s own. This would have been awesome!

    I’ll definitely use the idea for meat.

  2. Tamela

    Great idea!! I stored my milk flat when I BF also, it was great for maximizing freezer space and easy defrosting. It never occurred to me to freeze other stuff this way, I love it!

  3. bigtickles

    This is a great idea. I also did this when I was BFing. Boy did it open up space in our freezer because those little bottles were complete madness! Anyhoo, I never thought to do this for meat. Duh! I can now forsee more room in my freezer for more stockpiling. Thanks!

  4. Tricia

    If you ever decide to do a “video demonstration” of this…that would be great. I think I know what you are talking about, but it is a bit confusing! Thanks!

  5. ronji

    I do this with everything…including soup and chili. I have a hunk of cardboard that I use to keep from getting the ridges in the bags when I store in my freezer. I use regular ziplocs usually, fill them with whatever I want to freeze, then slowing lay flat to force air out put on my cardboard tray and set in the top of my freezer. The next day I can easily move them around where they belong.

  6. swizzlepop

    I totally thought about this last week when I went to Costco and bought 8 packages of ground turkey and they took a lot of space in my freezer. Is it too late to try this now that they have already been frozen or is it something that needs to be done immediately after purchasing?

  7. roni

    I have defrosted meat and then refroze but I think the quality goes down a bit. Here, I got this from USDA…

    Refreezing
    Once food is thawed in the refrigerator, it is safe to refreeze it without cooking, although there may be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost through defrosting. After cooking raw foods which were previously frozen, it is safe to freeze the cooked foods. If previously cooked foods are thawed in the refrigerator, you may refreeze the unused portion.

    If you purchase previously frozen meat, poultry or fish at a retail store, you can refreeze if it has been handled properly.

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