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Meat - storage, aging, drying...?

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  • Meat - storage, aging, drying...?

    Something that hasn't really occured to me until the "Opinions on zioh" thread which linked to the Dirty Carnivore forum (convoluted much??).
    Had a good root around their forum - it'd be rude not to! - and found,737.0.html
    There was another thread regarding treatment of raw meat.

    Now, I haven't (yet?) tried going raw. But what seems to be up for debate is how to store meat in the fridge and freezer. CW says keep it airtight, yet I know when I open those sealed packets that the meat is somehow "sweaty". Like the difference between cheese wrapped in greaseproof paper, and cheese vacuum packed in plastic. And apparently the airtight seal is more likely to allow bad bacteria to multiply.

    So yesterday I got a lump of lamb out of the freezer, and this time took it out of the plastic to defrost. I'm going to cook it tomorrow, so that's 48 hours "fridge air" time I'm just curious to see if it will make any difference? It smells nice now, by the way.

    But then the thread I've linked to is concerned about fat oxidation in open air...

    Is it a case of varying your poisons? Of drying for a matter of days? Of just opening packets as soon as you get home from the shop?

    Incidentally, I recall an old housewives manual instructing the reader to wrap and store meat in parchment / greaseproof paper - but of course this was pre-plastic packaging.


  • #2
    when i get meat from local farms it comes wrapped in brown wax paper. seems to work far better than the styrofoam/plastic stuff at the supermarkets. it's wrapped pretty tight - but there's no way it's airtight.


    • #3
      dry aging in your refrigerator

      This reply may not be what you were looking for but this is what your post made me think of:

      Alton Brown did an episode about dry aging beef in the refrigerator - it involved 4 days of meat wrapped in paper towel. I tried it and the beef was fine. Considering the various legalities of such advice, I'm confident that this technique is relatively safe.

      As far as the fat oxidation is concerned - when considering the various ancient traditional methods for creating jerky, that is, simply hanging it outside somewhere - how truly dangerous can it be? It's heated, it's smoked, it's dried, it's kept in the snow - the Tartars used to keep slices of raw meat under their saddles (I think I heard Mr. Brown said that as well).

      Obviously you'll decide for yourself how to deal with this issue and researching such things could turn out to be quite important. However, I perused the link in your post and I'm inclined to think that there is something wrong about the breaking down of the various aspects of a food item into it's individual components and making nutritional claims. If you haven't already, consider reading the book 'In Defense of Food' by Micheal Pollan ( ). I suspect that singling out an aspect of animal protein and lipid breakdown without taking into account other aspects of what is being ingested may not yield wholly valid answers. Did the researchers breakdown the fat with stomach acid and the accompanying proteins? Or did they take some fat, convene an oxidizing scenario, test various aspects and then start making health claims? Did they use a sample of fatty meat that amounts to enough meet to feed a family (or a village) in less developed nations? (I'm thinking about those giant steaks at RubyOutbeesIF) Did they use fat collected from an animal forced to eat food (e.g. (delicious) corn-fed vs. grass fed beef fat) it's species didn't evolve eating?

      Then again, perhaps we are poisoning ourselves with oxidized fat. I suspect this didn't help you at all, but it helped me get hungry.


      • #4
        Originally posted by M@theHunter View Post
        but it helped me get hungry.
        Sorry about that lol

        Good points well made.

        My lamb went into meatza today, so it had.... 2-3 days uncovered in the fridge. Smelled fine, actually smelled more appetising slightly dried out that it did when "sweaty" from the packaging.
        Also had some pork skin salted and "drying" overnight in an attempt to perfect crackling; again, smelled fine when it found it's way to the oven

        I suspect that *everything* can be found to be poisonous - oxygen after all creates all these terrible free radicals and oxidation problems Maybe it's best to vary your diet and thus your poisons. We've survived the last few hundred thousand years, afer all


        • #5
          ~ Please share the cracklin recipe!


          • #6
            The experiment didn't work

            But the basic method is to lay the raw skin, fat side down, onto a grillpan (the excess fat dains away), then rub salt into the top.

            Unfortunately I'm still playing with the best temperaures etc to get the whole lot to puff up and go crispy; nothing worse than leathery crackling!

            Just found this - time to get out the hairdryer!


            • #7
              Well, read the last comment:


              15 Apr 2010, 4:26PM
              I have a friend from Cornwall who - and this is no word of a lie - uses pig semen to baste the joint prior to roasting. Apparently it produces the finest crackling known to man. I hasten to add I can't confirm or deny this, having yet to sample this gastronomic delight.
              Pig spunk on your dinner. The world is a diverse and bewildering place.


              • #8
                Regarding the hair dryer method - I just bought a dehydrator that goes up to 160 deg F. If I can manage to work some magic with it, I'll be sure to post something about it here.

                Regarding the additional re-post from 'onemorename' - I've just typed and erased my comment. Please feel free to think of something inappropriate and enjoy a good laugh.