Vacuum sealing is a great way to make your food last longer, but it has other advantages too. Everyone knows cooking meat requires a lot of preparation; you need to defrost, marinade, season, and more. Vacuum sealing can also help cut down prep-time significantly, and you will be surprised at how long can vacuum-sealed meat last in the refrigerator.
How Long Does Meat Usually Last in the Refrigerator?
Meat and other food groups tend to spoil due to the growth of harmful bacteria and molds. If you leave them for longer than their shelf lives, the bacteria or fungi spread on the meat. Consuming rotten meat can result in food poisoning, so you must always make sure the meat you cook is safe to use. If in doubt, don’t eat it.
When storing meat, it is important to be aware of the different shelf lives raw meat has. If you buy tough meat products such as beef, veal, and pork, they will typically last one to two weeks in your fridge.
Fresh poultry such as chicken, duck, and turkey will last about one to two days. Fresh fish on the other hand will spoil after one to two days, and smoked fish can last up to two weeks.
How Long Can Vacuum Sealed Meat Last in the Refrigerator?
Vacuum sealing makes all types of meat last longer. Most meat products usually last between six to ten days. However, the length of time is also dependent on a number of other factors, including:
- Meat freshness
- Acidity or pH level
- Fridge temperature
- Marinade ingredients
- Sanitation and cleanliness of the meat
- Lamination used to vacuum seal
In short, then, under the right conditions, meat like beef and veal can last six weeks after vacuum sealing. Pork will last a good two weeks while poultry and fish will remain edible for at least one week.
How Do You Vacuum Seal Meat Properly?
Vacuum sealing is essentially the process of removing air surrounding the food product while encasing it in hermetically sealed packaging. Air has moisture which quickens the growth of bacteria or fungi. By removing air, you are decreasing moisture and oxygen levels, which reduce the rate at which food spoils.
Before you vacuum seal food, you need to make sure your ingredients are fresh and clean. Sealing meat which is past its best will give you poor results. Also, make sure the temperature of your fridge is below 40° F.
That is because the ideal growth temperature for most bacteria falls between 40° F and 140° F. If your refrigerator temperature is below 40° F, it slows down the rate of growth.
To properly seal meat and seafood, you need to follow a few simple steps. First, you will need a vacuum sealer and vacuum sealer bags.
Cut and clean the meat into proper portions since it will be easier for the marinade to penetrate the meat, as well as when you smaller bags (smaller bags have less air).
After this, all you need to do the following:
- Make sure the meat is dry if you have washed it beforehand. Simply dab it with a paper towel.
- If the meat has bones, wrap it with protective netting before putting it in. This is important so that the bones do not puncture the bag.
- Place meat in a vacuum sealer bag but leave space at all four edges.
- Make sure the packaging is dry on the outside or else the bag will not seal.
- Place the edge of the bag on the vacuum sealer.
- Turn on the vacuum sealer.
- Support the bag with your hand.
- Press the sealer, but do not rush the procedure and make sure all the air is sealed out. You will see that the plastic bag will shrink with the removal of air.
- The bag should be completely airtight when it is ready. There should also be no wrinkles or bubbles anywhere as that indicates air.
- After the bag is sealed, place it in the refrigerator.
- You can write the seal date on top of the bag so that you can keep track.
Advantages of Vacuum Sealing Meat
As mentioned above, there are several benefits of vacuum sealing. Not only does it make food last longer, but it also saves you valuable prep time. With meat, you have to spend hours defrosting and marinating it, but with vacuum sealing, the meat loses its moisture, making it stay fresh rather than frosty.
Other than this, vacuum sealing meat also:
- Makes cooking more organized: Placing vacuum-sealed meat in the fridge takes less space. You can easily locate the meat you need. It is always available to you already cut up and prepped, so you do not have to make a mess in the kitchen.
- Protects meat from freezer burn: Through vacuum sealing, the meat is fresh and soft. Without moisture, you avoid the icy layer that forms on meat in the freezer.
- Makes food taste better: Vacuum-sealed meat gives your food a richer flavor. You can marinate the meat inside the plastic bag to give it more taste. Simply keeping the meat in the freezer can diminish its texture and taste over time. Vacuum sealing helps preserve the juices, texture, and actual taste of the meat.
- Saves you money in the long run: You do not need to go to the market for fresh meat each time you need to cook. Simply buy meat in bulk, cut it up into smaller portions, seal them, and they will sustain you for a long time. It is certainly less costly as you save up on trips to the market and you can even get good deals for buying in bulk.
Vacuum sealing is an efficient way to cut down your monthly food budget. Buying a vacuum sealer is a good investment for anyone looking for more organized ways to run their household.
Meat is particularly troublesome; it can be expensive and harder to fry, boil, or bake than other food items. With vacuum sealing, it becomes easier to cook, and it lasts twice as long.
Since you now know how long can vacuum-sealed meat last in the refrigerator, we urge you to try it out.