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#2690325 - 01/01/09 Re: Freezer burn? [Re: muledeer]  
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Sitka deer Offline
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We process tons of stuff on a regular basis and live on it through the winters. I find meat easy to deal with and far less inclined to freezerburn than fish. We often double wrap in heavy plastic and then wrap in plastic coated butcher paper.

We have also settled on a particular folding sequence to reduce air migration in the packaging. The plastic-wrapped item is centered in a piece of paper and the top edges are rolled down tightly to the meat. Each end is then folded to a point and the tips are folded DOWN and then the ends are folded UNDER the package and taped.

The folding creates as many air locks as possible and has made a significant difference, IOE.

A couple points about what causes freezerburn, too. The chest freezer is the only way to go for long term storage. But it has a potential issue. The top of the chest freezer and its gasket make a great air lock. The air in a just-closed freezer will start to cool and therefore shrink. Note the apparant vacuum the next time you open your chest freezer. Ours sucks the gasket down hard until the seal breaks.

The lower pressure in the freezer drops the vapor pressure of water a lot. I believe the boiling point of water in a vacuum is something like -66F. Ever wonder how freeze drying works?

Keeping the stuff very cold works better than almost cold. We always turn the freezer down to the lowest setting.

Freeze it fast to prevent the crystals from slow freezing which affect texture (more with delicates like fish).

Accept the fact some stuff is too delicate to store long. Halibut, black cod and salmon are bulletproof in the freezer, but lingcod and most rockfish is inedible at 6 months. The rest is somewhere in between.
art


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#2690360 - 01/01/09 Re: Freezer burn? [Re: Sitka deer]  
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TomM Offline
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I started out using a single layer of freezer paper and never had any problems if the meat was consumed in 12-15 months. Then I got a vacuum sealer and thought it would be the ticket. It was a PITA trying to get the moisture out prior to sealing, and some (even though I thought was dry) freezer burnt in a couple of months. This year I went back to freezer paper. Much more convienent, and plain works. When I know meat will be in the freezer for over a year, I usually have it made into hot dogs or some other sausage product because it stays better, and taste good.

#2690805 - 01/01/09 Re: Freezer burn? [Re: the_shootist]  
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DanAdair Offline
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NW Montucky
Shootist, thats my system now as well. If you ask the guys in the produce section in most grocery stores, they will sell you a roll of them.

My neighbor cuts and wraps meat, he was a butcher for 26 years, and is now the meat manager for the entire NW division of a grocery store chain. He knows the business. The produce bag trick was something he's been doing a lot of years. Another thing he told me was to stick to freezer paper, and not butcher paper. And as has already been mentioned, use a real freezer, not a frost free one.

I gave up vacuum packing a long time ago. I never could vacuum seal meat and have it stay airtight for over 2 years. I wrecked a lot of meat that way, and went back to freezer paper, and double wrapping.

But as a rule, if I find meat in the freezer in the 2+ age range, it gets sent to my dads house and ground into sausage (he makes some good stuff) If I find meat old enough to have a Voter Registration card, I use it for trap bait in the winter.


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#2690833 - 01/01/09 Re: Freezer burn? [Re: DanAdair]  
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Mule Deer Online content
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Mule Deer  Online Content
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Actually, what I use is freezer paper.

I've been using the Reynolds brand of freezer paper for many years, because that's what is normally sold in local Montana stores. When used to tightly double-wrap meat, it's kept the meat of various packages free of freezer burn for 3-4 years.

Thanks for all the information, guys. I found out what I wanted to know, and am now going to bow out of this thread.


John

"Gunwriters, as you know, aren't as informed as their readers are and if it wasn't for the readers, there would be no need for writers..."--Shrapnel, May 2015
#2690961 - 01/01/09 Re: Freezer burn? [Re: Mule Deer]  
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bucktales Offline
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Vacuum only for us. More work? naw. Been using them for 12 or so years. Never had trouble till our original Foodsaver started wearing out. We put a lot of pounds of game and sea food thru it before it wore out.
Bag material is pretty cheap at places like BJ's or Costco.

Alpha

#2691009 - 01/01/09 Re: Freezer burn? [Re: bucktales]  
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Pete E Offline
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I posted this link on the other thread but I think its informative enough to warrant posting a second time: Freezer Burn

Although I know that frrezer burn is basically a result of the meat dehydrating during storage, I still find it amazing that this can happen when the water is in a deep frozen state.

Earlier in the thread, frost free freezers were mentioned. To be frost free they must dehumidify the air in the freezer compartment. Couple that with the fact that neither butchers paper nor the various plastic wraps/bags are made from a truely airtight material, and you can see how meat packages can start to dehyrate during storage, with the plastic bags used in vac-packers being the exception...

Last edited by Pete E; 01/01/09.
#2691030 - 01/01/09 Re: Freezer burn? [Re: Mule Deer]  
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duckster Offline
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I typically use the double wrap of butcher paper, rarely get some freezer burn, but when it does, it is usually because of a poor wrap job on my part

#2691210 - 01/01/09 Re: Freezer burn? [Re: duckster]  
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Taconic11 Offline
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I wrap with 2 layers of saran and then vacuum pack. This stops the moisture migration. On the food/cooking forum, somebody mentioned to use a baggie without the tie. I will try this. When useing the Vac., in the freezer, You may have to periodically check to see if the package has been punctured. Other than that, I have not used wrapping paper since the vacuum sealer and do not intend to. This process is efficient and works very well. Simply, Wraping paper cannot seal as well as a vacuum seal and to Me, it is a lot less work.

#2691228 - 01/01/09 Re: Freezer burn? [Re: Taconic11]  
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UtahLefty Offline
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I use saran wrap + freezer paper.


My opinion though is that it has more to do with the number of times the door is opened (air exchange) than with packaging technique.

we have a dedicated meat freezer (15 cu-ft) that usually has 500+ pounds of boneless meat in it - and nothing else. It only gets opened to grab a package.

I've had meat 3-4YO that was no different than 4 months old.

oh, and auto defrost is poison (for the same reasons).

YMMV.

smile

Last edited by UtahLefty; 01/01/09. Reason: I should note: this is a chest freezer at -25*, much better than a stand-up burn-wise



#2691246 - 01/01/09 Re: Freezer burn? [Re: UtahLefty]  
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Taconic11 Offline
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Could be Lefty,never thought of that. I think that the saran gives you a very good primary seal. Close to the skin and, once frozen, it would be hard for air to attack

Bravo

#2691351 - 01/01/09 Re: Freezer burn? [Re: Mule Deer]  
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tx270 Offline
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I've used both paper and the vaccum bags in the Food Saver. Both have given fine reults, I've never had freezer burned meat in either.

I admit and like Dennis have evolved to using just the vacuum sealer. Part of it is the ease/speed of use and my slight laziness as I grow older. But part of it is because my lovely wife didn't grow up processing her own meat as I did and it's much easier for her to use the Food Saver while I butcher. Makes the whole process smoother and more enjoyable (grin) for both of us.

I have to admit though $$ is the only reason I can find to ever want to use paper anymore. The vacuum sealers are so quick and take out any doubt of air ever reaching the meat. If the cost ratio was closer I would see no reason to ever buy another single peeice of butcher paper. JMHO.

Bill

#2691833 - 01/02/09 Re: Freezer burn? [Re: Mule Deer]  
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johnw Offline
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old gap grove
oh how i wish that i had a need for 3 reezers to hold all my game meat...
for me, one modest sizedchest freezer holds everything... we generally only put up half a beef at a time and that's in the spring... 2 or 3 deer in the fall and i've usually got room in thr freezer...

we seldom keep meat for a year... double wrapped meat has always been fine for us....

Last edited by johnw; 01/02/09.

"Chances Will Be Taken"
#2692021 - 01/02/09 Re: Freezer burn? [Re: johnw]  
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rattler Offline
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NE Montana
i use plastic wrap cause i aint very good at getting a good seal with just the paper all the time.....the plastic wrap is easy to get sealed right and lets me sleep better......if i was better with just the paper i would prolly skip the wrap....


A serious student of the "Armchair Safari" always looking for Africa/Asia hunting books
#2692644 - 01/02/09 Re: Freezer burn? [Re: rattler]  
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Cabarillo Offline
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We just use the quart and gallon freezer bags but use cheap water to fill the bag and take the air out. Very seldom have one leak but use news paper between the layers of packages just in case and have plenty of freezer space.


There is no place like home. Western Oklahoma.
#2692999 - 01/02/09 Re: Freezer burn? [Re: Cabarillo]  
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trapperJ Online content
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All over AK
I use plastic wrap and butcher paper for game meat.

For fish I use a commercial vacuum sealer.

I also can both game and salmon.

#2693213 - 01/02/09 Re: Freezer burn? [Re: trapperJ]  
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300WinMag Offline
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I'm AR about meat packaging. For deer, I quarter out the meat after the hunt and then wrap the heck out of it with Saran Wrap and then double Reynolds Freezer Paper. We have a frost-free upright freezer...and I've had no problems with meat up to 2 years old. I take quarters out as I need them and grind into burger or make sausage.

#2693287 - 01/02/09 Re: Freezer burn? [Re: Sitka deer]  
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BMT Offline
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BMT  Offline
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Alvadore, Oregon
Wow:

I have 4 kids. We kill a 4-H pig every summer.

The meat is gone by April (168 pounds over 8 months = 21 pounds a month).

We also eat 4 whole turkeys each year plus whatever I bring home.

Freezer burn is NOT an issue.

BMT



"The Church can and should help modern society by tirelessly insisting that the work of women in the home be recognized and respected by all in its irreplaceable value." Apostolic Exhortation On The Family, Pope John Paul II
#2702692 - 01/06/09 Re: Freezer burn? [Re: Sitka deer]  
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ironbender Offline
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In the shadow of the Kenai Mtn...
Quote
We have also settled on a particular folding sequence to reduce air migration in the packaging. The plastic-wrapped item is centered in a piece of paper and the top edges are rolled down tightly to the meat. Each end is then folded to a point and the tips are folded DOWN and then the ends are folded UNDER the package and taped.

Also known as a drugstore wrap.

http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/foods/fnw613.htm


If you take the time it takes, it takes less time.
--Pat Parelli

American by birth; Alaskan by choice.
--ironbender
#2702789 - 01/06/09 Re: Freezer burn? [Re: Mule Deer]  
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DarkStar Offline
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New Jersey
Any game meat that i usually get per season gone before a year is up so i really cant comment on freezer burn. My butcher uses wax paper and only one layer and i have never gotten any freezer burnt meat. This year i used a different butcher and he wrapped, the meat in saran wrap and then butcher paper, but he is not a professional butcher while the other guy is.

I really make an effort to eat my wild game meat before a year as it seems to be a lot better in texture and taste.

#2702904 - 01/06/09 Re: Freezer burn? [Re: Mule Deer]  
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rost495 Offline
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La Grange, TX
If wrapping tightly and not having a frost free freezer you can be fine for a long time. I hate frost free freezers.

Even with vac seal a frost free freezer will eventually ruin the meat due to its constant freeze thaw cycles. Its less likely, and takes longer than wrapped meat but it will kill it.

As long as non frost free freezers are available I'll buy them only.


We can keep Larry Root and all his idiotic blabber and user names on here, but we can't get Ralph back..... Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over....
#2703080 - 01/06/09 Re: Freezer burn? [Re: Cabarillo]  
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saddlesore Offline
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Colorado Springs, CO, USA
I don't know the technology about it,but I have use the Reynolds freezer paper for +40 yars and my parents used it when I was young. Can't say I ever experienced freezer burn.
I don't use anyhing special but have always used what is clled the butcher wrap , which is putting themeat at the corner of the paper and wrapping diagaonally.

I have never had frost free freezer though


If God wanted you to walk and carry things on your back, He would not have invented stirrups and pack saddles
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