Virtually every housewife in the freezer has a bag, or even a few, with minced meat for special occasions or just for quick dinner. And few people think about whether this stuffing is properly stored. And the quality of minced meat depends not only on the method of storage, but also on the preparation for it.
Prepare minced meat for storage and how to store minced meat in the refrigerator
Before you put the stuffing in the refrigerator for storage, each hostess should be familiar with several simple rules:
- Meat cooked for mince should be of excellent quality, clean washed and dried with a paper towel. After all, the drier the mince will be, the better it will be.
- If you need to put ready-made minced meat in the refrigerator, then it is desirable that it be from one type of meat.
- Do not buy minced "unmarked characters" from unknown vendors and in places not intended for meat trade. After all, it is not known how long this stuffing lay until the moment of purchase, from what meat it was made, in what sanitary conditions. Such stuffing can be a source of intestinal infection and even poisoning.
- Ready minced meat should be light pink, reddish or dark red (depending on the type of meat), but not gray or gray-pink. There should not be any dark inclusions, veins, suspicious fibers. It should not be slippery to the touch.
- Ground meat should smell like fresh meat and be without any foreign smell.
- If the stuffing is already frozen, it should be without pieces of ice from frozen blood water, which would give out a second freeze or liquid stuffing. Quality minced freeze without stirring.
- Salt should not be in the mince, as salt, first of all, impairs the quality of minced meat, which eventually becomes hard and tasteless, and secondly, unscrupulous producers use salt to try to hide low-quality goods.
- In the stuffing should not be additives in the form of soy and soy protein, which also affects the quality of products. This stuffing is not suitable for long storage, since all the additives need to be put in the stuffing just before cooking.
- Before you put the stuffing in the fridge, you need to pack it in a clean, dry plastic container and cover it with food film so that the stuffing is not overwhelmed, and bacteria and possible germs do not get on the finished products. For the same reason, the stuffing is placed on the lower shelf of the refrigerator so that possible drops from it do not fall on other products that are on the shelves below.
- In the refrigerator at a temperature of + 6-8 °, the stuffing can be stored for no more than 12 hours, and then it should be used to prepare the dish. Minced meat that has been stored in the refrigerator for some time is not subject to freezing, since pathogenic microorganisms may already begin to develop in it, and such stuffing will turn out to be of poor quality, or it may just disappear during long storage.
- If two or several types of meat are to be mixed, this is done before cooking, and the mince from different meat is stored separately - each in its own container.
How and how much to store the stuffing in the freezer
All the rules for storing minced meat in the refrigerator also apply to storing minced meat in the freezer. But there are a few additional conditions for proper freezing.
- Only fresh minced meat is used for freezing.
- Salt, onions, bread, milk and various spices should not be added to mincemeat for long storage. All this affects the taste, the type of minced meat and promotes the reproduction of microbes. Very often, housewives freeze minced meat with onions, believing that this does not spoil the taste of meat, setting frozen dumplings, meatballs, meatballs and other meat products as an example. But these semi-finished products are frozen by shock freezing, that is, very quickly and at a sufficiently low temperature. In such products, harmful microorganisms simply do not have time to appear, and even more so - to multiply.
- Household refrigerators do not have this ability, because the temperature in them is not sufficiently low. Therefore, it is advisable not to pack the minced meat for freezing into plastic containers. The best option is to divide the stuffing into small portions, each of which is put in a plastic bag, press down on top so that all the air comes out, and the stuffing takes a flat shape. In this form, the stuffing is frozen very quickly and takes up minimal space in the freezer.
- If all the rules for preparing minced meat for storage have been observed, such minced meat can be stored in the freezer for up to three months without loss of useful qualities. Despite the fact that the mince will not disappear in a freezer in a year (unless, of course, it has not been defrosted before), it’s still not worth keeping it as it freezes, and its quality deteriorates significantly.
These simple rules will help housewives to always have a small stock of frozen and high-quality minced meat in the refrigerator.