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Maybe a dumb question

Sooner EggSooner Egg Posts: 578
edited 5:52AM in EggHead Forum
My mom, who lives in another state along with 3 of my brothers that live close by called last night upset about finding a brisket in the bottom of her chest freezer. She was wanting to know if I thought it would still be any good for one of my brothers to smoke, the brisket was purchased from a Sam's club last June. I told her I had no clue but knew of a forum that would probably is it still good or should she toss it and buy a fresh one? Beef around my house barely lasts a week let alone 6 months so I couldn't answer her concerns about it.


  • I'm sure it's good. It's probably cryovaced, and should be good for a year, at least. Smoke that bad boy !

    Dripping Springs, Texas.
    Just west of Austintatious

  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 20,485
    thats what the freezer is for ;)
  • we have a freezer but it basically remains empty, maybe it's time to start buying beef on special and freezing it, I don't know but it's doubtful I could look at a brisket in my freezer that long without wanting to smoke it :whistle:
  • without exagerration, frozen food may be kept INDEFINITELY. this ain't me talking, it is the USDA.

    you can freeze piece of beef, will it to your great grandchildren, and it will be safe to eat in a hundred years. there is NO safety issue as long as temps are held properly (most home freezers at or around 0 degrees, but obviously below 32).

    quality is a separate issue, and has NOTHING to do with safety.

    freezer burn (from improper storing, punctured wrap, etc.) is the issue. but again. freezer burn affects quality, not safety.

    any limits you see "six months in the freezer", etc. ALL are with regard to potential diminished quality, not safety.

    cryovac'd foods have virtually no issue with regard to picking up odor or freezer burn.
  • fishlessmanfishlessman Posts: 20,485
    hve you checked your fridge temps, mine doesnt work properly without some bulk in the freezer. ended up putting two liter water bottles in the freezer to get the fridge temps down below the 40 degree mark.
  • I have cooked chicken, lamb, and beef that have been in the freezer for more than six months. Stripsteak's comments regarding quality are well taken. Meat with freezer burn is not very appealing.

    I have also had holes in cryovac or food saver packaging. If most of the packaging stays intact, you can trim off the portions that show freezer burn and use the rest. This is much easier to do with a large brisket than it is with any part of a chicken.
    "kept INDEFINITELY" ummmmmmm not convinced of that one. Now I have to go look it up.

  • that's the USDA my friend. don't take my word for it though.

    the only way people believe anything is when they find it out for themselves anyway, unless the answer jives with what they want it to be

    people imagine a lot of things happening in a freezer that can't happen (as long as temps are solid)
    I am sure glad I didn't put my foot further in my mouth...

    I never knew that, thanks for posting even though I was thinking you had lost your marbles.

    An interesting read... Here is what USDA and Stripsteak Says

  • stripsteak wrote:

    the only way people believe anything is when they find it out for themselves anyway, unless the answer jives with what they want it to be

    Who me....

    Thanks Jeff, see my post below.

  • thanks for all the replies, I'm going to my local Sam's to load up on beef and put the freezer to good use :P
  • this is why i am such a pain in the ass about understanding the REASON, not merely parroting stuff.

    there are a lot of good reasons to do things, but often we simply believe what trusted people tell us simply because it sounds logical, and the person telling us is, well, trusted.

    but i maintain the person who understands the CONCEPT and how it works doesn't need to remember any rules. rules are crutches and often meant to be broken.

    it is UTTERLY safe to hang raw meat from the ceiling of your basement for a year and then eat it. hahaha

    just need to understand what "raw" means in this context, and what condition that "raw" meat needs to in for it to work. otherwise it is dangerous.

    it can truly be said that meat does not need to be kept below 40 or above 140 to be safe. you just need to know WHY. knowing the "rule" is no help
  • BordelloBordello Posts: 5,926
    Very well put. When I worked in the sausage kitchen I also was taught to light and shut down to "BIG" steam generator. Turn the water feed on, open this valve, open that valve,open this other valve,flip switch, now slowly open the "BIG" Gas Valve.

    Then to shut it down you have to cause it to over heat so she "Blows" all the sediments out of the coils. I insisted they teach what each step was doing so I could at lest temp. to diagnose a problem before calling the boiler guy.

    You're right on,

  • We normally double bag/wrap meat we expect to have in the freezer for a while. Getting other pieces out or putting new pieces in may damage the meats freezer bag exposing it and allowing freezer burn. Double bagging reduces the risk.

    Marthasville, MO
  • should always rewrap the stuff in foam trays, too. that plastic over top of it is permeable
  • Celtic WolfCeltic Wolf Posts: 9,773
    He has lost his marbles but that doesn't preclude that 99% of the time he's right.. :laugh:

    Yes I said he's right.. :whistle:
  • June of 2009....
    No problem mate, cook that baby up.
    For the most part, beef will keep very nicely for up to a year in the freezer.
    I've had two years in the chest with out any noticable differance! A long as it isn't burnt....That's the air thing! Your good to go!
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