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Question: How long will frozen vacuum packed meat last????

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by rt014, May 10, 2008.

  1. rt014


    Jun 21, 2001
    I don't think I remember seeing this discussed before.

    What was the longest that you've had meat vacuum packed (like a Food Saver) and frozen and then eaten it with no problems.

    I would imagine there are always variables like: whether the temp in the freezer was constant; what the condition of the meat was prior to freezing, etc., etc.

    I'm just wondering generally speaking how long meat will last if properly vacuum sealed and frozen.

  2. Absintheur

    Absintheur Banned by Moderators

    Jan 31, 2008
    Not sure but after reading the following account of a 36,000 year old bison feast I would say the meat would remain edible for quite some time. I know I have had both venison and beef as well as Walleye that was vacuum packed and frozen that was at least a year in the freeze.r

    In “Frozen Fauna of the Mammoth Steppe,” R. Dale Guthrie, professor emeritus at the University of Alaska, describes his inspection of the 1979 find of “Blue Babe,” a 36,000-year-old frozen bison. The carcass had already been largely eaten in prehistory, but, Guthrie reports, it still showed some red muscle.

    After a thorough examination of the remains, which were kept frozen in a lab, Blue Babe was reconstructed with taxidermy for museum display. That task done, Guthrie set about eating part of the ancient bison along with taxidermist Eirik Granqvist, the late paleontologist Bjorn Kurten and apparently unnamed others.

    “A small part of the mummy’s neck was diced and simmered in a pot of stock and vegetables,” Guthrie wrote. “We had Blue Babe for dinner. The meat was well aged but still a little tough, and it gave the stew a strong Pleistocene aroma, but nobody there would have dared miss it.” Kurten later wrote that the bison stew was “agreeable.”

    Bjorn Kurten wrote:

    The meat in its abdomen had spoiled before the bison was completely frozen. But in the neck area small pieces of meat were found attached to the skull. The lions had left so little there that it had frozen through while the meat was still fresh. When it thawed it gave off an unmistakable beef aroma, not unpleasantly mixed with a faint smell of the earth in which it was found, with a touch of mushroom. About a dozen of us gathered .... on April 6, 1984, to partake of Bison priscus stew. The taste was delicious, and none of us suffered any ill effects from the meal.
  3. Esav Benyamin

    Esav Benyamin MidniteSuperMod Staff Member Super Mod

    Apr 6, 2000
    You could say that! :D

    Thanks for bringing up this story. This guy wrote some good books: fictionalized prehistory in "Dance of the Tiger" or how to get along with your neanderthal neighbors. And "The Innocent Assassins", essays on different subjects.
  4. xdshooter


    Apr 18, 2007
    I would say for safety and taste, 1 year would be the rule of thumb. I've eaten some steak that was 2.5 years old, when my uncle passed away we cleaned out his freezer. It was not "good" tasting, but it was edible. The cats loved it. One year old meat, seems to be almost as good as one month old stuff.

    Provided the meat isn't rancid I guess the biggest loss would be any micronutrients, any vitamins are going to be long gone. The macronutrients, ie, calories from protein and fat would be fine. The biggest issue would be the temperature of the freezer. A chest type deep freeze, that gets opened less than once a day on average, and maintains the temp between -10 and -20, will be much better in the long run than your average fridge/freezer combo.
  5. mete

    mete Gold Member Gold Member

    Jun 10, 2003
    There is a difference between edible and palateble. The best is to find a book with tables for shelf life. Things like organ meats ,bacon etc will have much shorter life .The life of meat will double for each 10 F lower. So for long life at least 0 F and -10 F would be much better. For a quick answer about 12 months .
  6. ronsec

    ronsec Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 13, 2002
  7. rt014


    Jun 21, 2001
    Thanks guys...Sounds like 2-3 yrs isn't unreasonable for a large piece of vacuum packed meat.

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