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BrainGlutton
01-23-2005, 08:24 PM
I was thinking of buying some stewing beef or pork to make chili, when I remembered I have a couple of pounds of each in the freezer. But it's been in there a while and it's freezer-burned around the edges. I hate to just throw it out . . . I'm thinking that if I just put it all through the meat-grinder and use it in a highly spiced recipe, I'll never know the difference. Is this a decision I might regret?

BrainGlutton
01-23-2005, 09:50 PM
Nobody knows? I'd like to make the chili tomorrow.

OtakuLoki
01-23-2005, 09:51 PM
I was thinking of buying some stewing beef or pork to make chili, when I remembered I have a couple of pounds of each in the freezer. But it's been in there a while and it's freezer-burned around the edges. I hate to just throw it out . . . I'm thinking that if I just put it all through the meat-grinder and use it in a highly spiced recipe, I'll never know the difference. Is this a decision I might regret?


In my experience freezer burned meat is fine if you're using for stewing even if it's still in chunks - it's going to be rehydrated during the stewing process anyways. YMMV of course, but I can't see why grinding it up wouldn't hide even the faint traces of freezer burn after that.

Squink
01-23-2005, 09:55 PM
I've made chili with freezer burned beef chunks. Don't brown it first, just toss it in and boil the heck out of it. Better yet, simmer it for an hour our two in concentrated chili powder solution. It'll come out nice and tender. Regardless of how you go, it's not quite as tasty as browned, unfreezerburned meat, but still, it makes a good chili. Grindining it to burger seems like overkill.

BrainGlutton
01-23-2005, 10:08 PM
Thanx, guys! :)

Shalmanese
01-23-2005, 11:17 PM
Argh, never, EVER boil meat. Gentle simmer, no more.

BrainGlutton
01-23-2005, 11:59 PM
Argh, never, EVER boil meat. Gentle simmer, no more.

Most chili recipes call for boiling prior to simmering, Shal. So do most stew recipes, and practically all soup recipes.

pulykamell
01-24-2005, 12:08 AM
Bring to boil, then gentle simmer. That's the rule.

I would be very hesitant to work with freezer burnt meat. I suppose it depends on how badly burnt it is, but the two times I've tried it, the icky freezer taste permeated the entire dish and ruined it for me. No amount of spicing could remove that freezer burnt taste. Tread cautiously.

Shalmanese
01-24-2005, 12:17 AM
Yes, that was a bit of an oversimplification, many recipes that use unbrowned meat do call for boiling, OTOH most recipe writers are wrong.The purpose of boiling meat was that it supposed to kill off any surface bacteria. However, heating at a lower temperature for a higher amount of time achieves the same purpose without damaging the meat proteins. Given that a stew should be simmered for at least 2 hours for the collagen to break down, the initial boil does nothing.

Zabali_Clawbane
01-24-2005, 01:39 AM
I just saw this thread. I've gotten horribly, horribly sick with food poisoning from freezer burned ham which was in homemade baked beans. (Mom was sick in the hospital, and dad decided to make baked beans, even though the ham was freezer burned.) Just be careful, if it tastes "off" at all, don't eat it. Puking up bile, and dry heaving isn't fun. :(

tracer
01-24-2005, 02:25 AM
Bah humbug, enough heat for enough time kills everything.

And besides, it's hard to mess up Hamburger Helper. Freezer-burned ground beef tastes just fine when it's mixed in with "Lasagne" pasta and sauce powder, especially if you put enough pepper on it.

Marlitharn
01-24-2005, 06:02 AM
Is it just around the edges? Could you seperate the chunks that are freezer-burnt and throw them out, or cut them off?

BrainGlutton
01-24-2005, 08:09 AM
I've gotten horribly, horribly sick with food poisoning from freezer burned ham which was in homemade baked beans.

:confused: How could freezer burn cause "food poisoning"?

Shalmanese
01-24-2005, 12:33 PM
There are two things that can cause sickness, bacteria and toxins. Bacteria can be killed by prolonged cooking but toxins will stil remain so once a piece of meat is contaminated, it's going to make you sick.

Freezer burn has nothing whatsoever to do with contamination, most likely, both were just signs of meat that was very very old and had been improperly stored.

Zabali_Clawbane
01-24-2005, 04:36 PM
Shalmanese, most likely, that's why I said, if it smells "off" don't eat it. The meat in the dish tasted "off", and I ate only a very small amount because of this. (Dad was being simultaneously the "hurt cook" and the worried parent, nagging me to eat.) We all were dry heaving the next day, I wasn't as ill as the others, but I still puked up bile. (It was green, clearish and BITTER, after that I dry heaved.) I don't think it was the freezer burn per se, but freezer burn is a sign the meat could be off in other ways. Thus, be careful.

Shalmanese
01-24-2005, 06:22 PM
While foods that taste off almost certainly are (certain ethnic specialties aside), it's very possible to get food poisoning from food that smells just fine. Botulism toxins, for example, are completely tasteless.

cher3
01-24-2005, 06:50 PM
:confused: How could freezer burn cause "food poisoning"?

It probably didn't. I have read that salty meats like ham don't last as long in the freezer because the salt doesn't allow them to freeze as completely as other things.