First, preserve meat, then eat: How to preserve and store meat.

First, preserve meat, then eat: How to preserve and store meat.

Preserving and storing meat properly is important to maintain its quality, and freshness, prevent spoilage, and ensure it remains safe to consume.

Here are some standard methods for preserving and storing meat:


Refrigeration is a better option for short-term storage (up to a few days), refrigeration is the most common method. Keep the meat in the refrigerator at or below 4°C to slow bacterial growth. Meat should be stored in a sealed container or wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or foil to prevent air and moisture from reaching it.


Freezing is an effective long-term preservation method. It slows down bacterial growth and preserves the quality of the meat for several months.

Procedure to freeze meat properly:

  • Wrap the meat tightly in freezer-grade plastic wrap or aluminum foil to prevent freezer burn.
  • Place the wrapped meat in airtight freezer bags or containers to provide an extra layer of protection.
  • Label the packages with the date and type of meat to keep track of their storage time.
  • Freeze the meat at or below 0°F (-18°C) for best results.


Curing involves preserving meat by using salt and other curing agents. It is commonly used for making products like bacon, ham, and corned beef. Curing draws out moisture from the meat, inhibiting bacterial growth. Follow specific curing recipes and guidelines for different types of meat products.


Smoking meat not only adds flavour but also helps in preservation. The combination of low heat, smoke, and dehydration inhibits bacterial growth and prolongs the shelf life. Use a smoker or follow a specific smoking recipe to smoke the meat safely.


Canning is another method to preserve meat. It involves pressure canning the meat in jars to create a vacuum seal, killing bacteria and preventing spoilage. This method requires specialized equipment and should be followed precisely to ensure safety.

Remember to always handle meat safely to prevent foodborne illnesses. Here are some general guidelines:

  • Keep meat refrigerated or frozen until ready to use.
  • Thaw frozen meat in the refrigerator, microwave, or cold water (if using cold water, change it every 30 minutes).
  • Avoid cross-contamination by separating raw meat from other foods and using separate cutting boards and utensils.
  • Cook meat thoroughly to appropriate internal temperatures to kill any bacteria.

Please note that these are general guidelines, and specific techniques may vary depending on the type of meat and local food safety regulations. It's always a good idea to consult trusted sources, such as food safety authorities or reputable cookbooks, for detailed instructions on preserving meat.


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