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The Frozen Meat Discussion


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Staff note: This discussion has been split from the Imperfect, Misfit, Etc. (The Food Delivery Services) dicussion, to keep topics focused.

 

 

So now that I used one of the proteins last night for dinner, it has me wondering.

 

I roasted (seasoned, duck-fat rubbed, strewn with onions and lemon slices) 4 of the 6 chicken thighs (3 to a package), bone-in, skin-on. These are Cooks Venture packaged thighs. (As an aside, I love that one thigh can weigh like 7 ounces and another 4, but that's a story for another day).

 

Cooks Venture is a bird marketed as heritage, which I've come to enjoy via Fresh Direct (after they screwed me and stopped carrying Joyce Farms). 

 

These thighs neither tasted like, nor had the texture of, any of the other Cooks Venture chicken product I've cooked previously. Granted, it's only been like 3 or 4 times, but...just no way these were the same.

 

I'm either nuts (very high probability) or some Perdue snuck into the woodshed at one of those farms.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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4 hours ago, weinoo said:

These thighs neither tasted like, nor had the texture of, any of the other Cooks Venture chicken product I've cooked previously. Granted, it's only been like 3 or 4 times, but...just no way these were the same.

 

I'm either nuts (very high probability) or some Perdue snuck into the woodshed at one of those farms.

 

Is it possible that it has something to do with freezing and thawing?

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5 hours ago, weinoo said:

These thighs neither tasted like, nor had the texture of, any of the other Cooks Venture chicken product I've cooked previously. Granted, it's only been like 3 or 4 times, but...just no way these were the same.

 

 

14 minutes ago, dtremit said:

Is it possible that it has something to do with freezing and thawing?

 

I generally don't find this to be a problem; with frozen product I get from, say, D'artagnan, it's almost as good as the same product purchased fresh.

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1 hour ago, weinoo said:

I generally don't find this to be a problem; with frozen product I get from, say, D'artagnan, it's almost as good as the same product purchased fresh.

 

Agreed on items commercially frozen by the producer — but sometimes if a product is re-frozen or gets partially thawed in transit I notice an issue.

I think pretty much all Imperfect's meat leaves the warehouse frozen; I have had it arrive anywhere between rock hard and nearly thawed. I generally try not to refreeze anything that isn't completely frozen when I receive it.

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Ill say this

 

as im wont to do :

 

if y0ur get a Fz product that mighty fine 

 

congratulations 

 

there iw this steak Deal-ey

 

OmahaSteaks

 

possibly a fine company 

 

lets assume so

 

that very very tender Filete Mignon

 

very thick 

 

Fz 

 

is exceptionally bad when cooked

 

not so my mate O.S 

 

but possibly the cut of meat  ..

 

but 

 

every careful on Fz meat(s)

 

they might be very very close to fresh

 

but some times not.

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@rotuts Omaha Steak is a marketing joke in my experience, Racked up a lot of Amex points sending it to clients. I cringed - was not my call though They do have great packaging though as well as replacement policy.

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1 hour ago, dtremit said:

I generally try not to refreeze anything that isn't completely frozen when I receive it.

Exactly - I never refreeze. This stuff was probably still half-frozen, but sitting on that ice pack, and in this weather...is the same way I'd be defrosting it before use.

 

All the money Imperfect saves by buying the "excess" inventory and whatever else - they just spend the profits on cardboard boxed and dryer lint!

 

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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1 hour ago, heidih said:

@rotuts Omaha Steak is a marketing joke in my experience, Racked up a lot of Amex points sending it to clients. I cringed - was not my call though They do have great packaging though as well as replacement policy.

 

My thoughts too.  Back in my "on the road" days I once went to Omaha.  Made a point of eating lots of steak, even at places that sold "official" Omaha brand steaks (even sold fresh or frozen to cook at home).  Meh.  Nothing special.  Costco and my local market has much better meat.

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18 minutes ago, mgaretz said:

 

My thoughts too.  Back in my "on the road" days I once went to Omaha.  Made a point of eating lots of steak, even at places that sold "official" Omaha brand steaks (even sold fresh or frozen to cook at home).  Meh.  Nothing special.  Costco and my local market has much better meat.

 

I'm not sure if that association between the Plains and "good steak" is outdated, or just fictional, but it certainly doesn't seem like it has a lot of relevance in an era of highly concentrated meat processing. Being closer to a Cargill plant isn't going to get you a better steak, and smaller producers are much more geographically diverse.

 

I have a feeling the last time it held true was sometime in the 19th century, before the advent of modern refrigerated transport.

 

That said, as a Midwestern boy, I will stand up for the institution of the Midwestern steakhouse. Maybe not in Omaha, but the experience of going out for a steak (or better yet, prime rib) dinner in Chicago is better than anything I've found on the East Coast.

 

(As an aside, I used to travel a lot more for work and made it a point to try local fast food wherever I was. The only meal I ever couldn't finish — Runza — was in Nebraska. Edited to add — in fairness, the best was in Kansas, at the Cozy Inn in Salina. They've used the same cast iron griddle for their burgers since 1922.)

Edited by dtremit (log)
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I don't remember where my dad was offered a consulting job in the Midwest but it was at beef slaughterhouses, The only beef they bought for breaking down in L.A. were sides. Long before the more current wonderful interest in how animals are raised, breeds etc.  A different era. Though he bout died when the Italian gardener up the road asked him to help slaughter and process a young steer. He couldn't say no cuz the guy had gotten the bees out of our attic humanely and transferred to maintained hive. 

 

I like hearing about how these produce services are working. As to explanations. I have always liked when the farmers at the farmers market explain why something is not "perfect" - a better connection to the reality of farming. Thank you!

IMG_1547.JPG

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i don’t see an issue with freezing as long as, as mentioned, it’s frozen once and used when thawed, and not refrozen. growing up we’d butcher one cow a year and that was our protein, done. little change over a year of storage. 

 

it’s worth pointing out that if you plan to keep frozen meat for a while it should be done in a freezer that doesn’t have a frost-free / defrost

functionality. 

 

lately we’ve been ordering from a local organic place (i don’t really care about organics but it’s often a shortcut to local, humanely raised (to the extent that such a term exists when killing animals for food) stock. it comes frozen, and is really great. 

 

the turkeys especially were ridiculous. i can easily say it’s the best turkey i’ve ever had and i definitely didn’t bother with all this brine malarkey; just did a butterfly and quick roast for christmas, eating the skin like a cracker. 

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19 hours ago, weinoo said:

Exactly - I never refreeze. This stuff was probably still half-frozen, but sitting on that ice pack, and in this weather...is the same way I'd be defrosting it before use.

 

All the money Imperfect saves by buying the "excess" inventory and whatever else - they just spend the profits on cardboard boxed and dryer lint!

 

At some point I must have been told never to refreeze, and I don't. The advice must not have come from my mother, because then I would have ignored it

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Isn't a fair amount of "battery" chicken sold as fresh, actually at some point in its processing held below freezing?

 

Or something like this...

 

Quote

Prior to 1997, poultry could be sold as “fresh” even if it was frozen “as solid as a block of ice”. However, consumer concerns about “rock” frozen poultry being sold as “fresh” led USDA to reconsider the term “fresh” as it applies to raw whole poultry and cuts of poultry. Furthermore, national press coverage and testimonies at public hearings indicated strong interest in the term “fresh” being re-defined. After lengthy hearings, surveys and reviews of science based information, USDA published a “fresh” labeling rule that went into effect in December 1997. Today the definition of “fresh” is intended to meet the expectations of consumers buying poultry. Below are questions and answers about the “fresh” labeling rule and the terms “fresh” and “frozen.” Why is 26 °F the lowest temperature at which poultry remains fresh? Below 26 °F, raw poultry products become firm to the touch because much of the free water is changing to ice. At 26 °F, the product surface is still pliable and yields to the thumb when pressed.

 

They really clarified the situation.

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Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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I'd have to ask my SO who it was from but our last online frozen chicken came packed in dry ice for temp control.  Are above purveyors not doing the same? 

That wasn't chicken

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10 minutes ago, Eatmywords said:

I'd have to ask my SO who it was from but our last online frozen chicken came packed in dry ice for temp control.  Are above purveyors not doing the same? 

I don't see dry ice too often in the shipments I get; D'artagnan uses ice gel packs, and so did Imperfect on the recent order with chicken.

 

I think I've gotten seafood from Great-Alaska-Seafood, and that definitely had dry ice in it.  But they are pretty much experts in freezing and shipping frozen seafood.

Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

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3 hours ago, gfweb said:

Isn't all fish not right off a boat frozenin the USA?

A lot of fish right off the boat is frozen (before it got off the boat).

 

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10 minutes ago, kayb said:

A lot of fish right off the boat is frozen (before it got off the boat).

 

Right - for economic considerations a boat has to stay out long enough to justify voyage so often freezing on board allows it to work. That said we often get fresh fish from more local waters that are more "catch of the day" - but not usually in a supermarket. Too many middlemen. 

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One thing my parents hated after they moved to Nova Scotia, Canada was the quality of the meat. So they would bring a suitcase of frozen beef back with them when they visited the prairies. My father wasn't exactly a stickler for packaging and the flight was long, not direct, and sometimes delayed. I can only imagine what the baggage handlers thought about a big ratty old suitcase dripping blood.

 

But it was usually still mostly frozen when they got home.

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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Hubby and I visited Barbados for a number of years running and stayed in a rental house owned by the family of a doc I worked with. I was not terribly impressed with the meat on the island and used to travel with a suitcase full of frozen meat. And knives - and stuff for making bread. And then come back with large numbers of bottles of Cockspur VSOR. 

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