Cooking Questions: Beef

Browse our collection of frequently asked cooking questions for advice on preparing beef.

Asian Beef Skewers

Photo by OkinawanPrincess

How long can uncooked meat be frozen? How long can it be refrigerated?
Depending on the cut, uncooked meat can be stored up to 12 months in the freezer. However, we recommend eating the food within a reasonable time period for quality’s sake. Larger cuts, like steaks and roasts, can be safely stored for up to 6 months. Smaller cuts, such as veal chops, should not be frozen for more than 4 months, and ground meat should not be frozen for more than 3 months. Remember, meat stored in the freezer should be kept at 0 degrees F (-18 degrees C). Roasts, steaks, and chops can be stored in the refrigerator from three to five days. Ground meat should be used within a day or two of purchase.

When roasting a large piece of meat, do I need to use a roasting rack? Do I need to cover it?
We recommend that you use a roasting rack, but you don’t have to cover it. Roasts placed directly into a roasting pan may cook unevenly. A roasting rack allows the heat to circulate around the meat, cooking and browning the meat uniformly. Covering the roast is generally not recommended, because this interferes with the browning process.

I see a lot of recipes for grilling. We don’t have a grill, so can I broil these recipes instead?
Yes, you can use the broiler for recipes that call for grilling. Grilling and broiling are basically the same cooking method–cooking within several inches of a heat source. Keep in mind your broiler is probably not capable of attaining the heat of a hot grill. The food will need to be placed closer to the heat source when broiling, usually within 1 to 3 inches.

What is the best method for thawing meat?
There are several methods to thaw food safely–in the refrigerator, under cold, running water, and in the microwave. To ensure that your food is safe to eat, follow one of these methods: In the refrigerator: Plan ahead as this is the slowest thawing technique. Small frozen items may thaw overnight in the refrigerator, while larger items will take significantly longer. In cold running water: Place the frozen food in a leak-proof bag and place it under cold running water. In a microwave on the defrost setting: Plan to cook the food immediately after it has thawed in a microwave, because some areas of the food may have begun cooking during the defrost cycle.

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