Take meat out of it's plastic wrap immediately upon bringing it home?

Steak, specifically. If I do that, what should I put it in instead? Just heard this, and my neighbor says it's well known, but it's new to me.



bugbitten June 17, 2012
Like you guys, I try to buy perishables at the last moment, trusting my market to know food storage better than me, and trusting my nose at the moment of decision. It's a tough choice, often. Shrimp especially, but that's another story.

The advice I heard was from a guest chef on Ming Tsai's PBS show, regarding boneless strip steaks (calling them NY strips adds fiddalahs (five dollars) to their price in restaurants outside of NY) but the nice fellow never said anything other than "Let the air get at them," or words to that effect.

Sometimes I wish I'd worked myself through school as a butcher, instead of a cab driver.

Holy cow, where do I buy butcher paper?!

Voted the Best Reply!

ChefOno June 17, 2012

Sounds like advice passed along by e-mail if you know what I mean.

There's nothing wrong with the packaging your meat is purchased in. Well there is, but not in whatever way your "well-educated" neighbor believes. Anything that touches food is thoroughly studied and highly regulated.

This may or may not be slightly out of date but will serve the purpose. Lots to learn from the USDA:


The packaging used in stores today is designed to keep meat *looking* fresh for as long as possible. Simply put, consumers won't buy brown meat even though it is as fresh or even fresher than the pink stuff. They use a special plastic wrap which allows oxygen to permeate and keep the meat pink. Unfortunately, that also decreases the actual shelf life of the product. As soon as the meat starts to turn brown, it is transferred to the sale section for 50% off. Which is when Ono strikes. Score! (Not that it matters but it will turn pink again soon after unwrapping when the meat can breathe a little better.)

But I digress…

I'm not vouching for this site but I'm tired and this will save me keystrokes. And I don't know if anyone reads what I write anyway. This will explain the different types of packaging you may run across:


I will add that if you're going to freeze something, vacuum packaging works the best but you can also accomplish the same thing using Glad Press'n Seal. Sticky side to sticky side, form a "taco" around what you want to freeze, pressing out all the air as you go. The two keys here are an impermeable membrane and the exclusion of oxygen.

jmburns June 16, 2012
New to me to. If I am going to use it within a reasonable time I just put it in the meat keeper section. Any longer and I wrap it freezer paper put in a freezer ziplock and put it in the freezer.
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