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How To Wrap Meat For Freezing

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Freezing meat is a great way to extend its freshness, but Chef Brannon Soileau of The Culinary Institute of America says it's important to keep oxygen away from the flesh. To keep the meat sealed well, he recommends using plastic wrap -- the thicker, the better. To wrap the meat, he places it in the middle of a large rectangle of plastic wrap, then brings up first one side, then another, pushing out any air. He then brings up the sides of the plastic wrap, pushing out air as he goes and tightly pressing the wrap to form-fit around the piece of meat. He calls this method "hurricane wrapping," because it could stand up to a hurricane.

For 60 years, The Culinary Institute of America has been setting the standard for excellence in professional culinary education. In this video series, experienced chefs and educators show you how to tackle essential cooking techniques.

Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Chef Brannon Soileau from the Culinary Institute of America, and I'm going to show you this kitchen basic: how to freeze meat.

Today we're going to talk about freezing meats. Let's say I went to the store and got a deal on pot roast, short ribs, something in massive quantity - and now I'm going to have to freeze it individually. You want to take plastic wrap and get it as thick as you possibly can. Move your meat onto the center of the plastic wrap, and then you want to encase that meat with the plastic from one side, and push out as much oxygen as you can. See how I'm pushing it tight right here? You want to try to get as much of that air out of there as you can.

Then I go around from the other side, as tight as I can. Notice that I'm going under the product and over the product - that's known as hurricane wrapping in the business. If a hurricane comes, it will still stay wrapped.

Again, I turn the meat the other way and I wrap the same way: push tightly, and squeeze the meat, squeezing all the air you can out of it so that it freezes better. And the same thing on this side: wrap it tight, squeeze it, flip it over.

Now the meat is ready for the freezer.