Smoking freezer burned chuck shoulder

Discussion in 'Beef' started by muley05, May 13, 2009.

  1. muley05

    muley05 Newbie

    I bought a chuck shoulder that was about 30 pounds total back in October. I smoked about 2/3 of it then, and put a hunk that was about 9 pounds in my freezer. It has only been wrapped in standard grocery store wrapping, basically saran wrap.

    It is obvioulsy now May, so the meat has been in the freezer about 7 months. It has frost covering about the whole thing. If I take it out of the freezer to let it thaw, will it still taste good if I smoke it?
  2. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I don't think you'll have any problem. Once it thaws, if you see any, trim off any gray or grayish parts which are essentially dried out, but the rest should be fine. Any of the frosty freezer burn smell will go away once it thaws, and then you can go to your smoke and mops from there.
  3. Thaw it out completely. If there are light colored, obvious spots of dehydration, then it is trash. Smoking a spoiled piece of meat will not make it "Good Eats" because it may also be rancid from exposure. Grocery store overwrap is a very poor freezer container for meat. If you are going to freeze meat, rewrap in a vacuum bag like food saver, or at the very least a freezer ziplock and press as much air out as possible. Then date all product with a sharpie marker before freezing. If you get meat in heavy cryovac packaging, like the cuts are packaged from the packer, they are pretty good freezer protection for about 6 months or more depending on how good your freezer is. Good luck with future projects.
  4. Maybe smoke it up and feed it to my neighbors yapping dog! Other than that myself I would toss it and learn from not properly preparing it for the freezer.
    aka Rocky
  5. billbo

    billbo Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    My mantra, when in dought, throw it out!
  6. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    We have inadvertently left meat a good bit longer than that frozen in store wrap, and we couldn't taste the difference when I cooked it. Happened more than once.
  7. rivet

    rivet Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I know this will generate a lot of opinions but here are the facts:

    Obviously nobody wants to eat "bad" food, or "tainted" food. However, "feezer burn" is neither of them.

    This is from the Center of Food Safety and Applied Nutrition:

    "Freezer burn is a food-quality issue, not a food-safety issue...It occurs when air reaches the the food's surface and dries out the product...Color changes result from chemical changes in the foods pigment. Although undesirable, freezer burn does not make the food unsafe."

    Freezer burn is simpy the removal of moisture from the product due to weak wrapping. I know it doesn't look good, that's why it can be trimmed off. There is no known hazard scientifically associated with "freezer-burn".

    Don't mean to come across as wrong, but this- Food Safety- has been my career. I deal with this on a daily basis and have been for over 15 years now.

    The "when in doubt, throw it out" rule is a good one, and should always apply.

    Hope this may clear things up a bit.
  8. dacfan

    dacfan Smoke Blower

    If it was me I'd go for it.
  9. bigsteve

    bigsteve Master of the Pit

    Yup, might want to have a pack of weenies as a back-up.
  10. muley05

    muley05 Newbie

    Thanks for the replies. I never even considered that the meat would be "spoiled" or otherwise unsafe to eat. I just thought that because of the freezer burn issue, it might not, and probably wouldn't, taste as good as if it was fresher.The meat was put in the freezer the day I got it home from the grocery store, and has been frozen since. I think it is probably safe to eat based on the responses here, but it probably won't taste quite as good.
  11. bbq engineer

    bbq engineer Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    It is very simple...Trim till you get to red meat...smoke as usual. Enjoy.

    Think of it like a big brick of cheese that has mold on the exterior...if you trim the outside, the rest of the brick of cheese is still good to eat.

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