Buying meat in bulk can save you money and time (in the form of last-minute supermarket trips). Here’s how to keep it fresher longer.

By Real Simple
Updated June 26, 2013
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Buying meat in bulk can save you money and time (in the form of last-minute supermarket trips). Here’s how to keep it fresher longer.

What You Need

  • Meat, large glass bowl, freezer-safe plastic wrap, freezer-safe resealable plastic bags, plastic cutting board, cold tap water

Follow These Steps

  1. Divide meat into portions Separating the meat into servings allows you to defrost and use only your desired amount.
  2. Wrap meat Tightly cover the meat with freezer-safe plastic wrap.
  3. Place in resealable plastic bag Squeeze out excess air and zip closed. This will prevent the food from getting freezer burned—those grayish spots that appear when food is exposed to too much oxygen. Aha! While meat stays fresh only one week in supermarket packaging, it will last two months if repackaged in wrap, then bagged.
  4. Defrost in water When you’re ready to defrost the meat for cooking, leave the food in the watertight bag and immerse it in a large bowl of cold water. Change the water occasionally since the thawing process may render the water too cold. Small pieces may defrost in 15 to 20 minutes. Tip: Don't use this process for more than two hours or you’ll risk bacterial growth.