Frozen beef really is best and it is "fresh?"! Every once in a while we get questions about the quality differences between our frozen beef and un-frozen cuts purchased at the grocery store. We all want to know that we are getting the highest quality meat we can for ourselves and our families. Check out our buyers guide to understand why we freeze our beef.
Fresh v. Frozen
There is a debate over fresh versus frozen foods. It has been greatly fueled by social media and mainstream marketing campings. Most notoriously campaigns by fast-food companies. Competition is fierce and fast-food chains like claim that their food is fresher because it’s never been frozen. Honestly, the fact that its never been frozen has nothing to do with your health. How it was raised, prepared, and the fries you are consuming with it have much more to do with your health. These campaigns have resulted in the commonly held belief that “fresh” must be better than “frozen.” However, industry experts have stated that in regard to taste and nutritional value, un-frozen cuts of beef are in no way superior to frozen cuts raised and cared for in the same way. Hence, "fresh or frozen" is not a question you should be asking. How was my meat raised, what was it fed, is it dry aged, were hormones added, was it even raised in the USA or was it shipped all the way across the ocean? - are all much more valid questions.
Benefits of Freezing Beef
Tenderness & Flavor: Here at Carrisito Ranch we freeze our beef after the dry aging process. All of our beef is dry aged. Our dry aging process allows moisture to escape. This concentrates the flavors of our beef. Dry aging also ensures that you are paying for actual beef instead of water weight. Dry aging also allows the naturally-occurring enzymes to break down muscle tissue, further tenderizing the beef. After dry-aging, the beef is quickly frozen which effectively preserves the beef in it’s perfectly-aged state until you’re prepared to eat it. This is true whether you eat it in a week, month, or even a year. Dry-aged meats are ideal for storing frozen, as the reduced moisture content allows for a more uniform thawing process. Dry aging also avoids having your thawing beef sit in large excesses of water and blood as it thaws (not appetizing).
Simplifying the Supply Chain: Freezing our beef allows us to not risk reducing the quality of our beef or pork as they travel from our field to your table. Generally fresh meat purchased at your local grocery store has been wet-aged, a process which is not quality-controlled in the same manner as our dry aging process. Generally fresh meat has also been dyed and treated to give it a very red color mimicking freshness.
Less Waste: Hey - we all have hectic lives and changing plans. As much as we'd like to have everything go according to plan, it inevitably does not. Frozen beef allows you to keep the meat as long as you need to when your dinner plans, holiday plans, live plans (you get the point) change. Our beef will remain delicious for at least a year in the average household freezer (generally longer). As long as you keep the beef frozen and in its sealed original packaging - it will be as tender and taste just as good whenever you choose to cook it as it would have day one. Make sure to not allow the packaging to rip or tear (this will allow for freezer burn). Compared to cuts purchased not frozen, a properly cared-for frozen cut of beef has a longer storage life without sacrificing taste, texture, or quality. This allows for less waste and more flexibility for our customers!
The Ability To Stock Up:
Some people manage to go to the grocery store daily. NOT US, heck we can barely manage to do all the other things we have to on a daily basis. Frozen meat allows you to have access to a wide range of fresh all natural protein right at your finger tips. We're all feeling a bit uneasy after the year 2020 - we've stocked up our pantries and our freezers. If it makes us feel better and more secure that's great! You're also supporting American farms and ranchers at the same time! ALSO, in todays world with lines to just even get in the darn store - who doesn't want to stock up and skip a few trips to the grocery store
For a second opinion here is what Lynne Curry says in her book, Pure Beef:
"... if you buy your beef directly from a rancher, frozen is what you get. Fresh meat has long been the standard, but the reality is, frozen is better. It allows the ranchers to determine the best time to slaughter their animals. The beef can be aged, butchered, packaged and stored for future sales without any concerns about compromising the meat's quality or safety. One meat scientist also mentioned that freezing can improve beef's tenderness because the ice crystals puncture the meat fibers."