Wednesday, May 8, 2013

To Vacuum or Not to Vacuum

I'm talking vacuum packing meat here, not the house.


As you may have noticed, if you are an older customer, we have started to vacuum seal our pork. There are a few reasons for this, and there are various pros and cons regarding the process. I thought I would try and explain a bit more here.

The thoughts around the reason not to vacuum seal are based on the idea that it ages the meat (this is called wet aging) and to age the meat, it's actually starting the process of break down - it's a annorobic environment and the bacteria age the meat. This is exactly the reason why a lot of people do vacuum pack meat, as it will also tenderise the product. Our pork does not need to be vacuum packed to tenderise it, it's naturally very tender. I personally think that if you need to do this to tenderise your meat, the producer needs to think about a different breed or different management. However in saying that, it's difficult with our climate and conditions in CQ to produce consistently tender beef and so vacuum sealing is used as a tool.

Our reason for packing this way, is two fold. One: we are now getting the pork delivered for us and so the boxes will hold together better if there is no risk of blood escaping from the packed meat. It also means that we can be surer that our pork will still be fresh and lovely when you get it. We don't have it packed for an extended time, only for the time it needs to travel. Our second reason, is that once we start going to markets, we have to (by law) pack it like this. It also looks a lot nicer presentation wise.

A couple of things to remember when you get your meat home:
  1. It needs to be frozen as soon as possible, although will keep for longer in the vaccum sealed bags, depending on your preference.
  2. If the meat smells a bit, which it may, because of the annorobic conditions, just put it on a plate or bowl for a half hour or so, so that the smell goes away. It's not off, it's just a concentrated smell of meat. This may be more noticeable with the mince and sausages.
Please give me any feedback regarding this packaging.


2 comments:

  1. Interesting post, I had never considered the disadvantages of vacuum packing fresh meat. We vacuum pack about have a beast so that the meat lasts longer, and the rest in freezer bags that we use up first. We also wet age the prime cuts for a week in the fridge as we never get to hang the beast for long enough (only 3 days) with the homekill. I didn't realise it was a requirement for you to on-sell the meat. I'm sure your customers will understand the benefits (and requirements) that you describe.

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  2. I'm a bit slack about responding to your comment sorry.....We do the steak cuts on our home kills too, because we don't have a cold room for hanging beef. But we are like you and only do it for about a week. It also helps meat keep better in the freezer also, especally fish. Fish cryvacced and frozen is almost like fresh fish when you take it out.

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