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I was talking to a friend and he was trying to tell me I shouldn't buy in bulk and freeze the meat. He's saying I should buy fresh for every smoke because fresh meat tastes better and has a better texture.
The problem with this is I can't always find what I am looking for when I go to the store. So, I was thinking of buying a case of ribs and brisket and keep in the chest freeze I just bought for that purpose.
Got a deal on a 6 month old 14 cf Frigidaire Commercial Chest Freezer from a sandwich shop that was closing.

What do you guys think?
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In my experience as a home cook, I have never noticed any difference between fresh and thawed meat. I think you have to have professional taste buds to tell the difference. If you are gonna buy in bulk, perhaps you should invest in a food saver or another good brand of vacuum sealer to ward off freezer burn for the smaller stuff, becuase I don't think they make bags big enough for butts and briskets. I quickly did a FIND search on the forum and found almost everyone uses or has used frozen meat. I don't think you will have a problem. Like Big Frog said, if sealed correctly it can be kept a long time. But no, I have never noticed a difference in any kind of meat.
My upright freezer works that way as well, with a quick freeze setting. I would say to use that setting when you initially fill it with a lot of unfrozen food. It is not necessary for just a few things added here and there. I think if you use this setting all the time then you will be wasting ALOT of electricity! I know I don't have stock in the electric company Big Grin Have fun smoking! Vicki
Hey Vicki!,

The reason for the "flash freeze" is to freeze the meat fast so the protein cells will freeze without ice crystals forming, which will burst, causing loss of moisture in the product after thawing. The idea of a chest freezer is the "no" frost-free cycle which will also cause ice crystals to form because of the thawing and I said most backyard cooks will not see much difference, or at least my buddies haven't complained yet!
From a chef...

Freezing meat will result in protein cellular degeneration to some extent. Foodsaver (or similar) heavy duty pouches and/or very cold (-10F or below) freezers will minimize the moisture/flavor loss but there's always a trade off.

I'm not advocating freezing meat is a bad thing. To be sure, freezing leftovers beats throwing them away. Stocking up on sale items will save you money. Just keep in mind there's a small trade-off.
I agree with MaxQ about a trade off. The trade off is small when taking advantage of a great meat sale.

If you have a full freezer set to -5*, whatever you toss in will freeze quickly. Heat sync principal. Like Vicki says, I don't see the value in the flash freeze setting for an item or two placed into a full freezer.

I only smoke fresh brisket. I'm trying to keep the brisket as moist as possible by avoiding whatever moisture loss MaxQ describes from the freezing process. Use a vacuum sealer where you can.
Here's one for you.

Try a blind taste test on your friend.

A rack of frozen ribs and a rack of unfrozen. Same brands.

cook them exactly the same way and see if there is a difference?

To many, it's all very valid data, but in the end do YOU see a diffeerence. Does freezing cause damage? Technically, yes.

Do you TASTE a difference? I doubt it.

FYI, a lot of the meat in Sam's and other places was frozen to begin with, they don't tell you it was. So you're not always buying fresh.
I agree the difference is small, and with the addition of smoke, rub and/or sauce, it's darn near impossible to tell. 'cept if we're freezing, it could be it's second time, and the more it's frozen, the more we'll notice. Specially, if we're refreezing something, which may actually be the third time.

Yep. Don't always know when we're getting fresh or frozen. I think it's impossible to get fresh seafood unless you're eating at the wharf or catching your own.
I agree with Pags, one never really knows, short of performing one's own meat processing, if the meat is frozen once, twice, or more? Just make sure the freezer is not frost less, the defrost cycle does lots of damage due to the constant thawing and re-freezing process. Smokin has a great method of test, prior to the expenditure of funds for cases of meat, not the mention the enjoyment factor...
Most folks wouldn't freeze volume chicken.
Many comp cooks like their pork as fresh as possible,although I know an awful lot that buy cases of good butts and ribs to eat,vend,cater after freezing.

Like cal says on packers.Eddy used to like to age his fresh packers for six weeks plus and then even fly them to comps.
The feeling seems to always prefer good frozen packers ,as lesser quality fresh.

Do as Smokin' always says and see if it makes a difference to your taste.

I sure have seen an awful lot of thawed packers take Grand at really big contests.

I've seen a lot of great packers come out of good freezers after well over a year.

There might be some difference in how thawed ribs cook ,to really attentive cooks.Doesn't always mean they eat different.

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