If you’re wondering about the optimal duration to store moose meat in your freezer, it’s best to consume it as soon as possible.
Generally speaking, moose meat can be stored in the freezer for slightly less time than beef, as the latter contains more fat that protects it from freezer burn.
Since moose meat is leaner than beef, it’s more susceptible to freezer burn, which can affect its quality over time.
Moose meat is a rare delicacy that can only be found in specific regions around the world, including Russia, Sweden, Finland, Canada, and Alaska.
However, if you are unable to access fresh moose meat and the only option available to you is frozen and imported, you may be wondering how long it can be safely stored and still remain edible.
It’s hard to determine how long moose meat would still be edible after being in the freezer because there are several factors that affect its quality. Before discussing these factors, let’s first define what “freezer burn” is.
Related Reading: How Much Meat Will You Get from Moose?
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Freezer Burn from Moose Meat in Your Freezer
‘Freezer burn’ refers to patches of dehydration that occur in food during freezing.
Its most common causes are:
- Food being in the freezer for too long
- The temperature fluctuating
- Exposure to the air
- Some combination of all of these factors.
Although eating food affected by freezer burn is unlikely to make you sick, it can cause a noticeable difference in taste compared to non-freezer-burned food.
The food may taste dry and unappetizing. Freezer burn can also change the appearance of the food, making it look ‘cooked’.
For example, red meat may turn brown or grey, and raw chicken may turn white.
Freezer burn can be detected not only by its appearance but also by its smell.
It often emits a plastic-like and “freezer odor” scent.
If the meat smells like anything other than meat after thawing, it should not be consumed.
It typically affects the corners and edges of the food first, and if there are only little patches on the meat, then it can still be trimmed and cooked.
However, if freezer burn covers most of the meat, it is best thrown away – or perhaps given to a fortunate dog.
How To Tell When Moose Meat is Inedible
The factors that affect when moose meat isn’t good to eat anymore generally fall into three things:
- The quality of your freezer
- The level of fat on your piece of moose meat
- Whether the moose meat is wrapped
All of these factors can affect the length of time that your moose meat will remain safe to eat as they impact the level of dehydration of your food.
I mentioned earlier that the amount of fat present on a piece of moose meat can impact how long it can be stored in the freezer.
The fat acts as a protective barrier against the freezer and helps to extend the meat’s lifespan.
The quality of your freezer can affect how long you can store moose meat. A better freezer will prevent freezer burn and extend meat storage time.
It is highly recommended to wrap moose meat in freezer paper before storing it in the freezer.
This will act as a barrier between the meat and the freezer, preventing freezer burn and ensuring that the meat stays fresh.
It is important to note that freezer paper performs the same function as fat, and is therefore the best practice for storing moose meat in the freezer.
Based on research and experience, it is recommended to wrap moose meat in freezer paper and keep it stored for a maximum of one year.
However, if you notice the presence of a freezer burn or detect any unpleasant odor, it is advised to discard the meat for the sake of safety and quality.
How Long Should You Keep Moose Meat in Your Freezer?
So, now you have a basic idea of how to keep moose meat in your freezer, but how long can it be kept in the fridge?
It is important to know that moose meat stored in the fridge should be consumed immediately.
To ensure its freshness, wrap the meat in a plastic wrap that can prevent moisture, or put it in a sealed plastic bag such as a ziplock bag.
This will help preserve the meat for up to two or three days.
How Long Should You Keep Cooked Moose Meat?
Moose meat in your freezer can stay for up to a year, and once cooked, it can last for an extended period of time.
If you cook moose meat using the pressure cooker canning method and the seal is intact, it can last for several years and still be safe to eat.
However, once you open the can, its lifespan decreases to around two or three days, just like raw moose meat.
Canned moose have a longer shelf life when stored in a cold room, away from high heat or sunlight.
It is not advisable to store canned moose in the refrigerator unless it has been opened already.
In conclusion, it is recommended to store moose meat in the freezer for only one year, wrapped in freezer paper to prevent freezer burn, which degrades the texture and flavor of the meat.
The quality of your freezer, the amount of fat on the individual piece of moose meat, and the wrapping material (if any) used to cover it, all play a vital role in determining how long you can store the moose meat without the risk of freezer burn.
If you want to store your moose meat in the refrigerator, it will last for approximately two to three days if it is raw or if you have broken the seal of canned moose meat.
Canned moose with an intact seal can last up to three years.
With moose being a rare find, having it last longer will make for future delicious meals that will add to many happy days.
Enjoy living the outdoor life!!!