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Storage, Defrosting, Blooming.

Simple meals bring so much satisfaction; meals where you can really taste each wonderful ingredient. This is true for one particular meal more than all the others – your favourite steak dinner. Steaks have to stand up to quick cooking at a very high heat, and be delicious even when cooked rare, where the interior of the meat remains almost unchanged from its natural state. These are not cuts made to be hidden in a sauce, or cooked slowly for hours to undergo a dramatic transformation. They are what they are, and therefore the quality really has to be superb.

Over our next couple of blogs, Eddie and I will explain how important each stage of the cooking process is, to get the perfect steak. From storage, defrosting and blooming, to cooking and resting, let us show you how to get the best out of your steaks.

Ribeye Steak Cooked in Cast Iron PanRibeye Steak Cooked in Cast Iron Pan

Storage
Always keep your frozen meat in its original Donald Russell vacuum packaging, as it helps prevent freezer burn and makes the best use of space in your freezer. Your meats will stay in excellent condition if you keep them frozen at -18ºC or below. Upright freezers should not be overloaded, as this can prevent them operating correctly. Chest freezers, on the other hand, run more efficiently when filled up.

Thawing Meat
Allow plenty of time for your meat to defrost – 24 hours for small cuts and up to 10 hours per 500g for larger joints. Our top tips to defrost your meat correctly and safely are:

- Defrost in the fridge, as there will be less drip loss, so you’ll get more succulent meat

- Never leave meat to thaw in a warm environment, such as next to a central heating boiler, tumble dryer or washing machine as this can lead to a risk of food poisoning

- If you are short of time, place your cut, still in its vacuum pack in a clean sink or bowl and leave it under a cold running tap. The more cold water that can circulate, the faster your meat will thaw. This can reduce your defrosting time by a third to a half but should only be used in an emergency

- Do not be tempted to cook from frozen or defrost in the microwave, as this can make your meat tough and dry

Blooming
Traditionally matured meat can have a marginally darker appearance, and slight odour, when it’s first removed from the vacuum pack. This is perfectly normal, and after about 20 minutes of exposure to fresh air, the meat regains a bright, natural colour and the odour fades. This natural process is called ‘blooming’. If you have a particularly cold kitchen, this process may take a little longer, but is well worth it as it improves the eating quality overall.

Ribeye Steak BloomingRibeye Steak Blooming

Tomorrow, we’ll tell you how to cook your steak to perfection, but if you have any questions on storage, thawing or blooming, contact us on our Facebook or Twitter pages.