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It’s happened to all of us—we’ve reached into the recesses of the freezer to retrieve a long-forgotten bag of frozen goods only to find it crystallized. After thawing it out we find that the quality has suffered; what should be crisp is now soggy and has that signature freezer-burnt flavor.
Memories like these fuel questions we receive occasionally from potential Shipley Farms Beef customers regarding the quality differences in our frozen beef and the un-frozen cuts they can buy from their local grocer. Folks who reach out to us with questions have this in common: they are concerned with the quality of the food they are choosing to consume and support. This concern is something we understand here at Shipley Farms, which is why we’ve created this buyer’s guide to explain why we choose to freeze our products so that our customers canEat Better Beef.
Fresh v. Frozen
The debate over fresh versus frozen foods has recently stemmed in part from marketing campaigns by fast-food companies to purport the quality of their products. Competing fast-food chains claim that their food is fresher because it’s never been frozen. 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 in similar environments.
Benefits of Freezing Beef
Tenderness & Flavor: At Shipley Farms, we freeze our beef in Cryovac packaging after dry-aging for 14 days. Our dry aging process allows moisture to escape, which concentrates the flavors of our beef. Dry aging also allows the naturally-occurring enzymes to break down muscle tissue, further tenderizing the beef. After dry-aging, we quickly freeze our beef in Cryovac packaging, which effectively preserves the steak in it’s perfectly-aged state until you’re prepared to eat it; be 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.
Simplifying the Supply Chain: Freezing our beef allows us to send Better Beef directly to you, the consumer, rather than risking a decrease in the quality of our products as they bounce along the supply chain. 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.
Less Waste:We all know that life can get hectic at times. The attention we dedicate to our aging and freezing process ensures that regardless of what may come up in your life, and subsequently your dinner plans, the beef your purchase from Shipley Farms will remain perfectly healthy and delicious for up to a year in the average household freezer. As long as our beef remains frozen in its original packaging, you can rest assured that it will be as tender and flavorful when you get around to preparing it as it was on day one. 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 along the food chain and more flexibility for the consumer.
We hope this buyer’s guide has been helpful to our customers concerned about the health and wellness of their families. It is that same concern for our own families that continues to drive the promise made by R.G. Shipley, Sr. (1912-2015) to continually improve our practices so that we may, “Provide beef that tastes better and is healthier for you because of where it comes from and how it is cared for.”