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Possible old meat

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Gang, I need advice on a 9.5lb butt that I have in my freezer.


Next weekend, I'm hosting a BBQ.  I'm wondering if the butt that's in my freezer is still good. 


The use by/sell by date is: May 8, 2014 and today is August 13, 2014.  My fear is serving my guest old meat which will be dry and flavorless once served.


What do you think?


Thank you!

post #2 of 10

The use-by sell-by date refers to the butt being fresh.  In other words, when you bought the butt,  that statement is put on that piece of meat to tell you when to use it by after you buy it and not freezing it.  Once you freeze it for later use that statement no longer applies.  The only way It could go bad is if it wasn't wrapped in freezer paper.  It may still be in its original cryo bag which will keep the butt just fine [unless it get's holes in it for some reason, thus some freezer burn would occur.  That is not a long time for meat being in a freezer, especialy when wrapped properly or still in it's cryo bag.  Reinhard

post #3 of 10
If it was froze before the use by date its still good.
post #4 of 10
Did you stick it in the freezer before the use date? If you did it is fine.Thaw it out at least a day earlier than you will smoke it.If it smells good it should be ok to smoke.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thanks dudes.

I probably have smoked a few hundred butts.  But they're mainly fresh, in the fridge for a few days and then into my smoker.  All Summer, the price of pork has been so high. I really don't want to buy another butt unneccesarily..

post #6 of 10

If its cryovaced you should be good to go. If its not (foam tray with saran wrap) look for some freezer burn/ice crystals on the surface. If there is then I would pitch it and get a fresh one

post #7 of 10
I've smoked butts and other cuts of meat that were in the freezer for years.....properly wrapped meat will keep for a very long time in the freezer.
post #8 of 10
Originally Posted by Damon555 View Post

I've smoked butts and other cuts of meat that were in the freezer for years.....properly wrapped meat will keep for a very long time in the freezer.

Ditto! I've pulled stuff out of the freezer that King Tut would envy and cooked it up just fine. As long as it's good when it's frozen and wrapped well, it'll be fine.
post #9 of 10
Kryingame, the sell by/use by date is a recommendation rather than a strict guideline (actually not an USDA regulation). Should be good if you froze properly to prevent freezer burn. I regularly buy cheap pork and beef when on sale through out the summer months to use in the fall for my venison processing. But if you are concerned use the pork for your own consumption and buy a new butt for your BBQ. 9.5 lb pork butt @ 3 bucks a pounds is roughly equal to two cases of beer. I'd rather provide cheap beer and quality BBQ than vice/versa. Just my opinion.
post #10 of 10

The "use by" date is different in the UK to the US I think. In the UK the "best before" is the advisory date however "use by" means "use by". Regardless as to whether it is a recommendation or a hard date, it is there for a reason and if you are serving it to anyone other than just yourself, then you should take notice of it.


From a safety perspective, freezing a product effectively pauses the use by date. Once you thaw it out you you have the number of days to use it that were remaining at the point of freezing. It is always important to label food carefully as it goes into the freezer. Providing you froze it before the use by date then you should not have a problem defrosting it and using it immediately.


From a taste/quality perspective, as has been mentioned before, if it has been vac packed then the quality should be fine. If it is in loose packaging then it is likely to have got "frost burn" - dehydration of the outer layers of the meat and the formation of ice crystals.


Personally I don't like to keep meat in the freezer (-22 C ,-8 F) for longer than 6 months however I know that others do. Unless you have had a sudden large glut of meat at one point, keeping it for more than 6 months suggests lack of food rotation in the freezer..

Edited by Wade1 - 8/17/14 at 2:29am
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