Whats the oldes meat you have thrown on the smoker?

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Meat Mopper
Original poster
SMF Premier Member
Sep 27, 2012
Princeton, MN
This afternoon I was digging through the freezer and found some pork spare ribs that are a few years old> I decided to throw them on the smoker with low expectations. they were cryovaced, but smelled a bit freezer burned. I did notice the price was one third of what I saw them for at the store today.
cleaning out the freezer and found a brisket flat and a small pork loin both were 2+ years old. Thawed them out, seasoned them and then on the smoker.
Could not tell the difference or the age in either one But I don't think I will let that happen again.
some pork spare ribs that are a few years old

I'd smoke and eat it too. Especially if the original cryovac plastic is still intact it should be good 3-4 years? Now if it were in a different butcher wrap packaging, I may draw the line sooner- 2 years tops probably.
I use a freezer that's NOT frost free. I would have no problems eating meat from it that's 5+ years old as long as it's wrapped well, but meat doesn't last that long around here...
I recently did some heat heat ribs that where who knows how old and turned out really good. I finally started putting dates on everything couple years ago. Only thing old that tasted bad was hamburger.
Hamburger doesn't last long before it gets burned, have eaten 3-4 year old deer I cut and vaced sealed . And a chest freezer is the best way to keep stuff the longest .
The better the seal the better. But even with just grocery outlet packaging, I've cooked and eaten 2yo frozen pork, beef, and chicken. But who's kidding who? The stuff smelled fine (no spoilage per se) but the flavor was certainly compromised...smoke and sauce can only do so much! I might have gotten a good price on it at the time, but by the time I ate it, it was no bargain.

I've also found decade-old sneakers in the closet and started wearing them. Alas they wear out prematurely, typically from the glue giving out between sole and upper. Again, if my thinking at the time was "this is too good a deal to pass up--I'll stockpile them for the future", then that was just "too expensive bargain".

So don't buy more than you can use in a reasonable time, label things with easy-to-see dates, and keep track of things. Freezers and closets have a way of hiding things away from you if you're not vigilant.
I have eaten mea 2-3 years old that was vac packed & frozen. I have to say they were not quite as good as when they were fresh, but they were still good!
I eat Elk, Deer, Wild Hogs, Sage Grouse, Ducks and Geese that are up to 3 years old that were just wrapped in white butcher paper out of my deep freezer. I do freeze them then glaze them with salt water a few times so they are nice and sealed before I wrap them in the butcher paper. You can't tell the difference between fresh frozen and long term frozen done my way, I learned the ice glazing from an old Dego Butcher that lived across the street from me for years. Try it, it's better than anything that I have ever tried, including vacuum sealing.
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