Going plastic free is a great aspiration. But there are so many, many challenges along the way. The biggest one I have come up against so far is being able to freeze meat without plastic.
The first step to freezing meat without plastic was to get rid of the single-use plastic – ie the meat trays and double wrapped cling film by using reusable plastic containers. Even ice cream containers work well to freeze meat in.
I have a personal bug bear with cling film, I think it is wasteful and unnecessary in almost every situation.
I particularly get mad at the supermarkets using a double cling film layer over trays of meat, combined with most of them shutting down their butchery counters. This then removes all choice from consumers, it is plastic or nothing, baby.
I haven’t bought cling film for our household’s use in about 3 years, so having it double wrapped over my meat each night has never sat well with me. Buying meat without plastic will be the first challenge to being able to freeze meat without plastic.
What can we use to Freeze Meat without Plastic??
I have hunted high and low for ideas to store meat in the freezer that doesn’t involve plastic. There are very few options.
Mason jars are suggested but they aren’t the most economical use of space plus when you smash one – and you will – you have a freezer full of glass shards and wasted food. So my search continued. And have you tried to fit a large family meal’s worth of meat in a jar? I need bigger jars!
They are the pans used in bain-maries for buffet meals at hotels etc. These pans aren’t cheap, but they should last forever. They are stainless steel so won’t react with your food and they are stack-able. Perfect for the freezer!
Steamer pans come in different sizes based on what portion of a big pan they are – 1/1 being a very big pan, 1/2 being half that, 1/4 a quarter and so on right down to 1/9. They also come in different depths – 65mm, 100mm, 150mm, 200mm etc.
My pans arrived in the post today! YAY! As a starter kit, I bought 5 x 1/4 65mm pans and 5 x 1/4 100mm pans and 10 lids (and rural shipping) for $200.
Which seems like A LOT to pay for storage containers. But considering they should last me a lifetime and you think of all the money you would spend on rubbish disposal over your lifetime if you use several meat trays per week. It has got to add up.
I will keep you posted as to how well they work for us. What do you use to store your meat in the freezer or fridge?
UPDATE: Feb 2017 These pans are great when you can find a butcher that will fill them. I can’t wait to have homekill meat to use in these. I haven’t had any problem with freezer burn or anything. They are really a great solution for freezing meat without plastic.
Usually we only store our meat for a week before using it. For longer storage, I found that covering the top of the meat with baking paper, or pouring water over the top to protect the meat from the air. As it isn’t the cold that causes freezer burn, it is actually the dry air.
Enjoyed this? Read on for more tips for going plastic free.
How do you store your frozen things without plastic? Let me know in the comments below.
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Dana is a homesteading, homeschooling mama to 3, based in the south of New Zealand.
She is a Certified Ketogenic Living Coach, and natural wellness expert, as well as a Registered Nurse, with post grad training in mothers and babies. She has struggled with infertility and PCOS and conceived all 3 babies naturally.
Dana is passionate about natural health and gentle parenting. With a background in well child / baby nursing she loves sharing what she knows with mamas, mamas-to-be and mama-want-to-be’s.
She enjoys getting out in the garden, or just sitting at the beach in the sun. Dana also blogs about fertility and pregnancy at naturalearthymama.com, coaches people through Simplyketogeniclife.com and creates meal plans for earthlarder.com