When you are going to the grocery store, it is impossible not to be overwhelmed by the variety of products you select. One of the popular items that food lovers want to buy is beef.
Interesting is that ground beef is actually the largest single beef product (considering its volume) in most of the food stores worldwide. Although supermarket clients love the variety of products they can find nowadays, sometimes, the multitude of ground beef sorties is confusing.
Furthermore, the meat might look similar, although they are labeled as hamburger meat, ground round, even sirloin or chuck. Moreover, producers claim to offer all-natural, lean, organic, extra-lean, or low-fat ground beef.
So the package is varied, from plastic casseroles of ground beef to frozen, already shaped burgers and ground beef in tubes. Today we will talk about the pros and cons of ground beef in tubes, how much the meat lasts, and the easy steps to notice if the meat is not fresh anymore.
Ground Beef In Tubes – The Proper Choice For Juicy Burgers
To make an amazing, tasty burger, you need to start with the best ground beef. Most of the ground beef you find on the market today, whether you go to the supermarket or neighborhood butcher, promises to be fresh and juicy.
The key to enjoying the best meat for burgers is to find that beef that was ground evenly right in the store or butcher shop, preferable that day. Furthermore, that meat should contain the best ratio of fat to lean.
Ground Beef (1) in tubes labels the lean-to-fat ratio and states the exact percentage of lean and fat right on the package. The consumer’s challenge is knowing which product is the right one to choose for delicious meals.
Ground Beef Packages
Now that we talked about the meat counter in supermarkets and local grocery stores, it is mandatory to have some information about the variety of packaging, ranging from foam trays to vacuum-sealed tubes.
People are more than likely to find multiple types of packaging at the local counter. However, is there any difference between them?
Well, the main contrast stands in the period of validity. So, what to choose? The modified-atmosphere packaging, the chub packaging, or the vacuum-sealed ground beef?
How Long Does Raw Ground Beef Usually Last in the Fridge?
Sorry for giving you bad news, but the usual raw ground beef that is not sealed or vacuum-packed will not last more than two days in the fridge. And that is according to the authority in this domain.
Although you might try to take extra measures, you cannot extend the life and the freshness of meat if you buy it unpacked.
First of all, what truly affects the shelf life of the ground beef is its quality. We refer to the shelf life as the period of time for which people can store different ailments until their quality deteriorates.
So, what you really want to do is buy high-quality ground beef, so you can enjoy the longest shelf life.
You would also want to pay attention to the source of your meat, as well as how you will store it.
I recommend you keep the ground beef in the original packaging as long as you can, store it right on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator, and position the package towards the back.
Ground Beef in Tube – Shelf Life, Pro, and Cons
Ground Beef can be stored in special tubes of different sizes. As such, you will find 1-pound tubes, 2, 5, even 10-pound packages. The tube package can be either clear (transparent) or white and only tie at one end.
The tubes are rolls of ground beef that have been nicely tied at each end, then vacuumed, so there will be no air inside to alter the meat (2).
So, what we do know is that the people who have handled this ground beef in tubes have not touched it, so the risk of bacterial contamination is little.
The meat inside this vacuum package has a purplish-red color, and sometimes you might see little air bubbles at the end, as the vacuum might not be perfect.
Pros Of Ground Beef In Tubes
- It is really economical
- The package is convenient
- The package comes with some cuts on it, so you can divide the ground beef into equal portions, then freeze it
- Tubes with ground beef are excellent for freezing. Since they are airtight (3), the meat will stay safe and fresh
- Tubes come in various sizes (1, 2, 3, 5 lb. or 10 lb)
- Long Shelf Life
- You don’t know how fresh the meat was when vacuumed
Refrigerator Shelf Life
Ground beef in tubes can last up to 21 days, once you are storing it accordingly, in the refrigerator. This beef can stay safely in its package for long days, so don’t hesitate to stick it in the freezer once you want to use it later.
Due to the helpful marks on the package, you can cut the tube into big chubs, then divide them into different portions in zip-lock freezer bags. You will save a lot of money.
The freezer storage for ground beef in tubes can last up to 6 months. Furthermore, you won’t need to re-wrap an already opened tube to freeze it.
How To know If Ground Beef In Tubes Has Spoiled
Nobody wants to cook and eat spoiled meat (4), but sometimes it seems hard to notice if something went wrong.
So it is better to be safe than sorry, so if you are dealing with fresh meat, unpacked one, the rule is simple: two days until the meat is not proper to consume.
Another good test is the old “sniff and sight” method. As such, it will be easy to notice if the ground beef is going bad only by smelling it. If you notice any sour smell or brownish-gray color, throw away that meat. Also, if it has a slimy texture, please do not consume it.
Ground Beef in tubes will usually last longer than other packages due to the vacuum-sealing technology.
Whether you will consume the meat in 20 days or decide to freeze it, these tubes will keep your favorite meat all fresh longer. They are economical and versatile in your cooking recipes.