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How to best store meat

So you have bought all this meat on sale at your local butcher. The next thing is to store it properly. You might be stocking up the freezer at home or maybe going camping. Click here for some great camping spots.

Storing meat to go camping

Our butchers suggest to vacuum your meat (at Sunnyside we can do this for you) then depending on how long your trip will be, freeze, (leave some fresh for the first couple of days meals) and put in the esky as the meat will slowly thaw over time.  

The bags are sealed tight so no air or moisture can spoil the meat while in the esky on ice. Providing the meat is kept cold and the bags don’t lose the air tight seal it should last up to 4 weeks. 

When using our online meat delivery service just comment what products you would like vacuum packed.

Storing meat at home

At home, storing meat in the fridge it is very important the temperature of the meat stays below 5oC.

A good idea is to put a container of water in the fridge, let it chill overnight and then test with a thermometer to get the correct temperature. This should be under 5oC but not less than 0oC.

In the summer time in this area, Murwillumbah, Tweed Heads, Tweed Coast, Tyalgum and other surrounding areas, temperatures can get up to 40oC, so transporting meat home and keeping it at right temperature can be difficult.

We suggest that you keep an esky with some ice blocks inside or even a cooler bag as this will help the meat to last longer in the fridge at home. Another option is to use our online meat delivery service which provides you with a fully refrigerated truck to your door and ready to go straight in the fridge.

When you are storing meat in the fridge always store in the coldest part and away from cooked or ready to eat meats to prevent cross contamination.

We recommend you take the meat out of the plastic bag (if not cooking the same day) as the meat will sweat, instead place in a plastic container which will allow air flow or on a tray lightly covered with plastic wrap.

Here is our time guideline to storing meat in the fridge.

Beef, Pork, Veal, Chicken, Lamb

  • Sausages 2-3 days
  • Mince 2 days
  • Diced/Stripped meat 2 days
  • Steaks/Chops 2/3 days
  • Roasts 3/4 days
  • Chicken cuts 2/3 days
  • Corned Meats 1 week longer if vacuum packed
  • Vacuum packed meats 4-6 weeks if seal is still good

Storing meat in the freezer

Storing meat in the freezer is great if you have the space and if the meat is on sale (you can buy more and usually save $ for buying in bulk).

Once again transporting is a vital part as well as the temperature of your freezer.

This should be 18-20oC no more as the colder the meat gets the more chances it will get freezer burn. (When this happens the meat will go a brown white colour.) the meat will be okay , just trim this off before cooking.

The best way to pack the meat for freezing is to make sure the packaging is air tight by pressing it against the meat not leaving any air pockets, then add some alfoil or another freezer bag for extra protection.

Alternatively, get the meat vacuum packed from the butcher which will save you time and money. When in the freezer, if you have put a large amount in the freeze, leave overnight, then rotate so the meat in the middle of the will get a chance to freeze also, which will extend the storage life.

Always label with the date packed when put in the freezer. Just be wary of any spoiled meats before freezing as this can still make you ill when cooked later on.

Meat that is raw can be thawed and refrozen if done in the correct timeline. Depending on how long it has been in the freezer 1-3 days will be fine.

Here is our time guideline to storing meat in the freezer.

Beef, Pork, Veal, Lamb

  • Roasts 4-12 months
  • Steaks 6-12 months
  • Chops 4-6 months


  • Whole 1 year
  • Pieces 6-9 months

Deli Meats

  • Bacon 2-3 months
  • Fully cooked meats (Ham, Silverside, Roast Beef or Pork) 1 month

We are available any time for questions so feel free to contact us.