How to freeze and defrost meat

frozen beef joint covered in ice crystals

Most households have freezers these days. They’re a convenient way of keeping a ready supply of different meats, and they mean that you can benefit from the cost savings of buying in bulk. When you freeze and defrost meat, it’s important to follow some tried and tested procedures. That way, you will keep your meat in peak condition and, more importantly, minimise any risk to health.

Does freezing meat reduce the quality?

Freezing for a limited period does not impact negatively on the quality of fresh meat. It simply puts the brakes on the bacterial activity that occurs when meat is left at room temperature. If you freeze meat quickly and defrost correctly, it will turn out just as good as if it were fresh.

Why freeze on day of purchase?

The packaging on meat normally advises you that if freezing, you should do so on the day of purchase. This is to maintain quality, which gradually diminishes the longer the meat is left uncooked. Whilst it is entirely feasible that meat can be frozen right up until the use by date, it is not recommended.

How to prepare meat for the freezer.

It is best to portion up meat before freezing. Otherwise, you could end up having to defrost four sirloin steaks when you only need two. It’s worth asking your friendly butcher if they will provide this service for you.

The portions should then be vacuum packed. The butcher can usually do this or, if you prefer to do it yourself, there are many inexpensive vacuum packing machines on the market. Alternatively, pack meat in resealable bags, squeezing out as much air as you can. Failing that, tightly wrap in food wrap.

What can I do about freezer burn?

Although freezer burn doesn’t look attractive, it’s harmless and is merely the result of meat being exposed to the air. This results in dehydration and oxidation. If you find it too unsightly, simply trim it off. To avoid the problem in future, ensure that all meat is tightly wrapped. Ask your butcher if they offer a vacuum packing service or buy yourself a domestic vacuum packing machine.

Why shouldn’t I freeze meat twice?

Maybe you defrosted some meat intending to cook it but had a change of plans. Maybe there was a power cut and the contents of the freezer thawed out. Whatever the reason, freezing that meat again could prove harmful to your health. When you freeze meat, you make the bacteria dormant, but you don’t kill them. So, when you defrost meat, you reactivate the bacteria. Done properly, this is completely harmless, but the bacteria could grow. This means that if you refreeze the meat, you are also freezing a greater population of bacteria.

What is the proper way to defrost meat?

Ideally meat should always be defrosted in the fridge, and the temperature of the fridge should be around 5 degrees centigrade. In most cases, 24 hours should be enough time, but it depends on the amount of meat. It is best to allow a typical joint of one to four kilos about two days. Anything bigger will need nearer four.

If you use the defrost function on your microwave, please follow the manufacturer’s instructions closely, and once defrosted, cook the meat immediately.

How long can I keep defrosted meat in the fridge?

Once fully defrosted, meat should be kept no longer than 24 hours.

How long can I keep meat frozen?

As long as your freezer temperature is set at minus 18 degrees centigrade, meat should keep for a long time. However, to ensure optimum quality, it is best consumed within three months of freezing.

Is it safe to freeze cooked meat?

It is perfectly safe to freeze and defrost meat that has been cooked. Just ensure that the meat is completely cool before transferring to a resealable bag or plastic container. Once defrosted, consume withing 24 hours.

Meat packs at Traymoor

At Traymoor, we supply a range of meat packs to suit different tastes and budgets. They are renowned for their quality and value, and offer exceptional variety including chicken breasts, sausages, steaks, pork chops, diced meats, lamb steaks, and more.

For steak fans, we offer a sizzling steak lovers pack filled with sirloin steaks, fillet steaks, ribeye steaks, rump steaks and T-bone steaks.

Alternatively, take a look at our wide selection of restaurant-quality meats and choose exactly the items you want. Once we receive your order, our master butchers will get to work, and your meat will be delivered next day (not Sunday) in one of our refrigerated vehicles. We deliver across Essex, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, and London (North & East).

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How to marinate meat and why

Raw steak with rosemary, salt, and peppercorns

Why would you marinate meat when, for many, good meat, simply grilled or roasted, is something akin to perfection? Unadorned by additional flavours, the pure taste of the meat is the star of the show. So, why would anyone want to invite a marinade to the party?

Marinate for tenderness

Certain cuts like fillet steak don’t need marinating. They are perfectly tender and need little more than a quick sizzle in the frying pan. But if you like the more robust flavour of, for example, a ribeye steak, you may find that your appreciation increases when you tenderise it. Marinating a steak for tenderness means soaking it in an acidic liquid such as lemon juice, wine, or vinegar. You leave it for a minimum of 2 hours, but no more than 24. The acid breaks down the tougher proteins making the meat incredibly succulent.

Marinate for flavour

Besides the acid, it’s a good idea to use your marinade to add complexity of flavour. Garlic and rosemary are strong allies to steak. If you like olive oil, it goes great a steak marinade. A pinch of salt will enhance the flavour, and a teaspoon of Dijon mustard will give another punch.

Marinade recipe

There’s no great secret to the perfect marinade. Play around with ingredients until you find something you really love. A bit of sugar helps make a great crust. Soy sauce, papaya, Worcestershire sauce, honey, paprika, and too many other ingredients to mention are all worth consideration. To get you started, we provide an example of a marinade below.


  • 250 ml red wine
  • 150 ml olive oil
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 5 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
  • Half a red onion (chopped)
  • 2 tsp dried rosemary
  • 2 steaks (ribeye, rump, or sirloin will work well)



  1. Combine all ingredients apart from the steaks in a jug or bowl.
  2. Place steaks in a resealable plastic bag and pour in the marinade.
  3. Squeeze the air of the bag and seal.
  4. Massage the steaks to ensure they are covered in the marinade.
  5. Marinate meat for around eight hours in the refrigerator.
  6. Remove steaks from bag and cook as desired.


Bonus tip: Once steaks are cooked, remove from the pan and while they rest, add a glass of red wine to the pan and deglaze to make a delicious sauce to pour over the steaks.

Yoghurt marinade

Traditional marinades as described above can be a little harsh on certain meats like chicken and lamb, and can actually make the meat rubbery. That’s where plain natural yoghurt comes in. Yoghurt tenderises meat in a different way, and is perfect for grilled chicken or lamb. Simply add the flavours you want. Garlic, cumin, paprika, and lemongrass all work well. Marinate the meat in the yoghurt for around 12 hours, and cook as normal. The yoghurt will form a crisp and tasty crust.

Tell us about your marinade

Do you have a favourite marinade or method of marinating meat? We’d love to hear from you. Are there any cooking tips, recipes, or articles you’d like us to publish? You can leave your feedback on Facebook, Instagram or via email.

Traymoor, your online butcher

Through our online butcher’s shop, Traymoor delivers restaurant-quality meat across Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Hertfordshire, and London (North & East).  We offer everything from roasting joints to steaks, chickens, speciality sausages, lamb chops, burgers, stewing steak and more. For great value, take a look at our excellent meat packs.

Traymoor sources only the highest quality produce from approved suppliers with full product traceability. For that reason, we are proud members of the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society and the Scotch Beef Club.

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How to cook different cuts of beef

Diagram of cuts of beef

If you’re a beef lover, it’s quite possible that you find yourself wondering about all the different cuts of beef. Why can one kind of steak be cut like butter while another takes some chewing? How does a beef casserole can end up like soup when cooked for too long?

Knowing the right way to cook the various cuts of beef will ensure that you always select the right product for your needs, and apply the correct cooking method.


Located in the vicinity of the shoulders, the chuck is a hard-working part of the animal and contains quite a bit of collagen and connective tissue. Although this makes it tough, chuck (otherwise known as braising steak) has great flavour and is significantly cheaper than many other cuts.

How to cook chuck

Slow cooking is key with chuck. This will give all that connective tissue time to break down. Consider using chuck for casseroles and steak pie fillings.



Fillet is a high-end cut for good reason. Because of its location in the animal’s back, it does very little work. It is, therefore, very tender.

How to cook fillet

There is very little fat in beef fillet so a fillet steak should be cooked quickly over a high heat to retain juiciness. Larger pieces of beef fillet can withstand longer cooking times so it is commonly used in beef Wellington.


Ribeye steak

Popular among steak lovers seeking a good balance of flavour and tenderness, the ribeye steak comes from the area above the ribs, and can easily be identified by the “eye” of fat in the centre.

How to cook ribeye steak

A ribeye steak is usually best cooked to medium. Whilst this may seem unorthodox to steak aficionados, the extra time is recommended to allow the high quantity of fat time to render.



Popular for its abundant flavour, rump is less tender than the more prime cuts of beef. As the name suggests, it comes from the rear end of the animal and does a lot of work.

How to cook rump

Rare rump steak is not recommended as it can be a bit tough. It’s best to go for medium or medium-rare. Ideally, give it a few minutes each side in a hot frying pan, and then transfer to the oven for about ten minutes.



It’s no surprise that the leg is one of the hardest working parts of the animal, with the result that any meat on it is going to be particularly tough. This makes it an economical cut but one that doesn’t hold back on flavour.

How to cook shin

Shin should be braised slowly so that the connective tissue breaks down to the point that the meat just falls apart.



The silverside is a very lean cut that comes from just above the hind leg. As it is inexpensive, it is a good option for a family roast.

How to cook silverside

Silverside has very little fat so, if roasting, it should be rubbed liberally with oil or butter and roasted while partly submerged in liquid. It should then be basted frequently throughout the cooking time.



A close relative of silverside, topside also comes from the hind leg. Otherwise known as ‘poor man’s sirloin’, topside is a great value roasting joint that is particularly delicious.

How to cook topside

Topside is usually roasted in one piece. It doesn’t require a long cooking time and, even served rare, it remains tender. It is well-known for being easy to carve into thin slices, so leftovers can be used in sandwiches.



Coming from the breast of the animal, the brisket also has to do a lot of work and, as a result, is known to be tough. Nevertheless, because of its intense beefy flavour, it is a favourite of many beef lovers.

How to cook brisket

Brisket could be considered the beefy version of pulled pork. Marinated and cooked for several hours in the oven on a low heat, brisket falls apart ready for filling baps and baguettes.


Sirloin steak

The sirloin is located between the fillet and the rib, and as such strikes a good balance between tenderness and taste.

How to cook sirloin steak

Sirloin steak is at its best cooked medium-rare. This allows the fat to render down into the meat and increase tenderness.


T-bone steak

A T-bone steak is like two steaks in one. On one side of the bone you have a piece of fillet steak, and on the other you have sirloin. So, you get a tantalising variety of textures and flavours.

How to cook a T-bone steak

Ideally, a T-bone steak should be cooked in a hot frying pan for 3 to 4 minutes each side. This will give you a delicious crust on the outside while keeping the meat pink and juicy on the inside.


Restaurant quality meat from Traymoor

At Traymoor, we are experts not only in the different cuts of beef, but in all kinds of meats. If you need advice or cooking tips, please contact us. We’d be delighted to help.

Traymoor delivers an incredible selection of restaurant quality meats all over Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and London (North & East). Our range includes 21-day aged steaks, roasting joints, speciality sausages, chickens, lamb steaks, burgers, and kebabs.

We also offer a wide variety of great value meat packs. Available in a range of sizes and prices, these meat packs are filled with an assortment of household essentials including minced beef, chicken breast fillets, pork chops, sausages, and bacon. In addition, our incredible steak lovers pack is filled with sirloin steak, ribeye steak, rump steak, fillet steak, and T-bone steak.

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Why is mature beef better than fresh?

mature beef

If you go to any quality butcher or restaurant, it is fairly common to see steaks described as “well-hung”, “mature”, or something similar. In fact, we are proud to state that our steaks are aged for 21 days. You may have wondered why mature beef is considered a mark of quality. Surely fresh beef is better. Well, no! And here’s why.

Ageing is a tried and tested way of enhancing the flavour and texture of beef. The process works thanks to the presence of enzymes that break down muscle tissue. Certain cuts of beef can be tougher than others, and this is often due to those parts of the animal working harder. The ageing process gives those muscles time to naturally tenderise.

As you would expect, much of the water in the meat evaporates during the ageing period. This concentrates the flavour so that you end up with a far tastier steak.

Of course, it’s also important to follow the correct cooking method depending on the cut you’ve selected.


Can’t I just buy fresh beef and age it myself?

You can, but ageing meat doesn’t simply mean hanging it up in your airing cupboard or leaving it lying in the fridge for a month! The maturation process has to take place in specific conditions. Factors such as temperature and humidity need to be taken into account. Otherwise, rather than mature, the meat will simply rot.


If it’s mature, why does it still look so pink and fresh?

When you expose raw meat to the air, you would expect it to dry out and its appearance to change, at least on the surface. You’re right, and that’s where your friendly master butcher comes in. A good butcher will trim the edges perfectly and leave you with a steak that looks like a masterpiece and tastes sensational.


Is mature beef more expensive?

It costs money to maintain the carefully controlled environment in which we age our beef. The process means that there is less water than in fresh meat, and there is a certain amount of waste involved in trimming. Certain suppliers reduce the ageing time or don’t mature their beef at all in order to save money. The result is an inferior product and disappointed customers.

If you want to be sure of a steak you will enjoy, go for mature.


21-day-aged steaks at Traymoor

 As members of the Scotch Beef Club and the Aberdeen Angus Cattle Society Traymoor is proud to offer 21-day-aged steaks including fillet steak, ribeye steak, rump steak, sirloin steak, and T-bone steak. Our high-quality meat includes Hereford beef and Angus beef.  Furthermore, we offer next-day home delivery to Suffolk, Essex, Hertfordshire, Cambridgeshire, and London.

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4 Good Reasons for Eating Beef – Apart from the obvious!

good reasons for eating beef - steak with asparagus and potatoes

If you’re a beef lover, there’s a good chance that one of your good reasons for eating it is the taste. Whether you enjoy a succulent fillet steak, a joint of roasted topside, or even some great value steak mince, beef is versatile, and delicious enough to cook simply with minimal fuss.

But there’s more to beef than just a great tasting meal. Beef and other red meats such as lamb or pork have some important health benefits.

Protein builds muscle and helps the body repair itself

Your body uses amino acids to build muscle and repair tissue, and the protein in red meat is a good source of this. Protein is also important for the prevention of illness as it aids the production of a variety of hormones and enzymes.

So, whether you’re a body builder and actively seeking to build muscle, or even if you just want to ensure that you’re giving your body the tools it needs to repair itself, eating beef is a good way of getting that protein.

Iron promotes red blood cell production and boosts immunity

Ingesting iron regularly will keep your body producing red blood cells, and keep you healthy. Although iron is available from a variety of sources, the body absorbs it particularly well when it comes from meat.

Your red blood cells undertake the important function of carrying oxygen to all parts of your body. A lack of red blood cells, otherwise known as anaemia, leaves you susceptible to a wide range of illnesses.

Zinc is necessary for physical development and a healthy metabolism

Since our bodies don’t store zinc, we have to ensure that we get a regular dose of it through our diet, and beef is good for this.

While zinc is important for the body’s development from infancy into adulthood, it also supports the immune system and metabolism.

B vitamins keep your body working properly

B vitamins promote various functions of the body. B12 is great for the nervous system, while B6 promotes a healthy immune system. B3 (niacin) gives the digestive system a helping hand, and B2 (riboflavin) promote healthy skin, hair, and nails, and also helps prevent certain eye conditions.

Enjoy as part of a balanced diet

Whatever your good reasons for eating beef, a healthy, balanced diet means getting other essential nutrients from fruit and vegetables too. So, whether you’re roasting a joint, sizzling a steak, or cooking up a storm at the barbecue, get a decent portion of tasty fresh vegetables on your plate along with the meat.

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How to barbecue meat to perfection

Selection of meats and vegetables cooking on barbecue grill

Summer is the time to get out into the garden and enjoy a barbecue with family and friends. To help you make the most of this barbecue season, we’ve put together some tips on how to barbecue meat to perfection, and secure your position as the star of the grill.

Follow our barbecue guidelines for an al fresco dinner that won’t fail to impress.

Prepare and preheat your barbecue grill
If you didn’t clean the barbecue after you last used it, you should do so now. No one really wants a succulent fillet steak contaminated by old burnt bits of food.

An electric or gas barbecue will take around 10 or 20 minutes to get up to cooking temperature. On the other hand, if you’re using charcoal, allow about 45 minutes from ignition. You want the flames to have died down and the charcoal should be covered in an even layer of ash.

About 20 minutes before you’re ready to cook, remove the meat from the refrigerator. This will give it plenty of time to reach room temperature. You really want to avoid barbecuing meat straight from the fridge. If you’re using a marinade and haven’t already applied it, now is the time to do so.

It is advisable to brush meat with oil as this will help with cooking and will stop it from sticking to the grill. Use an oil with a high smoke point such as peanut oil or vegetable oil.

Lay the meat on the barbecue and cook gently until brown. You should only need to turn it once.

If possible, cover the barbecue during cooking. Food cooks more evenly this way and you will end up with a more authentic barbecue flavour and less possibility of flare-ups. In addition, it is a more efficient way of cooking larger items such as whole chickens and meat joints.

Be vigilant
Flames jumping up and licking at your steaks and burgers may look tantalising but it is best avoided. If anything looks in danger of burning, remove it from the grill or place it on a higher shelf.

Most meats, whether steaks, burgers, chicken, sausages and so on, benefit from a short resting period prior to being served. It gives the meat time to relax, making it juicier and more tender. So, having removed the meat from the barbecue, transfer to a plate and serve after ten minutes or so.

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How to cook the perfect steak

Two sirloin steaks in frying pan with rosemary sprigs

Whether you prefer a luscious, melt-in-the mouth fillet steak, or are more partial to the fuller-flavoured sirloin or ribeye, you need to know how to cook the perfect steak.

The method is simple, but with only a few minutes leeway between rare and well-done, perfect timing and constant attention are critical. Follow our advice to ensure that your steaks have all the hallmarks of a top-quality restaurant.


Step 1
You want your steak to be at room temperature. So, if it has been in the fridge, remove it about twenty minutes before you’re ready to start cooking.

Step 2
Season the steak with salt up to two hours before cooking, then with pepper just before putting it on the heat.

Step 3
Heat a heavy-based frying pan until very hot but not smoking. To test the heat, sprinkle cold water with your fingers into the heated pan. If the droplets dance about, the temperature is about right.

Step 4
Drizzle some oil into the pan and leave for a moment.

Step 5
Add the steak, a knob of butter, some garlic and robust herbs, if you want.

Step 6
Sear evenly on each side for our recommended cooking time, turning every minute for the best caramelised crust.

Step 7
Leave to rest on a board or warm plate for about 5 mins. This will make the meat juicier.

Step 8
Serve the steak whole or carved into slices with the resting juices poured over.

Step 9

Recommended cooking times

Medium rare
Fillet steak (3.5 cm thick)


1 ½ mins each side 2 ¼ mins each side 3 ¼ mins each side 4 ½ mins each side 6 mins each side
Sirloin steak and ribeye steak (2 cm thick)
1 min each side 1 ½ mins each side 2 mins each side 2 ¼ mins each side 4 mins each side


Steak is more than just a delicious meal. It offers several health benefits too. Now that you know how to cook the perfect steak, take a look at all the other fresh meat we have available for home-delivery.

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