Meats tend to spoils quickly, due to its moist content (meat juice), especially if kept in a warm environment will simply encourage bacteria to grow. Avoid keeping meat anywhere in room temperature and above. There is a few types of method used to extend its freshness. Just make sure that the meats you purchased are of good quality, fresh and in good condition. (Learn about cooking meat here)
Storing Meat in Refrigerator/Chiller
Generally, temperature which falls to 40 °F or below will slow down the growth of bacteria. Take note, it does not stop the growth of bacterial. In a common household, there will be a mixture of greens, meats, poultry, etc kept in the same fridge. If all are not kept properly, this would lead to cross-contamination. Hence, as a prevention, it is recommended that the meat you purchase from your local butcher, pat dry with paper towel. Use a cling wrap to wrap it up or simply keep in a container before storing in the refrigerator. The method will keep the meat fresh for up to 2 days.
This method would dries the meat of its moist, hence removing the important factor which promote the growth of bacteria and gives an end result of darker color and smoky flavor. Smoked meats keep well up to a week in the fridge and a maximum of 2 months in the freezer.
Traditionally done under the sun during dry season. Meanwhile, some countries did it during winter where it is their driest time of the year. However in the commercial era, it is done with freeze-drying technique. Smoking and curing technique can be combined with drying technique to improve the flavor of the dried meat.
Salting or Curing Meat
The basic method is infusing high concentration of salt are used to salt raw meat to reduce the moisture content through osmosis process and also does improve the meat flavor. This method can be combine with drying or smoking. If the salted or cured meat you purchase are straight off from the farm, do desalt the meat before cooking.
Meats that are processed with radiation to kill pathogenic bacteria on the meat, hence sterilizing the meat. According to the FDA, this method extend the shell life of the meat and all the food eaten by astronauts in space are treated with radiation.
Considered new method of storing meat and with fairly expensive machine. Firstly, the meat are bring down to a 40°F or colder which freeze the meat. Then a strong vacuum is created before the meat is slightly warmed up. So that the ice would vaporized and evaporate into gas state. Then the freeze-dry meat are sealed in a moisture and oxygen proof bag or container. In a typical freeze-dry meat, the water content is lower than 2%. Water are added before serving to regain its freshness.
Wrap your meat well with cling wrap or simply keep in a freezable container to prevent the meat from drying out. This method should be done as quickly as possible to prevent large ice crystals from forming. Thaw your meat as slowly as possible to prevent excessive moisture (meat juice) lost which would affect the flavor and nutritional value of the meat. Thawing in your refrigerator is probably the best way.