Continue reading to learn some helpful tips for keeping your fresh lamb meat as fresh as possible!
Storing Lamb in the Refrigerator
When you buy your lamb and bring it home, you want to immediately store it in the freezer if you are not preparing it within a few days. If you are going to cook your lamb within a few days, you can store it in the refrigerator. Cuts such as stew meat and ground lamb should not be stored for longer than 2 days in the refrigerator. Cuts like chops and roasts can be stored for 3 to 4 days. If you are going to put your lamb meat in the refrigerator, temperatures should be below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. The recommended temperature is between 35 and 37 degrees Fahrenheit.
Storing Lamb in the Freezer
If you are storing your lamb meat in the freezer, be sure temperatures are below 2 degrees Fahrenheit. When it comes to freezer storage, it is important to use your lamb meat within 5 months. It is also helpful to wrap it in plastic, either with plastic wrap or a zip freezer bag, if you plan on storing it for this long. This will help retain the freshness and flavor of the meat. Just be sure the bag is airtight for best results.
Thawing Lamb Meat
There are 3 primary ways to thaw lamb meat. The method you choose all depends on your personal preferences and your available resources. The first method of thawing uses the refrigerator. This is probably the most common method of thawing meat, namely because it protects the flavor and structural integrity of the meat the best. To use the refrigerator to thaw lamb meat, simply place it on a plate and leave it in the fridge for 24 hours. If it is not completely thawed by the time you need to cook it, place it under the sink faucet and very gently trickle cold water over it for 15 minutes or so.
This brings us to the second method of thawing lamb meat, which is using cold water. Leave the lamb meat in it packaging if it is waterproof; if not, put it in a plastic zip bag, and then place it under the faucet. Fill the sink with cold water and put in the drain stopper, then submerge the lamb into the water. Let it sit like this for several hours, changing the water every 30 minutes or so. Once it is thawed to room temperature, you must cook it immediately.
You can also thaw lamb meat in the microwave. If you do, however, you must cook the lamb immediately. You cannot refreeze it or put it back into the fridge. This would reduce the quality of the meat. All microwaves are different, so you would need to refer to your owners’ manual for defrosting instructions. Just be sure that you are not cooking the lamb meat.
Note: To get the best cuts of lamb, look for soft pink-to-red centers and delicate white marbling throughout.