It’s important to eat good quantities of poultry, red meat, seafood, and shellfish to keep our body healthy and fit. Most people prefer to buy animal protein sources in bulk and use it throughout the week while some buy fresh stock every week. Raw meat spoils faster than spiced up meat products. So, meal prepping meat and seafood can help in extending its freshness and shelf-life.
Temperature plays a key role in determining the longevity of fresh-cut meat and seafood. They stay fresh for longer in chill winter climate compared to the hot summers. The most common problem of storing meat in the refrigerator is the rapid growth of bacteria and other microbes. It induces spoilage and unpleasant smell in the meat.
If you have been wondering how long you can store boneless chicken, steak, rib eye, fish fillet, and prawns, we’ve got you covered with the best storage practices. Here are the rules to follow to meal prep meat and seafood for a week.
Best Practices to Store Meat and Seafood
Chicken Meal Prep: Chicken is an excellent source of protein, tryptophan, vitamin B12, choline, phosphorus, and calcium. It is best to include chicken in your regular diet to keep your bones, muscle, heart, and immunity functions healthy.
- Store raw chicken breasts, thighs, and legs in the packaged boxes to keep its freshness. You can place them in the freezer and thaw the required amount at the time of use. Don’t refreeze thawed chicken.
- For curries, gravies, and stir-fries, you can remove the chicken from the packaging and wash them. Marinate the chicken pieces with turmeric, salt, pepper, chili powder, and coconut oil. Keep them in air-tight glass containers in the fridge. This can stay good for 2-days.
- If you want to keep the marinated chicken for a week, separate them into 2-3 portions and place them in glass containers. Take a box of chicken from the freezer to use. Don’t refreeze the chicken.
Meat Meal Prep: Red meat includes a variety of animal protein sources such as beef, mutton, pork, and lamb. These are superb sources of iron, zinc, B vitamins, and selenium. It is best to eat red meat in limited portions to keep cholesterol levels in check.
- Store minced beef, pork, and lamb in the packaged boxes for long-term storage. You can place them in the freezer and thaw as required.
- Take the required amount of mutton, pork, or beef and wash them. Rub the meat with salt, turmeric, coconut oil, and pepper and store it in glass containers. This can stay good for 3 days in the fridge and 7 days in the freezer.
- You can store boiled red meat for a day in the fridge. Don’t store cooked meats for longer than a day as it can spoil faster.
Fish Meal Prep: Fish is the best source of animal protein as it provides many benefits to the human body. Sardines, anchovies, and mackerels are rich in omega-3-fatty acids that decrease the risk of heart attack, stroke, obesity, and hypertension. Salmon, tuna, trout, halibut, and cod are rich in vitamins, potassium, selenium, and amino acids. It is best to consume two portions of fish every week for improved benefits.
- Remove fish fillets from the package and wash them. Pat dry and rub your desired spices such as lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Adding lemon juice to the fish makes it stay good for a week.
- Keep portions of marinated fish fillets in glass containers and store them in the freezer. Thaw the required portions and fry them or add them in gravies.
Shellfish Meal Prep: Prawns, lobsters, shrimps, crabs, scallops, mussels, and oysters are meats with a delicate texture and sweet taste. They are minimal in fat, low in calories, and the best sources of dietary proteins. Vitamin B12, zinc, calcium, Vitamin B6, Vitamin B3, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and omega-3-fatty acids are present in the shellfish.
- Since they are soft and juicy meats, it is best to eat them fresh with minimal cooking and spices.
- These stay good after cooking than in the raw form. Peel the shells and marinate the raw meat with coconut oil, salt, and turmeric and steam them for few mins. Pat dry and store in a zip-lock bag.
- Unpeeled shellfish can stay in the freezer for a maximum of 3 days. Warning: They can cause a stinky smell.
- Cooked shellfish can stay good in the freezer for 3-7 days.
Include meat and seafood in the regular diet as they are rich in nutrients. Buying meat and seafood at one-go is best for meal prepping for the week. You can choose alternate meats and fishes to enjoy every other week. It saves money, time, and energy.