How To Meal Prep Beef
Cooking your own meals from scratch is a rewarding, healthy, and above all economical way of eating. However, it can take up a lot of time that you may not have, especially after a long day at work. One way to get around this is in the form of meal prep: preparing ingredients ahead of time so that the actual cooking is far quicker. Alongside prepping vegetables and carbs, you may be interested in finding out how to meal prep beef. If so, read on.
Can You Meal Prep Beef?
Absolutely! Whatever meal you are preparing for, meal prep beef can make the whole cooking time speed up tremendously, and in some cases, recipes even call for prepping the beef far ahead of time in order to add to the flavour.
The other useful aspect of meal prepping beef is that you can prep it to any stage you require. Whether you need to simply cut up your beef raw to make for faster cooking, or if you intend to fully cook the beef through and simply warm it up later, beef is the ideal meat to store for further cooking.
The Benefits of Pre-Cooking Beef
So what are the benefits of doing this? Other than the amount of time it may save you, pre-cooking beef that is about to go past its use-by date can be a good way to give you some extra time. If kept at a low temperature in your fridge, ideally in an airtight container, the beef can remain good for another three to four days past its use-by date.
Additionally, a number of dishes can benefit from pre-cooking your beef. When thinking about the best way how to meal prep beef you may want to add some spices. Whether you choose to do this before or after cooking is up to you, but any spice rub you add to the meat will help lock in the intense flavour for however long you plan to keep your beef ahead of time.
If done correctly, you can easily meal prep five portions of beef on the weekend, which you can then easily store in your fridge for easy dinners after work on weekdays. Not only does this save a lot of time, but it can save a lot of money too – you’re far less likely to indulge in a takeaway if you know you have pre-cooked food waiting for you at home!
What is the Best Way to Meal Prep Beef?
One tip to remember is to always cut against the grain, not with, otherwise the beef can feel very stringy when cooked. This is because cutting with the grain results in long muscle fibres which are not very appetising.
Additionally, whether you are prepping the beef for later cooking or you have already cooked it, it is important to make sure you don’t cut the beef into too small pieces if you intend to leave it for a few days. Simply cutting a steak in half will help preserve the moisture far better, meaning that the food won’t have dried out by the time you actually come to eat it; this may happen in as few as two to three days.
If you are choosing to keep the beef uncooked, this is an easy enough step since you only need to store the meat, as per instructions above, and make sure you cook it before it goes out of date. If, however, you prefer to cook the beef now and store later, it does not matter which way you choose to cook it, as long as you keep it in an appropriate container and at a low temperature before eating. If you reheat the food on eating, make sure you do NOT reheat the meat more than once, as this will cause it to become unsafe.
Other Cooking Options for Beef
There are plenty of ways to cook beef, though frying may be one of the easiest in terms of meal prep. Frying allows you to cook the beef to whatever rarity you prefer, quickly and easily. Frying also allows for faster cooling times, as it is important not to put hot food straight into a container in your fridge.
Depending on the cut of beef you are using, you may prefer an alternative to frying. Using your oven will take longer, but is a healthier option than frying since no oil is used. Cooking your food by oven also gives it a different taste and texture which you may prefer, especially if you want to use your grill for a barbecue taste.
Alternatively, slow-cooking is a method that is becoming more and more popular in 21st-century households. While (as the name suggests) this requires a slow cooker, it is rapidly increasing in popularity due to its ease of use. A slow cooker will allow you to cook a stew or brisket during the day, effectively saving you time since you can come home to some fully cooked meat.
How Long After Cooking Beef is it Safe to Eat?
In terms of quality, the main thing to remember when storing your beef is not to let it dry out by cutting it into too small pieces. In terms of safety, the length on which you can still eat the beef depends entirely on how you store it. Safely stored in an airtight container in your fridge, you can expect the meat to stay good for four to five days.
If you require storing it for longer then freezing is a good option since this effectively means you can store the meat for as long as you want, just be aware that the longer you keep the meat frozen the more likely freezer burn will occur. This happens when the quality of the meat degrades from being frozen for too long as the fibres begin to break down – it is still safe to eat, but won’t taste as good. Luckily, freezer burn shouldn’t occur for a good few months, giving you plenty of time to enjoy your pre-cooked beef.