As with most meat, the safest way to thaw beef is in the refrigerator. Small cuts of beef can take up to 24 hours, while larger slabs can take a few days. If you’re in a pinch, frozen beef can be thawed in a bowl or container of lukewarm water. Place the bowl or container in the sink and leave under a running faucet. Never allow raw beef to thaw or sit on a counter or cutting board. Since it takes longer to thaw than most meats, it is more susceptible to bacteria growth.
1 of 3
In order to effectively freeze beef, you’ll want to limit its exposure to air. This not only prevents the production of freezer burn, but also extends its shelf life to three months or longer. The best way to package beef is to wrap it tightly in freezer paper or plastic wrap. You should then wrap the meat in a layer of aluminum foil or place it in a plastic bag.
2 of 3
For ground beef, keep refrigerated and use within one to two days. It can stay in its original container if the packaging hasn’t been opened. Steaks follow the same protocol, but can last a bit longer at three to five days. It’s actually best to allow a little airflow with stored meat, as tightly-adhered plastic like Saran wrap can make meat sweat and, as a result, less tender. Meat can be transferred to plastic containers, but should be covered loosely.
Never refrigerate raw meat if it’s been sitting out beyond two hours.
3 of 3
Conversations about the best Philly cheesesteak are second only to politics and religion in their inflammatory potential. Do you like yours with peppers and Cheez Whiz or without? In the case of these cheesesteak potato skins, you’re already breaking the rules, so get as creative as you like.
What to buy: Look for potatoes in 5-pound bags, as they tend to be smaller in size than loose potatoes. Avoid green-spotted or sprouted potatoes—they contain the bitter toxin solanine.
Game plan: Use the leftover scooped potatoes for mashed potato cakes, gnocchi, or potato soup.
This recipe was featured as part of our Make Your Own Loaded Potato Skins project.