How long can meat be stored in the refrigerator: chilled, boiled, marinated, raw, defrosted, stewed, cooked, jellied, baked, smoked, pork, beef, poultry, rabbit, minced meat, offal

What kind of meat can be stored

There are as many types of meat products as there are animals, but in everyday life we ​​most often use:

  • pork;
  • beef;
  • lamb;
  • a rabbit;
  • nutria;
  • poultry: chicken, goose and duck.

Meat products also include offal: liver, heart, tongue and others. How to properly store smoked meat at home directly depends on its type and smoking method. There are three options:

  • hot processing;
  • cold processing;
  • semi-hot processing.

You can store smoked ham or other product after cold processing for the longest time. For hot smoked products, shorter periods are allowed, since they contain a large amount of liquid, which is a breeding ground for bacteria.

Storage of cold smoked lard

Cold smoking is a long process, especially at home. For some products it lasts up to two weeks. Smoking occurs due to cold smoke, temperature 25-30⁰С. It is enough for lard to be smoked for 24-48 hours. But such a product can be stored for up to 3 years.

The easiest way to store it is in the refrigerator. Simply wrap the pieces of bacon in thick paper and it will remain fresh for a year.

A closet, pantry or attic is ideal for storing smoked meats. The room should be dark, dry, cool, with strong ventilation. Lard must be placed in fabric (preferably cotton or linen) bags and hung on hooks.

Storing smoked meat in the refrigerator

You can store food in the refrigerator at different temperatures, which determine the timing. According to existing technologies, it is customary to distinguish three regulations for short storage without deep temperature treatment:

  • at temperatures from +5 to +7 degrees C, you can keep meat products fresh for up to 12 hours;
  • at temperatures from 0 to +5 degrees C - during the day;
  • at temperatures from -3 to 0 degrees C - for 2 days.

This way you can store smoked meat in the refrigerator; offal is stored for several hours less.

Packaging, labeling, storage of smoked meats

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Smoked products are marked by stamping them or sticking a label on them. Thus, on hams, rolls and raw smoked products (except for necks and fillets), the name of the manufacturer, the name of the product and the date of its production are indicated on the skin in the form of a mark applied with a hot stamp or paint. Instead of a brand, a tag with the same marking is hung on the product.

Baked products, ham and beef in a mold, as well as rolls, which were formed and cooked in a mold, are wrapped in parchment, cellophane or other transparent films with a label attached to them.


Smoked meat products are packaged in clean, dry, mold-free and odor-free wooden or plywood boxes with a capacity of no more than 20-40 kg. Products do not need to be packaged if transportation is carried out by transport equipped with hanging hooks and racks.

To ship over long distances, raw smoked products are packaged in barrels, followed by filling the smoked products with melted pork or beef fat.

Each box is marked with indelible paint: the name of the manufacturer, its departmental subordination, the name of the product, the net and container weight, the serial number of the place in the batch, the number of the MRTU or GOST.

A label indicating the name of the manufacturer, the name of the product, net weight, date of manufacture, date of packaging, and the names of the craftsman and packer is placed in each unit of container.

Conditions and terms of smoked meats

Smoked meat products are stored in a suspended state, while boiled, smoked and cooked products should not come into contact with each other. Baked (fried) smoked meats are placed on racks.

In a store where there are refrigeration units, at temperatures from 0 to 4 ° C, the shelf life of smoked meat products is as follows: boiled, baked and fried - 72 hours, smoked-cooked - 10 days, raw smoked - 30 days. With natural cooling and in glaciers at a temperature not higher than 8°C, the shelf life of these products is 24 hours, 3 days and 10 days, respectively.

Long-term storage in refrigerators at temperatures from -7 to -9°C and a relative air humidity of 85-90% is possible only for raw smoked products, which under these conditions can be stored up to 6 (loin, brisket, Moscow and Tambov hams) - 12 (bacon, neck, fillet, ham Soviet and Siberian) months.

2 Practical Part

2.1Examination of the quality of smoked meats

In terms of organoleptic and physico-chemical indicators, pork products must meet the requirements in accordance with GOST R 54043 - 2010 indicated in Table 1

Table No. 1

Indicator nameCharacteristics and significance of indicators for pork products
“Pork balyk in casing”"Shchekovina"
AppearanceLoaves with a clean, dry surface, without damage to the shellThe surface is clean, dry, skinned, without snatches of meat and fat, without fringes and stubble residues, the edges are evenly trimmed
FormSlightly curved loavesFreeform, flat
Color section viewThe muscle tissue is pale pink in color, without gray spots, the color of the fat is white or with a pink tint, with a subcutaneous fat thickness of no more than 0.5 cm when cut directly.Uniformly colored muscle tissue is pink-red, without gray spots, the color of fat is white or with a pink tint.
Smell and tasteCharacteristic for this type of product, without foreign tastes and smells with a smoky aroma

Test sample

Characteristics and significance of indicators for pork products
“Pork balyk in casing”Corrpacho (smoked)
AppearanceLoaves with a clean, dry surface, without damage to the shellLooks like a clipping, surface without damage
FormSlightly curved loavesloaf
Color section viewThe muscle tissue is pale pink in color, without gray spots, the color of the fat is white or with a pink tint, with a subcutaneous fat thickness of no more than 0.5 cm when cut directly.The muscle tissue on the cut is dark pink with the addition of spices and seasonings inside
Smell and tasteCharacteristic for this type of product, without foreign tastes and smells with a smoky aromaThe smell of pork when tasting the taste is felt by the taste of spices

Conclusion: Based on the analysis of the test sample according to the organoleptic indicator, this product passed the test; no strange odors or impurities were detected and there was nothing superfluous on the cut that did not meet the standards


By writing this course work, I learned how a product is checked during examination, by what indicators it is checked and by what standard and regulatory document it is sold.


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Storing smoked meat in the freezer

If you need to preserve the product for a longer time, it must be frozen. Smoked meat products can be stored longer in a freezer. In this case, there are also three temperature modes:

  • at temperatures from -10 to -8, storage is ensured for up to 4 months;
  • at a temperature in the chamber from -18 degrees C to -10 degrees C, the freshness of the smoked product can be ensured for up to 8 months;
  • If you store food in the freezer at a temperature from -24 degrees C to -18 degrees C, then they can be kept for up to 1 year.

We recommend: Smoking with juniper wood chips

Such long periods for storing frozen smoked meats are more relevant for production, but these parameters will also help you in everyday life if you decide to smoke large volumes and need to store them for a long time. But in this case, the question of whether it is possible to freeze smoked pork ham is as relevant as the issues of proper thawing. The product must be kept at a temperature of about +12 degrees C until it thaws completely.

Important! Smoked ham or other types of smoked meat should be frozen immediately at low temperatures. That is, the freezer must be turned on for at least 2 hours in order for the proper storage mode to form in it. It is better to place the product in vacuum packaging.

No cheating

Smoked fish When choosing smoked fish, you need to be especially careful. The smell of smoked meat can mask the initial poor condition of the raw material, which can cause food poisoning, causing, for example, botulism. Be sure to smell the smoked fish - if you feel the slightest hint of chemical fragrances, it is better to immediately refuse the purchase. High-quality smoked fish emits the smell of wood smoke, and it should not be pungent, but gentle. Examine the skin of the fish. If you see on it a peculiar pattern of pressed-in cells from the smoking network, this is a sign that the processing of the raw materials was as natural as possible. Pay attention to damage to the fish skin: scratches and dents indicate that the product has expired. There should be no light stripes on the sides of the fish, as they indicate a violation of the smoking process technology. Such fish may not be sufficiently smoked and pose a risk of infection. If you buy hot smoked fish, it should easily separate from the bones. Cold smoked fish, on the contrary, should be dense, dry and lean. Don’t panic if there are traces of white coating on its surface; according to the rules, a large amount of salt is added to it. Pay attention to the expiration date of the product. Vacuum-packed cold-smoked fish can be stored for no more than 90 days, while hot-smoked fish can be stored for no more than 60 days. In a regular refrigerator, unpacked fish is stored for 14 and 6 days, respectively.

Smoked meat The shelf life of meat purchased in bulk will be short, only 3-4 days. The product in vacuum packaging can be stored for up to 45 days. Some manufacturers do not smoke meat, but add liquid smoke to it for flavor. Therefore, when choosing a product, carefully consider everything, even the smallest details. The presence of, for example, a smoked string on a piece of meat indicates that it was smoked in the normal way, but the yellowness of the veins of the product indicates that it was not smoked, but was treated with liquid smoke. When purchasing smoked lard, carefully read the recipe and product composition on the label. The shorter this list is, the better. Thus, the simplest composition, including pork, salt, sugar, black pepper and garlic, is found in the highest quality lard. The appearance also tells the buyer a lot about the quality of the product. You should not buy lard that has a pink color when cut, which may be caused by prolonged soaking of low-quality raw materials in a solution of potassium permanganate. A distinctive sign of good quality bacon is white streaks of fat, but yellow streaks, all kinds of darkening and spots on the product indicate violations of the production technology or its staleness. In addition, the lard should not contain punctures, which are left when the product is pumped with additional brine to add weight. When choosing a neck, touch it; a quality product should be elastic and slightly moist. A cut of high-quality smoked meat should also have no cracks or voids, and the fatty tissue should be pure white, without any blood stains. The presence of jelly in the fatty tissues of a meat product is permissible only in small quantities. If there is a lot of jelly-like substance, it means there is an excess amount of water in the product. In high-quality meat, the brine should almost completely evaporate during the smoking process. If traces of liquid are visible under the vacuum film, this is a sign of poor quality production. Such meat does not differ in taste and aroma, and sometimes can become a source of poisoning. It is worth paying attention to the smell; if you smell a strong smell of smoking, it means the meat has been treated with liquid smoke. Meat prepared in a high-quality manner has a light smoky aroma. To determine the quality of smoked meats at home, you need to place a cut piece of the product on a clean napkin for 5 minutes. Then inspect the napkin, if there is a trace of water left on it, this is a clear sign that the manufacturer has “injected” the product with water. A quality product leaves a very small and barely visible trace.

Storage options without refrigeration

Refrigerators appeared relatively recently, but in the past they smoked brisket, hams, poultry wings and other delicacies. Our ancestors used the following methods:

  • Storage in fabric. Natural fabric was soaked in a saline solution, wrapped around the product and placed in a cool place where there are no temperature changes, for example, in the basement of a house.
  • In the attic. Smoked meats will be perfectly preserved in a ventilated attic if hung in a rag bag.
  • In nettle leaves. If you are relaxing in nature, where there is not only a refrigerator, but also no home, cover the meat with nettle leaves. Keep the bundle in the shade. This way it can stay fresh for several days.

If you have interesting information on how to store smoked brisket or other smoked meats, share your experience in the comments section.

How to properly store smoked sausages

Smoked sausages can be stored for several weeks, provided that they have not been frozen, and the storage room has the required temperature and humidity. The best place to store smoked sausages is a dark, well-ventilated pantry, the air temperature in which should fluctuate between 5-10 degrees Celsius, no more. The air here should circulate as intensively as possible. The shelf life of the sausages will directly depend on this.

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The level of air humidity in the room also has a significant impact on the shelf life of smoked sausages. At high air humidity, sausages will very quickly become covered with whitish, slimy mold; at low humidity, they will simply dry out. To prevent this from happening, air humidity should fluctuate between 75-80%.

You should also ensure that there are no drafts in the room where sausages are stored, otherwise this will lead to the products quickly deteriorating.

It should also be remembered that the conditions for preparing cold and hot smoked sausages for future use are different. Hot smoked sausages keep well in the refrigerator for several weeks. At a temperature of 5-6 degrees, their shelf life will be about three weeks. At the same time, uncut sausages are preserved better than cut ones.

Smoking process

The general rules for preparing for smoking are the same for all methods. Before starting the process, the smoking chamber is prepared. It is well cleaned of ash, old coals, soot and fat deposits. Only after this fresh wood chips are added for smoking.

The difference in smoking technologies lies in the distance of the smoked products from the heating source. Thus, to cool the smoke during cold smoking, a long pipe (2 - 3 m) is used, passing through which the hot smoke quickly cools to a temperature of 16 - 22 ˚C. Hot and semi-hot smoking is performed directly over smoldering combustion products. Here it is only necessary to regulate the smoldering process by reducing or increasing the temperature using wet sawdust.

Hot/semi-hot smoking

These methods involve heat treatment of raw materials at high temperatures. Products in the smoking chamber are simultaneously boiled in their own juice and soaked in smoking substances. The result is delicacies with juicy pulp and a refined aroma.

Cold smoking

The basis of this method is the treatment of raw materials with chilled smoke for several days. There is a process of gradual drying and deep smoking. The pulp of the prepared dishes is juicy, close in consistency to the raw product. The taste of cold-smoked delicacies has a thick aroma of fire and spices.

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Cold smoke smoking technique

The method is lengthy and requires certain skills and attention, so it makes sense to prepare food in reserve. Not only traditional pork and beef, but also chicken, duck or rabbit can be processed “cold”. Smoking chambers in this category have larger dimensions than for hot smoking.

During the process, the surface of the product dries, excess moisture evaporates, and the smoky aroma penetrates inside. Smoked meats remain juicy, fat content remains at a level - all this thanks to the low smoke temperature (20-30°C). It is important to thoroughly dry and warm the semi-finished product before processing.

After cooking, the delicacy must be dried in a ventilated room for a week to a month. Store products at a humidity of 70-75% and a temperature of 5-7°C.

Time frame or how long should cold smoked meat be smoked at home

The duration of heat treatment depends, again, on the weight, quality of the cut and salting technique. In practice, the smoking temperature for small pieces of meat is 20-30°C, for larger pieces - 30-40°C. The duration, respectively, is from 8 to 120 hours.

To obtain high-quality dried beef, experts recommend drying it for 10-12 hours at 35-42°C after loading it into the smokehouse. Then you need to connect a smoke generator, let smoke into the chamber for 98-120 hours, slowly increasing the temperature so that after 40 hours it is at 55°C.

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