Freezing Beef Tenderloin: Is It Possible?

Beef tenderloin is a popular steak cut that can be used in many different recipes. However, like most steaks, it will only keep for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. That leaves many people asking if it’s possible to freeze beef tenderloin.

Freezing beef tenderloin is one of the best ways to preserve meat. Beef tenderloin can stay frozen for up to one year without losing its quality. The best way to freeze beef tenderloin is in a vacuum seal bag or plastic wrap.

What are the Benefits of Freezing Beef Tenderloin?

There are several benefits to freezing beef tenderloin, the first being that it prevents spoilage, allowing you to preserve your meat for significantly longer. The second benefit of freezing beef tenderloin is that when thawed, the meat will be more tender.

Preventing Spoilage

The most common reason that people decide to freeze their beef tenderloin is to prevent spoilage. Spoiled meat is one of the biggest causes of foodborne illness all over the world and most meat spoils within 3-5 days of being kept in the refrigerator. To prevent this, many people will freeze their meats if they know that they will not be preparing the meat within the week. 

When you freeze meat, you are stopping bacteria and yeast from growing on the meat. This is what helps to prevent spoilage. Ideally, you are packaging the meat in an airtight freezer bag which will help to prevent oxygen from reaching the meat. This will also help the meat to stay fresh as oxygen is one of the main factors that cause food spoilage.

Tender Meat

Another benefit to freezing beef tenderloin that not a lot of people know about is that freezing beef tenderloin makes the meat more tender. Kansas State University conducted a study where they discovered that freezing meat increased the meat’s tenderness by an average of 10%. 

Some moisture loss did occur however, it was minimal and the tenderness that the meat came out of the freezer with more than made up for the slight moisture loss. Properly packaging your meats before freezing them can also help to minimize any moisture loss.

Overall, freezing your beef tenderloin has several benefits. It allows you to keep a delicious piece of meat fresh for up to a year without spoiling. It also helps to tenderize the meat which makes it extra juicy when it finally comes out of the freezer. 

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How Long Does Beef Tenderloin Last In Freezer?

On average, a beef tenderloin will last up to 12 months in the freezer before you should throw it out. During this time the meat should remain solidly frozen to prevent any growth of bacteria or yeast. 

Although beef tenderloin will stay good for up to a year in the freezer, there are some signs that you should look for to make sure the meat has not gone bad.

The first sign that you should look for is changes in the meat’s coloration. If the meat has developed any grayish spots it has likely been freezer burned. This does not technically make the food unsafe. However, it will change the texture and flavor to the point where you probably shouldn’t eat it. 

Another sign that your meat has gone bad is a change in the smell once it has been thawed. If the meat just doesn’t smell right, you should throw it out rather than risk food poisoning.

The last sign that your meat has gone bad in the freezer is if it’s sitting in a puddle of ice. This is a sign that at some point the meat thawed and was refrozen. This also applies if there are any chunks of ice frozen to the meat.

To learn more about how long meat keeps in the freezer, click here.

How Do You Freeze Raw Beef Tenderloin?

There are several different methods for freezing raw beef tenderloin. Some of the most popular methods for freezing meat are vacuum sealing, plastic wrap, and flash freezing. 

It is important to do each of these methods correctly to achieve the best results with your beef tenderloin.

Vacuum Sealing

One of the most popular methods for freezing raw meats is vacuum sealing them. This method makes use of a vacuum to pull all of the excess air out of the freezer-safe bags. Doing this reduces the amount of oxygen that the meats are in contact with. This helps to reduce bacterial growth and prevent the meat from losing moisture and getting freezer burn.

To vacuum seal your meat you will follow the following steps:

  1. Remove meat from the original packaging
  2. Transfer meat to the cutting board
  3. Season meat or leave meat plain, personal preference
  4. Place meat in vacuum sealed bags
    1. Make sure that the meat is flat in the bag
    2. Pick a bag that is slightly larger than the meat
  5. Use the vacuum sealer to pull air out of the bag
  6. Seal bag
  7. Place in freezer
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Meat that is frozen in vacuum seal bags will stay fresh for at least a year. It won’t have the same issues with freezer burn that are common with other methods.

Plastic Wrap

If you don’t want to purchase a vacuum sealer to package your meats then you can use plastic wrap. Plastic wrap is a great option if you want to use materials that you have around your house to package your meat. It has many of the same benefits as vacuum sealing. It prevents freezer burn and helps to keep your meat moist while it is frozen.

Steps to using plastic wrap:

  1. Remove the meat from the packaging
  2. Pat the meat dry to remove excess liquid
  3. Tightly wrap the meat in plastic wrap
  4. Place plastic wrapped meat in a freezer bag
  5. Squeeze the air out of a bag and seal
  6. Place meat in the freezer

The most important part of using plastic wrap to wrap your beef tenderloin steaks is squeezing all of the air out of the packaging before freezing. This helps to keep the meat from drying out or developing freezer burn. While freezer burn is not dangerous, it can negatively affect the taste and texture of the meat. 

Flash Freezing

One last way to freeze your raw beef tenderloin is by flash freezing it. To flash freeze meat you will need an extremely cold freezer. The idea behind flash freezing meat is that since the meat is rapidly frozen, the moisture and flavor are locked into the meat without the need for extra packaging. This is the same method that is used to kill parasites in sushi fish.

Steps to flash freezing:

  1. Have freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit
  2. Place raw beef tenderloin directly on an empty freezer shelf
  3. Leave meat until it is frozen solid
  4. Move meat to a freezer with other flash frozen meat

Once the meat has been frozen, it will stay solidly frozen until you are ready to prepare it at which point it should be thawed normally. One rule with flash freezing is that you should make sure to store it in a freezer that is no more than 85% full. This helps to keep the air circulating between the meat and keep everything frozen. The temperature should also be kept at no more than 0 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Related Questions

In this section, you will find answers to the most commonly asked questions regarding freezing beef tenderloin.

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Does beef tenderloin spoil in the freezer?

As long as beef tenderloin is kept solidly frozen, it will not spoil in the freezer. If the meat thaws at any point while it is frozen bacteria and yeast can begin to grow which will spoil the meat.

The main issue that you will have with beef tenderloin in the freezer is it becoming freezer burned. Freezer burn occurs when the outer layers of the meat are exposed to extremely cold, dry air. This dehydrates the outer layers of the meat making them tough and flavorless once the meat is thawed. 

If the meat becomes freezer burned, you will notice grayish patches along the edges of the meat. If the discoloration is minimal then you should be able to cut off the areas and cook the meat normally. If the majority of the meat is discolored with freezer burn, you are better off throwing the meat away as the flavor will be affected.

What are the disadvantages of freezing meat?

The main disadvantages of freezing meat are that it dries out the meat and can freezer burn it. When meat becomes freezer burned it loses flavor and texture.

Freezer burn dehydrates the meat and breaks down the outer layers of the meat. This makes the meat flavorless and the texture tougher than normal.

Meat can also become very dry in the freezer as the air surrounding the meat has less moisture than the meat.

How do you defrost beef tenderloin?

The best way to defrost beef tenderloin is by placing it in the refrigerator and waiting for it to gradually thaw over the next 1-2 days. This will prevent bacteria growth that can occur when you thaw meat at room temperature.

To thaw your meat in the refrigerator you will place the meat flat on a shelf in its original packaging. Over the next 1-2 days the meat will thaw. Once it is fully thawed you can prepare the meat normally.

Final Thoughts

Freezing beef tenderloin is a great way to keep the meat fresh for a long period of time without losing flavor or moisture. It allows the meat to be kept safely for up to one year.

To freeze beef tenderloin you will want to place it in a plastic freezer bag and squeeze as much air out as possible. Then you will place the meat in the freezer and keep it frozen solid until you are ready to prepare it.

Alternatively, you can also flash freeze the meat which allows you to freeze it without using extra packaging.