shortcut to content
Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Cookbook - Food Tips

Page address:

Meat, Poultry and Fish

Food Care and Safetyfish, carrots, lemon, broccoli plate

  • Place raw meat, poultry, or fish in a covered dish to keep the juices from dripping onto their foods, and store it in the back of the refrigerator.
  • Ground meats last one to two days, chops, roasts, and steaks should keep for three to five days
  • When you get home for the supermarket, remove the store packaging and rewrap the beef with plastic wrap; you can then keep it for up to two weeks in the freezer. For longer storage, repackage meat in heavy-duty aluminum foil, freezer paper, or a plastic freezer bag, eliminating as much air as possible when sealing it.
  • Poultry lasts one to two days in the refrigerator.
  • When you get home from the supermarket, remove the store packaging and rewrap the poultry with plastic wrap; you can freeze it for up to two months. If you’re freezing it for more than two months, wrap foil, plastic, or freezer paper over the original plastic packaging or place it in the freezer bag. You can keep whole poultry for a year; poultry pieces, nine months.
  • Refrigerate fresh fish and shellfish for a day to two. For freezer storage, place the items in a tightly wrapped plastic package and cover it with foil or place in a bag. You can store fish in the freezer for three to eight months; shellfish, three to 12 months.

Cooking Tips

  • Select lean cuts of meat with minimal visible fat. Lean beef cuts include the round, chuck, sirloin or loin. Lean pork cuts include the tenderloin or loin chop, while lean lamb cuts come from the leg, arm and loin.
  • Trim all visible fat from meat before cooking.
  • Use a rack to drain off fat from broiling, roasting or baking. Instead of basting with drippings, keep meat moist with wine, fruit juices or an acceptable oil-based marinade.
  • Cook a day ahead of time-stew, broiled meats, stocks or other dishes and chill. The next day you can easily remove fat from the top.
  • Brown meat under the broiler first instead of using a pan for frying.
  • Remove the skin from chicken or turkey, preferably before cooking. If your poultry dries out too much, leave the skin on for cooking but remove before eating.
  • Fish can be fatty or lea, but it’s still low in saturated fat. Prepare fish baked, broiled, grilled or boiled rather than breaded and fried.

Information from Consumer Reports, American Heart Association and Target Wellness Center recipe book.