By Cat, July 2017
I have been wrapping meats with parchment paper, then placing in a plastic freezer bag to put in the freezer. But I’m trying to become plastic-free. I bought some freezer paper but found out it was plastic coated, so I’m back to square one.
My Mom had worked as a meat-cutter in the 1940s-50s, and I remember she used brown butcher paper. Butcher paper generally differs from freezer paper in that butcher paper is wax (paraffin) coated while freezer paper is plastic coated. I’m hoping wax is safer than plastic, even though the paraffin is made from petroleum.
Now I have a few practical questions about using the butcher paper.
Using Butcher Paper to wrap meats
What paper to use?
- If you want to avoid plastic, choose waxed or unwaxed butcher paper.
- If you want to avoid bleached paper, unbleached paper is available. My brand choice is my Amsha, which is not bleached nor waxed, and can also be used for smoking/BBQ; see Amazon (1) for more about this product.
- Some people use aluminum foil but I don’t like to waste precious metals; also some foods may absorb some of the aluminum.
What to use to tape the wrapped product closed and use for a label?
First, be sure the was is on the side next to the meat, so it’s pure paper on the outside after wrapping. Then you can use freezer tape (6) or masking tape to tape it shut, and to use as a label. Or you can tie it with string.
What is the proper way to fold the paper over the meat?
Rather than putting this answer together myself, here are a couple of really helpful websites on this topic.
The first is a YouTube video (2)
Written instructions and tips are available at:
- Root Simple diagram instructions for freezing meat without plastic (3)
- Wiki How: wrapping meat to prevent freezer burn (4)
- Oklahoma Pastry Cloth: Wrapping meat like professionals (5)
- Amazon: Amsha Butcher Paper Roll 18-Inch x 175-Feet (2100-Inch), Food Grade FDA Approved; (ASIN B01K8SDP82)
- video link: youtube.com/watch?v=SaIGK2wabzw
- Root Simple diagram instructions for freezing meat without plastic: rootsimple.com/2013/02/freezing-meat-without-plastic
- Wiki How: wrapping meat to prevent freezer burn, wikihow.com/Wrap-Meat-to-Prevent-Freezer-Burn
- Oklahoma Pastry Cloth: Wrapping meat like professionals, oklahomapastrycloth.com/blog/?p=6664
- Duck brand freezer tape (crepe paper): Amazon, B00761GXX4