This question is not about preventing meat from going bad or about aesthetics due to oxidation etc. and is specifically about how best to store meat in the fridge for taste.

Depending on who I get my meat from (i.e. which butcher) sometimes it comes wrapped in paper (either individually or all together), sometimes in individual bags or sometimes all bundled together in a single bag like today.

How is it best to store them, for up to 3 days? Leave them all together in contact? Separate and individually cling wrap them? Put them together in Tupperware?

I guess what I'm really asking is does it make any difference to taste or texture depending on how it is stored in the fridge as long as the meat remains fresh and continuously refrigerated? *

*Not including uncovered storage in the fridge which would dry out the meat.

2 Answers 2


Beef ages, so it comes down to your preference, and the cut. As Tom Mylan, executive butcher and co-owner of the local, sustainable butcher shop The Meat Hook in Brooklyn, NY, explained in The Atlantic:

During wet aging, the plastic doesn't allow the meat to breathe, so it ages in contact with its own blood, which lends it "a more intense sour note and a more bloody/serumy flavor," according to the Department of Food Science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota. This sounds a bit negative when you're talking about the flavor of a steak, but the fact that upwards of 90 percent of the beef taken home by American grocery store shoppers in plastic-wrapped foam trays is wet-aged seems to suggest that it can't be all bad.

Dry aging, on the other hand, allows the meat to breathe, lose water (which increases its "beefiness" since there is now less water and but the same amount of muscle fiber), and get acted upon by other microbes beside those of the muscle itself. Those other microbes are the long, threadlike mycelia of various airborne fungi that begin to digest the meat, giving an aged loin its distinctive flavor, aroma, and fuzzy exterior. So dry aging wins, right? It's complicated: while most meat snobs (myself included) prefer dry-aged beef, the American public actually prefers bagged beef according to a number of very expensive meat studies. Certainly you could chalk those results up to Americans preferring what they have become used to and choosing bagged meat over the funkier flavor of dry-aged beef.

Ultimately neither method of aging is the be-all-end-all: it is impossible to properly dry-age steaks like the flat iron, skirt steak, or chuck tenders because they lack the protective fat and bone that cover traditional aged cuts like rib and short loin. Once they are removed from the carcass, they simply begin to degrade and dry out, which is why I think everyone agrees they should go into plastic.

  • 1
    Isn't the time scale of aging way longer than the few days of storage the OP is talking about?
    – Cascabel
    Commented Aug 28, 2016 at 4:32
  • 1
    @Jefromi, it can be, but the storage methods listed by the OP can have an affect on the meat during it's three days in the fridge.
    – Giorgio
    Commented Aug 28, 2016 at 13:34

Well, I guess my usual fridge storage method has an effect on taste and texture, but it's off the track of your question - in some sort of marinade.

Other than that I don't think it will make much difference so long as they are tightly wrapped/sealed. One thing that could make some difference is something I've resorted to at stores where only excessively thin steaks are stocked - buy a roast (uncut) and only slice it into steaks when ready to cook. That reduces the surface area exposed, but I do it simply to get a steak that can be properly cooked, rather than one of those ones that goes from raw to overcooked in no time flat, being too thin. If buying from a butcher this should not be a problem you have.

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