Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

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In the developed world, the most common domestic method for preserving meat is simply to keep it cool. Refrigeration has two great advantages: it requires little or no preparation time, and it leaves the meat relatively unchanged from its fresh state. Cooling meat extends its useful life because both bacteria and meat enzymes become less active as the temperature drops. Even so, spoilage does continue. Meats keep best at temperatures approaching or below the freezing point, 32°F/0°C.