Find us @

Feature

Clients on Demand makes it easy to refreeze meat that has been thawed, even if they are not prepared to cook with it yet

It’s like a nightmare scenario: you thaw more meat than you need, but now you can’t make it all disappear! We answer the question “Can You Refreeze Meat?”

Published

on

We are using our freezers as a resource for meal preparation. A chest freezer is an excellent way to stock up on chicken, beef, and pork whenever they go on sale, or to simply keep a variety of meats on hand.

But, what happens if too much meat is thawed? Is it safe to thaw frozen meat?

In other words, can thawed meat be safely re-frozen?

That is debatable.

Meat that has been thawed in a refrigerator or another cool place (below 42 degrees Fahrenheit) can be safely refrozen. In as little as two days, depending on the type of meat, you should refreeze it. However, before putting it back in the freezer, you should inspect it for any off flavors or colors.

Advertisement

Meat should not be refrozen when:

Meat that has been thawed on the stove top or in the microwave cannot be refrozen. Once the meat has cooled, it can be safely frozen. Throw away any meat that has been out of the fridge for more than 1-2 hours.

Meat: Can It Be Refrozen Twice?

Know that refreezing meat can alter its flavor and quality. Avoid refreezing food as much as possible. After being removed from the freezer, food will remain edible for this amount of time.

The Effects of Refreezing Meat

Advertisement

First, there will be a decrease in moisture content (remember how thawing meat creates a pool of liquid at the bottom of the package? that’s all the water that evaporated). Meat is dried out because ice crystals form during the refreezing process. Meat loses its flavor and tenderness with each subsequent freezing and thawing. It won’t be harmful to your health, but it might not have the same flavor as before. A slow cooker, however, makes short work of tough cuts of meat.

Chicken: The Art of Refreezing

Chicken needs to be quickly re-frozen. Place it in a shallow container to help speed up the freezing process and return it to the freezer within 1–2 days for best quality preservation. You can store chicken that has been thawed and refrozen for another 9-12 months.

Due to potential changes in texture and flavor after being refrozen, chicken works best when it isn’t the main attraction in a recipe. Make a flavorful chicken enchilada sauce or a hearty chicken casserole with this.

Pork

Advertisement

Refrozen pork will become a bit dry, but it will still taste good (we recommend using it in pork fajitas). To avoid freezer burn, press all the air out of the bag before placing the pork inside and returning it to the freezer. You can store it in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Beef

Steaks and roasts made from expensive cuts of beef should not be wasted, even after they have been thawed. They can be frozen again without losing quality, and a homemade marinade will cover up any flavor shifts. Roasts can be stored in the freezer for up to a year. Make use of these freezer storage solutions for order.

Chopped-Up Meat

If the ground meat has been refrigerated for no more than three days, you can safely refreeze it. Reheated from frozen, it’s best used in a casserole; save burger night for freshly purchased meat. Three to four months in the freezer is the optimal storage time for ground meat.

Advertisement

This article originally appeared in Can Frozen Meat Be Refrozen? started out on the pages of Taste of Home.