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Re-Freezing Meats


gfron1
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I know that I've always told not to re-freeze meats, but...why?  Especially ground beef - does it really matter?

Each time you thaw the meat you lose some of its moisture. Do it more than once, especially to a relatively lean cut, and you'll end up with horrid, dry meat that no sauce can cover up.

Freezing meat should be done as infrequently as possible, period. (I say this as a person with 30 pounds of local pork in my freezer right now - I understand that sometimes it's necessary)

From a safety perspective, bacteria on the meat will not be killed by freezing - it will simply slow their growth, and then when the meat is thawed again the bacteria will multiply more rapidly. Not a concern if you're cooking your meat to 165 degrees, but who eats burgers well done? Why not just stick a piece of charcoal in there?

Seriously, though, don't re-freeze. It's just not good for the meat at all. And if we're going to be eating part of a once-living animal, I think we should treat that part reverently and with the utmost care and prepare it properly.

Edited by david coonce (log)

"A culture's appetite always springs from its poor" - John Thorne

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There are only 2 people in my household so I have frequent miscalculations about what will get eaten within a certain time. I don't have a vacuum sealer but I try to make the package as air free as possible and I never expect re-frozen stuff to be used in a situation where it's flavor is key. Sometimes I buy the discounted about to expire stuff to save money and freeze it, but it will be sauced or otherwise enhanced.

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I absolutely prefer to have fresh food all the time ..but sometimes you have a score and need to can dry or freeze it... and yes I have a billion times tossed food back in to the freezer that was partially thawed...not fully thawed ..but mostly there ..just some ice in the middle maybe...but not if it reaches the danger zone on the counter ..then it gets cooked right away....texture and flavor do go down with each toss back in the freezer that is for sure ..but stuff happens and rather than waste a good cut of meat ..I have it for curries and stews it does not hurt it a bit ..and ground beef seems fine to me ..but then it is ground so what texture are we lacking I wonder...

on the good side of this I accidently found out that squid especially the huge ones for calamari..actually gets more tender and better with freezer abuse!!! try it sometime ..toss it into the freezer just in a bag .. let it fall to the bottom of the freezer forget it far longer than you would with any other seafood ...take it out partially thaw it and put it back and then finally thaw and cook it! it was freaking amazing tender and tasty! do it all the time now! ..I can not imagine any other seafood putting up with that!!!

I prefer everything fresh but there are times ...

Edited by hummingbirdkiss (log)
why am I always at the bottom and why is everything so high? 

why must there be so little me and so much sky?

Piglet 

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Hey guys - I really appreciate the answers. I really didn't think it would matter on ground meat, but I was actually asking because of some ultra-lean ground bison that I have. But I'll just eat it or make enough for leftovers now.

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I'm not sure I've noticed a flavor or texture change with refrozen ground burger, but I'm not sure that I've done it often without cooking it first.

I have, however, frequently thawed meat and cooked it into a large dish of something that provided leftovers. I routinely freeze leftover stew, spaghetti sauce, casserole, or even meat 'n' potatoes that were made from previously-frozen-then-thawed meat. We've never noticed a problem with flavor or texture of the meat in the dish when the leftovers were reheated. (Potatoes are another matter.)

Nancy Smith, aka "Smithy"
HosteG Forumsnsmith@egstaff.org

"Every day should be filled with something delicious, because life is too short not to spoil yourself. " -- Ling (with permission)

"There comes a time in every project when you have to shoot the engineer and start production." -- author unknown

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I have to freeze meat on a regular basis for a variety of reasons, so I'm interested to know: Are these claims true for all meats frozen to all temperatures in all environments? I've noticed, for example, that freezing chicken is almost always a terrible idea but that whole muscles (pork loins, lamb shoulders) that have been cryovaced and frozen in my new supercold freezer turn out pretty well, with much less degradation of quality and loss of liquid.

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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Oddly, my MIL called last night with a question about freezing game. She thinks that her venison, elk, etc. always gives off a ton of moisture if it's been frozen, seemingly moreso than with fresh meat -- and moreso than other kinds of meat. Are leaner meats more susceptible to this problem?

Chris Amirault

eG Ethics Signatory

Sir Luscious got gator belts and patty melts

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