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questions about freezing meat

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Most of the meat that we eat we have delivered, it comes frozen. Can I defrost the meat, make freezer meals and throw them in the freezer or is this a no no as far as food safety? I have been waiting for our next delivery to start freezer meals for when this baby arrives but now I am questioning my big plan

Another question, I found a marinade that all of my kids like for chicken drumsticks. When I bought those from the store they weren't frozen, I am not sure if they had been previously. My question is can I marinate the chicken pieces and put them in the freezer at that point or do I need to cook them first? If I don't have to cook them I assume I can take them out and let them defrost in the fridge and bake as normal?

Thanks for your help, I am new to freezer cooking but so desperately need to do it so we don't fall into our usual fastfood/takeout rut when I am post partum and too tired to prepare meals.

Warmly,
Erin
post #2 of 6
I have no idea what the food safety standards say, but I do this all the time - thaw meat and freeze the cooked result. I don't know why it wouldn't be ok ?? I never even thought that it wouldn't be.
post #3 of 6
You can freeze the meat again after it's been cooked. But you can't thaw raw meat, marinade it, and refreeze it without cooking it first.

Oops, apparently I was wrong! From USDA:

Refreezing
Once food is thawed in the refrigerator, it is safe to refreeze it without cooking, although there may be a loss of quality due to the moisture lost through defrosting. After cooking raw foods which were previously frozen, it is safe to freeze the cooked foods. If previously cooked foods are thawed in the refrigerator, you may refreeze the unused portion.

If you purchase previously frozen meat, poultry or fish at a retail store, you can refreeze if it has been handled properly.
post #4 of 6
Most of the meat that a person buys in the store is previously frozen, thawed, then sold. People take it home and refreeze. Meat is often frozen over and again and I've never had it negatively affect the quality.

As for cooking then refrigerating or freezing, that's an excellent way to extend the life of meat that needs to be used immediately.

If for some reason you leave out meat accidentally and it's thawing, you can refreeze it if it still has ice crystals on it. If not, then the temp of the meat has risen to the danger zone and needs to be cooked right away, after which can freeze the cooked meat.
post #5 of 6
Quote:
Originally Posted by Siobhain View Post
Another question, I found a marinade that all of my kids like for chicken drumsticks. When I bought those from the store they weren't frozen, I am not sure if they had been previously. My question is can I marinate the chicken pieces and put them in the freezer at that point or do I need to cook them first? If I don't have to cook them I assume I can take them out and let them defrost in the fridge and bake as normal?
I forgot to answer this question. This is just my opinion, so I could be right or wrong on this. My guess is that if your marinade has an acid in it (and most do as it's the vehicle by which the marinade penetrates the meat a little bit), in the freezing and thawing process, it might make the meat really soggy. I would think that the acid in the marinade would break down the protein in the meat TOO much. I would freeze the marinade separately.
post #6 of 6
That's interesting what the USDA site said... I personally would find it too risky to refreeze thawed meat that has not been cooked. I am a little OCD, though. I just worry that it could inadvertantly have been handled unsafely by the people at the store. It's a pretty good bet that meat from the store was previously frozen. I've even been in the store before where chicken packs have "FRESH" stickers on them, and they are still freaking frozen and haven't thawed in the meat case yet. Duh!!
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