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Refreezing Thawed Raw Meat

chef jimmyj

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I was taught and passed on to my students, " Raw Frozen Meat can be Thawed, under refrigeration, and Refrozen...ONCE. "
Two factors come into play. First, a Quality issue, each time meat is frozen, Ice Crystals form, first from the meats natural moisture, then those Ice Crystals, essentially, Shred the muscle. As the meat thaws, the Ice Crystals melt and some additional moisture from the shredded muscle, is released as well. Double Trouble, if you will. Initial Freezing in a Deep Freeze, -10 to -20°F, makes for smaller crystals and less meat damage, less moisture loss.

Second is a possible Safety issue. Refrigerated thawing is generally safe, below 38°F. However not everyone's Refer is this cold. You got 4 kids and that Refer Door may be Open as much as closed! The interior temp quickly rises above 40°F putting meat in the Danger Zone. Next issue, you defrost a hunk of meat. Some amount of time, little or a lot, is spent at Room Temp as you Trim, Portion, Weigh out whats needed, Wrap or Vac-seal the unused portion and Refreeze in an, again, possibly Above Zero Freezer, them Kids like Ice Cream!
Now a week later, back in the possibly warm Refer, More Prep, Counter Warming waiting for the Smoker to heat or other delay before cooking, and ALL this time in the Danger Zone adds up, ESPECIALLY if you Refreeze more than Once.

Bottom line...If you plan to Refreeze Meat, Thaw in an infrequently opened Refer, like a Beer Fridge. (Maybe not so infrequent for Some of you guys, Eh?😆) or at least the Back of the Bottom Shelf, coldest part, of your everyday Refer.
Any time Out of the Refer, work Cleanly and Quickly. Wrap well, I use 4 layers of Plastic Film, or Vac-seal.
If possible, Refreeze in a little opened Deep Freeze, this second and last time, at -10 to -20°F...JJ
 

smokeaddict

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I was taught and passed on to my students, " Raw Frozen Meat can be Thawed, under refrigeration, and Refrozen...ONCE. "
Two factors come into play. First, a Quality issue, each time meat is frozen, Ice Crystals form, first from the meats natural moisture, then those Ice Crystals, essentially, Shred the muscle. As the meat thaws, the Ice Crystals melt and some additional moisture from the shredded muscle, is released as well. Double Trouble, if you will. Initial Freezing in a Deep Freeze, -10 to -20°F, makes for smaller crystals and less meat damage, less moisture loss.

Second is a possible Safety issue. Refrigerated thawing is generally safe, below 38°F. However not everyone's Refer is this cold. You got 4 kids and that Refer Door may be Open as much as closed! The interior temp quickly rises above 40°F putting meat in the Danger Zone. Next issue, you defrost a hunk of meat. Some amount of time, little or a lot, is spent at Room Temp as you Trim, Portion, Weigh out whats needed, Wrap or Vac-seal the unused portion and Refreeze in an, again, possibly Above Zero Freezer, them Kids like Ice Cream!
Now a week later, back in the possibly warm Refer, More Prep, Counter Warming waiting for the Smoker to heat or other delay before cooking, and ALL this time in the Danger Zone adds up, ESPECIALLY if you Refreeze more than Once.

Bottom line...If you plan to Refreeze Meat, Thaw in an infrequently opened Refer, like a Beer Fridge. (Maybe not so infrequent for Some of you guys, Eh?😆) or at least the Back of the Bottom Shelf, coldest part, of your everyday Refer.
Any time Out of the Refer, work Cleanly and Quickly. Wrap well, I use 4 layers of Plastic Film, or Vac-seal.
If possible, Refreeze in a little opened Deep Freeze, this second and last time, at -10 to -20°F...JJ
Thank You Chef Jimmy,
Good information. My food scientist friend said that flash frozen meats do not suffer from burst cells, the problem is limited to our slow freezing - 18º ç fridges.
Have you heard of this ?

Keep Safe !

Gus
 

chef jimmyj

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Yes...Your Over/Under Refer-Freezer is the worst place to freeze fresh meat. A Deep Freezer is better, but Flash Freezers yield the best Quality...JJ
 

sawhorseray

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Thanks Chef, great informative write-up! I just got the electrical work done last week to plug in a new chest freezer next to my old reliable stand up. Shopping for a beer / brining fridge in the morning, more room, less nagging. RAY
DSCN3196.JPG
 

mike243

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almost all home freezers are made to run at 0, there are a few that can be turned lower but if it has a drain it may freeze it up,
 

HalfSmoked

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Great info JJ but I think I will still at the one time and done.

Warren
 

GaryHibbert

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Great info, JJ. I was always taught that you can refreeze meat once, but nobody ever said why.
Gary
 

chef jimmyj

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Thanks for the kind words and I am glad to help...JJ
 

HalfSmoked

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Thanks for the like JJ it is appreciated.

Hope to see you and your family at the gathering, Notice the date has been changed.

Warren
 

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